Singaporean chef, Pearly Teo, has opened a fine dining restaurant named Saga in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Drawing inspiration from her late grandmother’s collection of red saga seeds, the 18-seat establishment, located in the city’s main business and shopping area, features a tasting-only menu blending Singaporean flavors with seasonal Swedish ingredients.
“When I think of my grandmother, I always think of food,” Teo reminisced. “She was always feeding us. She was Peranakan and all the food she made was always delicious,” Teo told CNA Lifestyle.
Teo, who lacks formal culinary education, studied science in Melbourne before pursuing her passion for cooking after moving to Sweden. She has previosly worked in various Asian restaurants before venturing into fine dining at the two-Michelin-starred Gastrologik in Stockholm.
Teo eventually returned to Gothenburg during the COVID-19 pandemic, where she met her business partner and sommelier, leading to the newly opened establishment of Saga.
The menu at Saga reflects Teo’s Peranakan heritage and includes dishes like kombujime zander, Swedish mussels with fermented potato and curry, and Jasmine milk tea ice cream.
Teo emphasizes creativity and improvisation, often making her own ferments and sauces from scratch. The restaurant also aims to address the lack of diverse Southeast Asian food choices in the region.
“Japanese food is very popular here, so there are a lot of Japanese and sushi places, but no one’s really doing anything Southeast Asian. There used to be one Malaysian restaurant, but they closed a couple of years ago,” Teo said.
Saga, with its intimate setting and unique blend of flavors, is gaining attention in Gothenburg’s restaurant scene, providing a taste of Singaporean cuisine to locals and visitors alike.
Source: CNA Lifestyle