restaurant

Hörte Brygga

Issue #7

Hörte Brygga

Interview by Linn Style
Photography by Lenise Ormsby

INTERVIEW WITH EMMA ANDERSSON AND MARTIN SJÖSTRAND, OWNERS OF HÖRTE BRYGGA.

There aren't many better ways to enjoy the summer months in Skåne than a visit to Hörte Brygga. Just a short drive south of Malmö and you arrive at this hidden gem, loved for it's quality locally sourced menu, good vibes and a beautiful sea view. We sat down to chat with Emma and Martin on their life as a young family running a growing business.

How would you describe Hörte Brygga?
Martin
: The vision was to create a high quality restaurant, but with a focus on being accessible. When you allow people to book months in advance, this leads to certain expectations, which is something we wanted to avoid.  
Emma: People should be able to come when they please and that’s why we decided not to take lunch bookings, to allow people the opportunity to spontaneously turn up. We’ve cut back on stiff things like a front of house manager and instead it’s more relaxed with everyone standing in line to order.
Martin: Ultimately, we’ve made a place where we’d want to spend a lot of time ourselves.

Tell us the story about Hörte Brygga
Emma
: This is an old eel harbour previously owned by an estate nearby and the restaurant house used to be the old twine house, where the fishing equipment was stored during winter. Today the harbour belongs to a non-profit association that renovated this house in order to make a bit of money. We contacted them after they had renovated the outside, and they gave us the permission to do whatever we wanted with the inside. We’ve been running this place since 2014.

What are your backgrounds?
Martin
: We’ve both worked in the restaurant business since the age of sixteen and have a substantial background within food, drink and hospitality. Emma grew up in Ystad and I’m from Karlskoga in Värmland, which is a not a very exciting place when it comes to food. In order to pursue my passion I had to move to where the good restaurants were, which I did the day after my high school graduation. The first stop was Gothenburg, where I met Emma, and since then I’ve worked at several restaurants in places like Stockholm, Jämtland and Gotland before finally moving down here.
Emma: I studied to become a sommelier back in 1999, a time when nobody here in Sweden knew what that was. I’ve studied for seven years in total, with the foundation at Wine and Spirit Education Trust in London.
Martin: We’ve worked at many highly rated restaurants in Sweden, but felt the need to strip back how we do things here.
Emma: Some things you can do in a simpler way. Less is more, as they say.

You are a couple as well as business owners. How does that work?
Martin
: The main reason for opening this place was that it would work for both us and our children. We love to work - food and drink is our biggest passion - but working for someone else on evenings and weekends doesn’t leave much time for family. We’ve created a place that compliments our lifestyle, because running a business, just like family, is a full time gig for us.
Emma: You do a bit of work, play with lego for half an hour, then do some more work…
Martin: We do bits and pieces all the time, which means that we work all the time and are free all the time. That was the original idea when we rented this place. It’s hard work, as in all relationships, but it works.

How would you like your children to experience this place?
Emma
: I grew up in a family that owned a flower shop, and thought it was wonderful to be alongside my father as he was making arrangements. I’d love my children to have the same experience and to feel like they’re a part of all this.
Martin: It would be magical if they enjoyed it. They get to meet all kinds of people, everyone from crazy people to ordinary people, and it’s a fun environment to be in. I’m quite certain they feel at home. If we’re out eating somewhere, our son Henry walks straight into the kitchen, regardless of who the owner is.
Emma: We got this place around the same time Henry was born, which means we built everything with a baby in tow. When Ilse came along, we were working with the building permit for the open-air seating and had to bring her to all the meetings. It’s great to be able to do both at the same time.
Martin: We don’t want to differentiate what we do with the children and what we do without them. We’re a part of their lives and they’re a part of ours.

How does a typical year look like to you?
Emma
: We exist all year round, but are closed in January and February in order to plan the rest of the year. Otherwise we’re open for bookings and dinners.
Martin: Then we do lunches from May and all throughout the summer. We also take bookings for dinners and smaller parties where you can have the place to yourselves.

How does your menu work?
Martin
: We follow the seasons, which dictates which food we serve. In spring and summer, a typical dinner consists of ten to sixteen different dishes. During autumn and winter, we serve fewer, but bigger size dishes. We work with ‘blind menus’, which means that it will be a four-hour eating experience and where every new dish is a surprise. Since the kitchen is integrated within the dining area, there is always a good home-feeling. We really enjoy these dinners.

You cook food in front of your guests. What’s the thinking behind that?
Martin
: We want to make visible what we do instead of hiding in a kitchen far away. As a chef, I think it’s much nicer to cook in a bright, nice room with a good record playing, rather than in a basement with artificial lighting. I like this way of working, even if it’s not always the most practical way.

What is the thought process behind the drink list?
Emma
: We want to serve good drinks that are produced in a sustainable way with future generations in mind. When it comes to wine, we focus on organic and biodynamic products, as well as natural wines. The wines might have a different taste profile to the commercial wines that people are familiar with, but it feels so right to work this way.
Martin: Recently both of us have started to learn more about beer and this year we have made an effort to serve beer from local breweries. It turned out there are quite a few nearby, and we’ve tried to visit as many breweries as possible, in order to understand the thinking behind their beers. We don’t want to just sell a beer, we want to share the thought behind it as well.

What kind of coffee do you serve?
Martin
: Since neither of us are a barista, we had to find a way to serve good quality coffee to all our customers, even on a good summer day when nearly two hundred people might turn up for lunch. Instead of ruining the whole experience with burnt cappuccinos, we decided to simplify it and supply all our guests with really good filter coffee. We’re working together with two different roasteries, Solde and Söderberg & Sara. The guys from Solde are good people to work with and their coffees are fantastic. Per and Tilde from Söderberg & Sara normally only roast coffee for themselves, but we happened to mention once that we wouldn’t mind a ‘Hörte blend’, and before we knew it they had made one for us. We always have two thermoses with one brew each - and we trust both companies completely.

 
My theory is that if you create something authentic and to a high standard, it will spread organically
— Martin Sjöstrand

How do people find their way out here?
Emma
: We built this place thinking it would be just us working here. Then it just exploded without us doing any marketing, which is quite amazing in itself - it’s just spread by word of mouth. 
Martin: My theory is that if you create something authentic and to a high standard, it will spread organically. Our restaurant is built on a good reputation, which is gained by people being recommended by someone they trust. And it helps to have an instagram-friendly sea view…

How does it work on a rainy day?
Emma
: Really good. Last summer was a great example. 
Martin: We have twenty-four seats inside, and on a rainy day last summer, we still did ninety lunches in a day. We just have to tell our guests to have something to drink while waiting, or we build more tables out of boxes. We’ll find a way one way or another. We’re currently in the process of building a rain shelter outdoors, which will make it even easier.

You have created a beautiful place. What’s the thought behind the interior design?
Emma
: I enjoy the challenge of creating a unique environment. The experience in visiting a restaurant is not just to meet people for a meal, everything that surrounds you helps create a wholeness. We have the advantage of having worked within the business for a long time; we’ve learnt how to operate in the kitchen and how to make it work in a small space. With that said, we wanted to create a relaxed environment, where people feel at home. 
Martin: Emma is really talented in this area and has clear visions of what she wants. Sometimes it takes a long time to get things right, but the result is always good. She rearranges the fixtures until perfection is reached and can spend ages buying a whole set of coffee spoons on Tradera, a couple of spoons at a time. It’s impressive.

What’s the best thing about being in this location?
Martin
: Being close to the producers and the source of our ingredients, and just the fact that people here help each other out. People in the area like us being here, for example, one neighbour who is a regular here supplies us with apples from his own garden. Another good thing is that people have to travel to come here; they aren’t just passing by. Because they have intentionally invested time to come here, we usually are afforded the opportunity to share our vision with our guests. 
Emma: I’m still amazed how relaxing it is to walk down this road. We’re here everyday, and we can be very busy, but I never feel stressed out. I love this place and can honestly say I’m proud of everything we do here.

You’ve been running this place nearly two years. Is there a day that sticks out as a highlight for you?
Emma
: During peak season last summer, we had a guest bartender here a couple of evenings. The first evening was magical - it was sunny, we had music on full blast and he was standing in the middle shaking cocktails. People chilled out and had a great time. To me, that was pretty perfect. 
Martin: Another good memory was the end of last summer’s season, when we made a long outdoor table seating forty people. There were several different bookings, but people sat down all together, we played good music and Ivan from Kv. Åkern was here making a hog roast. It was the last good summer evening and the atmosphere was great. There was a great mix of people of different ages and it was like a social roulette taking place. People made new friends and the whole idea about Hörte Brygga became so visible.

Why should people from Malmö travel to Hörte Brygga?
Martin
: It’s a great place to be, what else do I need to say? It’s easy to travel here, even if you don’t have a car, and when you come around the corner from the road - something happens. The nice harbour with old boats have a calming effect, you can just relax and enjoy something nice to eat and drink. It’s a nearby break from city life.

What other place in Malmö would you like to recommend?
Martin
: There is one place not many people have discovered yet, but people would do well to visit. It’s called Blå Båten, run by two guys called Linus Höök and Valle Westesson. Within the concept ‘creative’, this is probably one of the most creative places to visit in Malmö.

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HÖRTE BRYGGA
Hörte Hamn, Dybäck 465, 274 54 Skivarp

OPEN
Thursday-Sunday 12:00-16:00
Check website for special events

VISIT THEM ONLINE
hortebrygga.se

Västergatan

Issue #6

Västergatan

Interview by Linn Style
Photography by Lenise Ormsby
 
This is our lives, we’re here all the time and need to have fun while working. You cannot work every weekend without enjoying yourself.
— Sophie Andersson

INTERVIEW WITH SOPHIE ANDERSSON AND OLLE AHNBERG, OWNERS OF VÄSTERGATAN.

Since meeting in Gothenburg, chef Olle Ahnberg and sommelier Sophie Andersson have built up a reputation for creating a memorable dining experience. After their first venture together at a summer tavern in Österlen, they have now brought their talents to Malmö. Västergatan has gained a reputation for its seasonal menu with a strong west coast vibe.

What’s the story behind Västergatan?
Sophie: It all started in Gothenburg, where we met while working at Sjömagasinet, one of the biggest seafood restaurants in Sweden. Olle had been a chef there for a few years when I got a job on the side of my studies. We started talking at an afterwork on my second day...
Olle: After working at the same place for six or seven years, I felt ready to leave Gothenburg, and decided to move to Ystad, where Sophie’s from. I spent a few years freelancing, worked on some cookbook projects, took part in a TV programme, catered for weddings and taught cooking courses. In 2013 we stumbled upon a seasonal place in Österlen, a little restaurant seating around 30 people in the middle of a corn field. 
Sophie: The neighbouring farm delivered vegetables and we had a dairy producer nearby -  it was a very inspirational place. We ran that place for two years, but felt a bit limited because the season was so short and the idea about running a more permanent place was born. 
Olle: We wanted something we could control completely and wanted to try to do it in a more vibrant city. We had already started the concept in Österlen and decided to move it to Malmö when we found this venue. 

Your restaurant is named after the street it’s located on. How did you end up at Västergatan?
Sophie: We were looking for a place and found this on Blocket by coincidence. There used to be another place here, Tryne till Knorr, and we knew immediately that this was the kind of place we wanted. We wrote to the owners straight away and said: “we’ll get the money, don’t sell it to anyone else”. 
Olle: We liked the area and the venue. It’s small, only twenty-eight seats in the dining room and eight seats in the bar, but it’s personal and easy to overview. 

Why did you name the restaurant after the street?
Sophie: It’s quite a funny story. Before we opened, my sister who is very good with interior design, recommended me to open an account on Pinterest, which I did under the name ‘Västergatan’. We added pictures and involved people in the process, and when it was time to come up with a restaurant name, my sister simply stated: ‘you have already named it Västergatan, stick with that’. We thought we didn’t need to make it more complicated. 

What was the first thing you did after moving in?
Olle: We wanted to make it our own place. The previous owners had done an amazing job putting the restaurant on the map, but we had to change the interior design in a way that suited our style. With that said, we’ve kept a few details from Tryne till Knorr, to keep their memory alive. 

Why do people choose to come back to Västergatan?
Olle: We serve a four-course dinner called ‘Kvällsmat’ for 400kr, which is very affordable. We are a neighbourhood tavern with ambitions and want to make it easy and familiar for people by serving good food without complexity. 

Ivan at Kv. Åkern said that the word neighbourhood tavern doesn’t always evoke the best impression in Sweden. What’s your thoughts about that?
Olle: I understand what he means, but I think those associations are disappearing. We want to defuse the restaurant visit and make it more available to people. 
Sophie: A neighbourhood tavern should be a place where you feel welcome and comfortable without the pressure of dressing up. 

You are a couple as well as running a restaurant together. How does that work?
Sophie: It’s intense, but we understand each other and think alike. We don’t give it much thought, it just works. 
Olle: We are heading in the same direction, which is a very positive thing. 

We heard that you are an amazing seafood restaurant. What else do you serve?
Olle: Coming from the west coast, seafood is a natural part of my cooking, but we serve other meats as well. Sophie runs a sheep rearing farm together with her mother and grandfather, so lamb has been a natural part on our menu since we opened. We’re also about to begin our own vegetable farming within the family, which will influence what we serve. We’re planning on growing our own root-vegetables, kale and herbs. Things that we use daily but that will taste much better if it’s harvested the same day.

It sounds like you like local produce? Apart from own produce, where do your get your ingredients from?
Olle: We choose suppliers where we can get good quality things. Kött & Vilt Specialisten supplies us with good products from Skåne, Bondens Skafferi has a great selection of vegetables, Ola at Leröy picks the best from Göteborgs Fiskauktion and we get amazing charcuteries from Alex Charkuteri
Sophie: If we could decide, it would be spring, summer and autumn all the time in Sweden. We did a wedding last summer for a guy who runs a vegetable farming place called Happy Onion in Rosengård. At the wedding, he only wanted to serve his own vegetables, which is quite a project when you have a party of over a hundred people. We ended up using him as a supplier when we opened and he delivered fresh veg on his bicycle. It was great and we wish we could buy from him all year round. 

How do you plan your menus? 
Olle: The menus vary after our inspiration and what’s available. After everything’s done on a Saturday night, we open a bottle of wine and decide next week’s menu.
Sophie: The chefs discuss back and forth and make a test run on the Tuesday, and change a few things around on the Wednesday - it’s an ongoing process. 

Do a lot of dishes stay on the menu?
Sophie:
Last autumn we had a popular dish that stayed on the menu for a long time. It was lamb croquettes with meat from my mother’s farm, as well as our own grown kale and pickled onions, which made it extra special. 

Is there any night that sticks out a bit extra? Any fun memories?
Sophie: The best evening was when Pasteleria 413, a couple of guys from Gothenburg who make desserts while listening to hip-hop, did a guest performance here. 
Olle: We’ve tried to bring Gothenburg with us in our restaurant to avoid getting homesick. We serve beer from west coast microbreweries and play Gothenburg music, like The Embassy, TTA, The Knife, Håkan and Roffe Ruff, on our playlist. And the word has spread to Gothenburg people who visit Malmö. One customer even suggested we should become Gothenburg’s embassy here. 
Sophie: This is our lives, we’re here all the time and need to have fun while working. You cannot work every weekend without enjoying yourself. 

Do you work every weekend?
Sophie: We have done since our opening. 
Olle: We’re fairly new and if you want to start a good business, you have to spend a lot of time to make it work. We will take a few weeks off during the summer though. That’s the good thing about being a small independent company - we can decide how to do things. 

What kind of coffee do you serve?
Olle: Solde. We have a good relationship with those guys and their coffee is great. They come here and eat with their children, which we love. 

How do you pick wines to go with your dishes?
Sophie: It’s a bit difficult with wine, beer and coffee. Many have a perception of what it should taste like, but recently a market of microbreweries and natural wine makers have changed that image. 
This is a challenge for us, since a lot of people come here thinking they will get a traditional meal because of Olle’s background. However, the drink list is not so traditional and we often pick hand-crafted products, made on a small scale with lots of love and with as little pesticides as possible. Sometimes there is a little clash in taste, but it’s a fun challenge.

What would you like Västergatan to be known for?
Sophie: We want to serve good food and provide people with a nice experience. Rather than making a fuss over things, we like to work in the quiet, like when we opened and only announced it to our then hundred followers on Instagram. Rather than doing lots of advertising, we like it when we’re recommended by people. 

What other place in Malmö would you like to recommend?
Sophie: We’d like to recommend a place that is located just outside of Malmö called Hörte Brygga. It’s a great place for Malmö people to visit, and it’s incredible how many people find their way there considering it’s out in the middle of nowhere. 
Olle: ‘Come and hang out’ is their motto, which is exactly what people do there. It’s a great hangout place. 

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VÄSTERGATAN
Västergatan 16, 211 21 Malmö

OPEN
Tuesday-Saturday 5pm–10pm

VISIT THEM ONLINE
vastergatan.se

Kv. Åkern

Issue #5

Kv. Åkern

Interview by Linn Style
Photography by Lenise Ormsby
 
If I could pass on my own advice it would be: ‘just suck it up, do what it takes and leave your ego out of it’.

INTERVIEW WITH IVAN JURMAN OWNER AND HEAD CHEF OF KV. ÅKERN.

Since opening its doors in February of 2015, Kv. Åkern has built a reputation for exceptional food at an affordable price. We talked to owner Ivan about his mission to breathe new life into the traditional neighbourhood tavern.

What was the inspiration for opening your own restaurant?
Working for other people has given me a lot of ideas and when this venue became available, I decided to refine my skills and open my own place. It used to be another restaurant here, and the whole place had to be redecorated to get it looking the way I wanted, including moving the kitchen, lowering the ceiling and building a new bar. I had an idea of how I wanted it to feel, and thankfully my girlfriend is very good with interior design - all the details in here are her handiwork.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a chef.
Up until the age of 25, I didn’t know what to do with my life. I worked odd jobs as things like a furniture mover, factory worker and telephone marketer before I discovered cooking through an adult education course. I fell in love with it, and contrary to all those other things I used to do, I realised I could work with food and actually enjoy it. Having a late start in my career and thinking other chefs my age were so much better, I knew I had to work hard. In order to gain experience, I offered to work for free at reputable restaurants around town - not a lot of places would turn down that opportunity. The first restaurant I approached was Atmosfär, rated as the 12th best restaurant in Sweden at the time, followed by Smak at Malmö Konsthall. In order to support myself financially, I worked at a place called Pub 25 on the weekends. It went on for about a year and a half and it was hard work, but an invaluable step in my career.

What would you like Kv. Åkern to be known for?
I like what Johan from Solde said in his recommendation, that this is a place with a good atmosphere. I want people to walk by, look through the windows and be attracted to come in and sit down. Naturally, to be known for good food is always important. This is a neighbourhood tavern, which doesn’t always evoke the best impression in Sweden as people often associate it with crappy food, but this is the kind of restaurant I’d want in my neighbourhood.

We heard that you wait tables as well as cooking. How does that work?
It’s such a small place so everyone has to contribute to everything. We can’t have people just cooking, or just waiting. We all have to help out everywhere and do what is needed whether that’s dishes or waiting on tables; it’s a collective effort. Customers like it when the kitchen staff interact with the guests, since we know everything about the food we’re serving.

What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I don’t get a lot of advice, I must say, I just work hard and I’m not afraid to be humble. During my training, I had to let younger people boss me around due to the simple fact that they knew more than I did at the time. If I could pass on my own advice it would be: ‘just suck it up, do what it takes and leave your ego out of it’.

You recently won an award for the best vegetarian restaurant here in Malmö. What’s the secret behind your vegetarian food?
There’s no secret. I cook as I’ve always cooked, minus the meat. By learning the basics, you have freedom to do whatever you want - it’s as simple as that. Here at Kv. Åkern, we focus on vegetarian food, however, it wasn’t my intention to open a vegetarian restaurant, but rather to open a place that serves good food at a reasonable price. My way of doing that is to serve good food without the excess of expensive meats. I can serve a 4-course dinner for 350 kr and still be able to make a decent margin. It makes it much more affordable for everyone.

This is great. We recently interviewed Saltimporten Canteen where you can get a high standard lunch for less than 100 kr…

...and what they’ve done is to strip it down to the bare essentials. They focus on the food - and in their case the bread - that’s why they can keep the prices down. When places include salad buffets and coffee, the price naturally goes up. More restaurants could be cheaper if they just did what they’re really good at - the plate of food.

This is an evening restaurant, but are you planning to extend the opening hours?
No. I think that would wear a bit too much on the staff, and the place itself, running it from noon till midnight. We don’t have much room either, just seventy square metres, so we have a limitation on how much food we can store, which in one way is good since it forces us to get fresh produce every day.

People come here for your creative dishes. How do you plan your menus and where do you get your ingredients from?
We take what’s in season and find what works together. Carrot, for example, goes well with sesame seed and smoked butter, then we find a way to incorporate it in a dish. We work a lot with root vegetables, which surprises certain people, since it’s generally considered simple food. Here in Skåne, it's quite common to use root vegetables in fancy cooking, probably thanks to a chef called Tomas Dreijing, who experimented a lot with root vegetables around twenty years ago. He was a great source of inspiration to many chefs and I’d call him something like ‘the grandfather of cooking’ in this area. I haven’t worked for him personally but have worked for people who have, so perhaps some of my style has descended from him.

At Kv. Åkern, we change the menu over a two-week period, which means that there typically is a new dish every two days. We try to get the best we can get for our money from suppliers like Frukt & Grönsakshallen, Bondens Skafferi, Lindegrens and Kongsbak. For more specialised products we use smaller suppliers - our sardines for example come from an excellent supplier of Spanish goods.

You’ve been open for a little over a year. Is there any night that sticks out a bit extra?
Our opening was special, but to be honest I think all the evenings are kind of special. My girlfriend and I have tried to build a timeless place to enjoy for a long time, and I think we have succeeded. Sometimes when I walk back through the door after fetching a bit of air on a busy evening, I realise what a good place this is. The customers are enjoying themselves and it’s cozy and warm - it’s a nice feeling.

Who comes here to eat?
I’d say our average customers are between 25 and 55.  I thought we’d mainly get people in their mid-20’s who live at Möllevången, seeing as our main focus is reasonably priced vegetarian food, but they still haven’t found us. With that said, we’ve been fortunate to have some good press and that goes a long way here in Malmö.

What other place in Malmö would you like to recommend?
There is an excellent restaurant in Gamla väster called Västergatan. The owners Sofie and Olle opened about six months ago and have built a wonderful place - and they serve the best seafood in town.

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KV. ÅKERN
Nobelvägen 73b, 214 33 Malmö

OPEN
Tuesday-Thursday 5pm–12am
Friday-Saturday 5pm-1am

VISIT THEM ONLINE
kvarteretakern.com

Saltimporten Canteen

Issue #3

Saltimporten Canteen

Interview by Linn Style
Photography by Lenise Ormsby
 
The most important thing is that you have fun while working. That’s better than any recommendation.

An interview with Ola Rudin, co-owner and chef at Saltimporten Canteen.

Nestled away in the old industrial area of Frihamnen is the not-so-secret spot for one of Sweden's best lunch destinations. When entertaining guests in our beautiful city, Saltimporten has been our safe bet for an impressive lunch, and the critics agree. We talked to co-owner Ola Rudin about the secret to Saltimporten Canteen's success.

What’s the story behind Saltimporten Canteen? Why did you decide to start in the first place?

From the very beginning, Sebastian (co-founder) and I were running a fine dining place called Trio, which we sold in 2011. During that time, we were asked by some international food journalists to do cooking events after opening hours and we needed a new place. We started out by renting a gallery space at the old salt import building in the harbour, an industrial space under construction to become office spaces. It was during one of these cooking events that we were asked by Jonas Lindvall, one of the designers and business owners there, if we were interested in running a restaurant in one of their spaces. The initial idea was to have cooking events and catering for functions, but then the whole construction process was delayed by a year and we were thinking about what to do in the meantime, so we said ‘let’s do lunches for people in the building to introduce ourselves’. We got to borrow one of the empty spaces and managed to get a cable through a hole in the wall with an extension cord to our warm water bath for our 'meal of the day'. We did our preparations by the race tracks in Jägersro and went back and forth every day, which was exhausting but fun. And that’s the story of how we became a lunch place in addition to the other events. We went from 20 to 150 people a day and then we got a review in Sydsvenskan, and have been moving forward ever since. 

When was this? When exactly did you open?

We opened for real in March 2012.

The restaurant is quite far off for people who don’t work in that area. So how many people actually make it out there for lunch?

It depends on the season. During summer time it’s a lot more people biking or walking, which adds on a little extra, but it’s somewhere between 150 to 250 per day. 

How do you plan your weekly lunch menus?

We start with the ingredients. We have close connections with local producers, with good quality meat, fish and vegetables. We start with what’s available and of high quality, and then we write the menu. Not the other way around. 

What’s on the menu now?

July and August up until December is the best season in Sweden, when you can get pretty much anything. During the winter season, from December all the way to April - May, cabbage and kale are wonderful ingredients, together with root vegetables. We try to follow the seasons as much as possible and only cook with local ingredients, with what’s available and best at the moment. 

We heard you sourced some of your vegetables from Rosengård…

Exactly, it’s called ‘Odla i Stan’ (‘city grown’), which is a group of people who grow vegetables in an unused space in the Malmö area. We get local produce from people we know, and it is for great cause - I think it’s a wonderful thing to support.

You have a very local focus. Was that intentional, or did it just happen?

We started to think like that when we had our previous restaurant, and then we built a big network with producers and it just felt natural for us to keep going. We sometimes add Asian or Mexican flavours, but we use the local ingredients as much as possible. 

We’re quite curious about the decor of the place. Who in Malmö do you collaborate with?

We like to work with like-minded people, who have the same aesthetic feel in the things they’re doing. The plates, for example, are made by a ceramicist recommended to us. We went there with a plate and said ‘we want something that looks kind of like this, and a little like that, but a bit more natural’. She ended up making a hundred handmade plates for us. That became a big signature for Saltimporten. And now, for good or bad, half of the city use similar plates. 

What is the thinking behind the style of the place?

We want the style to be a reflection of our harbour surroundings, so no fancy stuff that would feel out of place in an industrial canteen. The main focus is the technique and the quality of ingredients on the plate, and then the rest is just clean, simple, minimalistic and industrial. We think about the canteen as a living space, where we can add things as time goes on, which opens up the door for collaborations with other people. If someone we like comes up with a good idea, we say, ‘go for it’. There is a lamp in the corner for example, made by a guy who's a regular and asked us to exhibit the lamp. It’s always nice to get in contact with creative people, learn new things and appreciate what other people are doing.

What’s the daily schedule at Saltimporten Canteen?

On average, we have between two and four events every week, on top of our lunch service. There are a lot of preparations with the bookings and the events throughout the year - next summer is already fully booked when it comes to weddings. This means long hours, but we’re used to that from our previous jobs. We’re trying to get more staff involved, but there is always a startup process when you open a new place. 

What’s important when building your team?

The most important thing is that you have fun while working. That’s better than any recommendation. People need to share our passion for food. 

Who decides what the food is going to look like? How does it end up like that on the plate?

We have a basic idea when we plan the week, then we try to make it look as natural as possible. This is quite the opposite to some fine dining restaurants that work with straight lines and small dots, but nature really is a great source of inspiration. On our plates you’ll get a natural feel, both in look and taste. 

...and still at quite a decent price.

That goes hand in hand with how we want it to look and how we want it to feel. The main focus is the main quality ingredient of the dish, then the rest is just extra. We put all the money into the ingredients and the rest is presentation. 

Are there any more opportunities for you to branch out?

We get asked a lot about opening new places around Malmö, but a lot of them require heavy investments and we’re not quite there yet. For now, we want to focus on Saltimporten Canteen. 

What other place would you like to recommend in Malmö and why?

Solde Kaffebar. It’s one of the first quality coffee places in Malmö that is still going strong. We’ve known them for a long time, they have wonderful coffee and they’re doing great things in the city. 

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SALTIMPORTEN CANTEEEN
Grimsbygatan 24
211 20 Malmö

OPEN
Monday-Friday    12AM–2PM

VISIT THEM ONLINE
saltimporten.com