Tell us about Koka!
Johan: We call it "Modern West Swedish gastronomy". It means that you'll recognize the Swedish flavours and cooking methods but that we've added our own touch and made it more modern.
Jonas: By constantly looking for new ingredients and ideas, things get interesting – both for us and the guests. "Can you really make this from that?" is a good reaction. Right now we're using garden sorrel which is normally considered a weed, but actually goes very well with salmon, smoked sour cream and roe from rainbow trout. It's unusual, but not strange. The food should always be good.
How do you come up with new dishes?
Jonas: Normally, one of us has been thinking about a concept or an ingredient. We discuss it, do some testing and adjust until the result is good.
Johan: Sometimes you change a dish completely during the process: what started out as rhubarb cream becomes ice cream and the ice cream becomes rhubarb.
We rather use few ingredients and flavours.
Are you inspired by other restaurants?
Jonas: We have visited Copenhagen and "the new Paris" a lot. A lot of restaurants
there work with shorter menus and a more accessible atmosphere. Chefs used to fill the plates with loads of different flavours but that's not at all what we like to do. We rather use few ingredients and flavours.
Johan: Today there are two ways to go: either you put twenty dishes on the menu or you do like us and go for fewer dishes and a more relaxed attitude. Nowadays people visit restaurants more often than ever and then you don’t want to pay a fortune every time. At Koka a three course meal is SEK 400 and you don’t need to feel that you should wear a tie to visit us.
How do you lower the prices without compromising your ambitions?
Jonas: At Kock & Vin we could only serve 36 guests. Now we serve 72. With seven dishes instead of nine on the menu, everything runs much smoother. But making the menu shorter isn't something that we've been forced to do. It's part of my and Johan's kitchen philosophy. This is how we want it.
Johan: Yes, if you have 95 dishes on the menu it's not likely that you're happy
with all of them – but we are super happy with all our dishes.
2014-05-05, updated 2014-12-30.