Fine Dining Experience at Restaurant Aloë
Concierge does come with some wonderful benefits, like being invited to try great restaurants like Aloë. This restaurant has been on the White Guide's list of best restaurants in Sweden over the past couple of years and I have been really curious to try it so I was obviously very excited over the invitation. I did, however, find out that I have been pronouncing the name incorrectly... it isn't pronounced a-low (like in aloe vera) but instead a-loe-ay. It is Latin and loosely translates to "unknown origins". More about that later...
Aloë's location sets it apart from other Stockholm restaurants as it is located in the southern suburbs of the city. It really isn't as daunting as it sounds. You can take public transportation there (subway + bus) which takes about 30 minutes or a taxi/über. I opted for the latter and it only took me 10 minutes to get there from the Rival Hotel, which is about the same amount of time to get to the downtown area from the hotel. I found the location actually quite charming as it, coupled with the interior design, made it feel like you were dining in someone's home. Albeit someone with great taste! The locale is small and intimate with a beautiful open kitchen. The spacing between the tables gives you a more private dining experience.
The cuisine/menu also sets it apart from other Stockholm restaurants of similar quality and standard. Many of the top restaurants in Stockholm (Scandinavia for that matter) do what is called Nordic, or New Nordic, cuisine which uses mainly local, seasonal, often ecological, produce. Instead, Aloë takes its inspiration from a variety of world cuisines, using the freshest quality ingredients wherever they find it. Hence the name "Aloë" (see above). The menu we ate had flavors from places as geographically different as Russia, the Far East, southern Europe and Latin America. Makes for an interesting and creative menu! The chefs are very merited with backgrounds that include competing in Bocuse d'Or and working at Michelin star restaurants like Operakällaren, Mathias Dahlgren and Esperanto.
Aloë serves a tasting menu made of around 15 dishes/servings. You can also choose a beverage package to go with the menu or just order by the glass/bottle. The dishes were interesting and the flavors great, ranging from good to superb with no misses. We had the wine package (8 beverages including a champagne and a sake) which complimented the dishes well. Some personal favorites on the menu were the caviar royale, langoustine with fermented beans and Gochjuang, venison with "oriental spices" and squid with green pepper and jalapeño. The desserts were spot on and I was definitely full and satisfied afterwards. I would say that the flavors were quite rich throughout most of the menu and I could have used a lighter dish or two to break it up... but that is just a matter of personal taste. The service was excellent; both personable and knowledgeable.
Booking is best done online and, if you are staying at the Rival Hotel, I can help you with that... though you will have to confirm your booking with a credit card. Keep in mind that while they can accommodate certain allergies and dietary restrictions, they do need to know this well in advance and definitely not while you are sitting down to dine! Click here for other restaurant reviews/recommendations.
|Opening salvo of caviar royale and champagne|
|Dessert sampler to end the evening...|
|...after which you are presented the evenings menu as a souvenir|