Right in the heart of Stockholm’s Ӧstermalm district, Villa Dagmar is a chic Scandinavian haven with a dash of Old World charm. Inspired by an Italian villa, it offers stylish and intimate rooms for the design-conscious traveller. Even if you decide not to stay here, sampling some fine dining in Stockholm with a visit to their newly opened restaurant, Salon, is a must.
A partnership with Daniel Höglander and Niclas Jönsson – two of Sweden’s most visionary chefs, and owners of the award-winning Michelin restaurant, Aloë – Salon is a destination restaurant in its own right, and has rightly garnered rave reviews among locals and visitors alike. This is truly a place to savour, forget about the clock, put away your phone and just soak up the whole experience.
We secured a table reservation for a Saturday night, and arrived to find a live DJ and a lively and bustling lobby bar. So if you’re in the mood for a sociable night out, this is a great option for drinks, either before or after dinner. We ordered Negronis and migrated to the quieter atrium towards the rear of the hotel, before heading to the main restaurant to dine.
Höglander and Jönsson bring their culinary wizardry to the fore at Salon, with a commitment to flavour and texture that’s evident in every dish. The menu is described as ‘Mediterranean fusion’ with a maritime theme – blending flavours from Thailand, Singapore, France, Italy, the Middle East and North Africa. Guests can choose between a meticulously crafted five or seven-course tasting menu or select from an enticing array of dishes on the à la carte. We opted for the latter, ordering four small plates each, together with the wine pairing, and settled in for the night.
The first dish to arrive was the ‘Som Tam crossover’ – a fusion of Thai flavours, with aromatic herbs, papaya, mango, peanuts and a Mediterranean citrus dressing. This was followed by the ‘Moules N’duja’ – not mussels as we know them, but plump bay scallops served in their shells, paired with two different sauces and a zesty mignonette.
The ‘Singapore crab-style’ came next and transported us to Asia, with tiger shrimps and crab accompanied by fragrant rice. Then the ‘rouget with Marseille curry, caviar, and miniature Swedish grapes’ exemplified the chefs’ creative prowess with delicate fish flavours elevated by a creamy yet bold and spicy sauce.
Next, came the tomato Farci, which combined lahmacun bread, harissa and sofrito to create a visually striking and incredibly flavourful dish. Followed by the tuna montadito, marrying succulent tuna with rich foie gras to moreish effect.
The wines we enjoyed included a late-harvest-esque 2018 Riesling Spätlese from Joh. Jos. Prum Graacher Himmelreich – one of the most iconic estates in Mosel, Germany. A stunning 2018 Bordeaux Blanc from Château Tronquoy-Lalande, made with two grape varieties – Semillon and Sauvignon Gris. And Rose & Arrow’s earthy 2017 Yamhill Close Pinot Noir from Oregon. Midway through the meal we were also served a cocktail made with gin and Swedish cloudberries, which was like a refreshing palate-cleanser between the wines.
We ended our night with a huge slice of tiramisu infused with five-year-old Vieux Xerez, apples, espresso, and praliné – a delightful twist on the classic Italian dessert. Plus the utterly divine frozen créme cru, with citrus, Madeira-champagne zabaglione and Sicilian pistachios – my personal favourite of the two desserts.
Salon at Villa Dagmar isn’t just a restaurant; it’s a multisensory experience. The service is impeccable, the food sublime and the wine pairings spot on. Our evening felt more like a culinary voyage where gastronomy was elevated to an art form, and I’d wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone visiting Stockholm.
Villa Dagmar, Nybrogatan 25-27, 114 39 Stockholm, Sweden. For more information, please visit www.hotelvilladagmar.com.