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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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DISCOVER SWEDEN

The three tasty treats that make spring in Sweden a forager’s dream

Although parts of Sweden are still under snow at this time of year, spring is in full swing here in Skåne in the south of Sweden. Here are The Local's top tips for what you can forage in the great outdoors this season.

The three tasty treats that make spring in Sweden a forager's dream

You might already have your go-to svampställe where you forage mushrooms in autumn, but mushrooms aren’t the only thing you can forage in Sweden. The season for fruits and berries hasn’t quite started yet, but there is a wide range of produce on offer if you know where to look.

Obviously, all of these plants grow in the wild, meaning it’s a good idea to wash them thoroughly before you use them. You should also be respectful of nature and of other would-be foragers when you’re out foraging, and make sure not to take more than your fair share to ensure there’s enough for everyone.

As with all foraged foods, only pick and eat what you know. The plants in this guide do not look similar to any poisonous plants, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry – or ask someone who knows for help.

Additionally, avoid foraging plants close to the roadside or in other areas which could be more polluted. If you haven’t tried any of these plants before, start in small doses to make sure you don’t react negatively to them.

Wild garlic plants in a park in Alnarpsparken, Skåne. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Wild garlic

These pungent green leaves are just starting to pop up in shady wooded areas, and may even hang around as late as June in some areas. Wild garlic or ramsons, known as ramslök in Swedish, smell strongly of garlic and have wide, flat, pointed leaves which grow low to the ground.

The whole plant is edible: leaves, flowers and the bulbs underground – although try not to harvest too many bulbs or the plants won’t grow back next year.

The leaves have a very strong garlic taste which gets weaker once cooked. Common recipes for wild garlic include pesto and herb butter or herbed oil, but it can generally be used instead of traditional garlic in most recipes. If you’re cooking wild garlic, add it to the dish at the last possible moment so it still retains some flavour.

You can also preserve the flower buds and seed capsules as wild garlic capers, known as ramslökskapris in Swedish, which will then keep for up to a year.

Stinging nettles. Wear gloves when harvesting these to protect yourself from their needles. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Stinging nettles

Brännässlor or stinging nettles need to be cooked before eating to remove their sting, although blanching them for a couple of seconds in boiling water should do the trick. For the same reason, make sure you wear good gardening gloves when you pick them so you don’t get stung.

Nettles often grow in the same conditions as wild garlic – shady woodlands, and are often regarded as weeds.

The younger leaves are best – they can get stringy and tough as they get older.

A very traditional use for brännässlor in Sweden is nässelsoppa, a bright green soup made from blanched nettles, often topped with a boiled or poached egg.

Some Swedes may also remember eating stuvade nässlor with salmon around Easter, where the nettles are cooked with cream, butter and milk. If you can’t get hold of nettles, they can be replaced with spinach for a similar result.

You can also dry nettles and use them to make tea, or use blanched nettles to make nettle pesto.

Kirskål or ground elder, another popular foraged green for this time of year.
Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Ground elder

Ground elder is known as kirskål in Swedish, and can be used much in the same way as spinach. It also grows in shady areas, and is an invasive species, meaning that you shouldn’t be too worried about foraging too much of it (you might even find some in your garden!).

It is quite common in parks and old gardens, but can also be found in wooded areas. The stems and older leaves can be bitter, so try to focus on foraging the tender, younger leaves.

Ground elder has been cultivated in Sweden since at least 500BC, and has been historically used as a medicinal herb and as a vegetable. This is one of the reasons it can be found in old gardens near Swedish castles or country homes, as it was grown for use in cooking.

Kirskål is available from March to September, although it is best eaten earlier in the season.

As mentioned, ground elder can replace spinach in many recipes – you could also use it for pesto, in a quiche or salad, or to make ground elder soup.

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