So I went to this bastard restaurant with my bastard lover. We have a long weekend together in Copenhagen and southern Sweden and had spent most of our time being abused by Scandinavian weather fronts. We drive through gale force winds and torrential rain to get to the ferry port so we can cross over from Denmark to Sweden. Before we set off we can’t decide whether to take the ferry to Helsingborg, which sounds like a place where they drink each others blood, or drive over the bridge to Malmo. Maureen, the wretched voice in the GPS, refuses to acknowledge the bridge even exists, forcing us to drive up north and get the ferry. We arrive at the port unscathed but a bit rattled after some hair-raising moments on the road (lots of verbal abuse hurled at Maureen).
As soon as I catch a glimpse of the sea I know we are going to die. The water is black, frothy and churning like a giant washing machine. The Helsingborg Sea of Death. We queue for about ten minutes before driving onto the ferry and line up neatly with the other cars. Death is imminent. The ferry pulls out and JD cheerfully suggests we go upstairs to the shop. The enormous ferry has a supermarket and cafe on board but I’m not keen on doing any shopping or eating at this point. Despite its size, the ferry is rolling and dipping about in the Sea of Death like a dinghy. Everyone is lurching and crab-walking and the supermarket seems to be full of drunk people trying to do some shopping. I’m clinging to a rail outside the toilets peering through the window at the disappearing land and trying hard not to throw up. Mercifully, the crossing only takes twenty minutes and the ferry driver successfully navigates his way across The Sea of Death. Its a relief to feel solid ground under the tyres even though we’re still being battered by howling winds. We discover later that the bridge to Malmo was closed because the winds were so strong that small cars were flipping over. Now I feel bad that we shouted at Maureen. After a night of incessant howling winds and freezing temperatures in a hotel room that over looks a building site, we wake up to a calm and sunny Sunday morning. We bundle into the car after breakfast and I programme ‘Master Johansgatan, Malmo’ into Maureen. We arrive at The Bastard an hour later. There are pigs everywhere; pictures of pigs, porcelain pigs in the toilets, pigs heads on the walls, and a sign of a pig with a fork in it hanging above the front door.
All the staff look as though they’re from a Levis advert and either have radical hair or are covered in tattoos. Our waiter is from the first group and has a fantastic peroxided quiff.
There is no menu, just a set six-course lunch which turns out to be one of the best meals I’ve ever had. We are brought cured pork and salami with pickles and home-made bread, soft-boiled eggs with caviar, kohlrabi, radish and watercress salad, lamb frikadeller with bean stew, roast chicken with aioli and seasonal vegetables, and finally a passion fruit and lemon curd eton mess. This lunch seems like a worthy end to our treacherous journey and I really hope to return for more ‘bastardurous’ food in the summer. These Swedish bastards really know how to cook.