Oaxen Krog & Slip on Stockholm’s Djurgarden Island is really two restaurants under a single roof: Slip is a more informal bistro, while Krog is a two-Michelin-star establishment which I had the pleasure of eating at on a recent visit to Stockholm. There was no seating left in the restaurant when I arrived, but chef Magnus Ek graciously offered me a place at his table. I had the opportunity to watch him cook and chat with him about his choice of ingredients, which are rooted in Swedish culinary tradition.
Magnus Ek and his wife Agneta Green started out in the restaurant business 17 years ago, with the first incarnation of Oaxen on the eponymous island near Stockholm. There, they created a menu based on what the island produced. They later picked up stakes and moved the restaurant to Gamla Djurgardsvarvet in central Stockholm, where they transformed an abandoned shipyard into a marine-inspired pair of restaurants serving modern Swedish food that preserves their land-to-table philosophy.
Chef Ek’s cuisine is perhaps slightly more rustic compared with other Stockholm chefs. You can really taste the roots of Swedish cuisine in dishes like bleak roe in chicken stock, lovage and frozen buttermilk. Fermented ingredients like soured whey and sea produce including bladderwrack, punctuate a tasting menu that includes tender Norwegian scallops, flat shrimps and roasted lamb. I was especially delighted to try the Västerbotten, a traditional Swedish cheese served with fresh-baked flatbread. For a challenging and modern take on Swedish food, Oaxen can’t be beaten.