I almost feared that I mis-tasted on my first visit. Not so, it is true:
The Göteborg based Delirium Café not only has one of the widest beer selections imaginable, but some person in the kitchen also seems to replace the frying fat at reasonable intervals. This is the third Swedish restaurant in sixteen years where I have found high-end deep frying.
As a web-search on “delirium cafe göteborg” will show, some people object to the roomy atmosphere of the place. [Nope. A web search on July 21, 2011, strongly suggests that they have gone out of business. Pity] Others are put off by the fact that Delirium “brags” with 2000 kinds of beer while, in practice, many of these can be sold out. I do not agree. We got all the kinds of beer we fancied (even the spiced “Jacobite” brew of Traquair House), I like their wooden tables and the high ceiling (although the huge vent pipes are a bit out of place), and yes:
I ordered Belgian fries, listed here as “Pommes frites with aioli”. In view of their wide range of fancy and pricey main courses, it might seem unfair to judge the kitchen by the fries. But these fries were absolutely fantastic.
For getting a general perspective, one would probably have to go look at the lunchtime queue at the Vlaams Frites Huis in the Amsterdam Voetboogstraat 33, where, even according to Amsterdamians, the best fries of the city are made. Every day, people are standing in the rain to get a bag of those fries – lots of people. For understanding my personal attachment to good Belgian fries, we have to go eighteen years and two months back in time. At that time, I made long walks through Amsterdam, carrying our seven months old daughter in a slendang on my side, because the owner of our house had launched into major re-building and indoor life had become impossible around the clock. One day during one of these walks, I bought a bag of fries at Leidseplein. Munching fries, I started walking down Utrechtsestraat, heading towards a small Indonesian place where I planned to get supplies for the evening meal. Usually, Jessica would either doze or look at the by-passers, the birds or the trams. Just now, she was unusually calm and contemplative. Then, after a few hundred metres, accompanied by no sound whatsoever, a tiny hand rose slowly above the edge of the slendang’s fabric, and worked its way towards the bag with fries in my hand. I gave her one, then another one and that was the beginning of real food for her (a year later, she ate whole plates full of chili con carne).
Back to the Delirium experience: for a moderate 49 crowns, one gets a bowl full of crisp, fresh stubby fries with a healthy pinch of salt flakes, made from great, chewy potatoes and fried to perfection – in fresh oil. The accompanying aioli is what it should be: fresh mayonnaise with fresh garlic. (Not long ago I got a dubious cooked-eggyolky, buttery and old-garlic-y ‘aioli’ in a restaurant in Borås – I have no idea what that was about. Probably they lack an animated rat in the kitchen to prevent the chef from blunders.)
If you were looking for reasons to make fries a lifestyle, Delirium Café gives you one.