Last week while speaking at the Öredev software developer conference in Malmo, Sweden, my wife and I got to experience some pretty great food there in Malmo and also in nearby Copenhagen Denmark. This post is all about the food we ate while we were in the area.
Our first day there, we found a small pub in Malmo Sweden near our hotel that was highly rated on Yelp. It’s called Restaurang Två Krögare. We both ordered the veal meatballs with whisky cream sauce, pickled cucumbers, lingonberries, and mashed potatoes.
The meatballs and sauce were excellent. It didn’t look like a lot of food there on the plate, but it was quite filling. The mashed potatoes were just like American mashed potatoes.
The lingonberries were new to us. Turns out that they showed up a lot while we were in Sweden. They are naturally a little tart, so some places made sure to sweeten them up. While other places left them a bit tart. Restaurang Två Krögare left them a little too tart for my tastes.
That evening, we attended a state dinner with the Mayor of Malmo and his wife along with the rest of the conference speakers. It was a very fancy dinner held in Malmo’s Old City Hall building. The first course was Jerusalem artichoke soup with apple and bacon.
We had never heard of Jerusalem Artichoke, but they are not from Jerusalem and they are not artichokes. Worst name ever. It is actually a root vegetable in the sunflower family. The Swedes and Danes are very fond of their root vegetables! Root vegetables were just about always a part of each meal.
Anyways, the soup was quite good.
The main course was filet of veal (or veal steak) with pepper sauce and root vegetable cake. Did I mention how they like their root vegetables over there?
The filet of veal was melt-in-your-mouth wonderful! The pepper sauce was quite mild. I could barely even taste the pepper at all, which was fine by me. The root vegetable cake was mostly made from potatoes with pieces of carrot and likely other rooty stuff in there. It tasted mostly like a baked potato, but in cake form.
The dessert course was nice and light. It was frozen cherry parfait with chocolate creme. It had no crust, which I really liked. It wasn’t heavy or too sweet. It was the perfect way to finish off this wonderful meal.
I noticed that everything we had eaten so far in Sweden had been pretty mild. Maybe we over do it with our spices here in America?
Hotel and Conference Food
The hotel we stayed at was located directly across the street from the conference that I was attending and speaking at. Pretty convenient. Also, the hotel had a pretty great breakfast buffet each morning that was included in the room cost. The photo below shows my standard breakfast that I ate each morning.
I had apple juice and orange juice to drink. They also had milk, but I was speaking so I avoided the milk. I had scrambled eggs and bacon and little sausages for my main protein. They also had hard boiled eggs. The bacon was pretty soggy, which is not for everyone. I didn’t have a problem with it, though. I’m not super picky about my bacon. We think they might have baked the bacon rather than pan fried it. The scrambled eggs were also pretty soggy. Almost like they were undercooked. I actually liked it though. They had 3 different yogurts to choose from and several fruit toppings. They also had dry cereals.
And then they had quite a selection of fresh breads, processed meats and cheese. At first, I didn’t know what to do with all the processed meats at the breakfast bar. Then I noticed quite a line of customers spreading butter on their bread and then piling it high with meats and cheeses and tomatoes and raw peppers and such. Like an open faced lunch sandwich in America. So the next day I tried it and it was really nice. Even for breakfast.
So right next to the hard boiled eggs was this strange tube of something or another attached to a handy roller/dispenser apparatus. Curiosity go the better of me, so I put just a small squirt on my plate and I tasted it.
I did not like it. To me it tasted like cat food out of a can.
No, I’ve never actually eaten cat food, but I know what it smells like. And to me, this Kalles paste tastes like that smells.
Turns out it is caviar for the masses. Kalles kaviar is very very popular in Sweden. It’s very local. From the west coast of Sweden. It’s mostly salted Atlantic cod fish eggs. It might be an acquired taste.
The lunch fare that was served at the software developer conference was quite good. Pretty impressive as they were catering to nearly 1,200 hungry software geeks! Here is a photo of one day’s lunch. It was so good! The beef was so tender and the brown sauce was so tangy! Yum!
Here was another day’s lunch plate. This was roasted chicken and brown rice. The yellow stuff was a cold tropical fruit salad. I think they were going for a Caribbean lunch that day. Notice that they served us on these disposable wooden plates. These were not just thick heavy duty paper plates. They were actually made out of wood! Crazy.
This photo gives you an idea of the feeding frenzy that took place during lunch at the conference. They set up 3 of 4 of these food tables in the middle of the lobby area and we tried to go through the lines as orderly as possible. This particular day was hamburger day. An American theme.
The burger was very good. Especially for a mass feeding like that. I liked the variety of topping choices. I especially liked the picked red onions. And also the crunchy fried onions. Yum!
One night we roamed around and stumbled across a small restaurant called Victors on the little square in Malmo. Inside, the restaurant looked a little bit like a diner due to it’s modern and minimalist decor. But the menu looked sort of fancy so we were excited to try some of the food.
I got the Swedish classic, Wallenbergare. That’s breaded (ground) veal steak with mashed potatoes, peas, lingonberries and melted butter. The Swedes do love their veal!
The ground veal steak was fine. I wasn’t actually prepared for it to be ground meat, like a burger. So I was surprised when I cut into it and it wasn’t actually a steak. But it was fine. These lingonberries were sweeter than the ones I had eaten a few days earlier, which was nice. I’m not a big fan of peas, so I only tasted them. They tasted just like I remember peas tasting. 🙂
Sam got the grilled Swedish sirloin steak with béarnaise sauce, root vegetables (carrots, we suspect), and french fries.
Now this was a really yummy steak! I don’t know what was in the light brown sauce that was on top of the steak, but it was delicious! We tried both the steak and the fries dipped into the béarnaise sauce, but the sauce was so mild that it didn’t really add anything.
I forgot to take a photo, but I got an organic ice cream dessert with a bit of warm fruit topping. The ice cream was really good. Way better than the stuff I’m used to eating. And the portion was just right. Three very small scoops. In America they would have drowned the ice cream with the fruit topping. But this was just the right amount. A very light touch.
On another day we had lunch at an unassuming little restaurant called Mrs Brown. It was so good! This was pork loin with pickled mushrooms over mashed potatoes.
I’d never heard of pickled mushrooms before! And I’m a huge mushroom fan! They were so yummy! Why are we not putting picked mushrooms in all our dishes?!?!?
The pork, the sauce, the mushrooms, the mashed potatoes! Perfection! It looks like a small portion by the photo, but we were too full to get any dessert afterwards! A very satisfying meal, to be sure!
Speaking of dessert. This photo was taken at a small bakery shopfront inside Malmo’s central train station. Pretty nice, huh? We didn’t actually try any of this stuff but it all looks too fancy to eat! 🙂
In Copenhagen, we stumbled across a food truck mall with lots of great choices of interesting and unique foods to try. The below burger is actually ostrich meat with shredded cheese and smoked bacon. It was really good.
This one is pulled duck. Oh my! It was really really yummy! It gave me just a hint of Thanksgiving turkey, but it was so much more than that. It wasn’t dry at all and it had some really great spices in there. A week after eating this, my mouth is actually watering right now as I type this, just thinking about it. So good.
There were some great dessert options there, but we went with these beautiful looking cheesecakes!
The slices were huge! And they were served in these adorable little disposable wooden boats.
The weird part was eating them with a wooden spork. Have you ever eaten with wooden tableware? It’s not exactly easy. Your tongue and lips actually stick to it. And so does the food. Also, there’s a sense that you might get a splinter. Plus, it tastes like wood! So I’d rather not eat with wooden tableware again if I can help it.
In Copenhagen we found a luxury chocolate shop called Hotel Chocolat. It had an immense selection of unique and interesting chocolate goods. It took us a while to find just the right items with so much selection to choose from. But we did it.
In the above photo, you can see lots of different varieties of hand-made chocolate bars, so to speak. This place is serious about their chocolate. They sell 6 different levels of milk chocolate and 10 different levels of dark chocolate! Yes, 10 different dark chocolates! And several of those 10 are actually 100% dark chocolate made from cocoa beans from different parts of the world!
Now I actually like dark chocolate. But I don’t know anything about the percentage of dark chocolate in my common everyday candy bars. So I was intrigued by this shop’s varieties of 100% dark chocolates. I bought one of the many 100% dark chocolates just for the experience.
It was terrible. I hated it. I do NOT like 100% dark chocolate.
Now I know.
It turns out that Hotel Chocolat is actually a British company. We thought we were experiencing some local Scandinavian chocolate flair. But we weren’t. Oh well.
One night we were out late and needed to eat something before heading back to the hotel. One of the squares in Malmo had this little fast food joint sticking out like a sore thumb. Shawarma King Turkish fare. I googled for a website and couldn’t find one. It looks a lot like a middle eastern Burger King, but I think it may be a one-off joint.
The food was amazing, though. It didn’t taste like fast food at all. I ordered the shawarma rulle or wrap. There were like 6 sauces to choose from and I didn’t know which was the most normal or standard, so I got the hot one. Wow, it was so spicy and so good!
While we were shopping in a local grocery store, the selection of root vegetables stood out to me since this country loves them so much. So I took a photo of them in the store cooler. You’re welcome!
This photo is pretty random. I just thought the Fanta logo and the bottle shape was unique and interesting. For all I know, this funny bottle is also in America, though.
Notice the price tag near the 1.5 liter Coke. 30 Swedish Krona is about $3.50. That’s 2 or 3 times what it would cost in America. Most stuff in Sweden and Denmark seemed pretty expensive compared to America.
This water bottle was given out on the plane, which was IcelandAir. I just thought it was cool. The bottle shape looked like a glacier. And the water inside came from an Iceland spring, which was pretty awesome. It tasted pretty great too.
This is my last photo. And I want to apologize in advance. This is supposed to be a family website. But this shocking and funny bubble gum was in the checkout line at the Copenhagen airport. I totally did a double take. Maybe even a triple take! Those crazy Europeans!
Thanks for sticking through this long and detailed post about mostly nothing! Tomorrow I’ll publish a blog post to talk about the trip in general and our travel experience to and from Sweden.
Thanks for your interest!