Story and photography by Bo Zaunders
It’s been called variously “a hot spot for Malmö foodies” or “hipster heaven.” But it’s actual name is even more memorable: Bastard.
Setting out from our hotel, Scandic Kramer, on Stora Torget in the center of the city, we reached it by foot in about three minutes. Bastard is housed in a red brick building on Mäster Johansgatan. The sign outside immediately caught our attention: an iron pig skewered on a fork.
The restaurant inside has a high ceiling, wooden tables, checkered floor, with a long zinc bar right in the middle, exuding a casual, rustic air. A friendly employee immediately whisked us off to a nice little table with a window overlooking a courtyard, which proved to also be part of the restaurant. There on the stone floor stood a bicycle, informally parked next to a pile of wood. Behind it, I noticed a scattering of tables, already occupied despite the relatively early hour. Walking outside for closer scrutiny, I saw, in addition to a bar, a wood-fired oven, big and bulky and with a fire in its belly, ready to produce, among other things, some of those pizzas for which Bastard has been highly praised.
It was time to eat. For an appetizer, I decided on the restaurant’s famous cold meat platter – Bastardplanka – a signature dish that comes with a knife sticking out of a wooden plank. I understood that the ingredients for the Bastardplanka might vary somewhat, dependent on what happened to be fresh and in season. In my case, I counted two kinds of pâtés, salami, gherkins, sausages, pearl onions, and prosciutto – all delectable and well complemented by a glass of Jean David Cotes du Rhône organic wine. As for Roxie, she chose the chicken liver pâté with capers and anchovies. She was happy too, pronouncing her opener “quite lush.”
More and more guests had arrived, and the restaurant was filled to capacity. I was struck by how relaxed and comfortable everyone seemed to be, and how many appeared to be young professionals.
Oven-baked salmon followed, with pea pods, thinly sliced potatoes, and two slices of guanciale, Italian bacon prepared from pig’s cheeks. In Roxie’s case, it was baked chicken breasts with chanterelles, fava French beans, and duck’s liver. As with the appetizers, the main courses came with good crusty bread and designer wine, carefully chosen to match the food.
So what about dessert? Chocolate ice cream with cherry in rum sounded good to me, and Roxie, as a cheese lover, decided on an assortment of four French cheeses.
The place buzzed with camaraderie and general well being, and in a moment of extravagance I was about to have go at one of Bastard’s after dinner drinks – Espresso Martini, Silk Stocking, or Dr. Rosen Rosen. But wiser council prevailed.
Earlier I met briefly with head chef Andreas Dahlberg, who started Bastard with a partner about two years ago. If someone asked me what a young, successful Swedish chef would be like, I would pick Andreas as a model. He was open, friendly, and utterly passionate about all things culinary. I was interested in hearing him talk about Bastard. Instead, he launched into an enthusiastic story about Au Pied de Cochon, a restaurant he had just visited in Montreal. Later, when I checked out “At The Foot of A Pig” on Google, I got the impression that it must be quite similar to Andreas’ own eatery, a temple of all things meaty and savory.
His knowledge of and curiosity about other restaurants and places was refreshing. Hearing that I lived in New York, he immediately suggested visits to Momofuku and Roberta’s Pizza. His suggestion for a dish suitable for the fall and winter season? A savory lamb dish filled with the taste of autumn herbs.
© January 2013 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.