From the White Guide Nordic 2018:
- Address: Ronehamnsväg 40-42, 623 47 Hemse
- Phone: +46 498 48 29 40
- Web: theyellowhen.se
- Seats: 24
- Opening Hours: June-Sep, visit website for opening hours
- Directions: See Google Map underneath
The hen’s sweet song
There is a criterion in the White Guide called “It’s in the walls". Rarely is this as apropos as at Gula Hönan (“The Yellow Hen”). Here the variegated wallpaper converses with the floorboards creating a narrative that sets the imagination reeling. At the beginning of the last century the stately guesthouse was owned by Annie Beutelrock-Krokstedt (what a name!). Annie, strong-minded and modern for her time, was not only one of the first women on the island to get a driver’s license – she was also sheriff in Ronehamn. Even today Annie’s strong spirit floats through these halls. And her reincarnation is very much alive in the garden plot. Surely the colourful Gotländic Anne-Marie Qwiberg is a soul sister with her almost-namesake. Passionate in her task, together with her family, to create a genuine gastronomic experience, she runs the motor at Gula Hönan – the garden. For should we seek the roots of these fairy-tale flavours we must first dig into the plots that surround the house. Anne-Marie’s son and head chef Marc Enderborg’s greatness lies his ability to deftly refine what is grown around the corner. It is also in the soil that our stay begins. The large menu opens with a tour of the kitchen garden. Anne-Marie nips buds, unearths roots and lets us taste shoots that will later become melodies in the symphonies Marc composes in the kitchen. In six years, the symbiosis between mother and son, soil and table, has become praiseworthy. The menu is congenially abrupt. First course: “Skin". A baked zander skin. Concentrated fishy saltiness. The taste buds stand at attention. Via a flavour bomb of potatoes with smoke and lumpfish roe, we are back at skin. “Milk skin. Turbot". On rocks from the beach a few delicious bites of turbot have been plated, wrapped in brittle leeks, dotted with anchovies, smeared with crown dill butter, and topped with fatty milk skin. In our glasses we receive an unexpected New Zealand sauvignon blanc from Momo, proudly served by the winemaker himself. What? Yes, it turns out that our waiter has actually just come from the other side of the earth where he helped create the wine. These things happen at Hönan. “Gotlandic beef. Star-tipped reindeer lichen”. A tartare of beef reverently rests in a little bed of lichen. Then comes a purifying garden salad, pretty as a midsummer bouquet. Dry-aged lamb from Stora Karlsö, Tuscan kale and kelp comes in a rich gravy. After that, a rabbit that has just been friskily munching clover on a neighbouring farm is now a little calmer on its root vegetable bed, and flanked by an unusually deep beaujolais. The Hen has rarely sung so tunefully...
To read the whole review go to Buy The White Guide Nordic 2018.