Review: Rolfs Kök

19 June 2016

After that excellent dinner at Frantzén last night, not sure what can really top it. I had a long day hiking around the north of the city in Solna, so was nice and hungry for dinner (lunch was some supermarket takeaway). Stockholm, as in many other cities, is basically shut down on Sundays, so there were few options on dinner. I ended up choosing a place that has a good long-standing reputation, Rolfs Kök. It’s an old school place that seems to act as a refuge for many on a Sunday night, so I decided to go with it.

It was boiling hot at the counter as there was absolutely no circulation. Now I know Swedes love their unbearable indoor heat but everyone was red inside…not a good start for me. Service was chaotic as the Sunday curse is hitting, and it took ages to get my cocktail — which was of course hot (ice hasn’t worked yet). Well, I ordered and hoped to cool down before my food arrives.

Not the fastest here, the Sunday curse at its worst tonight. It’s a bit of a shitshow as it’s understaffed, busy and orders looked very backed up. Oh well. Then the first course arrived, the snails in lardo.

snails

Now these are the most bland, tasteless snails I’ve ever had. Not even its natural bitterness, nor has any of the “lardo” soaked into them. It was just like eating rubber. It wasn’t even this bland when I have my bad Jacksonville flashback… One of my favourite things to eat and it was done so poorly…sigh…

I am starting to fret now. It was boiling hot inside, service ridiculously slow as it was understaffed, and the guy next to me reeked of an ashtray. Ugh… I wasn’t really looking forward to the rest of this meal, but was a bit more optimistic when the main course arrived, the Iberico pork chop.

Iberico chop

Sigh…this was bad. Flavourless. Again, what did they do to the food to make something naturally good to taste so bland? Temperature was okay but the piece of meat was just awful. If this was indeed “Iberico” they need to talk to the importer because this is just… I’m done. The leeks were a disaster too…

Took another 20 minutes to get the bill and I exhaled in relief when I stepped out of this place. This is old school in the very worst way, how Swedish cooking used to be — tired, derided, boring. If last night’s excellent dinner at Frantzén is reflective of good innovative new cooking in Sweden, then this dinner is reflective of bad retro old cooking. Just awful…a wasted meal…

Rolfs Kök
Tegnérgatan 41
Stockholm, Sverige

PS: At least I had a good rest of the night. Despite my body having trouble with beer these days, I ended up boozing at a craft beer bar The Flying Dog, watching the footie. Good fun, but I paid for it the next day…

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