Getting that squeeze of lemon juice over a plate of warm smoked salmon at Laxbutiken Ljungskile, Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021
Laxbutiken Ljungskile, Sweden.
The Swedish west coast makes for beautiful and scenic long drives. Along route E6, headed towards Oslo from Gothenburg, you´ll come to the neighbourhood of Ljungskile. Lungskile has about 3300 inhabitants, and it is located in the municipality of Uddevalla. As you turn off at exit 93 of E6, you’ll find a gem of a place called Laxbutiken, or “the salmon boutique”. Laxbutiken is a combined restaurant and shop where besides dining, you can buy and take home fresh salmon and a wide selection of salmon products.
As soon as I stepped into Laxbutiken, I became excited about dining at the restaurant, because of their appetizing display of a wide variety of delicious looking salmon bakes and dishes.
All the dishes you find at Laxbutiken comes from a perfect marriage of Norwegian produce, and Swedish culinary prowess and entrepreneurship. Norway delivers excellent salmon, and Sweden can turn that into fantastic salmon bakes and dishes. Offering Sweden´s most comprehensive salmon menu, the restaurant and shop was established by Christer och Margareta Lagnell at the end of the 1970s. The original business was exporting their Swedish home-grown salmon to Europe, and they established a small shop to sell their own farmed salmon to the local region.
Today, they have wound down their own salmon farming and all salmon they now offer is imported from Norway. The salmon is sold at Laxbutiken´s two locations. I remember visiting their Halmstad outlet to buy salmon, in the early 2000s when I first visited Sweden. I was already then impressed with the quality of the fresh salmon you could bring home for dinner.
Dining at Laxbutiken Ljungskile was a new experience.
Apart from the fantastic variety of salmon dishes, where they make small dishes of what look like desserts, I’m loving the light, spaciously designed interiors at the Ljungskile outlet. Swedes have no problems keeping their usual and preferred 4m distance from each other, rather than the mandatory global pandemic of 2m distance. Jokes aside, Swedes in general often cringe at the thought of crowding, and this airy and spacious dining area felt very welcoming.
Something to look forward to this upcoming spring/summer dining is that Laxbutiken Ljungskile has a patio and outdoor seating area for warmer weather. Summer also means that they will open their ice-cream parlour.
In the couple of visits to Laxbutiken Ljungskile, I´ve tried several main dishes of cooked and smoked salmon. I´m already looking forward to having the smaller creations of salmon cheesecake, and their signature bake, the Laxbakelse. Salmon makes for a satiating meal, particularly if served with a side of créme and boiled potatoes. So, ending the meal with only coffee, feels just about right.
The restaurant has a selection of lasagne and pies, if you feel like pie.
This delicious looking concoction is a salmon cheesecake. It´s texture is as creamy and smooth as it looks over the counter.
The restaurant´s classic, Laxbakelse, made by rolling together layers of cream, preserved salmon slices and coated in fresh chopped dill.
Boiled salmon in dill, served with crème of salmon roe, and boiled potatoes.
Halstrad sashimi. This dish consists of salmon sashimi served with wild mushrooms, wasabicrème, pickled truffle and jasmine rice. This order also comes with some bread and butter on the side.
Smoked salmon, served with green pea crème, cauliflower salad and boiled potatoes.