A little background: Frantzén’s Kitchen is a new restaurant experience from Björn Frantzén. It is a modern Nordic restaurant serving medium-sized dishes with Asian influences, all set in a casual and relaxed Scandinavian environment. You can choose to sit at the kitchen counter for the full experience or at a table in the dining room.
Over recent years, Björn Frantzén has made a number of guest appearances around the world and has also created a pop-up restaurant in Dubai. But this will be his first permanent restaurant outside Sweden. To ensure a top quality experience in Hong Kong, Jim Löfdahl will be Head Chef for Frantzén’s Kitchen. Jim Löfdahl has previously occupied the same role at Restaurant Frantzén in Gamla Stan in Stockholm and was part of the team that achieved two Michelin stars there.
My visit: We started our meal off with some crispy flatbread served with a side of delicious caramelized brown butter, a notable ingredient in Nordic cuisine.
Our first snack to arrive was the Swedish sushi. The crispy white moss at the bottom was balanced out by the creaminess of the foie gras snow and mayonnaise. The wild flavor of the fallow deer added such interesting flavors to the bite sized morsel that we ended up ordering another one.
The poached oyster “63.4C”, frozen sea buckwheat, seaweed powder with walnut and juniper cream was less memorable as the oyster was too light in taste.
The french toast with winter truffles and aged cheese was my favorite among the other snacks. It packed a perfectly balanced and flavourful punch in a mini toastie with the balsamico vinegar cutting through the richness of the cheese and the earthiness of the funghi.
Last of the snacks was the apple and lingonberry macaron which was filled with a light foie gras parfait. I especially enjoyed the apple disc which lent a sweet acidic crunch to the savory pastry.
Our first main was the roasted Hokkaido scallop cut into three thin pieces sitting in a pool of nordic dashi made from caramelized dried scallops and chanterelle which filled the broth with layers of depth. The tartness from the pops of finger lime along with the spruce and ginger oil gave the dish a sharp sensation.
Despite the mixed reviews, I quite enjoyed the lamb tartar with cumin, feta cheese, lavender yoghurt and smoke eggplant. The cumin and the lamb built off each other’s gamey intensity and the deep-fried shallots on top added a delicious contrast to the dish.
The grilled chicken came covered in mushrooms, thyme and hazelnuts. The small slice of meat was a bit tough however the highlight of the dish was the creamy puree comprised of Jerusalem artichoke, miso and breadcrumbs.
The green asparagus was beyond my expectations. The sauce made of fermented white asparagus juice was creamy and buttery, with the addition of pistachio and curry paste to create a harmonious finish.
For dessert, we had the smoked ice cream with toasted nuts. Hot salted fudge was poured over a ball of tar syrup which revealed a scoop of ice cream that indeed tasted smokey. However, we found the dessert a little too sweet for our liking.
We ended our meal with some chewy syltkakor brown butter shortbread with blueberry jam which I wish could be more flavorful.
Verdict: There were some successful dishes but you will need to manage your expectations. Portions are extremely small so the price does add up. Nonetheless a fair introduction to Nordic cuisine in Hong Kong.
Happy eating 🙂
11 Upper Station St,Tai Ping Shan,Hongkong, Sheung Wan
+852 2559 8508