Bjurholmsplan is one of those locations on Södermalm that you can easily forget exists, as it’s not along a natural thoroughfare. This is its charm – it feels like time slows down as you turn the corner from Ringvägen and enter this courtyard, hugged by residential buildings. That same genuinely relaxing feeling floods through you again when you walk down the few steps into the basement venue that earlier housed the Vietnamese restaurant Saigon, and since last fall operates under the name of Livs.
The first thing that greets us is a wide array of craft beer on tap, surprising, considering the size of the restaurant. A dozen or so titles jostle for space on the board above the bar, all of them endearingly available in various sizes. We start off with a couple of small tasters, as we eye the brief menu consisting of a couple of snacks, three mid-sized dishes and one or two mains. The concept is simple – locally-produced and seasonal. The flavours are relatively simple. We begin with some grilled pimientos filled with the hard-pressed Almnäs Tegel cheese, a delicious combination. It’s perfect as a starting snack, as it has the fine trait of tempting you into more eating. After that we head straight into sashimi with everything from mackerel to bonito. The preparation is clever but perhaps not super-exciting. Better are the hot dishes in the shape of duck breast and a well-considered gnocchi with mushrooms, hazelnuts and Comté cheese respectively, both of which look as stunning as they taste.
To compliment the food, we choose a natural wine from Grenache, which works well with more or less all the various dishes. But the greatest reward is from the non-alcoholic grape-juice Carignan 1930 – something as unusual as a grown-up and pleasantly-tasting alternative to the wine.
All in all, for two people who weren’t paying much attention to the prices as they dined, the bill adds up to just over a thousand kronor, which it has to be said is good value for the experience that Livs provides us with.
Bjurholmsgatan 18, livssthlm.com