“Don’t you know you can trust me by now?” Food Expectations demands via text. “…But I always get nervous that you won’t like something I love” she adds tentatively afterwards.
Having found myself in Stockholm with a couple of lonesome hours to spare, she had immediately suggested that I take myself down to Urban Deli for a casual lunch and was now keeping me entertained at arm’s length from London over Whatsapp.
Our friendship blossomed when Instagram made it apparent that we share a love for many restaurants and much of the same food. One meet up led to another and in recent times, rarely does a day go by where we do not communicate in one form or another. In fact, it has gotten to a point whereby if we don’t hear from each other within twenty-four hours or so, worried texts are exchanged: “are you alive? What’s with the radio silence?”.
Day-long conversations predominantly focus on travel plans, home life, work dramas and shared restaurant experiences. Although the latter is really just a nice way of saying Food Expectations regularly resorts to telling me where I need to go and what I need to eat. But, hey! Who am I to complain. I trust her recommendations and am yet to be led astray.
…And so there I was, happily perched at one of the high tables in ultra-cool Urban Deli, enthusiastically perusing the the extensive menu. The fresh crab with mustard mayonnaise and lemon was looking pretty good, as were some of their interesting salad options. However, Food Expectations wasn’t having any of it. “You have to get the steak tartare” she insisted.
In for a penny, in for a pound! I should have known she wasn’t going to let me down in any case. Despite my initial wariness of the relatively untraditional flavour combinations, I absolutely loved the dish. Arriving layered with miso mayonnaise, fried oyster mushrooms, pickled white onions, garlic chips and coriander, the beef tartare (SEK 235) was really, really good.
Loaded with various textural components and absolutely packed with flavour, I scooped up every last bit even after I was full. My one wish was that the meat carried a chunkier dice as I found it to be slightly too minced.
The fries deserve a mention all on their own. Super crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, they were excellent. Despite convincing myself I would only devour half, I ended up scraping every last salt-laden shard from the bottom of the bowl.
Always one to love a good wander through a foreign food aisle, I browsed the shelves of the connected grocery store after lunch and drooled over the selection of organic fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses and delicacies before emerging into the bright Stockholm sunshine, happy and full.
I always find that trusted recommendations are the best way to eat well in any city and this adventure proved to be a perfect example. Urban Deli is definitely somewhere I will keep in mind for a casual lunch time feed whenever I am in Stockholm. The place is pretty much made for that kind of thing and the setup is totally perfect for it. I really enjoyed the hour or so I spent there and the steak tartare is something I would [and will] absolutely come back for.