• Sweden's news in English
 

Stockholm 'pop-up' diner shuts as secret divulged

Published: 04 Oct 2013 15:52 GMT+02:00

Sprigs of dill adorn each of 15 tables; two wine glasses flank two sets of silverware at each place; a cello and violin serenade welcomes guests to a view overlooking Stockholm's harbour.

Just over a month ago, the space was empty, all but forgotten. But it had been transformed into pop-up restaurant Dill, which opened its doors on September 13th only to serve up its last plates this brisk Thursday evening.

"You usually have six months to build a restaurant," Anna Högkil, Dill’s project manager, tells The Local. "We had three weeks."

In recent months, Högkil has worked day and night to find the space and create a fine-dining experience on par with the best eateries in the Swedish capital.

IN PICTURES: Dining at Stockholm's first 'pop-up' restaurant

The cavernous room along Katarinavägen is just minutes from Slussen on the island of Södermalm. It looks like a proper restaurant, if a bit rough around the edges.

According to Högkil, the biggest challenge has been the Saltsjöbanan train, which runs just outside Dill's arching bay windows.

"It was almost impossible to do," Högkil explains. "But if we knew it was impossible, we wouldn't have done it."

I learned about Dill through a colleague and was immediately intrigued – nine courses from 2-Michelin star, London-based chef Michael Wignall for only 495 kronor ($78)? It sounded too good to be true, especially in Stockholm where dining out at a run-of-the-mill bistro can set you back at least that much.

Turns out, it was.

On Sunday, it was revealed that Dill was actually a PR stunt concocted by low-price Germany-based discount grocery chain Lidl.

SEE ALSO: Stockholm best food city among the Nordic nations

"We simply wanted to demonstrate the quality of our goods," Lidl spokeswoman Caroline Forshéll told Aftonbladet, the newspaper that unmasked the bluff.

"We think we've shown that good food doesn't need to cost more than it does in our stores."

The news angered some diners who argued they should have been paid for being unwitting pawns in a marketing stunt for Lidl. Others, however, were simply happy to have tasted a Michelin-class meal for a bargain price.

"People didn't get what the con was because it was so cheap," says one of Dill’s chef managers Michael Carter. "We weren't allowed to tell the big secret."

Somehow, I had been one of the lucky few to book a table at Dill. That was two weeks ago, however, well before the "pop-up" restaurant was revealed to be a publicity stunt for Lidl.

Maybe we should have been more suspicious. Switch a couple of letters around: Dill = Lidl. Who knew?

As it turns out, only a handful of people within Lidl itself knew of the connection before it came out in the press.

"It's been a bit different since the exposé," says Carter. "More people are coming up and talking to us, asking us questions."

I arrived at Dill with an open mind, willing to give Lidl's punch line – "Good food doesn't have to cost more" – a chance. And after nine unique courses, I have to admit I have a somewhat more positive view of Lidl's food than I had previously.

SEE ALSO: Top ten googled food in Sweden

"[Chef Wignall] visited Lidl here and saw what produce they had," says Carter. "He made a menu around products they sold that were high enough quality."

Wignall was in Stockholm supervising Dill’s first two weeks of operation, but had to return to London last week due to a broken knee.

But what a menu he has left behind! Cow’s curd, salmon chips, liquid olives, beetroot emulsion, a parsley sponge. The last course was even topped with smoking apple pie nitrogen rocks.

We were seated with two friendly gentlemen from the company that supplied the liquid nitrogen, one of four ingredients served throughout the evening that didn’t come from Lidl. In my enthusiasm, I think a may have eaten one of these gentlemen’s desserts – so my night ended up including a "perfect ten" courses.

Eating at Dill was not the most impressive culinary experience in taste, but at the end of the day, I'm glad I had the chance to eat there, even if it was all something of a hoax.

The novelty more than made up for the less-memorable dishes; that, and the heavenly, rich chuao chocolate dessert. I don’t know what chuao is, but I may be visiting Lidl shortly to find out.

DON'T MISS: Ten soul-satisfying Swedish comfort foods

Katie Dodd

Follow The Local on Twitter

Related links:

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedish broadcaster sends porn to children
A child with a mobile device. Photo: Susanne Walström/imagebank.sweden.se

Swedish broadcaster sends porn to children

Sweden's tax-funded public broadcaster SVT has apologized to parents after it accidentally sent an SMS to 60 children which included a link to a pornographic site. READ  

The Local List
Are these the five worst places to live in Sweden?
Högsby has been named as the worst place to live in Sweden. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Are these the five worst places to live in Sweden?

Sweden is a great place to be, from its vibrant capital to cute, picturesque towns in the countryside. But even within this Nordic paradise, there are some real dumps. Here's our guide to the five municipalities that ended up at the bottom of an annual ranking of places to live in Sweden. READ  

Swedish dads told to take more paternity leave
A Swedish Dad with his children. Photo: Carolina Romara/Image Bank Sweden

Swedish dads told to take more paternity leave

UPDATED: Plans to introduce a third month of paid parental leave reserved for fathers are set to be introduced in 2016, the Swedish government has revealed, in a bid to further increase gender equality. READ  

Spring boost for Swedish economy revealed
Shoppers in Stockholm. Photo: Simon Paulin/TT

Spring boost for Swedish economy revealed

Sweden's economy grew by 0.4 percent in the first quarter of 2015, and was up 2.5 percent on the same period a year ago, according to figures released on Friday. But Swedes still appear to be holding back from swiping their cards at the nation's tills. READ  

Royal Wedding
Six facts about Europe's hottest power couple
Sofia Hellqvist and Prince Carl Philip announcing their engagement in 2014. Photo: TT

Six facts about Europe's hottest power couple

Move over William and Kate, Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and fiancée Sofia Hellqvist are causing an international stir ahead of their upcoming wedding with one Australian paper even calling them 'Europe's coolest couple'. Here are six facts you need to learn about these rocking royals. READ  

Real-life police drama on Sweden's 'The Bridge'
The Öresund bridge between Sweden and Denmark. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Real-life police drama on Sweden's 'The Bridge'

Something resembling an episode of the popular gritty crime drama 'The Bridge' (Bron) occurred on Thursday night when Swedish and Danish police engaged in a car chase that ended with the arrest of four men. READ  

Swedish firm wins huge New York airport bid
Travellers at New York's LaGuardia Airport in January 2015. Photo: TT

Swedish firm wins huge New York airport bid

A consortium led by Swedish construction company Skanska has been picked for a $3.6 billion (30.5 billion kronor) project to modernize New York's LaGuardia Airport, regional transport officials have announced. READ  

The Local Recipes
How to make Swedish strawberry cordial
Strawberry cordial is a refreshing summer drink. Photo: John Duxbury

How to make Swedish strawberry cordial

Swedes love berries and enjoy putting them in both chilled cordials as well as hot drinks during winter. Here, food writer John Duxbury shares his favourite recipe for a raw strawberry squash (rårörd jordgubbssaft) that's delicious year-round but perfect for Swedish summer time. READ  

Swedish city apartment buyers in 'trouble' zone
Apartment blocks in Gothenburg: Photo: Simon Paulin/Image Bank Sweden

Swedish city apartment buyers in 'trouble' zone

One of Sweden's biggest banks has warned that too many potential buyers in Gothenburg and Stockholm are set to spend more than 30 percent of their disposable income on monthly mortgage payments and related costs, putting them in danger of potential financial problems in future. READ  

US rapper Wyclef Jean: 'I want to move to Sweden'
US-Haitian rap artist Wyclef Jean. Photo: AP Photo/Keystone, Laurent Gillieron

US rapper Wyclef Jean: 'I want to move to Sweden'

A small Swedish town two hours north of Stockholm could get an unexpected celebrity resident. Rap star Wyclef Jean fell in love with Sandviken after a gig there two years ago and has now told a Swedish tabloid that he is planning a move to the town in the next couple of years. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Five unmissable events in Sweden
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: Nine questions every expat should ask
Business & Money
Sweden drops in leading global business rankings
Sponsored Article
Why expat women are choosing Swedish natural birth control
National
Royal princess couple to quit Stockholm for UK
Blog updates

29 May

Editor’s blog, May 29th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Sweden has spent the week celebrating stealing the Eurovision crown (again), with even our most..." READ »

 

26 May

Vet, kan, känner eller känner till? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! It happens every now and then that my students mix up the words “vet”, “kan”, “känner”..." READ »

 
 
 
Business & Money
What to ask before buying your first home in Sweden
Sponsored Article
'No one tells expats about unemployment benefits'
Gallery
IN PICTURES: People-watching: May 17th
Sport
Fake quotes in Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Swedish memoirs
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Your May sun snaps
Education
Does Sweden mark down foreigners' children?
Sponsored Article
What it's like to be a student in Malmö
National
Russian veterans' Nazi attack on Ikea
Gallery
Property of the week: Lugnvik, Östersund
National
Avicii confirms royal wedding DJ gig
Sponsored Article
Kristin Amparo: 'Swedes are afraid to be proud'
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Eurovision winner Måns Zelmerlöw through the years
Gallery
People-watching: May 22nd-23rd
National
Why are Sweden's beaches among the worst in Europe?
National
VIDEO: Can you get your tongue around Sweden's word for 'nurse'?
National
How two million Swedes are designing a 'house of clicks'
National
What's on in Sweden this week
National
Five facts you need to know about Sweden's Eurovision entry
National
Why do one in three Swedes want to join Nato?
Features
What to do in Stockholm this summer
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th
National
How Sweden and Saudi Arabia got back on speaking term after row
Gallery
Property of the week: Västra hamnen, Malmö
Sponsored Article
'There is no such thing as Swedish values'
National
Why is support for the Sweden Democrats at a record high?
Sponsored Article
ConnectSweden: Examining Sweden's place in the world
Gallery
People-watching: May 15th - 17th
National
VIDEO: Swedish man's roar scares off charging bear
National
'Gang conflict' linked to latest Gothenburg attack
National
RECIPE: How to make Panna cotta with cloudberry jam
Sponsored Article
'Educated immigrants get stuck in limbo in Sweden'
National
Sweden backs migrant sharing plan
National
Swedish boozing on the rise
National
Why Sweden's deputy PM was forced to apologize for Auschwitz analogy
National
End of the road for Julian Assange's arrest appeal?
Features
Booked to go to one of Sweden's sizzling music festivals yet?
National
Meet the Swedish boy who used to be a girl
Sponsored Article
How to change the world: Malmö to Mogadishu
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Estelle through the years
National
Why is obesity ballooning in Sweden?
National
VIDEO: The bizarre Swedish nurses song that's gone viral
National
Ecuador stray dog Arthur in Swedish charity race
National
UK expert: 'Sweden's current military state is alarming'
National
Elfdalian: a real language spoken in central Sweden in 2015
National
Is King's love for house tracks behind new military music?
Gallery
Property of the week: Hjortnäs, Leksand
National
Sex-crazed grouse terrorizes Swedes
Sponsored Article
'Never waste a good crisis'
Sponsored Article
'Impossible' to run Skanska without Bromma Airport
Sponsored Article
Want to study in Sweden? Read why Stockholm is the best choice
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,260
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se