The Hairy Pig (Stockholm: SWEDEN)
This was actually a restaurany that I visited very recently (this year!) when there was some work and travel available in 2021! It's not a very common occurence to travel too much for work at the moment as festivals and ensembles are still in a preservation and cautious mode as things can still be cancelled at a moment's notice... however, I was lucky enough to be able to spend a couple of nights in Stockholm, Sweden.
Now, I have been to Sweden a few times before, and there is quite a nice choice of good food up there... however, the problem is always with the prices. Nordic countries are a little bit on the pricier side of things when it comes to eating out...
So, for this particular dinner, I chose a place that was conveniently situated between my hotel and the concert/rehearsal venue. I'm usually too lazy to venture too far off the track between places, unless I have found something really interest on Google. But this is a pretty touristy area, and so there were many many places to choose from... and very little else to go on.
Plus, who can turn down a place that is named "The Hairy Pig"?
The Hairy Pig is one of these sorts of gastro-pub places... serving up really quite decent food in a pub setting. It's a actually a sort of favourite style of eating for me... less formal than a real restaurant.
This was during the coronavirus period, and so it was only possible to sit outside. Actually, it was a very nice evening, so I was quite happy to sit outside. However, the indoors also seemed quite nice... if it was possible, I would have done that... sheltered away from other people!
The aesthetic and decor is reminiscent of an old English pub... lots of wood floor, walls and furnishings. As as it turns out, the place is actually owned and run by a man that has a definite UK accent of some sort!
Which brings us to the menu... I was expecting something more to do with Swedish cuisine, but it is more like an English mashed up with Swedish dishes that grace the menu. There are also quite a few drinks that are from the UK as well.
Well, that isn't a problem! The mix of English style meals with the wild game of the Nordic countries doesn't sound like a bad thing at all!
Now, the really interesting thing is the various mixed boards that you can construct from the various dishes (or you can order one of the pre-set versions). Of course, you have the a la carte menu as well, if you just want to order a more normal single dish.
In the end, my colleagues ordered mainly from the mixed boards, but there was too much in the way of fried/oily or cheese dishes that I went for a safer single dish option.
So, the main event that I had was the Sausages and Mash. It is a pretty classic English dish (and Swedish apparently?), but with a distinctive twist with the gherkins and sauce. A very tasty choice, and the sausages were juicy and incredibly flavoursome! They were sourced locally I think.
One significant downside was that the serving size was a little small (I'm a small eater as well...) for the price and the complete lack of vegetables. However, no complaints from the taste buds!
I was tossing up whether to pair my dinner off with a Cider or a Ginger Beer. In the end, I was supposed to be working afterwards, and so I opted for the non-alcoholic Ginger Beer. Now, often you just get some pretty tame versions of Ginger Beer, but this was nice and spicy with a bite to it! Very refreshing as it was also served chilled!
Well, the mains was a touch on the small side (the mixed boards were really big! I should have gone for one of those!), so I figured I should quieten down my stomach with a dessert. So, a warm white chocolate "soup" covering nuts and berries was just too good sounding to not order!
The nuts and berries are served up in a bowl, and the warm melted white chocolate is poured over it all. It is decadent, and irresistible!
The food at the Hairy Pig was amazingly good especially after comparing to other places in the area. It is a touch on the expensive side of things, but the quality of the food and friendliness of the owner more than make up for that!
I can highly recommend this gastro-pub if you find yourself in this part of Stockholm (Sweden). If you are a tourist, it's probably quite likely that you will find yourself in this area anyway!
Address: Lilla Nygatan 13, 111 28 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 20 64 36