After a fantastic lunch at Peterson’s Krug on the idyllic island of Käringön our Midsummer’s extravaganza adventured north to the charming seaside village of Fiskebäckskil. Our odyssey was punctuated by jaw dropping bridges, brief ferry hoppings and avenues of silver birch trees with the ubiquitous backdrop of a sky so blue that a Manchester United fan would have gone red in the face with fury. Fox gloves set the shady woods ablaze with soft pink petals amid the impossibly green grass.
We stayed at the Gullmarsstrand Hotel which looks out across the sea to Lysekil’s towering church spire. We sat back in our sun loungers and basked in the Scandinavian sunshine languidly sucking up gin and tonics and building up our appetite.
Restaurang Brygghuset is a fish restaurant floating in Fiskebäckskil’s picturesque marina that specialises in seafood and warm hospitality. We sunk into our comfortable seats and gorged immediately on a basket of sensational bread.
Dad had a starter that was bizarrely brilliant. The sound of herring cured in pomegranate and rhubarb and a horseradish cheesecake was almost scary. But the flavours worked wonderfully.
Mum’s perfectly cooked scallops with marinated beetroot and a log of goats cheese sprinkled with bacon dust was a sensational. It’s the sort of thing Heston Blumenthal might be tempted to knock up if he was exploring Swedish cuisine. The tangy goats cheese, salty bacon and sweet earthy beetroot combined to become far more than the sum of their parts.
My prawns on rye bread was more simple. But none the worse for it. A smoked prawn and a peripheral ring of caviar helped to elevate this prawn sandwich above the run of the mill.
Mum’s baked cod sat on top of a pond of rich shellfish sauce. The skin was as crisp as ryvita but with the thinness of paper and the flesh flaked perfectly in glorious contrast to my halibut at lunch time.
But the real star was a rich fish stew bejeweled with mammoth mussels, dinky prawns, moist scallops, crispy skinned salmon and cod so good that it might well be the best piece of fish I’ve ever eaten. My fears about the fish being overdone because they all cook at different speeds were swept aside. And the sauce brought it all together with a luxurious injection of lobster and crab based bisque. It’s just a shame I had to share it with Dad! The glossy boiled potatoes it was served with would turn even the most die hard Atkins fan into a greedy carb guzzler.
We thought our lunch at Peterson’s Krug had been good. But our dinner at Brygghuset, overlooking the marina, was flawless and deeply memorable for all the right reasons. We rolled out of the restaurant into the twilight glow of the temporarily shy sun and forceful moon that lit the inlet up like a scene from a spooky film. It’s a moment in time that is now imprinted onto my mind and causes my mouth to twitch into a smile just by thinking about it. All it was missing was John Nettles and a few comically complicated murders.
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