Restaurant Nisch in Stockholm: a casual, refined neighborhood restaurant.

My first stays in Stockholm weren’t very conclusive from a culinary point of view, at least not as much as in Gothenburg’s restaurants, but it has to be said that we hadn’t prepared properly and were looking in the wrong places.

So this time I took a lot more care in choosing my tables, and the first to be chosen was Nisch.

For the record, articles related to this trip:

#TypePost
1HotelMoxy Paris CDG (no article, look at our previous articles on Moxy Paris CDG )
2FlightParis-Zurich – Swiss – Business Class
3FlightZurich-Stockholm – Swiss – Business Class
4HotelMiss Clara by Nobis – Stockholm
5RestaurantRestaurant Nisch – Stockholm (here)
6RestaurantRestaurant Sturehof – Stockholm
7FlightStockholm-Copenhagen – SAS – SAS GO (eco)
8HotelMoxy Copenhagen Sydhavnen
9RestaurantRestaurant The Shrimp Copenhaguen
10RestaurantRestaurant Marv&Ben Copenhaguen
11LoungeSAS Gold Lounge in Copenhagen
12FlightCopenhagen-Stockholm – SAS – SAS GO (eco)
13FlightStockholm-Gothenburg – SAS – SAS GO (eco)
14HotelRadisson Blu Scandinavia Gothenburg
15LoungeVinga lounge in Gothenburg
16FlightGothenburg-Zurich – Swiss – Business Class
17FlightZurich-Paris – Swiss – Business Class

The concept of Nisch

In Swedish, “Nisch” means “Niche”. In other words, we can expect something a little off the beaten track.

The restaurant promises a cuisine of character and environmentally responsible, made with “natural” products.

The emphasis is also on the richness of its wine list, all from small-scale producers and organic farming.

In the end, reading the restaurant’s website, I’m expecting something rather sophisticated, even gastronomic, in a rather bistro setting.

Let’s see if the promise is kept.

The Nisch restaurant setting

Although it’s very close to the city center and my hotel, the Miss Clara, Nisch is a little out of the way of the city’s bars and restaurants. In fact, Michelin calls it a neighborhood restaurant.

Anyway, the facade is appealing.

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The room is quite small and, for once, very bright. I’m getting tired of these restaurants where you can barely see what’s on the plate. Perhaps this is a deliberate choice to highlight the visual appeal of the dishes? I’ll know soon enough.

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For the record, the walls are made of recycled materials and the lighting fixtures are old, recycled vaporizers.

In any case, it’s both sleek and warm, and I really like it.

There are only 25 seats, and since the Swedes dine early, it’s obvious that there are two services in the evening.

The menu at Nisch

There’s no à la carte menu at Nisch, but a set tasting menu that varies according to product availability and arrivals. It’s a practice that’s becoming more widespread, and one that tends to appeal to me.

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The meal and the dishes

So I arrive at 8pm and see the restaurant emptying out. Here people dine early and I assume it’s the end of the first shift. So I take a seat in an empty restaurant…which will fill up within the hour.

They offer to put my coat in the checkroom, but I prefer to keep it with me, which makes me smile in retrospect. Here, you can confidently leave your belongings on an unguarded coat rack, which for a French person is hardly conceivable for fear of theft. And even though I’ve been spending a lot of time in Scandinavia lately, I can’t manage to get rid of certain reflexes.

The welcome is entirely Swedish: warm and friendly.

As the menu was set, I didn’t have to make a difficult choice, but for once the waiter persuaded me to opt for the wine pairing, as the doses were not, he said, too large.

They start by bringing me an amuse bouche: a poached egg with belly broth/pork belly and truffle.

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Visually, it’s appetizing and beautiful (which will be a constant feature of this dinner). The egg is impeccably poached and the broth with the truffle is a real treat.

The first course is Arctic char (a cold sea fish) with kohlrabi and horseradish.

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The cucumber broth is surprisingly fresh. As for the fish, it’s perfectly cooked: firm under the fork, melting under the tongue.

A couple from Berlin are seated at the next table. As we’re on the same timing for the service, the waiter suggests presenting the dishes for both tables at the same time, rather than forcing us to hear the same thing twice, 2 minutes apart, given the proximity of the tables. We’re happy to accept, and it’ll give us a chance to chat. The atmosphere is as friendly and relaxed as the cuisine is serious.

Next: lobster, carrot cream and hazelnut butter.

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The carrot cream is excellent, and the mix with the lobster is as surprising as it is successful. The Tokay served with it brings a honeyed taste that goes perfectly with the dish.

Next will be monkfish

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It’s bathed in a “smoked tomato water”, accompanied by a green mayonnaise and a mousse of different herbs.

The combination of tastes is once again surprising, and the dish is fine and very light.

A short break with a truffle amuse bouche…

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It’s time to move on to meat. It’ll be deer with a porcini mushroom and mackerel broth…..

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I didn’t quite understand what happened to the foie gras promised on the menu, but never mind…

The broth is surprising, coming out of nowhere for a combination I’d never have imagined. And it works perfectly! The meat is perfectly cooked!

A rare feature of tasting menus, there will be two desserts.

We start with an almond and spruce oil sorbet accompanied by a blackberry and almond coulis.

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The visuals are surprising, to say the least. As for the rest, it’s light and fine, and once again with unusual flavors and combinations. It’s light and fresh, and makes a good transition between the preceding courses and the second dessert.

A second dessert will be caramelized apples with olive oil and caramel ice cream.

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Finally, and much to my surprise, the restaurant doesn’t propose tea. So it’ll be coffee and cognac.

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All in all, it’s one of the best meals I’ve had in recent times, outside Michelin-starred restaurants like Gordon Ramsay in Bordeaux. But the bill has nothing in common.

The dishes are truly inventive and creative, with rare flavor combinations that hit the spot every time. A cuisine of great finesse. And visually, it’s close to perfection.

Added to this is excellent service…but more on that later.

The atmosphere

If the food is bistronomic or even gastronomic, the atmosphere is very good-natured and friendly: people are relaxed, and tables sometimes talk to each other. You feel very much at home at Nisch, and the time just flies by.

Maybe the music (80s/90s pop) was a bit too loud, but not enough to bother me.

The service

Service as professional and relaxed as the cuisine is precise. The waiters are in jeans, smiling, chatting and joking with customers. Swedish kindness and warmth, which always surprise me in restaurants and hotels, far from clichés.

Great attention is paid to the presentation of dishes, wines and their pairing. Pedagogy and a lot of passion.

Bottom line

An almost perfect meal. Fine dishes, precise cooking, innovative combinations, a setting that makes you feel good and warm service. What more could you ask for?

With a menu costing 80 euros, plus a 70-euro wine pairing, Sweden is an expensive country, so the value for money is more than satisfactory.

I think Nisch deserves a star!

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.
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