Familjen Restaurant, Gothenburg, Sweden - Food Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

I believe my exact words were “Very cool!” when the waiter brought out my dinner pictured above and described it as a modern take on a Swedish classic – Pytt i panna; a popular hash dish made with diced potatoes, onions, and some form of meat along with beets and a squirt of ketchup.

Why cool?

Because pytt i panna normally looks like this, and this deconstructed updated version – Lamb from Åkatorp with roasted potatoes and root veggies, parsley, pickled summer beets, caramelized onions, poached egg and a nice dollop of anchovy butter – gave me a brief insight into Familjen‘s style of cooking.

Staying true to tradition while adding a modern twist to it. A quick scan through other items on its menu – wild boar, homemade sausage with caramelized cabbage, beef tartar with bleak roe cream, fried bone marrow – seem to suggest fresh, local and seasonal ingredients as well as classic Swedish ingredients – almonds, chanterelles, lots of items infused with rosehip.

Familjen Restaurant, Gothenburg, Sweden - Food Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

I walked into a packed Familjen (which means “The Family” in Swedish) where warm red and green minimalist Scandinvanian-style décor welcomed me along with friendly staff who managed to handle the full house with grace. Restaurateur and owner Björn Persson swung by on a busy night to say hello when he was debuting a new nine-course menu at his Michelin-star sister restaurant, Kock & Vin, a couple blocks away so I definitely appreciated the gesture.

Familjen Restaurant, Gothenburg, Sweden - Food Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

As for dessert?

It was a fluffy mazarin cake soaking in warm rosehip consommé and topped with a scoop of arrack ice cream. A modern take on an everyday Swedish snack – Mazarin.

Familjen Restaurant, Gothenburg, Sweden - Food Photography by Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Full disclosure – I was in Gothenburg updating a guidebook and my meal was on the house. While I’m grateful to Familjen for their generous invitation, succulent and decadent meals in no way cloud my professional judgement. Only falling in love does, momentarily.