Greedy Girl isn’t fond of boats. Greedy Girl isn’t big on planes either, which makes the act of travelling one of the purest optimism. To get to her Saturday night venue, the fabulously multi-syllabic ‘Fjaderholmarnas Krog’, a 30 minute ferry journey was required.

The last time Greedy Girl travelled by boat (Sydney Harbour not included) was a 50 minute sprint across the ‘Backstairs Passage’ from South Australia to Kangaroo Island. As we waited to drive onto the ferry (which was actually a freight boat), two semi-trailers full of sheep drove off first. Left in the hold was a large black box. Deck hands appeared with long-handled brooms and hoses. They hosed, they scrubbed and, voila, a campervan appeared. It had been totally coated with sheep poo. What would make sheep poo like that? Hmmm … perhaps it was a bit rough out there … it was.

Anyhoo … when Greedy Girl arrived at the ferry dock in Stockholm she was confronted with a rather large, fresh deposit of horse poo right at the entrance. Was this a sign, she wondered?

She needn’t have been concerned. The trip was uneventful save for being borne down upon by seriously large cruise ships and the proximity of projectile vomit from some truly terrifying-looking rollercoaster contraptions at the Stockholm Tivoli.

The ferry leaves from Nybroplan. With a short stop in the delightfully named ‘Nacka Strand’, we’d arrived on Stora Fjaderholmen before we knew it. Apparently four islands make up the Fjaderholmarna group, the name meaning ‘the little islands in the coastal inlet’ and are now part of a national park. A restaurant has stood on the site of Fjaderholmarnas Krog since 1699 but the current version opened in 1985.

Light and bright dining room

Light and bright with a great view

It’s a delightful place. Most of the island is forested and the coastal areas given over to various businesses, mostly cafes and restaurants. Locals can sail their own boat and a number of ferry lines and water taxis also service the route.

The restaurant itself is a timber construction with several rooms and a large terrace. Diners are greeted by a roaring open fire in the bar area, while the restaurant proper is literally on top of the water in a white painted, light and bright room.

On a Saturday night, it’s popular with group bookings. Several tables of 16 and one of 20 surrounded our little spot for two by the window but the noise level remained surprisingly tolerable and our server – who laughed uproariously every time Greedy Girl tried out any of her lines from her usual restaurant stand-up routine, bless her – was as attentive as we needed.

We started with a bottle of Perrier Jouet champagne. On current conversion rates it was about A$90 – a bargain. We asked our waiter for the house specialties. She suggested two mains – a steamed cod and the veal with white asparagus. Now, anyone who has read the Greedy Girl blog Geist – a different spirit will know of her last brush with that particular vegetable but – what the hell. After the success of the boat journey she had good reason to continue to trade on optimism. Heartily she tucked into the bread basket with giant shards of crisp bread as well as a rye bread that included dried lingonberries.

For starters we chose the archipelago charcuterie plate and the shrimp. The shrimp, served with ‘Sean Connery sauce’ (more on that later) appeared as a huge bowlful. They were intact, prompting gluttonous husband to manfully offer to peel all 30 of them so that Greedy Girl could feast without getting her fingers dirty. Our waiter noticed him ‘on the job’ and rushed over, thinking Greedy Girl didn’t like her feast. Given the explanation of gluttonous husband’s world-class peeling abilities, she laughed out loud, all the way back to the kitchen.

The shrimp was absolutely splendid – sweet, juicy, tasty. We asked the Maitre D at the end of the evening for the story behind the sauce’s name. For the record, it was a mayonnaise flavoured with garlic, chilli, tomato and ginger and was very yummy. Apparently the chef has a thing for Sean Connery but won’t divulge any other details about why she chose the name. Ahh, if it had been much later in the evening and we’d done a few rounds of Akvavit, who knows …

Gluttonous husband had the charcuterie plate, consisting of a local sausage served with ‘mackmyra’ mustard (mackmyra being a Swedish whisky), paste (their name for a pistachio-studded terrine) and ‘brawn’ – actual translation unknown. Any Swedish speakers, please let Greedy Girl know! It was all absolutely delicious.

And so to the mains. Gluttonous husband was confronted with a tower of local cod, steamed to perfection as it flaked apart. It was served with what the menu termed a ‘smooth egg cream’ (read mayonnaise) shrimp, dill and grated horseradish and a good slurp of a very green olive oil. It was accompanied by a side dish of buttery tiny new potatoes. For a strong fish, the flavours were quite subtle but gluttonous husband commented it worked particularly well with the dill and horseradish. Texture was provided by the shrimps, which were slightly chewy.

The veal was served as a large fillet and sliced. The menu called it a ‘butterball steak’ which, in the middle was very pink, but the extremities were charred. Three huge spears of white asparagus were steamed and served with breadcrumbs and the occasional fleck of olive oil. The decadence came in the accompaniment – a bowl of potato, chopped eggs, mayonnaise, chopped chives and, ta da, truffles. So rich, so much of it. Greedy Girl managed half the veal, a spear of asparagus and about a third of the potato salad. Gluttonous husband to the rescue.

Sensibly, we chose to share a dessert – described simply on the menu as ‘dark chocolate and blackberry’. The chocolate component was a glossy ganache sandwiched between a soft dark chocolate biscuit. The biscuit wasn’t crispy but that didn’t matter. It came with a quenelle of a cream cheese sorbet and three blackberries in a very sticky juice. When our delightful waiter placed the plate on the table, she made the rookie error of putting the side with the sorbet in front of Greedy Girl, who immediately tut-tutted and rotated the plate so the chocolate was in front of her. More laughs, all the way back to the kitchen …

We opted for final drinks in front of the fire. Gluttonous husband enjoyed his dessert wine and a coffee and we chatted to the Maitre D who gave us some tips for places to go on our next stop, in Budapest. We glanced at the clock – 10 minutes before 10. In the still strong light, we stepped back along the path to the pier just as the ferry arrived.

We found out about Fjaderholmarnas Krog through the Michelin guide to Europe’s main cities. It deserves every nice word contained therein. The evening set us back roughly A$310 – a great investment in delightful Swedish food, cooked simply, in a unique, tranquil and stunning setting.

With thanks to Fjaderholmarnas Krog for the use of the photographs in this blog.

Fjäderholmarnas Krog

Stora Fjäderholmen

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