Smørrebrød, Smörgåsbord, Hamburgerryg, Frikadeller… No, you’re not reading an extract of the new IKEA collection but a list of some of the most popular dishes in Scandinavia.
We all have been tempted by, and eventually eaten the famous meatballs that the giant blue and yellow furniture company offers on their menu, but Scandinavian cuisine has so much more to offer than just meatballs.
With a strong respect for what the nature has to offer, Scandinavian cuisine is mostly based on wholesome and healthy food, made with the staple goods produced by the land: Root vegs – beetroot to kale and red cabbage; fish – mainly salmon and herring; oats and rye wheat as well as a wide range of bread from dark rye to the Swedish sweeter limpa, are the bases of many Scandinavian’s eating habits.
“In our opinion, trying to turn our traditional dishes into fancy pancy food is not being true to what we are: when you work with amazing produce, there is no need to be fancy about it” says Bronte Blomhoj, who owns of The Scandinavian Kitchen together with her husband. “In terms of naughty stuff, Scandinavians love cakes and liqourice such as Salmiakki, which is basically Ammunium Chloride. It is a big favourite in Scandinavia and nobody else seems to like it, which leaves all the more for us!”
More a cafe than a restaurant, The Scandinavian Kitchen is a very good introduction to everyday local cuisine.
Bronte and her husband make fresh traditional dishes and cakes every day for Londoners looking for a Nordic touch at lunchtime.
With a set price for a plate of 3 or 5 dishes, you compose your meal yourself at the counter before enjoying it in a very relaxed and family friendly atmosphere.
No tablecloth, no fuzz, the place is as welcoming and warm as a cosy home, just like the Scandinavian know how to do it!
We were both trained as chefs but put under the pressure by our parents, we went to school and got a job in the city. But after a few years behind a desk, we both quit our jobs to go back to our first love: cooking. Running a restaurant is very hard work and running a cafe was more appropriate to what we wanted to achieve: offer simple and tasty Scandinavian food in a friendly environment.
And that’s what the food at The Scandinavian Kitchen is: simple dishes with no other pretention but to bring the best of Scandinavian food to Londoners and expats looking for original Nordic flavours.
Danish curried herring on dark rye bread is a Danish favourite
At a first glance the glass of yellow curry looks a bit odd, but once you get the first bite of herring, the dish reveals all its secrets. The curry cream pairs very well with the herring and softens the saltiness of the dish.
Swedish meatball with beetroot and apple salad on organic sourdough bread
Although I’m a big fan of meatballs, I thought that these ones were a bit to dry. They didn’t have the juiciness I was expecting, most probably due to their small size. The beetroot went very well with the dish, and the apple salad added a light sweetness to it.
Smoked Norwegian salmon on Organic sourdough bread
How can you not to like Salmon… The dill and cucumber served with it created the perfect combo for salmon lovers.
Skagenrora – prawn & crayfish mix with horseradish – on cereal bread
A very good seafood salad with a generous portion of prawn and crayfish served with horseradish.
Shredded red cabbage, pear and lingonsylt salad
The salad was crunchy and the pear and the lingonsylt provided a nice kick of sweetness.
How to forget the Aunt Inga sticky Swedish chocolate cake and the Gluten Free Valrhona and Fresh Orange brownie (that both would most probably have been shortlisted in the Ultimate Brownie Tasting: http://bit.ly/9rgPdy).
The cake is a must-try. The sweetness was surprisingly light and the cake offered a well-balanced texture between gooeyness and crunchiness. The brownie made with fresh orange juice was gooey and rich while the fresh orange juice brought the flavours up deliciously.
The shop in the corner at the Scandinavian Kitchen restaurant is the Ali Baba’s cave for foodies who like to enjoy Scandinavian cuisine at home. Meat, bread, cheese, Akavit, jam, seasoning, all the products are imported from Scandinavia and it is hard not to buy everything you see.
While improving her recipes for a breakfast that will appeal to everybody’s palate, Bronte is thinking about the next steps for the cafe and the Scandinavian cuisine in London.
It is 1.30 and it is time to leave. The staff behind the counter is very busy with all the new costumers who came to enjoy their lunch break.
There is a good vibration in the air that tells you that spending the afternoon there wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
61 Great Titchfield Street
London W1W 7PP
020 7580 7161