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Scandinavian Snacking
By Dal Chodha
London is a cosmopolitan city, full of cultures, values and foods from all over the world.

Almost every street in the U.K has an Indian curry house, local Chinese restaurant, Italian coffee shop and English pub and soon, there will be a new venue to add to your lunchtime list, the Scandinavian café.


Twenty years since the first Ikea store opened its doors in the UK in Warrington, the Scandinavian assault on the way we decorate our homes is morphing into a new lunchtime trend. In the last six months two cafes serving speciality Scandinavian food have opened up in Central London and as people are seeking more than just a piece from Pret or a sandwich from Starbucks, ‘Scandinavian Kitchen’ located on Great Portland Street and ‘Nordic Bakery’ on London’s Golden Square, are both standing tall in their quest to educate the British palette while helping ex-pats feel at home.

Founders of ‘Scandinavian Kitchen’ Jonas who hails from Sweden and Bronte from Denmark, wax lyrical about their plans to change the British lunch time palette, “the reaction of non-Scandinavians coming into the deli has been very positive so far…of course people are always a bit hesitant to something they've never seen before - such as our buffet of open sandwiches, but it isn't all that tricky to convince them to try the beautifully cured salmon on rye with a dill mustard sauce or a roast beef sandwich with horseradish whip and Danish remoulade” Jonas tells, “the ingredients themselves are not new, only the way they are presented.”

Jali Wahlsten, founder of ‘Nordic Bakery’ seems to attract a different customer, “our customers seem to like the design and simplicity of the food & drink offering – especially the Japanese customers” he says of his bakery located behind London’s Carnaby Street. The simplistic décor and clean minimalism is translated into the refined breakfast and lunch offerings.

The Scandinavians seem to have a clear agenda: the desire for simple great food. “We're here to introduce everyone to good traditional Scandinavian fare,” Jonas enthuses. Jali has a more corporate mentality,   “London is exceptional because of its size, diversity and choice. However, many of the so-called trendy places offer poor value for money and outside London it is still very difficult to find quality restaurants and eateries.” Ultimately, Jali confesses, his dream is to open up a ‘Nordic Bakery’ in New York.

According to those at ‘Scandinavian Kitchen’, “Scandinavian food is quite straight forward and the staple goods remain similar…grain and cereal such as rye and oats, seafood and fish mainly prawns, salmon and herring. Meat such as smoked and cured hams and game and stuff from trees and bushes - such as berries and mushrooms!”

Its time to re-educate your taste buds.

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