Culinary Memoirs of A Biologist Who Loves Food

Posts tagged “swedia

Kebab Pizza, The Infamous Swedish Odd Pizza

It has been more than 2 years since I published my article about Finn’s Berlusconi Pizza. Yet, Scandinavian pizza culture still not cease to amaze me. It’s a 2 years late post, actually. But I guess I am not that late to share my odd experience.

When I was staying in Turku, Finland, my living place was in proximity to a local pizzeria called Orikedon Taverna. Whenever I have a sudden craving for pizza every time I went back from campus, I always stopped my bus on this restaurant which only 400 meters from where I lived. Like many pizzerias I found in Turku area, the pizzeria is also a kebab eatery. Not sure for me, but I guess the culture comes from the immigrants who come to live and work in Turku.

Then one day, I read an article about a pizza, which topping is (or was) famous in Sweden, while I know that some of the citizens of Turku are fluently speaking Swedish, next to their native Finnish. The pizza is called “kebab pizza”. At first impression, I was like, what the heck is that?? How on the earth they going to make a random crossover between pizza and kebab… and secondly, it also famous??

From that moment, if you nagged some people because they put pineapple to their pizza. Then they, and you as well, are nothing compared this one.

Some moments after, I payed a visit to Orikedon Taverna, found that kebab pizza, and for my curiosity, I ordered it for take away so I could eat it at home. Then I walked, I arrived, and I opened the pizza box lid.

The Kebab Pizza

I spend several minutes to stared at the pizza. How could this be popular amongst Swedes and Finns?? Then I remembered salmiakki by Finns (that black ammonium chloride licorice candy, Finns known “sweets”) and surströmming (that infamous sour, pickled herring; known as the world’s smelliest food that even surpass Indonesian durian fruit in comparison).

But hey, they made Berlusconi Pizza (see above link for access) in Finland, and in Sweden, they have their famous Kottbullar (Swedish Meatballs). Let’s give this kebab pizza a shot!

First bites, it is quite funny to taste the intersection between the spicy mayonnaise that usually in kebab for dressing and the marinara tomato sauce that topped a pizza crust. But it’s not bad! Then here comes the meat part, and the odd one: the lettuce part. It’s good actually.

My first experience on trying fresh lettuce on pizza was when I was in the elementary school 1st or 2nd grade. I remembered when Pizza Hut has gone too far and they made a “Taco Pizza”. That time, it tasted really odd to eat a pizza, which the crust not even crunchy, with lettuce and non-melted cheddar as topping. Funny thing to compare to Kebab Pizza, they shredded the mozzarella on top of the marinara sauce, baked it, so you can see in the picture above, there are traces of mozzarella on the pizza topping, but then the sliced kebab meat, freshly shredded lettuce, and spicy mayo was added. The pizza is good, for my tastebuds. Although, I wish the spices were more prominent in the kebab meat. I said this because whenever I eat kebab in Indonesia, the kebab meat always has a kick! Combining it with the spicy mayo is always a good idea.

There you have it. I tried the Swedish popular pizza on Finland!


Can be found in any kebab-pizzeria places in town, but this was bought at: Orikedon Taverna, Vanha Tampereentie 137, Räntämäki, 20380 Turku, Finland (Google Map: Link; TripAdvisor: Link; Foursquare: Link; Web)

Price: EUR 10.50 (regular size)


To The Sea! Food Aboard Silja Line and Viking Line Boats

Moi! It’s been so damn long since I wrote something here. Being a Ph.D student is one heck of a challenge you know. But, when science stuffs drain your brain energy, food will be there to soothe it up!

In these both months of March and April of 2016, I’ve been on a boat cruise twice. First, it’s for a cruise seminar along my lab colleagues in Silja Line (route: Turku-Åland-Turku in a day) and second, I went to Stockholm with Viking Line. For my second trip, I can only tell you about my return trip, since my departure trip is at night and I was obviously spending most of it on my cabin bed.

In the nutshell, if you want something really Nordic to eat, go to their buffet!

Let’s start from the breakfast meals!

SL - Yoghurt and Lingonberry Jam

(Silja Line) Buttermilk (FI: Piima) with lingonberry jam

Most of the time, finding yoghurt and other dairy products here in Finland is always been easy. You go to any convenient stores to big supermarkets, you’ll find one. Even honestly, this become my reason of why I can get easy access to cheese, yoghurt, milk, and buttermilk every time! Anything else is, berries are common forest products to find in summer. Back to the ship, so then I tried the buttermilk with lingonberry jam. I thought the jam is sweet. I was wrong. It’s face-warping sour. Now I know my supervisor, Pav, poured a lot of sugar in it.

VL - Karelian Pasty, Swedish Pancake w Jam, Cookie

(Viking Line) Nordic pancake with starwberry jam, Karelian pasties, mini cakes, and cookie.

Nordic pancake is similar to French pancake or crepes. The serving for pancake in Nordic way is by combining it with berry jam. This time (learning from experience before), I used the sweet strawberry jam. It tastes really good and fresh! About Karelian pasty, I’ve explained about it before. However, in both boats, it tastes plain, you have to use munavoi (butter mixed with chopped boiled egg) to give the taste in. The mini cakes flavor mostly buttery, sugary, and sometime have almonds in it.

VL - Bread and Salmon

(Viking Line) Bread, butter, and smoked salmon.

You know what? It’s hard to find a white dinner bread or toast here in Finland. They mentioned it as French bread for it. But the French bread I know available here is baguette, the long hard bread. So, to eat a sliced loaf of soft bread, you will normally found bread that normally and naturally colored brown or yellowish. The color comes from rye or other cerealia seeds (or carrot). And it’s common to eat them with LOT of butter as topping. Anything else, you can also add smoked salmon in it. It’s protein and omega-3 rich meal for you! And its taste is very rich, umami, and fresh!

SL - Cheese

(Silja Line) Cheese plater

In Europe, cheeses are something you can easily found, staple, and cheap (compared to Asia countries, including Indonesia). You can eat cheese like emmenthal, blue cheese, smoked cheese, or more with crackers. Me? I like to eat the cheese as it is! Not everyone have an endurance for the taste of blue cheese, and I’m enjoying myself eating one of the strongest blue cheese, roquefort from France!

SL - Caviar, Smoked Salmon, Pickled Herring

(Silja Line) Caviar, assorted herring, smoked salmon, and open sandwich with fish salad.

Smoked salmon (FI: savulohi), especially the cold smoked one (slowly smoked in 25ºC for hours to days, allowing the natural fragrance of the smoke to permeate the fish) is recommended  dish to start your day! You can it it with bread, or as it is. Anything else, in Nordic country, an abundant fish you can find from Baltic Sea is herring. You can found it as fresh commodity, hot-smoked, fried, baked, pickled, and even… as sour herring (SE: surströmming, the Swedish cuisine, a fermented RAW herring with extremely putrid smell… if Capt. Barbossa of Black Pearl in Pirates of Caribbean ever mention the smell of kraken’s mouth… here you go). Here, you can find the pickled herring that tastes salty or sweet. I don’t know exactly yet on how it cooked. Open sandwich, normally with fish is common dish in Nordic countries, especially Norway. And in picture above, you can found herring cooked in tomato and caviar… although we believe it’s not the actual one, but it made with alginate. Yeah… the original one has a price of fortune.

SL - Mix

(Silja Line) Roasted beef, spiced chicken with red sauce, and Greek Dolma with Feta cheese.

There are also many European dishes and some Asian dishes like curry in the buffet. Even you can find roast beef and Dolma (Greek dish, grape vine filled with sour rice, been explained here although it’s in Indonesian).

Other than these buffet menus, I was also walking around in the boat. I found this in Frank’s Casual Dining… let’s put it as extra…

VL - Reindeer and Beef Potato Lefse

Reindeer & beef filled potato lefse (FI: Poro & nautarieska, SE: Ren och nöstek fyllda potatis tunnbröd)

My second reindeer dish during my whole journey in Europe! Lefse is basically Norwegian flatbread made of flour, butter, milk, and potato. Here, the lefse is rolled with cold roasted beef, small-diced roasted reindeer mixed with mayo, lettuce, sliced grilled tomato, and sliced cucumber pickles. I kinda like the combination! It’s fresh!

VL - Mezzarin (1) VL - Mezzarin (2)


Mazarin or in Swedish, Mazarintårta, is a tartlet consists of almond paste dough and topped with icing sugar. So far, this is one of my favorite dessert because I love the sweet flavor combined with the almond taste inside! If you asked me to compare this one with the one I ate in IKEA Tangerang (near Jakarta), Indonesia… it’s heaven to earth compared.

So much new food to try! I’m glad I’ve been through various trip in here!

Special thanks to my lovely colleague from Laboratory of Paper Coating and Converting, Åbo Akademi University, who brought me to the special cruise seminar and then… the buffet!


Aurora Buffet

Breakfast: EUR 10.50

Lunch: EUR 24

Dinner: EUR 31

Frank’s Casual Dining

Reindeer and beef potato lefse: EUR 6.90/SEK 63

Mazarin: (around) EUR 3/SEK 30

Note: Booking the buffet while booking the cruise ticket is recommended to avoid fully booked restaurant.


Swedish Meatball dan Mazarin – IKEA, Tangerang

Halo2! Hari ini… saya baru selesai berpetualang… menutup cerita pulang ke Jakarta kali ini, dan sedikit menguras dompet karena kedudulan saya! Singkat cerita, saya naik kereta Pasar Minggu – Duri – Tangerang… oke lah Rp 4.000,00, terus saya liat peta di HP ke IKEA dan saya kira dekat… ternyata… sial, naik ojek Rp 50.000,00 dan balik dari sana keluar uang taksi sampai stasiun Rp 60.000,00. Hiks… ini demi mencicipi Swedish Meatball IKEA yang legendaris itu!

Berada di Kawasan Alam Sutera ngebuat aku jujur ngerasa di luar Indonesia… temapatnya ijooo dan sepii banget. Terlebih lagi pas masuk IKEA. Mungkin saya sotoy karena belum pernah ke Swedia, cuma ke sana rasanya ngebuat saya makin berdoa semoga keterima beasiswa ke Finlandia dan bisa main2 ke negara Nordik kayak Swedia juga. Tempatnya luaas, rapi, dan… seolah bukan di Indonesia. Buat ke resto dan kafe IKEA, saya harus masuk ke showroom nya. Ngelewatin itu, asli… saya ngerasa pengeeen banget punya rumah dan ngerancang interiornya sendiri tapi boro2 rumah, isi rumahnya aja belum tau mau ama siapa *lho*. Cuma seenggaknya ini inspirasi buat nanti mau punya rumah ukuran kecil tapi isinya optimal dan nyeni! Oke, setelah saya jalan ke sana dan ke mari, tibalah saya ke restoran dan kafe IKEA yang konsepnya kayak food court dengan menanamkan konsep ‘Bereskan meja kalian sendiri sehabis makan!’ yang awalnya sempat bermasalah di beberapa orang yang biasanya makan dan tinggal. Saya sih ga masalah, karena sering pas ke McD pun saya buang sisa makanan saya sendiri. Ini ajaran guru saya Pak Hari Prasetyo dan senior gw, Puti Safira… latihan kedisiplinan, karena asal kalian tau banyak resto model McD, KFC, Burger King, dsb di luar sana yang setelah makan pake konsep self cleaning kayak gini.

Menu di sana ada beberapa menu khas negara Skandinavia (Norwegia, Finlandia, dan Swedia). Mulai dari Salmon Norwegia yang dimakan dengan mashed potato, Swedish Apple Pie, dan… apa yang saya cicipi kali ini: Swedish Meatball dan Mazarin.

Pertama, Swedish Meatball… ini yang menjadikan alasan utama saya ke sini!

IKEA - Swedish Meatball (1)

IKEA Swedish Meatball & Mashed Potato…

Saya… sejujurnya ga punya referensi rasa, kecuali teori. Referensi teori pertama adalah apa yang saya liat di Asian Food Channel: Makanan di sana kuat dengan daging (daging hasil buruan dan ikan), kentang, krim… sesuatu yang bikin panas kalo dimakan, maklum negaranya dingin parah di lintang utara di atas 45º. Cuma soal rasa akan sangat datar, karena cuma mengandalkan bahan alami, ga kayak negara Mediterrania kayak Italia, Yunani, Perancis, dan Spanyol, yang masih dijamah herba2 wangi (Eropa ga ada bumbu2 penambah rasa kayak di Asia, mereka main di daun herba kayak oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, marjoram, sage, peterseli, dill, adas, dan lain2).

IKEA - Swedish Meatball (2)

…versi yang udah kegigit.

Terus gimana rasanya? Rasa dagingnya… bagus, kayak meatball selayaknya yang dibuat dari campuran daging, sedikit bumbu kayak lada, kadang dikasih roti, dan telur. Beda dengan bakso yang kadang kandungan tepungnya membuat bentuk dagingnya hilang sama sekali, tekstur kasar meatball di negara Barat dipertahankan di adonan dagingnya. Rasa dagingnya oke, dan rasanya makin dalam dengan kuah alias gravy nya. Gravy nya berasa kaldu dan krimnya. Mashed Potato nya creamy dan lembut, pas dengan gravy nya yang dituang ke atasnya. Nyaaaammm!

Sebagai penutup, saya beli Mazarin. Mazarin adalah makanan manis khas Swedia, nama lainnya Mazarintårta, bentuknya seperti kue tartlet dengan icing putih.

IKEA - Mazarin (1)

Mazarin… sebelum dimakan…

Dari yang saya baca, Mazarin adalah kue mirip pai dengan adonan kerak berupa tepung dan pasta almond dan ditutup dengan icing gula putih.

IKEA - Mazarin (2)

…diambil sesendok…

IKEA - Mazarin (3)

… inilah bagian keraknya…

Ternyata icing nya rada keras, perlu sedikit tenaga untuk bisa menembus bagian keraknya. Ketika sendok bisa mengambil kerak dan icingnya… hmmm! Wow… keraknya memiliki rasa manis yang khas (rada nutty) dan teksturnya agak kaku. Cuma lidah saya masih agak ragu mencari rasa almond nya. Cuma overall, yummy!

Okelah saya menghabiskan Rp 62.000,00 untuk ini, cuma… it’s totally worth it!

AW’s Rating: √√√√√ (full score)



Jl. Sutera Boulevard no. 45, Alam Sutera, Tangerang. Ph: +62 21 2985 3900

Harga (sudah bebas pajak atau sudah dimasukkan ke harga):

Swedish Meatball: Rp 40.000,00 (isi 10, buat yang isi 15 jadi Rp 50.000,00, dan 20 jadi Rp 60.000,00)

Mazarin: Rp 18.000,00

Minum air mineral botolan: Rp 4.000,00

Jam Buka: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Foursquare: Klik

Note: Tempat ini bisa diakses dengan masuk Showroom, atau ntah… saya lupa, ada akses lain?