Yes, yes, yes...! Those were my thoughts after visiting the newly opened restaurant Farang this week. I had been getting favorable reports sent from friends who had dined there, so I was curious if it is as good as they were saying. It is!
I would like to preface this report by explaining that Swedes have been in a passionate love affair with Southeast Asia over the past 15 years or so. The region, especially Thailand, has been the #1 vacation destination for Swedes for awhile now. As a result, restaurants featuring the region's cuisine have been very popular in Stockholm over the past decade. Farang, however, takes this trend to the next level. They have steered clear of trying to resemble a restaurant in Thailand and have opted to serve a fusion of Thai, Malaysian, Vietnamese and Indonesian cuisines in a sleek, modern atmosphere.
Open kitchen along right hand side
Farang is the brain child of Tommi Björck and Matti Wikberg, famous chefs from Finland. They run several successful restaurants in Helsinki, including the original Farang. They have teamed up with top Swedish chef Kim Öhman to open Farang in Stockholm. Farang is located in downtown Stockholm in the building that once housed the Stockholm electricity company (Elektricitetsverk), which gives it a real industrial feel (design-wise). The gray & black color palette and use of natural materials adds to this feel. A cocktail bar and lounge are located at the entrance to the restaurant... followed by a corridor which leads you into the main dining room. The room is very spacious (seating for 160) with an open kitchen running along the entire right hand side.
"Street style" appetizers
The meal was fantastic! This was definitely the best dinner with Southeast Asian cuisine that I have had outside of the region itself. They do have tasting menus, which were recommended to us, but we opted to choose from the menu. We started with Bo La Lot "Street Style" snacks... minced meat wrapped in cha plu leaves. For the main course they offer "share" dishes which are meant, as the name suggests, to be shared. We took the Crispy Pork with Palm Sugar Caramel and the Coconut Braised Duck in Red Curry (both with extra sauces and condiments). They were absolutely delicious and perfectly prepared. To be honest, it was almost too much food! Finally, for dessert we split an order of Ho Chi Minh Xoco... mint chocolate with salted caramel and Vietnamese mint ice cream. I almost forgot how full I was.
The service was great as well. Personable and willing to explain dishes as they came to the table. This place has gotten a lot of positive buzz, so booking in advance is a good idea. If you are staying at the Rival Hotel, you can contact me directly and I will help you make a reservation.