Fine Dining

Aska is making its mark on the New York dining scene

More and More restaurants are flocking to Brooklyn which is becoming more and more trendy. Whether it is to escape the high rent in Manhattan or whether it simply is to get a bit more space I don’t know, but in a one week trip to New York we went to Brooklyn with the purpose of visiting a restaurant 4 times. One of these was to visit Aska which is naturally worth the extra transport time.

I had just 5 weeks prior tried Frederik’s cooking at a 4 hands dinner in Portugal. Here I was impressed by his clean Nordic flavors that were twisted  a little bit compared to what I am used to. Then again my perspective is usually Danish and his is a Swedish so the change was very welcome to me.

Aska means ashes in “old Swedish” which makes perfect sense when you enter the restaurant. Everything is black from top to bottom. The decor was combined with reindeer decorations and classic Danish furniture. The result I guess depends on the mood of the person if it is either bleak and mysterious or cosy like a dark Nordic winter where you are tucked away in a comfortable chair with a nice glass of wine in your hand. For me it was the latter. 

As it was summer we would start with a few snacks and a glass of champagne in the garden. The snacks I had all tried just a month earlier and they were every bit as sharp now as they were then and probably a bit more in fact. The blatter weed was super crispy and interesting and the kohlrabi has just the right amount of sourness to be edgy. To finish off two luxurious servings of trout roue with lobster claw and Oscietra caviar with smoked eels and king. Two servings that were both decadent, delicious and technically great executed. Just the way any meal should start.

The rest of the meal would take place in a corner table overlooking the entire restaurant.   

Our first dish here would be a Japanese inspired as would a few others. Chawanmushi served preserved elderflower and lobster. Salmon eggs provided a nice balance to the soft dish both in terms of texture and flavor. Just delicious.

Delicious is also a good way to describe the next dish. Scallop served with white turnip and currant leaf. A dish that I also tried prior and once again I loved the dish. The flavors were incredible clean and delicious and I loved the simple presentation. 

We would naturally use the entire lobster and for the tail was next. Here served with wild carrot flowers and preserved asparagus. Sweet, beautiful and delicious. 

Trout served with crispy reindeer moss, white currant and gently cooked trout. I have never really been a big fan of trout. To me it’s too bland a fish in terms of flavor and this time it wouldn’t be any different. I liked the idea but the level of the other dishes were too high for it to stand out. 

With a large Norwegian langostine tail we would however be back in foodie heaven. Grilled over Yakatori and served with gooseberry gell and rich buttery sauce made of the shells. A dish that hit all the right pleasure sensors and put a big smile on my face. 

A nice rich sauce would play the main part of the next dish. Hake topped with a big scoop of Imperial Beluga Caviar but as promised the star of the show was rich and sweet sauce made from dark Swedish beer and preserved dill. Splitting a white sauce with a green element always works. It did here as well. As delicious as it was beautiful. 

After 6 servings of seafood it was time to crawl on land just in time for a fluffy bread from malted barley. To accompany it pine mushroom butter. Needless to say nothing went to waste and every last bit of the butter was wiped clean with the bread.

We stayed on land with a morsel stuffed with quail and a sauce made of preserved blueberries. An utterly delicious dish. Again it looked simple put if was pure umami heaven. A general theme in the menu was the use of sweet elements in the sauce such as blueberries which I thought really worked. 

Venison from upstate New York would be our final savory dish.Beautifully served with black sun choke and hen of the woods. A beautiful and nice serving.

Moving on to desserts. We would start with a small nice tart of preserved berries and woodruff. Lots of acidity to balance out the sweetness. One bite of pure deliciousness.

A classic milk sorbet served with meadowsweet cordial would be the last dessert. A sweet and nice dessert, but after a 12 course bombardment of flavors it didn’t really stand out. 

Madeline’s in salted blueberries, beet and black currant and a Swedish pastry bun would round of our meal. All of the confections felt true Swedish at hart and were very nice and a great ending to an astonishing meal.

The experience was very sharply executed from start to finish with a great mix of Nordic techniques, beautiful Instagram friendly dishes that were all delicious and a unique and cool design. This visit to Aska was my first visit to a Michelin star restaurant in New York in a long time so I didn’t really know what to expect about the whole experience but it really impressed me from start to finish. The experience encapsulates the childhood memories Frederik had growing in Sweden with a cool Brooklyn vibe. The two worlds are also combined when it comes to ingredients and taking the best from both places. King crab from Denmark, langostine from Norway, beer from Sweden, scallop from Cape Cod and lobster from Maine. After all why settle for second best when you can have the best of both worlds. The best of two Worlds is a fitting description of the service experience. It has all the traditional Michelin restaurant things in terms of professional and formal service, but we also had one a very personal service from the sommelier which I always love. 

“If you can make it here you can make it anywhere” is a favorite quote of mine about New York. Well, Aska made it. They serve World class Swedish Michelin star food with lots of personality and edge to the classic fine dining restaurants in Manhattan.

For those visiting or being in Copenhagen this summer Frederik is doing a pop up in Tivoli from July 18-august 18 where the menu looks very similar to the one I had.

Practical information

Head chef: Fredrik Berselius 

Menu: 10 course tasting menu $300

Booking for Tivoli pop up: Aska

Normal website:

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