Sweden loves Thailand, that’s an undisputed fact. In 2010, of the 11 million people who visited Thailand 237,000 were from Sweden. While not the most in absolute numbers (Australia, UK, US, India, Germany and France sent more people to Thailand in absolute terms), the Swedes with barely over 10 million people had perhaps the largest population per capita. These numbers obviously had dark side effects too, including the staggering death toll of Swedes in the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.
In fact some 39,000 Thai people in Sweden, with an estimate 30,000 being women and a not insignificant population that came to Sweden for a man. Thai people have arrived in Sweden for love, work with a large number being employed in the berry picking industry, something that has drawn much controversy in Sweden and Finland.
The love affair with Thailand is not just limited to its beaches and romance, it extends also to its food. Then again Thai food is popular in many Anglophone and Western European countries,
so it’s no surprise that Stockholm and Sweden has many Thai restaurants*. The challenge is in finding a good and affordable one. We found one in Bee’s Thai Food.
The restaurant it very Thai and Thai Chinese (Teochew) way of decorating with a Thai welcome statue at the door and a very Chinese Thai dragon on the ceiling and walls.
Cooking is done behind the counter so you can smell the food being prepared. Aromas take you places and the aroma of the food here took me back to Thailand.
As an aside, for a good read on the Chinese peoples, how they ended up in these countries and the vastly differing fates in the different Southeast Asian countries, I recommend Golden Dragon and Purple Phoenix by Lee Khoon Choy.
Anyway back to food. Being a Thai restaurant in Europe, its obvious that food is served the European way (with each order being a full meal for an individual). We ordered the Asian way, a Tom Yam Goong (Tom Yum Soup), Massaman Curry, Thai Fried Rice, Pad Thai and Stir Fried Vegetables.
This was Thai food as real as it gets in Europe, it certainly brought me to Thailand. There were obvious differences a sort of acculturation into Europe, you could say this was Swedish-influenced Thai food. For example there is no Champagne mushroom in a typical Tom Yum soup which you can see is floating in the soup.
Then there is broccoli in the fried rice, which is again not a common vegetable in Asia.
Massaman curry which has sprinkles of cashews and carrots.
And a stir fry does not usually have crab meat sticks (the red and white sticks).
But it was still very Thai and had great flavours, a great Thai food deal in Stockholm. I’m not the only one who thinks so, Bee’s Thai Food is popular enough to be on the UberEats route and has great ratings on tripadvisor, yelp and other sites.
ON THE MAP
*Speaking of Thai food, Chef McDang the chef who challenged Gordon Ramsay to a food duel, also has his own very populat food show called “Eating Thailand”. I’ve linked the first episode here, click on the YouTube channel for links to the other videos.