Daniel Berlin Krog is located in the small village of Skåne-Tranås, about an hour drive from Malmö, in beautiful Österlen. This region consists of vast, fertile field, rolling hills, enchanted forests and a long coastline where the many hours of sun and mild climate provide favorable growing conditions. It goes without saying that it’s also a region ideal for farming, foraging and hunting and the chef, Daniel Berlin, has a long and established relationship with local producers of dairy products, meat and vegetables.
Simply, Daniel Berlin is surrounded by meadows and fields that provide the restaurant with top quality regional ingredients that, in one way or another, define his simple yet highly creative style of cooking inspired by the surroundings of Österlen. In summertime he gets 80 per cent of his ingredients from his own three acres, while the rest are found within a maximum of three miles from the restaurant.
The prologue of a dinner here is brilliant. Nibbles are served in a fast but not too fast tempo and not once do you need to use either knife or fork. Beech smoked cod head is first followed by an ultra-thin onion crisp, beautifully served in its environment. Next was a lean and flavorful tartar of ox heart with aromatic herbs followed by delicate little quail eggs covered in lard from Linderöds pigs.
Potatoes were ever so lightly cooked and straight from the pan to dip in a chilled cream of broccoli, with Alain Passard-like broccoli couscous sprinkled on top. Chicken liver was smooth and velvety, served on crispy spiced bread and had slight character of aronia, which contrasted the fat liver and spices in a interesting way. A few mouthfuls of cauliflower soup was next and here chef Daniel Berlin turn the simplest ingredient into something extraordinary. Any chef who can make a cauliflower soup this interesting will get my full attention.
Cod 31° was firm but perfectly tender having a clean taste with a subtle tinge of heat from horseradish that gave this dish a depth of flavuor, offset elegantly by some alcoholic vinegar gel.
Mackerel had been cold smoked and had excellent flavour and moist and rich meat. Some beets and blackberries added a tart and sweet element with some umami sprinkled on top in the shape of seaweed. This was an outstanding dish with all flavors dancing on the palate, achieving a beautiful overall harmony.
Baked egg yolk with cabbage and browned butter was next and a pleasant thing to eat, though not quite to the level of the other dishes served this evening.
To follow was a signature dish at Daniel Berlin Krog where a celeriac, blackened on open fire, is brought to the table where Daniel slice it and scoops out its flesh. The celeriac has a beautiful meaty texture and was served with a silky sauce sharpened with the typical Swedish cheese Prästost. Some crispy bread made the textural balance complete.
Next was cauliflower served in different textures with cauliflower mushroom and buttermilk. An elegant dish with every bite being a treat of different textures and flavours.
A mushroom broth was next, poured over small pieces of ox marrow and dried cods roe, garnished with peppery flowers. This may not sound like much but this dish was stunning. The broth, or liquid, was extracted from a difficult process including several kilos of mushrooms. It was incredibly light yet packed full of flavours that I felt was kept in control by the soft, sweet and nutty marrow. The peppery aftertaste that came from the little flowers just made this dish a wonderful thing to eat.
Quail was next, sweet and succulent, with a depth of flavour that I had no idea quail could have.
To follow was veal sweetbreads being light yet intense with just a bit of crunch on the outside and soft and creamy interior. This came with chanterelles, wood sorrel and an emulsion made of tallow that was rich and complex, balanced in a lovely way by the wood sorrel.
First dessert was wild raspberries with the taste of rugosa roses, a well-balanced dessert with the perfume notes not overpowering the deep raspberry flavour.
The last dessert was raw milk from a Simmenthal cow with elderberry sorbet and tart berries being light and refreshing, the sorbet perfectly made and balancing the acidity of the berries. A perfect way to finish off a long meal.
A dish served at Daniel Berlin Krog is never more daring than delicious, or too complicated. The main ingredient is allowed to shine and I believe Daniel in a confident way uses interesting, and sometime absolute genius, combinations to contrast and enhance the flavours of that main ingredient. And most importantly, I love the fact that I don’t have to struggle to think of the identity of Daniels cooking. Which can be the case in many restaurants one visits.
Daniel Berlin Krog is one of the foremost restaurants in Sweden at the moment.
After a dinner at the restaurant one can stay overnight at Logi Gamlegård. Expect the chef himself, or perhaps his father, to drive you back to the hotel.
273 92 Skåne Tranås
+46 (0) 417- 20300