vRÅ (Gothenburg/Sweden)

Food:  modern creative fish- and seafood from Scandinavia with Japanese influences
Address: Drottningtorget 10 (Clarion Post Hotel), 411 03 Gothenburg, Sweden
Phone Number:  +46 (0)31 61 90 60
Website: www.restaurangvra.se
What I paid:  2000 SEK (per person, large tasting menu plus beverage pairing)
Visited:  June 4, 2015

At restaurant vRÅ, Scandinavian commodity from the sea meets Japanese flavors in a very compelling way.

The restaurant uses both Nordic and Japanese cooking techniques. Sweden and Japan shares some common cooking techniques like pickled fish and the use of broths and vinegar. However, vRÅ does also combine different practices from those two very diverse regions in an interesting and good manner.

The sushi and raw food served at the restaurant have however more in common with contemporary Scandinavian food than the strict traditional Japanese sushi culture.

The name vRÅ is a play on the Swedish word “rå” which means raw (a lot of the food is served raw here) and its location, which is in a corner/nook (“vrå” in Swedish) of the larger premises of the Clarion Post Hotel in Gothenburg.

 

Head Chef Frida Ronge participated 2009 in the Seven Sushi Samurai world championship in London and placed second, earning a silver medal. After a couple of years in Stockholm where Frida Ronge was involved in the starting of restaurant Råkultur (“Raw Culture”), which changed the concept of sushi in Stockholm, she returned to her hometown Gothenburg. In 2013, Frida was named White Guide’s ”This Year’s Rising Star” and she and the restaurant has been awarded several other accolades during the restaurants’ few years of operation.

You can chose from either:

  • À la carte (e.g. small-, medium- and/or large dishes, sushi and deserts)
  • A small three-course menu (e.g. sashimi and sushi)
  • Chef’s choice menu (eight dishes with the “best” the season has to offer)

We opted for Chef’s choice menu (a 1195 SEK) together with a beverage package for an additional 795 SEK.

Tea:

Starting with tea

Starting with tea

The dinner started with a cup of high quality tea.

Amusement:

Scallop

Scallop

The only amusement offered was a really tasty and good scallop (with cucumber, trout roe…).

Oyster:

Oyster

Oyster

Next up was an oyster based “dish” served together with a saki. Really good quality of the oyster.

Sashimi:

Sashimi

Sashimi

A plate of sashimi (fish and shellfish) originating from the North-east Atlantic Sea and Swedish lakes were served next. Most seafood was of really high excellence.

The roe accompanying the salmon were smoky and genuinely delicious.

Halibut in browned yuzu butter:

Halibut in browned yuzu butter

Halibut in browned yuzu butter

Halibut in browned yuzu butter, pickled onion and Kalix bleak roe. This is a signature dish of restaurant vRÅ and that is understandable though it was lovely. But even though I really liked this dish I may have preferred to have a notch more tartness present from the yuzu.

Sushi – serving #1:

Sushi - serving #1

Sushi – serving #1

I especially enjoyed the salmon we had in this serving. Also a “meat-sushi” was served that consisted of rice and meat from Dalsjöfors (far left in the picture above).

Sushi – serving #2:

Sushi - serving #2

Sushi – serving #2

This second sushi serving was, in regards to my taste buds, in favor to the previous one. I really liked all four sushis served in this second round.

Asparagus and chanterelles:

Asparagus, chanterelles, eggs, roe...

Asparagus, chanterelles, eggs, roe…

Asparagus, chanterelles, eggs, roe… Tasty!

Steak tartare ”Surf & Turf”:

Steak tartare ”Surf & Turf”

Steak tartare ”Surf & Turf”

Steak tartare with blackened crayfish, pickled onions, quail egg yolk, roasted garlic emulsion. Good!

Cheese:

Swedish cheese

Swedish cheese

 

Crackers for the cheese

Crackers for the cheese

Dessert – Sweet and Salt:

Sweet and salt cream cheese ice cream

Sweet and salt cream cheese ice cream

A sweet and salt cream cheese ice cream flavored with soy caramel, plum and toffee-roasted buckwheat. Very very good!

To summarize: 

To summarize: I consider restaurant vRÅ a good and interesting restaurant but for some reason I was missing something I cannot pinpoint. When I hindsight go through all dishes served I cannot basically find anything I did not like, but on the other hand maybe not that many outstanding dishes neither. But for sure the scallop amusement, the halibut in browned yuzu butter and the dessert (i.e. cream cheese ice cream) were really outstanding regardless of whatever yardstick used. So what am I missing?

I might have become blasé and spoiled on the topics of all my restaurant visits when I also noted earlier that I find it hard to really appreciate some restaurants but I cannot really understand why. However, the two other “modern and creative” fish restaurants in Gothenburg with influences from Japanese cooking and that are also using mainly fish- and seafood from Scandinavia, namely Bifångst and Hoze, I really enjoy without any hesitations. So, what are the differences? Many, but one that comes to my mind immediately is that, the other two mentioned restaurants, have much more tartness present in their dishes and that is something I enjoy a lot. That said, restaurant vRÅ is a good restaurant and well worth a visit!

 

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