It may seem nothing more than a pleasant neighbourhood eaterie on a suburban high street, but the first restaurant from former solicitor and food blogger Mikael Jonsson is remarkable in many ways. Given that Scandinavian cooking is in the ascendancy, much is made of his Swedish background, but the menu isn’t overtly Nordic: more Modern European, with impeccable seasonality.
The stall was set out by the amuse-bouches – savoury petits fours of morello jelly on a parmesan wafer, smoked haddock tart and foie gras in a sourdough crisp – and a pre-starter of seaweed on savoury custard: rich, intriguing flavours and textures. One dish, of French white asparagus with tarragon hollandaise, green asparagus and romaine lettuce purée, was gloopy and not good; asparagus was better served with crispy duck-egg yolk, egg white mayonnaise and morels, prettily arranged on a large black plate. From there it was pleasure all the way: duck on a giblet sauce with five types of beetroot was sweet, earthy and clove-pungent, beetroot at its fullest expression.
Cumbrian salt marsh lamb, conversely, was served simply to allow its flavours to sing. A herb sorbet that channelled Indian chutney, a chocolate dessert layered at different temperatures with a crust of powdered raspberry, and subtle petits fours, provided more palate-stretching flavours. It’s a lot to ask of wine to keep up, and only one of our choices did: a £20 glass of small-domaine biodynamic Jura pinot noir.