The Northern Lights: London’s favourite Nordic inspired restaurants
From glögg, smörgåsbord and Swedish meatballs to the more obscure pickled herring and lutfkisk, there are now plenty of places to try Nordic food in the capital, including some new approaches to these traditionally hearty cuisines. Here are some of our favourite places to get a Nordic fix:
The cheap and cheerful mini-market
Set up by a Danish and Swedish duo, Scandinavian Kitchen was opened after their failed attempts to find authentic Scandinavian food in the UK. Catering for nearby offices in W1, the little café offers a reasonably priced range of pastries, open sandwiches and assorted smörgåsbord bites. If you’re looking for treats to take with you, Scandinavian Kitchen also has a mini-market for groceries to enjoy at home.
Scandinavian Kitchen is at 61 Great Titchfield Street London W1W 7PP, for further information visit here.
The bakery with great buns
With three branches in W1, Nordic Bakery is a well-established Scandinavian-style café chain with sweet and savoury pastries – including the famous cinnamon buns – and consistently great coffee. A minimalist and stylish space with an uncomplicated menu, the cafés are also very popular for casual business meetings with the local West End media contingent.
Nordic Bakery has three locations at Golden Square, New Cavendish Street and Dorset Street, for further information visit here.
The trendy East London option
East London residents can also enjoy great Nordic café culture at Fika. Named after the Swedish word for “coffee break”, this Brick Lane establishment serves authentic Swedish dishes for lunch and dinner, such as home-cured gravadlax, meatballs with potatoes and lingonberry jam and their signature kladdkaka – a sticky chocolate cake. Right in the heart of trendy East London, Fika is a short walk from the popular Shoreditch High Street.
Fika is at 161 Brick Lane London E1 6SB, for further information visit here.
The great value tasting menu
Consistently voted one of the best restaurants in the UK (and also one of the hardest to get a reservation at), Dabbous tops the tables for Michelin-starred quality in the eyes of yours truly. At £59 per head, the French-Nordic inspired tasting menu represents great value for money and changes seasonally. Head chef Ollie Dabbous maintains a playful, well-constructed menu that is full of clever, modern twists on Scandinavian cooking. If you can’t get a table, head downstairs and have a drink in the relaxed Oskar’s Bar which makes imaginative cocktails such as IKEA sours.
Dabbous is at 39 Whitfield Street London W1T 2SF, for further information visit here.
The new, the old and the bubbly
A stone’s throw from Marble Arch, Texture features an imaginative and diverse set of menus (including a fish tasting menu) that highlight chef Agnar Sverrisson’s heritage. Championing ingredients such as Icelandic cod, lamb and skyr (a creamy Icelandic yoghurt-like dessert), Texture stylishly combines Nordic influences with modern European methods to a Michelin-star standard. Hop into the adjacent champagne bar to enjoy an aperitif from the extensive range of over 110 different champagnes.
Texture is at 34 Portman Street London W1H 7BY, for further information visit here.
The self-taught Michelin-starred restaurant
While not exceptionally Scandinavian in style, Chiswick-based Hedone is the venue opened by Swedish-born Mikael Jonsson. A passionate cook with a distinctly bold style, Jonsson’s fascinating story takes him from a solicitor-cum-food-blogger to a Michelin-starred restauranteur, who combines a precise cooking style with an obsession for sourcing the best quality produce.
Hedone is at 301-303 Chiswick High Road London W4 4HH, for further information visit here.
Photo: Courtesy of Dabbous