Eating Out

I’m learning to love coffee again. Since arriving in Stockholm I’ve made it a daily habit to go out to a cafe somewhere each morning, to sit down and really ENJOY a coffee. I know it seems small, but it’s become an important part of my daily ritual since arriving here. But rather than going to the same place every day, I’ve been looking for somewhere different to go to each day, relax, read the paper, check email, watch the world go by, and really ENJOY that coffee.

It’s in stark contrast to how I normally consume coffee back home. Like thousands of Sydney-siders it’s my normal practice to pick up a take-away coffee on the way to work, and then consume it fairly quickly while my computer boots up. Unlike many others in Sydney who walk along with their coffee in hand, sipping it through the plastic lid, I’ve chosen not to do that. I have a crazy theory that one day everyone in Sydney is going to drop dead due to the amount of plastic poison they’ve ingested through this type of consumption.

It’s not a practice I’ve noticed much in Stockholm. Admittedly, there was one bloke on the bus the other morning with a paper-cup takeaway, but he was most certainly the odd one out. Maybe it’s too cold for that?

Mostly I’ve gotten into the habit of going out for that morning coffee, going out for some sight-seeing or a walk, and then returning home for lunch. Having the convenience of my own apartment for this trip, I’ve been enjoying coming home for lunch and dinner, rather than find myself in an endless (and expensive) routine of going out for lunch and dinner.

Last night, though, Patrick and I went out for a special meal at a restaurant he had read about on Trip Advisor called, “Rolfs Kök“. (Yes I know it’s all very amusing, English-speakers, but please stop giggling, as the Swedish name translates literally as “Rolf’s Kitchen”.)

It was an early meal for us, as we were heading out to Melodifestivalen later, and so we were there at Rolf’s, literally, as they opened their door. We didn’t have a reservation, but that wasn’t a problem, we were told by the very charming waiter who looked after us for most of the night, so long as we could be finished by 6.30. You could tell from the way she looked after us, and explained some of the detail (such as they made their own butter in-house), that she was really very passionate about the food and service they offered.

For entree, Patrick had soup. As has become the fashion, the vegetables arrived first of all, and then a second or two later, a couple of the chefs arrived with the broth served separately in a jug. They served the broth beautifully and theatrically. Very special.

For the main, Patrick chose the schnitzel, while I had the reindeer (served with a beautiful sweet tasting mash and with lingonberry). But these weren’t the standard sticky-sweet lingon you might associate with meatballs at IKEA. These lingon were firm, plump, tasty, and not overly sickly-sweet.

By the time 6.30pm came around we were ready to leave, having enjoyed a really lovely meal, in a really nice place and with really good service. By about this time, the place was full, though it didn’t feel crowded. It was a little on the expensive side, but not outrageously so. Highly recommended.

And so now, on a Sunday night with a blanket over my knees, it’s a return to a more simple life, with cheese and vegemite on toast.