The Dahlgren effect: A first taste of Stockholm's newly-opened seafood concept from Mathias Dahlgren

By Charlotte Manning

Photo: Courtesy of Seafood Gastro

Mathias Dahlgren's newest seafood concept has landed on Stockholm's waterfront — and it's sure to become the city's hot spot for long and lavish lunches come summer

Mathias Dahlgren is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in the Stockholm gastronomy scene. So when it was announced that he was planning to launch his latest lunch concept with his partner, Staffan Naess, within their already notable restaurant Seafood Gastro at Stockholm's Grand Hôtel, we were pleased to be among the first to pull up a chair for it.


Located on the waterfront, Seafood Gastro is one of those restaurants that takes a double-take to locate. Tucked away on Södra Blasieholmshamnen, the venue offers up exactly what you want from a private dining establishment: inviting yet exclusive, with a dose of mystery. As a first-time guest, I had no clue what to expect, but course after course, I was repeatedly fascinated by the artistry, perfectionism, and sheer deliciousness.

Photo: Courtesy of Seafood Gastro

Photo: Courtesy of Seafood Gastro

Photo: Courtesy of Seafood Gastro

Considering his long career of creativity and conceptualisation within gastronomy, what excited Dahgren most about introducing this new fixed menu experience for Seafood Gastro? "We always aim to offer our guests new and unexpected culinary experiences,” he responds. “Creating a menu based on the best aquatic ingredients we can find is both exciting and a privilege.”

Creating a menu based on the best aquatic ingredients we can find is both exciting and a privilege.

Mathias Dahlgren

This is the kind of lunch experience that requires the afternoon off. My lunch date and I sat for almost two and a half hours from the first plate to the last (though neither of us looked at the clock nor felt the need to rush through any of it).

Ahead of the first of the 13-course fixed menu was a wild Sturgis caviar on the hand, which Staffan describes as a “leaner” caviar than most. Hamachi, lumpfish roe and wasabi ensued for the second dish, and the most aromatic and mouth-watering Swedish blue mussels went down so smoothly.

Mathias Dahlgren's new fixed-menu concept at Seafood Gastro is based on the best aquatic ingredients. Photo: Courtesy of Seafood Gastro

The subsequent dishes were a similar masterclass in flavour and texture, from a gentle yet rich duck liver served on truffle toast to shrimp served on a bed of thinly sliced white asparagus, topped with ramson. Toasted levain with whipped butter from Dahlgren's Green Rabbit café in Stockholm served as a pallet cleanser between the impeccably presented dishes.

The "main" dish was an innovative take on turbot, Dahlgren's personal top pick. "My favourite dish on the menu must be the hang cured wild caught turbot with pointed cabbage and truffle. The flavour of the wild turbot gets even better when it hangs and cures for over two weeks. It's a new technique for us, making an extraordinary fish even tastier."

Photo: Courtesy of Seafood Gastro

Photo: Courtesy of Seafood Gastro

Photo: Courtesy of Seafood Gastro

Following the turbot, a dollop of Gooseberry sorbet served with a chilled jasmine tea was a delight, then tuma yellow (not read ‘tuna’ as I thought) was served up: a Nicaraguan chocolate-turned-mousse with a hint of citrus and magaw pepper. To close the gastronomic journey, out came a selection of mini desserts or ‘mignardise’, uncluding the cutest macaroon ever created and, as always, a bite of almond cake with cloudberry – the classic staple ending to every Dahlgren meal.

The experience as a whole made for a memorable Friday afternoon. The space felt bright and fresh, yet still familiar; each dish was meticulously executed and explained in fine detail, yet felt unforced. The unusual ingredients and combinations of flavours became the focal point of every conversation – and perhaps that's the Dahlgren effect? Mastering the combination of curious community and comfort food for a distinct experience of the senses.