“It is like in another world here”Culture
Students are originally not the target group of Bellman restaurant. But as it turned out, there are dishes and attractions for everybody.
An old man finishes his beer and slowly stands up, holding the wooden chair. The waitress comes to help him grab his walker to go on his way. By the window a couple smiles at each other while their two huge steaks arrive. It’s in the middle of the afternoon, a calm time at Bellman restaurant.
“Steak is our specialty” says Henrik Nilsson, owner and chef of the restaurant. “But it’s not the only one.” You can also find here the traditional Swedish cuisine, for example “pytt i panna”, and on Thursdays they have pea soup and pancake.
Henrik expects that most guests come for the lunch menu or for dinner, but there is also a so-called ‘Mellanmenu’ for those arriving in between. The rustic wooden furnishment is a combination of Swedish and American features, as well as the selection of dishes.
“I come here for lunch every day” says Jan Erik Karlsson, one of the regular guests. “I used to go to the place next to this but they closed and here the food is very good. I often taste the beer of the week as well.”
People come here mainly to eat, but Monday evenings a club plays chess at Bellman’s. “We eat, drink, play and talk. It is open; anybody can join who would like to play chess” says Henrik.
Bellman’s has been here for seven years. Henrik set up the place and the menu based on decades of his own experience while working as a chef. At the very beginning, Henrik worked as a ship’s cook. “The seamen often felt homesick; they enjoyed the taste of home when I cooked Swedish meals. We often went to Argentina – that is where I have learnt about the steaks.”
“If you want to try something very good, order ‘plankstek’. But not the one made of regular beef, but ‘oxfile’ – says Marie Johansson who comes here when she wants to have a break from Lund’s rushing student life. “I usually have a drink, talk to the guests I know and sometimes play the game machines in the corner. It’s like in another world here.”
Photo: Fiona Almond