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Why Malmö’s Möllevången is a paradise for curious foodies

With at least 60 different restaurants serving food from more than a dozen countries, Möllevången is a great place for food adventurers. Here's a selection reviewed by The Local.

Why Malmö's Möllevången is a paradise for curious foodies
The food market at Möllevången, but there's also an impressive range of restaurants nearby. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Möllevången, the 50-hectare trapezoid that functions as an alternative city centre in Malmö is a great place for culinary adventurers, with at least 60 different restaurants serving food from more than a dozen different countries. 
 
For this concentration, you can thank the designers of the city's 1960s and 1970s housing developments, who left little or no space for local shops or restaurants. 
 
So while in London, you can go to a Turkish area for doner kebab, a Bengali one for curries, or a Jamaican one for Akee and Saltfish, in Malmö a lot of it is in one place. 
 
Restaurang Nowroz, a Persian restaurant, opened back in 2003, and is now one of three restaurants serving Iranian specialities such as khoresh stew or kebab. Here's our review of its upstart rival Restaurang Tehran.
 
Most people come to Restaurang Tehran for the kebab. Photo: Richard Orange
 
Of the dozen or so falafel restaurants, Jalla Jalla is a piece of Malmö legend, with extra halloumi, aubergine or fried cauliflower a particular speciality. 
 
But my current favourite falafel joint in Möllevången is Sara, which wraps the chickpea balls in meltingly soft bread they bake themselves in their pizza oven. 
 
Many of the 15 or so Indian restaurants are in reality cheap bars so the food is nothing to write home about. 
 
The South Indian is a notable exception (see our review here), as is Masala Box in the Mitt i Möllan shopping centre (see review here). 
 
Masala Box sells a lot of vegan naan and dahl. Photo: Masala Box
 
The South Indian specializes in masala dosa, here served with sambar soup and coconut chutney. Photo: Richard Orange
 
Indians in Malmö also praise Kontrast, which opened recently on Möllevången Square, and Shubab on Amiralsgatan, which does good South Indian foods. 
 
Pappas Buffé on Bergsgatan may look like a cheap Italian, but in fact mainly caters to young Afghans who have arrived in Malmö over the last few years. Better quality (and more expensive) Afghan food is available at Ariana (our review here), which serves delicious manto dumplings from the country's north. 
 
The ashak dumplings come garnished with dried mint and fresh coriander. Photo: Richard Orange
 
Asien on Ystadsvägen serves authentic Vietnamese food, but Little Vietnam in Mitt i Möllan probably has a more convivial atmosphere.
 
Shamiat restaurant on Södra Förstadsgatan sells great Syrian foul and fatteh (our review). But you can also get a more upmarket take on Middle Eastern food at the more established Restaurang Madina on Bergsgatan, which specializes in Lebanese specialities, and charcoal grilled fish.
 
Issam Al-Halabi puts the finishing touches to his foul with olive oil. Photo: Richard Orange
 
If you get tired of falafel and shawarma, you can go get decent Greek Gyros at Gyrospita on Bergsgatan, garnished with a smear of thick yoghurt. 
 
You can now get excellent Balkan Burek pies in the café next to the Ica grocery store opposite Mitt i Möllan. If you're lucky you can watch the two Serbian men who make them throwing their pastry high in the air to stretch it before slamming it onto their tables. 
 
But if you are willing to step just outside the boundaries of Möllevången, Burek House has a broader selection of Balkan specialities (see our review). 
 
Tawë is burned to a crisp on the top but tasty. Photo: Richard Orange
 
For African food, you have to leave Möllevången and make your way to Persborg, where Marka Caday makes a selection of Somali favourites (see our review here). 
 
A hearty plate of Anjero Habesha, or Injera Ethiopian-style, at the Marka Cadey Restaurant. Photo: Richard Orange
 
What's your favourite restaurant in Malmö? Scroll down to the comments section to share your top tips!

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FOOD & DRINK

Five sweet treats you should be able to identify if you live in Sweden

Do you know your biskvi from your bakelse? Your chokladboll from your kanelbulle? Here's a guide guaranteed to get your mouth watering.

Five sweet treats you should be able to identify if you live in Sweden

Kanelbulle

The most famous of all Swedish cakes outside Sweden, the classic kanelbulle (cinnamon bun) is the symbol of Sweden abroad, no doubt helped by the fact that Swedish furniture giants IKEA stock frozen buns in their food stores for customers to bake off at home.

Forget American tear-apart cinnamon rolls baked in a pan and slathered with cream cheese frosting: a classic Swedish cinnamon bun is baked individually using a yeasted dough spread with cinnamon sugar and butter. The dough is then rolled up, sliced into strips which are then stretched out and knotted into buns, baked, glazed with sugar syrup and sprinkled with pearl sugar.

Home-made varieties skip the stretching and knotting step, rolling the cinnamon-sprinkled dough into a spiral instead which, although less traditional, tastes just as good.

Kanelbullar in Sweden often include a small amount of Sweden’s favourite spice: cardamom. If you’re a fan of cardamom, try ordering the kanelbulle‘s even more Swedish cousin, the kardemummabulle or cardamom bun, which skips the cinnamon entirely and goes all-out on cardamom instead.

Sweden celebrates cinnamon bun day (kanelbullens dag) on October 4th.

Photo: Lieselotte van der Meijs/imagebank.sweden.se

Chokladboll

A great option if you want a smaller cake for your fika, the chokladboll or ‘chocolate ball’ is a perfect accompaniment to coffee – some recipes even call for mixing cold coffee into the batter.

They aren’t baked and are relatively easy to make, meaning they are a popular choice for parents (or grandparents) wanting to involve children in the cake-making process.

Chokladbollar are a simple mix of sugar, oats, melted butter and cocoa powder, with the optional addition of vanilla or coffee, or occasionally rum extract. They are rolled into balls which are then rolled in desiccated coconut (or occasionally pearl sugar), and placed in the fridge to become more solid.

Some bakeries or cafés also offer dadelbollar or rawbollar/råbollar (date or raw balls), a vegan alternative made from dried dates and nuts blended together with cocoa powder.

Chocolate ball day (chokladbollens dag) falls on May 11th.

Photo: Magnus Carlsson/imagebank.sweden.se

Prinsesstårta

The lime-green prinsesstårta or ‘princess cake’ may look like a modern invention with it’s brightly-coloured marzipan covering, but it has been around since the beginning of the 1900s, and is named after three Swedish princesses, Margareta, Märta and Astrid, who were supposedly especially fond of the cake.

The cake consists of a sponge bottom spread with jam, crème pâtissière and a dome of whipped cream, covered in green marzipan and some sort of decoration, often a marzipan rose.

Prinsesstårtor can also be served in individual portions, small slices of a log which are then referred to as a prinsessbakelse.

Although the cakes are popular all year round, in the Swedish region of Småland, prinsesstårta is eaten on the first Thursday in March, due to this being the unofficial national day of the Småland region (as the phrase första torsdagen i mars is pronounced fössta tossdan i mass in the Småland dialect).

Since 2004, the Association of Swedish Bakers and Confectioners has designated the last week of September as prinsesstårtans vecka (Princess cake day).

Photo: Sinikka Halme, Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0.

Budapestbakelse

Belonging to the more traditional cakes, a Budapestbakelse or “Budapest slice” is a type of rulltårta or “roll cake” similar to a Swiss roll, consisting of a light and crispy cake made from whipped egg whites, sugar and hazelnut, filled with whipped cream and fruit, often chopped conserved peaches, nectarines or mandarines, and rolled into a log.

The log is then sliced into individual portions and drizzled with chocolate, then often topped with whipped cream and a slice of fruit. 

Despite its name, the Budapest slice has nothing to do with the city of Budapest – it was supposedly invented by baker Ingvar Strid in 1926 and received the name due to Strid’s love for the Hungarian capital.

Of course, the Budapestbakelse also has its own day – May 1st.

Kanelbullar (left), chokladbollar (centre) and biskvier (right). Photo: Tuukka Ervasti/imagebank.sweden.se

Biskvi

Another smaller cake, a biskvi (pronounced like the French biscuit), consists of an almond biscuit base, covered in buttercream (usually chocolate flavoured), and dark chocolate.

Different variants of biskvier exist, such as a Sarah Bernhardt, named after the French actress of the same name, which has chocolate truffle instead of buttercream.

You might also spot biskvier with white chocolate, often with a hallon (raspberry) or citron (lemon) filling, or even saffransbiskvier around Christmastime.

Chokladbiskviens dag is celebrated on November 11th.

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