Scan Magazine | Issue 75 | April 2015

Page 97

2_9_ScanMag_75_April_2015_Text_Q9_MADS_Scan Magazine 1 07/04/2015 21:42 Page 97

Scan Magazine | Restaurant of the Month | Sweden

white tablecloth as far as the eye can see. The cuisine is devoted to “modern WestSwedish gastronomy”, a take on the New Nordic cuisine. This means you can expect pure flavours and slightly lighter dishes based on local produce. “It is not like the food in competitions, where you wonder: Is it food, meccano or a painting? It should just be tasty and good,” he says. At Koka, the passion for local produce and flavours meets a long-standing philosophy of pairing food and drinks. Perhaps because Persson himself is a trained sommelier. “The food and drinks go together and enhance each other. Every dish starts with a beverage, more or less,” he says. Aspects such as where the produce is sourced and in what order the dishes are served are also taken into consideration when putting together a new set menu. “The aim is to create variation and surprise you a little,” he says. The ingredients are locally sourced and often organic, but the shifting Swedish seasons are more of an inspiration than a limitation. “Like when the fresh asparagus arrives, or when the lamb or shellfish is at

its best, a lot of inspiration comes from the ingredients,” he says. The location on the west coast means that fresh seafood is available aplenty, but being Koka, it tries to serve a new take on the classics: ”Not langoustine au gratin or regular shrimp, but something like raw shrimp and grilled langoustine, so even if you visit Gothenburg to try seafood, you get something modern,” he says. Koka wants to be innovative and in the forefront, or as Persson himself puts it: “We really want to be the leading actor in West Sweden.” Over the years Persson has built quite a restaurant empire in Gothenburg. He runs the downstairs wine bar Björns Bar, the ambitious neighbourhood restaurant

Familjen and Spisa, a Nordic tribute to the Mediterranean sharing cuisine. This summer he also goes back to basics, with Perssons på Kajen in Hunnebostrand, a 1.5-hour drive up the coast. With its location right at the harbour-front, he describes it as a classic Swedish summer restaurant. But what’s next for Koka? Despite more stars to chase and awards to win, Persson says it is really down to just offering the very best. “We always want to exceed everyone’s expectations. We want to create something even better tomorrow.”

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Issue 75 | April 2015 | 97

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