Decadent, delicious, and all-around delightful…YLC discovered the best place for a high-class but relaxing brunch, tucked away at Melt, in central Stockholm.
New York Style Brunch – Anti-Prohibition style at Melt.
There aren’t a lot of themed restaurants in Stockholm. Nor are there too many places you can go for Saturday brunch and not have to shout over your fellow diners.
That’s where Melt comes in. If you haven’t been there, chances are you’ve walked by it. Nestled into a side street right by Slussen, at first Melt is remarkably unremarkable. But YLC decided to take a peek and found out it’s anything but.
We popped in for the “New York Brunch” on Saturday about noon. The restaurant is remarkably small, no more than two full-strides front to back and about five side to side. But it packs a punch.
The walls and furniture are all black, and the decor is sumptuous, elegant, and yet effortless. Melt is built on the resurrection of love for the 1920s, and it shows. Anti-prohibition posters and newspaper clippings adorn the walls. Sofia, hostess, waitress, co-founder and owner all in one, wanders between bar and tables in a black flapper dress, complete with faux bob, headband, and heels. Frank Sinatra hums in the background, and although the place is full, it’s still rather calm.
The foggy windows and heavy drapes shut out the cold streets of modern Stockholm and transport us…where else? 1920s New York.
Of course, this is the 20s, so it’s about excess. Classy excess. If you’re going to have brunch, you’re going to do it right. For 220 SEK guests can choose American pancakes, crispy waffles, a bacon omelett, or poached egg salad – but it doesn’t stop there. Each of the options comes with a veritable buffet: a couple of biscuits with sliced cheese and sweet fig jelly, ecological yogurt with homemade granola, freshly-pressed orange juice, a berry smoothie, and a chocolate truffle. Yes, everything in the picture. And tea or coffee, naturally.
Already in an Empire State of Mind, we take the most American route and order pancakes with maple syrup. But there’s a lot to do before we make it to the main dish. The crunchy, grainy dark biscuit is surprisingly flavourful, especially with a dollop of fig jam spread thinly on top. Two tiny baguette slices are topped in melted cheese, honey, and dried cranberries, and while they’re already a bit chewy, the flavours are intact – and awe-inspiring.
The tea arrives in mismatching porcelain teacups still bearing pricetags from the second-hand shop down the street. Accident or not, it’s a charming carefree touch. Daisy Buchanan would be pleased as punch.
The pancakes are indeed American – thick, fluffy and small, tasting mildly of buttermilk, nothing like their thin, spongy Swedish cousins. And in true decadent style the pancakes come with an abundance of butter and maple syrup…more than even an American could use up. Between swigs of tea and fresh orange juice we sip on smoothies…and then turn our eyes to the yogurt parfait.
How is it possible for anyone to eat so much? But Sinatra continues to serenade, the fog spreads across the windows, and all stress has disappeared from the world for one slow Saturday morning. So picking up a spoon, we lazily delve into fresh berries, crunchy granola, and cool yogurt, presented in a crystal goblet on the table.
You could say Melt was built on an American dream. It’s modeled on an American idea, but it does it much better than an American could. It’s casual luxury at its best.
Melt is not a place to go in a hurry. Melt is a place to lounge away a Saturday morning, whiling away two hours over chitchat, the Ratpack, and dainty, delicious bites. So grab your cloche, your brogues, your long white gloves or bowtie or nearest buddy – and enjoy New York, Stockholm Style.
Solveig is a recently-graduated American cactus who plucked up her ancient Scandinavian roots and transplanted them back to snowy Stockholm soil. When not writing for YLC she can be found cantering about town in search of culture, chai and cheer.