The Flying Elk’s new weekend smorgasbord launched

by: Angie Kwon
05 Mar 2019

The Flying Elk has just launched a new smorgasbord brunch and we were pretty stoked at the thought of it. While the concept of a smorgasbord is not new and there are semi-buffets everywhere, we had not experienced a dedicated Swedish cuisine smorgasbord in Hong Kong before. This left us feeling excited to try it on the launch weekend.

Choose carefully for success
Our first thought upon arriving was, “Was this going to be a smörgåsbord that would simply be a Swedish buffet, or would there be more a focus on the smörgås, which are open-faced sandwiches?” It turned out to be neither! Instead The Flying Elk brunch starts with a choice of three to five small dishes, followed by a choice of one main and a dessert.
Included in the small dish lineup was Ox tongue with beetroot emulsion and horseradish, Potato salad with sour cream, Chicken liver parfait, Shrimp toast with nordic kimchi, Norrona herring with egg, Sourdough with crispbread, Gravlax, and Scrambled egg with crispy potato.

Of these our favourites were, the moreish ox tongue wonderfully balanced by the horseradish, the formidable potato salad, as good as any other, the incredibly delicious shrimp toast with nordic kimchi, which surprised us, so much that we wanted to take home a big pot of it. The gravlax of course was also exceptional. 

The scrambled egg, completely different to what we expected, was more like warm creamed egg with touches of truffle. It was deliciously comforting, but we strongly recommend having it with warm bread as it really was more suited as a spread rather than a dish.

This brings us to the less successful dishes. The chicken liver parfait was completely decadent and only needed to be spread thinly over the crispbread, however there was not enough of them and so we had to order bread! That we had to do this was beyond our understanding, even less so as some of the dishes were closer to spreads than small dishes.

The herring we found disappointing. Not because it was different to that we had tried in Sweden (onion forward, high acid), but because its flavour was muted, highlighting the egg more than the fish, leaving an unpleasant musty aftertaste in the mouth. At the same time, herring is an acquired taste so try it for yourself, you might love it.

Mainly confused
There were some familiar mains (Fish and chips, Beef burger, Poached cod) and a few house specialties, such as the Veal schnitzel “Bjorn Frantzen”, which we ordered.
The waitstaff warned us that the schnitzel was “quite big” and it was. At around 30cm it also featured potato confit, anchovy butter, red wine jus, deep-fried capers and a petit pois salad. While it sounded good on paper it was not good to eat, rubbery and bland schnitzel, while we are unsure if this is how it was meant to be, it left us a little disappointed. Although it was served with a scorched half of a lemon, the red wine jus strongly muted the flavours of the much needed acidity.

Our other main, the oxtail rossini however was lovely and complex with texture that spoke of chef mastery and perfection in flavour balance. At the same time it is hard to go wrong with a base of buttered flatbread, topped with pan-fried ox ribs, covered with a layer of rich foie gras and sauce bordelaise. If that was not enough it came with a side of onion gratin with a fruity jam.

Overall, some of the dishes and flavours were spot-on, while others were quite odd, and there were dishes and ingredients that spoke of Sweden, but for us, our favourite part of the whole brunch was less of the meal, but was actually the incredible warm service and the authentic Swedish hunting knife that was served along with our schnitzel.