Restaurant Stockholm in Tokyo, how Swedish is their menu?
As an native Swedish person I was curious about restaurant Stockholm in Tokyo, In Tokyo there are two major Swedish restaurants, because of restaurant Stockholm is the most well-known it felt like a fun idea to compare restaurant Stockholms menu and food to the traditional Swedish food.
The interior is hard to compare because of the restaurants in Sweden is most often causal where people go to eat casual food without high expectations, because of that it was hard to guess that it was a Swedish restaurant if there was not a big sign that said “Stockholm” on the front of the entrance. It had a quite fancy feeling to it which did not feel that Swedish.
To try as much as possible I chose the “smorgasbord” option, which is the Swedish word for buffet. On the menu there were many traditional Swedish options, for drinks you can have Swedish beer or Swedish Snaps, Swedish snaps is strong alcohol, around 40% and there are a few different tastes and at restaurant Stockholm it is possible to buy the most popular ones. Swedish snaps is alcohol with the taste of different spices, if you are not a big fan of Strong alcohol or very strong tastes it is not to recommend.
The food was very traditional Swedish food, for a Swedish person it may seem a bit weird to have these kinds of food together because of the different kinds of food are mostly eaten at different seasons and celebrations. The most famous is the meatball, which are eaten all year and they were home-made. The “Janssons frestelse” are a kind of potato gratin with anchovies in it, it tasted like a traditional Swedish one but it is buy most people only eaten around Christmas. But because of there not being that much Swedish food it makes sense to have Janssons frestelse no matter the season.
Another kind of Swedish food was the pickled herring which there are many different tastes of, like: mustard, onion, chili and a few others. This is also I kind of food that are mostly eaten at celebrations like Christmas and midsummer but can be bought all year in any supermarket in Sweden, these can also be bought at IKEA but there are very few selected tastes and restaurant Stockholm had more, probably imported from Sweden.
There were also a few kinds of food that I have never seen before, because of the lack of foods you can make here in Japan without importing it, it would become too expensive, so they have made a few dishes to complement the Swedish ones.
There are actually not many desserts that can be called Swedish, there are mostly imported from other countries and changed a bit, because of that they had some desserts that you really cannot get in your traditional Swedish bakery or supermarket.
The pricing is definitely higher that it would be if you came to the same restaurant in Sweden but it would be surprising if that was not the case. Because of the very high alcohol tax in Sweden and the importation fees all the alcohol that comes from Sweden is expensive. And to import some of the food they are serving to makes it even more expensive but it is all you can eat.
There were rumors that you could buy the very famous and very bad smelling “surströming” which is a fermented fish in a metal can at Restaurant Stockholm in Tokyo but it cannot be bought there anymore. According to a waiter at the restaurant you could buy imported surströming there before but the combination of it being famously disgusting and also quite expensive to begin with plus they having to import that to make it not popular at all so they gave up on that idea. Which is sad because there are many Japanese people who would like to try that because of it being famous around the world?
If you want to go to any restaurant and eat any kind of good food you should be prepared for Restaurant Stockholm to be a bit more expensive than a normal Japanese restaurant in the area. If you are excited to try Swedish food and Swedish alcohol but do not have anyone to cook it or buy it for you it may be a good place to try it out. It is easy accessible, From Shinjuku it takes around 15 minutes with train and then just walk for a few minutes.
There is a few resonations of restaurant Stockholm, most complains are of it being overpriced but because of the alcohol tax and they having to import a few ingredients It may not be easy to eat Swedish food much cheaper than there if you want to eat out and here in Tokyo.