The other half of Oaxen is Krog, this polished open-kitchen powerhouse of a fine dining establishment.

We sat at a communal table for six people, sharing the same tasting menu, some with wine pairings and myself with the juice pairing.  Initially, I didn’t know we’d signed up for the communal dinner, but it turned out to be one of my favorite meal experiences – not just in an asterisk’d way (like, favorite meal in a foreign country or something) – but one of my favorite meals.  It was a four-hour marathon, paved with luxurious bites and flavors, blessed with laughter and stories, that showcased the magic connectivity of what good food and drink can conjure at a dinner table of strangers.

We started with some amuse-bouches.  Not all of these I remember, but the bone marrow dish had a really nice clean finish. And I’m always about that head-on shrimp.

Oaxen Krog also served up some luxurious bread – some brioche knobs, some fresh butter, and this warm black bread, savory, sea-salt crunch, syrupy sweet.  Basically cake with butter at mid-meal.  It was cool to share the meal with Swedes who had grown up eating variants of these dishes, obviously more homey versions, to see them wax nostalgic about their childhood food memories and the long-ago places and times that these flavors recalled.  I just love that stuff.  Food with stories, with soul.

The rest of the meal was well-paced, pulsed with moments where you pause and go “hmmm, alright, I’ve never tasted that before,” moments where you nod wide-eyed at your table-mates, moments where you’re just chewing to yourself and trying to savor that last moment of fat and salt, and moments where you’re talking to your dining partners with a mouthful of food and drink.

The langoustine was dope, buttery, balanced by the smokey crunch of buckwheat.  I loved the veal tartare topped with roe (great combination, Swedes), and the deep umami of the chicken stock emulsion was masterful.  The quail was tender, nicely rendered.  Also, first time eating reindeer, and having it raw with red cabbage broth, sunchokes, and blackberries was a delicious gateway to mainlining reindeer blood or whatever the next phase of this relationship is supposed to be.  The desserts were both interesting flavor profiles, a blend of herbaceous and citrus and earthy, nothing overly sweet.  Arctic berries.  That’s the only place I get my berries from now.  You crazy Nordics.

Oaxen Krog
Beckholmsvägen 26
SE-115 21 Stockholm
+46(0)8 551 531 05