From the White Guide Nordic 2018:
- Address: Viktoriagatan 12, 411 25 Gothenburg
- Phone: +46 31 701 79 79
- Web: restaurangkoka.se
- Seats: 42
- Opening Hours: Mon-Sat from 6 PM. July closed Mon-Tue. Closed Christmas, New Years, Midsummer and Holidays
- Directions: See Google Map underneath
Restaurant veteran serves up modern gastronomy
The first thing almost every diner here does is adjust the ingeniously designed lamp above the table. If it’s raised, they might be talking business; if it’s lowered there may be romance in the air. Neither the lamps nor the venue has aged a bit since Valentine’s Day 2014 when Björn Persson’s Kock & Vin turned into the slightly more playful Koka. In spite of the initial modern impression, the light planks along the walls speak to our collective pastoral memory. To a certain extent the staff do, too, not least Persson himself who enjoys coming out into the dining room to check on the guests. And then there’s the food, which at first glance appears ultramodern. Upon closer examination we see it’s also a tribute to our common roots, like the potato, for example. The first thing to come out of this incredibly affordable tasting menu is a half Amandine potato, perfectly al dente, topped with sour cream that almost tastes like smoked herring, and grated, cured egg yolk on top of that. Raw, chopper oyster, plucked up with diving help from the Klemming brothers in Grebbestad, rests together with an oyster cream under thinly planed and grilled celeriac. The next dish is the same shade of beige – king trumpet mushrooms, looking like they have been passed through a paper shredder. But don’t get us wrong – the slim, blond strips, dusted with dried seaweed set a new standard for how a masterful dish can look – and taste. Another example is the decadent lobster and vinegary fennel in a light bath of clear and assertive lobster broth. Cauliflower, crab and beets form a kind of textural illusion, indistinguishable from one another were it not for their strong colours and flavours. This combination of visual minimalism and articulated flavours can also be found in the vegetarian dish of grilled pointed cabbage with buckwheat, tarragon and tapioca – and it’s just like Persson to reconnect to our cultural history by choosing to call it porridge. By the time we get to the cheese dish we are a little tired of the consistent visual impression (aka., “beautiful heaps”), although goat's cheese from Skattegården is a good match with salty caramel sauce and beautifully bleeding Icelandic red dulse algae crowned by frozen chokeberries. The frozen yogurt is topped with chicory fluff, and the dessert is confidently paired with an almost transparent Fioles Rosées Friandise from Huguenot-Tassin (Champagne’s response to lambrusco). Persson now imports wines from France, and some of what Koka offers is impossible to get elsewhere in Sweden. Though the staff have vigilantly refilled the flatware in the tray throughout the evening, now there is only a small soupspoon resting on the wine-splattered leather. The treat with the coffee, a small bark biscuit topped with juniper cream, neatly wraps up what is currently one of Sweden’s most modern gastronomic experiences...
To read the whole review go to Buy The White Guide Nordic 2018.