A Man From Russia Explains About His Dinner at a Michelin-Starred Restaurant That Cost Him $220+
The Michelin Guide has been around since the beginning of the 20th century, and the restaurants they give stars to draw in tourists from all over. But have you ever thought about how a regular person would feel in such a place? Pikabu user narian88 wanted to find out and make his dream come true at the same time. He went to a restaurant with 1 Michelin star that is considered to be one of the top establishments of that particular cuisine.
We at Bright Side really enjoyed this enlightening story. We’re sure that everyone who loves tasty food and new experiences will love it too.
Not so long ago, my wife and I went on a small trip to Stockholm. It’s quite a clean, cozy, and expensive city, but that’s not the point. I’m not a huge foodie — I never close my eyes in pleasure as I chew a piece of meat — I just love a tasty meal! However, I’ve always dreamed of visiting a Michelin-starred restaurant at least once in my life and have always wanted to experience what it’s really like.
About 1-1.5 months in advance, I started looking for suitable restaurants in Stockholm. I looked for a place with just 1 Michelin star because others were absolutely mind-blowingly expensive. And Sweden isn’t the cheapest country in the world, you know. I looked through the guide (there is an official website), chose one small restaurant, and booked a table. I read that I should do it 1-2 months in advance since there were a lot of other visitors.
The restaurant entrance and a small sticker that read, “Michelin”.
My wife and I arrived at the restaurant 15 minutes early. We didn’t pay too much attention to our clothes: I was wearing a sweater and a pair of jeans since the restaurant was not very pompous — it had a kind of loft style. There were only 16 seats inside and mostly tables for groups of 2. All of the servers were wearing dark clothes and spoke very good English.
I expected to see something pompous, like people in expensive tuxedos and women with beautiful hair (yes, this is how I always imagined expensive restaurants). But people were wearing quite comfortable clothes like jeans, checkered shirts, and sneakers. But I have a feeling they didn’t buy any of their clothing at a discount.
The table was quite small, almost square-shaped. On the edge, there was a built-in container for the silverware. A waiter brought us the menu. I read that this restaurant’s biggest feature (just like all other Michelin restaurants) is the menu which is split into so-called sets so you can’t just order any food you want — you’re offered a set made by the chef. The set consists of 3-5 dishes or so. We chose a set of 6 dishes without alcohol. If we had ordered alcohol, it would’ve been 2 times more expensive.
The waiter came back to take our order and brought us a bottle of water. He made sure to turn the bottle in such a way that the logo on it could face us, probably for advertising reasons, or maybe he was instructed to do so. About 5 minutes later, they brought over our first dish. I thought to myself, “Great. I’ve come to Sweden to eat my grandma’s radish.” The waiter said it was an appetizer — the first radish of the season and a plum that looked more like an olive. We ate it. It tasted like radish and olive.
We kept waiting. Then they brought this. As far as I can remember, it was a quail egg in some green sauce with mustard. The egg was soft-boiled and it was tasty. I ate the sauce too — it contained something with seaweed. They also brought some bread pieces, fried on fire. We ate them and took pictures.
10 minutes later, they brought us the next dish. From what I knew, this was an oyster. The waiter, of course, explained what it was and how it was supposed to be eaten. However, our English isn’t perfect yet, so a lot of the cooking terms went over our heads. The dish contained an oyster, garlic, and some parsley. I ate all the parsley but I was still hungry.
As they said, it was bread made in their oven and fried on fire. On the plate was a sauce made of buttermilk and garlic with fresh champignon along with some caviar of a rare, wild fish on top. It tasted like regular caviar from any supermarket, no different at all. You either ate all of it on the bread or together. The bread was tasty and I finally felt like I was eating something.
Finally, some meat! Very thin slices of duck meat — raw meat! It was marinated in vinegar that smelled like seafood. Under the duck, there was a heap of green parsley and huge corn chips. We ate them, took photos, and kept waiting.
Next, we got a poached egg. They said it was a goose egg. I’d never eaten it before and it was tasty, but there was not enough of it. The parsley was fire-fried. I forgot what it was exactly and I never even remembered it in the first place. I ate all of it, even the flowers.
Then, there was this. Down below, there was some white boiled fish, and on top, some parsley again. It was tasty. I ate so much parsley that night that I don’t feel a need to eat it again for many years! They also brought some pancakes with parsley filling and boiled chicken. It was very tasty and reminded me of a kebab.
Then it was time for dessert! The ice cream was more like a snow cone. There was some kind of a souffle on top...I don’t remember the actual name of it. In the middle, there was something that reminded me of soy sauce. It was quite an unusual combination.
After all of this, the waiter came to us and asked if we wanted coffee. We said yes. While we were waiting, they brought us toffee made of fresh birch sap. I didn’t eat the branches.
Later, they brought us a flask with a filter. The waiter put some ground coffee inside, and according to him, it was delivered to the restaurant by some friends from Brazil (I don’t know if that was true or not). He filtered it. The beverage was really tasty. They also brought over a biscuit — it was crispy and a little salty but very good inside.
That was it. All of this lasted for 4 hours. It was quite a long process but we weren’t tired.
I almost forgot to talk about the bathroom! The rooms were very small, almost like on a plane. But everything was very clean. Instead of paper towels, there were real towels that you’d throw into a basket after using. The soap smelled like pine needles. There was music playing that was much louder than the music in the restaurant.
In the end, we had enough food. The portions were very small but there was enough of it. My wife was really satisfied and referred to the experience as “food theater.” As for me, I had mixed feelings. Yes, I liked it but I’d had this dream for a long time and had certain expectations. Bottom line, if you just want to go out and have an expensive dinner — I’m not sure this is the way to go.
Here are some of the pros of visiting of a Michelin-starred restaurant:
- You get one step closer to haute cuisine. Every piece of meat and every leaf is some kind of a message from the chef.
- You can try unusual taste combinations.
- You can feel as if you’re a gourmet patron for a couple of hours.
- The price! This was one of the cheaper Michelin restaurants, but it still cost just over $224 with the tip.
- If you’re not a fan of food and you don’t have a need to visit a place like this as I did, there’s no point in doing so. You can use this money to feed an entire group of wedding guests at a regular pizza place!
In general, I don’t regret visiting this restaurant, in fact, liked it. But I don’t think I’d go there again. Just because I’m not into "gourmet"...and because it was really expensive...and because I can just eat a lot of grass at my country home.
What’s your attitude toward haute cuisine? Have you ever visited a Michelin-starred restaurant?
Preview photo credit Narain88 / Pikabu