Ekte Nordic in Mansion House: A stylish celebration of Scandinavian flavours
Nestled in Bloomberg Arcade in the heart of London’s financial district, Ekte Nordic Kitchen have opened their doors to bring an authentic Scandinavian experience to the city. The man responsible is Danish-born Soren Jesson, who has already found success with 1 Lombard Street, and who now hopes to offer a more casual dining experience just a short walk away.
Walking into the restaurant, the interior is nothing short of what you’d expect: sleek decor, simple and elegant furniture and a huge open kitchen that allows diners to sit and watch the chefs at work. However, the minimalist theme certainly doesn’t carry over to the menu. At first glance, you’re presented with an extensive range of dishes that include a wide selection of smørrebrød sandwiches – if you’re a fan of herring then you’re in luck as there are four variations of these. There is also a list of starters and an impressive array of mains, all featuring favoured Scandinavian ingredients such as rye, pickled vegetables and lingonberries.
When it came to ordering, we figured the smørrebrød sandwiches were a good place to start and went for the Fried Pickled Herring with Pickled Onion, Carrots and Dill Mounted on a Piece of Rye Bread. The food was beautifully presented and I was hoping it wasn’t a case of style over substance. The pickled herring, with its unmistakable flavour, managed to be slightly sweet with a wonderful hint of saltiness coming through from the fish. The pickled vegetables also added to the “sweet and sour” taste – not a bad start at all.
The next smørrebrød sandwich was the Rare Roast Beef Served with Celeriac and Horseradish Remoulade, and Crispy Fried Onions and Capers. The meat was perfectly pink and, again, slightly sweet, which counteracted with the tangy sauce – finished with the fried element to add a satisfying layer of texture.
Before jumping straight into the mains, we opted for the Grava Var Salmon starter, which was served with mustard and dill sauce and finished with rye crumbs. A battle between flavour and texture, the salmon was faultless and complemented with just the right amount of dressing – the only let down were the breadcrumbs which were overcooked, hard and dry.
Appetites well and truly primed, it was onto the mains. We went for the Roasted Cod Cooked in Brown Butter and Served with Roast Celeriac, Pink Pepper and Dill-Pickled Cucumber. The flesh of the fish was meaty yet delicate and charged with a distinct richness from the butter. The accompanying vegetables added various layers to the flavour – one to be savoured as you won’t want it to end.
We then moved onto a Nordic favourite: Roast Pork with Fermented Red Cabbage and Apples. The meat was extremely succulent, drawing flavour from a simple trim of fat. The cabbage and apples also carried a slightly tart, aromatic flavour without being overbearingly sweet. However, it was the crackling that stole the show, which was – dare I say it – probably some of the best I’ve ever had.
Always room for dessert, we decided to try the Kladdkaka (a sticky chocolate cake) with Whipped Cream and Pistachio Praline. Gooey, velvety and rich, this can only be described as heavenly, so share at your own peril! We also had the Rullrån, a Norwegian waffle cookie, one filled with cloudberry cream and the other with lingonberry cream. The whipped fluffy cream combined with the tartness of the berries made these really easy on the palette.
The immaculate presentation of the dishes was consistent throughout the entire meal, and the quality of the food did not waver. However, it was the finer details which won me over: things like the temperature that the food was served at (always spot on) and the way that the ingredients didn’t need to be justified by excess salt and seasoning. City-dweller or not, if you’re after honest, tasty and appetising food, Ekte Nordic kitchen is a must-visit.
★★★★★Food ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Photos: Daniel Masters
To book a table at Ekte Nordic, 2 -8 Bloomberg Arcade London EC4N 8AR, call 020 3814 8330 or visit their website here.