During my visit in Gothenburg last week I had the opportunity to have dinner at Kock & Vin. A restaurant I had been curious to try during several years.
Kock & Vin is situated in the city center of Gothenburg and was opened in November 2000 by the local restaurateur Björn Persson. The restaurants ambition is clear; to be the best restaurant in Gothenburg and to be counted as one of the best restaurants in Sweden. They define their cooking as modern West Swedish gastronomy and aim to offer you the best ingredients available in this part of Sweden, found within a three hour driving distance from the restaurant, where they have built an extensive network of growers, farmers and local producers.
Recently the restaurant removed all written menus and instead they let season and availability decide what will be on the plate.
I would have expected a more classic take on food by this restaurant and therefore I was surprised by its creative cooking, yet not being more daring than delicious, where the main ingredient on every plate was allowed to shine. The dishes had simple, clean and clear flavors with sometimes a bit of a cocky attitude or a certain playful element on the plate. Wine pairings was brilliant all the way through, some wines being challenging yet clever, though in a good way.
The meal began with a series of nibbles and small servings to get the palate and curiosity going, with a pie made of smoked salt herring and lingonberries as well as an anchovy, tomato and onion toast that stood out.
Mackerel was lightly pickled and served with gooseberries and frozen nasturtium, the mackerel having great flavor and texture beautifully contrasted with the slightly sweet and sour gooseberries.
Assorted mushrooms, including the very first chanterelles of the season, had been fried carefully and were served with baked goats cheese and unripe white currants. This was an extraordinary good dish with the baked goat’s cheese, tasting sweet and almost caramelized, adding another level of richness to the dish that was offset by the currants.
Perhaps the only main ingredient that was overshadowed by the elements on the plate was the catfish, by cabbage stewed with vendace roe, but then cabbage stewed with vendace roe is finger licking good and something that really gets you going. Right?
The langoustine was of amazing quality, killed moments before it hit the plate and only lightly flamed, packed full of rich and sweet flavors enhanced by baked beetroots and roasted hazelnuts. Beautiful and taken yet another level with 2011 Whispering Angel from Chateau d’Esclans in Provence, that tasted like white peaches.
Blackened chicken hearts was delicate and served with crispy oyster mushrooms, with some lightly whipped horseradish cream on the side, offsetting the rich flavors beautifully.
Next was lamb roast beef served with lovage, tomato and wild garlic capers. The lamb was beautifully cooked and had nice flavor, enhanced buy a delicate lamb juice flavored with tomato and just enough lovage adding a nice character to the dish.
The cheese dish that followed was perhaps the only dish that didn’t really work for me, but the dessert of frozen carrots with sea buckthorn sorbet and fennel was light and refreshing. As was the last dessert of raspberries with the taste of rugosa roses – very well executed with the perfume notes not overpowering the raspberries, a dish very much reminding of Ispahan by Pierre Herme. And this was a perfect way to finish off a long meal, not filling my blood with sugar.
I like the fact that I thought I had figured out what Kock & Vin was all about, but this restaurant completely surprised me with doing the opposite. Still, and quite quickly, I found a true identity in their cooking and believe this was a dinner experience very well executed.
411 25, Göteborg
Phone: +46 31 701 7979