I have some sentiments for bakeries, especially those in the countryside. They usually feel very homey, welcoming you with the smell of freshly baked bread and cosy warmth. From the reviews Olof Viktors bakery in southeast Sweden sounded like it could be one of those idyllic places worth travelling miles for.
I found out about this place from The White Guide – annual Swedish restaurant and café review publication. Olof Viktors was awarded The Best Cafe 2013. When I looked up this place on the map, it appeared it is located pretty much in the middle of nowhere, which only made things more intriguing.
The adventurous spirit of Dora-the-food-explorer was present despite of the foggy and dark Saturday morning, when me and my friend decided to head towards Ystad looking for the bakery. The car seat warmers and the radio was on and the road trip began. It didn’t take long to realise that there won’t be much of sightseeing along the way as the fog started getting gradually thicker. At one stage we started feeling like we were in some surreal movie or in the white clouds with a bare couple of meters of visibility upfront, but we were not quitters.
After an hour of drive from Malmö we saw the sign Olof Viktors on the side of the road. My idyllic image of a little fairy-tale type of bakery was challenged when I saw the building which looked far from tiny and the size of the parking lot next to it, that was full of cars. No doubt it was a sign that the place is worth visiting, but we got a bit worried if we can get a table.
When we stepped inside we found ourselves in a shop. There were shelves of bread, some cakes, cookies, home style preserves, chutneys, fruit vinegar and other packaged, jarred and bottled goods. Some jars with jams were open for sampling and we helped ourselves. Tomato jam tasted interesting, but not so much that we would want to pick some up.
There were boxes of packaged knackerbrod – traditional Swedish krispbread with a hole in the middle. They were ranging from plate-sized wheels to small two-bite-sized ones. I had already spotted those in Salluhalen market in Lund and had tried some with wine and cheese, excellent accompaniment I must say.
After checking out the shop we continued on to explore the café area. It appeared that our worry of not finding a table was unnecessary. There was lots of seating available: one big hall with tables next to the shop and a few more cosy rooms in the other building across the courtyard.
Table service was non-existent, so we had to queue in a line of around twelve people. It gave us some time to study the menu written on the board. That’s when our expectations significantly lowered. It appeared that the only warm meal on the menu was pumpkin soup and the rest were sandwiches and cakes. Moreover, all the sandwiches were pre-made and sitting in the glass-case. I won’t deny, some of them looked pretty good, but my spoiled imagination that had portrayed proper hot brunch couldn’t accept the fact.
My friend went for oven roasted portobello mushrooms stuffed with mushy pumpkin with a hint of chilly and orange and I ended up having a crayfish sandwich with egg, chilly aioli and lime on focaccia bread. We also ordered one dessert to share, some coffee and locally produced apple juice called must.
When we picked up our order, we went looking for a table. There were a couple of smaller rooms and one large room with book shelves along the walls. We were lucky enough to land a perfect spot in a small verandah with geraniums blooming on the window sills and a nice view to the garden.
The sandwiches were huge, especially mine with crayfish. It was the biggest crayfish mountain I had ever seen on a plate and it looked pretty impressive. It didn’t take long to realise that one sandwich and one dessert to share would be just the right amount of food for two people. We ended up asking for the cake to be packed in a doggy bag.
Overall, it was a destination worth exploring and despite of the massive size of the place it still had this idyllic feel of Swedish countryside establishment. The courtyard looked very cosy and I can imagine it is the most popular spot to sit during summer. However, the fact that most of the items on the menu were cold and pre-made was rather disappointing.
We wanted to sample some of the bakery produce, so right before leaving we picked up a round loaf of sourdough bread. It was fresh, but not mouth-watering. The biggest credit for this bakery went for the cake that we had when we got back home. It was layered forest berry mousse in white chocolate casing and it was absolutely delicous – very light, fragrant and not too sweet.
Daily 7.00am – 6.00pm