VERY FINE LEVEL
430 84, Gothenburg
031-97 32 30
Fish with finesse in the archipelago
The conditions could be worse: a picturesque island, an archipelago-chic dining room with windows thrown open on the summer sea. The ferry fading into the sunset. A seafood terrine starter offers fine traditional flavours. The lamb tartare is a cheekier composition in which the saltiness and acidity of cured egg and lemon are allowed to dominate. It’s delicious, but may confound those who think a meat tartare should taste mostly of raw meat (but then who really thinks that today?). The main courses allow for bold ideas and traditional touches on the same plate. It’s really not that difficult to serve a good fish dish if you have prime ingredients. Salt it just enough, cook it with care, and Bob’s your uncle. Serving a fantastic fish dish takes something else altogether – you have to make the accompaniments sing, while at the same time not letting anything smother the subtle fish flavour. That sweet spot, between caution and courage, is what all fish restaurants should aim for. And few hit the spot as accurately as Pensionat Skäret. Their hake marries the bold sweetness of a confit of root veg, fennel, elderflower, and a buttery mussel jus, to the meaty fish. A ling with shrimps, egg and horseradish may sound like a tad too safe a bet – but wait: butter browned lightly with chives lends a nutty glow to every bite, lifting the dish to unexpected heights. Wine recommendations from the pleasant servers are excellent. If you want to make your own choice, the list comprises mainly select smaller producers from the Old World, with about twenty also available by the glass.