Restaurant Carbon in Gothenburg: creative and tasty

Carbon Restaurant in Gothenburg offers modern, creative and tasteful cuisine. It doesn’t have the finesse of a Michelin-starred restaurant, but offers very interesting gourmet cuisine.

For my second evening in Gothenburg before flying to Chicago, I wanted to discover a new restaurant. I’d initially spotted Saga, a new restaurant with a tempting promise of a meeting of Scandinavian and Singaporean cuisines, but its opening, initially scheduled for spring, was postponed to autumn due to problems encountered during construction. I had a reservation at Project, a property I’d been aiming at for several years, for the following week, so I set out to find something else. So I picked from my list of Gothenburg restaurants I wanted to discover and, somewhat at random, chose Carbon.

You’ll find all the articles about this vacation in the USA at the bottom of the page.

Restaurant concept

There’s no particular promise other than a modern, eclectic cuisine that’s all about meeting flavors without any other guidelines. And as is very much in vogue these days, the restaurant favors short circuits and buys mainly from local producers.

Setting

The best and simplest word to describe the setting is “Scandinavian”. Sober, simple, warm, woody…

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Carbon menu

As I said earlier, there are no guidelines in terms of style or geography, apart perhaps from the emphasis on flavors.

The restaurant offers only two tasting menus, a 5-course menu and an 8-course menu. However, what’s original about Carbon is that the dishes are not totally imposed: for each course on the menu, you can choose between 2 and 3 dishes.

As I had specified when booking that I would take the 8-course menu, this is the one I was given on arrival.

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The meal

The restaurant phoned me during the day to confirm my arrival and informed me that they had availability earlier and that, as the dinner lasted 4 hours, I could change my reservation time. Which I did.

I arrive at the restaurant at 7pm.

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I’m warmly welcomed and seated at my table.

The menu was already specified when I booked, so all I had to do was specify whether I wanted wine pairing or not. I’ll do without, as I can’t drink as fast as the dishes follow one another. Instead, I’ll ask the sommelier to recommend 3 or 4 glasses.

First, I’ll be brought some amuse bouche.

Beignet, Brazilian cheese, tapioca, Swedish cheese.

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Nice but a bit dry!

Duck croquette with béchamel sauce (photo forgotten). Good, a little less dry.

Granny Smith and grape sorbet.

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Very very fresh, something I would have seen more at the end of the meal, but very good in any case.

We’re finally getting to the heart of the matter. Before the first course, the sommelier explains the wine he has chosen for me and describes it with interest and passion, as he will do for all the wines he suggests.

We start with the first course:

Crab salad, green peas, habanada peppers, wasabi leaves.

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It’s quite fresh, light when you’re on the crab, but at the end the wasabi in mayonnaise is a bit heavy. Lots of creativity and taste, but not too much finesse.

Cured beef tenderloin, pearl onions, mustard, havgus 24.

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The beef is tasty, fresh and light, but once again it’s rather “raw” and lacks finesse, without that being a reproach. This will be a recurring theme throughout the meal, and I think it’s mainly the result of a desire not to “overwork” the raw material or stray too far from the raw product.

Squid tataki, rice, shiso leaf, jalapeño.

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Once again very good and rich in flavour. The calamari is quite natural, and it’s the accompaniment that makes the difference, with a successful if not obvious marriage between shizo and jalapeño.

Langoustines, dill flower, radish, new potatoes, wrångebäck cheese.

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Once again, it’s fresh and very tasty. The combination of langoustine and cheese really hits the spot!

Pork belly, beets, bronze fennel, garlic confit, smoked canola oil.

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The pork is very crispy on the outside but not very melting on the inside. But once again, the taste and flavours are present.

There will be a long wait before the next dish arrives…

Pan-seared turbot fillet, carrots, black pepper, orange, sorrel.

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The turbot is caramelized and cooked to perfection! The sauce is really excellent and this dish is a killer. And for once, in addition to the taste, there’s a certain finesse.

I’ll have to wait forever again for the next course.

Peach tarte tatin, goat’s yoghurt ice cream, blackcurrant oil.

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Once again, a very surprising marriage between fruit and cheese, and a very tasty result!

I’ll finish with cheese, followed by tea and cognac.

For the record, there was no Cognac on the menu, but when I asked, they somehow managed to find some for me…

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I’d like to finish by saying that the wines recommended throughout the meal were perfect and, above all, that the sommelier was a fine connoisseur who was passionate and had plenty to say about all his products.

The service

Very pleasant and friendly staff, it was a pleasure to talk to them!

The only regret is the slowness of the last two or three services.

The atmosphere

Urban pop then electro then 80s pop! Loud enough to distract me, not loud enough to bother me.

Otherwise a lively and cheerful venue.

Bottom line

An excellent meal in my opinion, and I’ll remember the creativity and flavor of the dishes, as well as the service.

I’ve often said in this article that it lacks a little finesse but, once again, that’s no criticism. In my opinion, there is a twofold desire to offer dishes with strong flavors without “transforming” the raw material too much. All the dishes were really good and tasty, without any of the finesse you’d expect from a Michelin-starred restaurant, some of which go a little too far in terms of complexity and complication.

Maybe that’s what distinguishes a gastronomic chef like Carbon from a starred chef: creativity, but the chef doesn’t think he’s a little chemist… Being creative while keeping it simple isn’t for everyone, and here we’ve succeeded.

That’s good enough for me.

The articles about this vacation in the United States

#TypePost
1DiaryPlanning summer vacation 2023 in the USA
2HotelFairfield Inn by Marriott, North Conway (New-Hampshire)
3HotelAC Hotel by Marriott, Portland (Maine)
4FlightParis-Copenhaguen – SAS – SAS plus
5LoungeSAS Gold Lounge Copenhagen
6FlightCopenhagen-Gothenburg – SAS – SAS Plus
7HotelAvalon Hotel – Gothenburg
8RestaurantCarbon, Gothenburg
9LoungeSAS Lounge – Gothenburg
10FlightGothenburg-Copenhagen – SAS – SAS plus
11LoungeAmerican Airlines Admirals Club lounge, Boston Logan
12FlightBoston – Chicago O’Hare – American Airlines – Domestic First
13LoungeEventyr lounge, Copenhagen
14FlightCopenhagen-Chicago – SAS (operated par Hifly) – Business Class
15HotelThe St. Regis, Chicago
16HotelW Chicago Lakeshore
17RestaurantSignature Room at the John Hancock Center, Chicago
18RestaurantThe Purple Pig, Chicago
19RestaurantObelix, Chicago
20RestaurantCabra, Chicago
21RestaurantMiru, Chicago
22DiaryVisiting Chicago
23LoungeAmerican Airlines Flagship Lounge, Chicago O’Hare
24FlightChicago O’Hare – Indianapolis – American Airlines Domestic First
25FlightIndianapolis – Boston – American Airlines Domestic First
26LoungeSAS Lounge – Chicago O’Hare
27FlightChicago O’Hare-Stockholm – SAS – Business Class
28LoungeSAS Gold Lounge, Stockholm
29FlightStockholm-Gothenburg – SAS – SAS Plus
30HotelScandic Rubinen – Gothenburg
31RestaurantProject, Gothenburg
32FlightGothenburg-Copenhagen – SAS – SAS Plus
33FlightCopenhagen-Paris – SAS (Operated by Jet Time) – SAS Plus
34DiaryDebriefing summer vacations in the USA
Today’s itinerary
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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