Scandinavian food has been popping up across London since Noma in Copenhagen became famous for winning best restaurant on earth. Ekte Nordic Kitchen is the new opening from Soren Jessen, the man behind 1 Lombard Street. Ekte, which means genuine, joins a prestigious line up of independent restaurants at Bloomberg Arcade in the Square Mile.
The atmosphere is relaxed and fun. The glass-fronted space has a fully open kitchen with stools along the counter to watch the kitchen brigade at work. We started with a palate opening aquavit aperitif, a strong clean spirit distilled with botanicals like caraway and dill. A 30 strong European wine list is well thought out and reasonable, with all of the wines also available by the glass.
Head Chef Robin Björn Freeman has created a menu with some intriguing dishes, including the famous Smørrebrød, open sandwiches on a dense rye bread generously topped with various seafood, vegetarian and meat options. The thickly sliced smoked salmon and dried mutton leg toppings were our favourites.
The stand out starter was a generous Devon crab on butter fried bread. The lemon, tomato and herbs running through the crab worked well. Sitting pretty on top was a confit egg yolk (think of a set egg yolk that doesn’t ooze messily) which added a clever cheffy texture to this plate.
For main courses, a vegetarian salsify dish with mushroom cream tasted so good that the table next to us were convinced these were ribbons of pasta and not the delicately prepared root vegetable. You can’t leave without trying the beef Rydberg – aged, tender sirloin in a light mustard sauce with triple cooked potatoes and pickled beetroot. The triple cooked potatoes are worth the trip to Ekte alone.
Make space for some Scandi desserts. The sticky chocolate cake is similar to a brownie but has a soft gooey middle. Also try the rullrån, a Swedish version of cannoli filled with lingonberry cream. I bet you were wondering how long it would take a Scandinavian restaurant review to mention the popular superfood lingonberry!
Ekte Nordic Kitchen offers something for everyone – A café/deli by day for breakfast/lunch and then somewhere to enjoy an evening candle lit dinner and a Northern European dose of wholesome goodness.
Ekte Nordic Kitchen
2-8 Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR
020 3814 8330