I didn't have much time in Gothenburg, but I wanted to check out Magnus & Magnus because of its reputation. I arrived at 6pm when it opened and thought the place would soon be crowded but apart from Magnus himself and what looked like a couple of friends, I as the only diner in a room that was comfortable but perhaps trying a bit too hard to be hip.
The service, given that I had it almost entirely to myself was impeccable and very charming. I was recommended a Reisling that was exactly what I felt like drinking - although, this being Sweden, the price for all drinks was extortionate - and never felt like I was either being smoothered or ignored. Perfect.
As for the food, it consisted of well thought out combinations, that were certainly not short on flavour but were at the same time not innovative for the sake of it. The amuse-gueule, described as a French Onion Soup was smooth, savoury and woke up my appetite just enough. I chose a first course described as Asparagus, Goats' Cheese, Rhubarb, Licourice - which was sensational: lemony white asparagus with shavings of rhubarb and celery, slightly smokey cheese, and a browned butter foam. However the starter was matched, if not surpassed by the house breads (a flat bread, baggette and a sensational fruit rye bread), accompanied by chicken liver paté with pickles and some more browned butter. The palate-cleansing spoon of lemon granita was perfect and I had high hopes for my main course of Norwegian cod with cauliflower, smoked browned butter, cauliflower, hazelnut and chicken. However, it was not quite at the same level of flavour and combination. That is not to say it wasn't competant, it was, however, it just did not have the same verve. And by this stage, the reliance on what seems to be a signature browned butter was becoming too much - it is even in one of the deserts, for which I had no room or time. A trio of cute little sweets with the bill was quite enough!
Overall, Magnus and Magnus is an excellent restaurant, if not quite at the top level, with charming service, but they do need to reconsider the seeming ubiquity of browned butter in their dishes...
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