D is for Danish: Scandinavian Kitchen

To be honest, I wasn’t excited about D (regardless of the CISV-induced Sweden/Denmark phase of my late teens) I was excited about the possibility of Djboutian or Domincan food, for some reason, but couldn’t find either. So, Danish it was.

Scandinavian Kitchen

While I couldn’t find a stand-alone Danish restaurant, there are quite a few Scandinavian restaurants in London. (edit: I just found out via Twitter that the owner of the place we went to is Danish! Perfect!) I had originally picked one out based on the fact this it offered Danish smørrebrød, the Danish equivalent of the word we know as smörgåsbord (which is Swedish…and the origin, though each Scandinavian country has a version.) However, this place was all fancy schmancy, so yesterday evening I hurriedly looked for other options.

Deli counter (from their website, I forgot to take a picture!)

I’m not sure how I overlooked Scandinavian Kitchen, but I’m glad I found it at the last minute. It was exactly what the other restaurant was offering, but deli style, way more casual, and for about a third of the price. And with an adorable blog, excellent reviews, and what appeared to be a cult following from all the Scandinavian expats in london.

The downside: it’s near Oxford Circus, the shopping mecca of London, which is absolute hell on earth this time of year.

But, we braved the tube and aimless shoppers (you’d never be able to tell we’re in a recession!)  and made our way there this afternoon (Saturday) for a late lunch.

Inside

Scandinavian Kitchen is pretty tiny. There’s a deli counter, cashier, about six tables, and a mini-grocery store all in one space. It’s very welcoming, charmingly decorated, and was really busy the whole time (which could be a reflection of the season since everyone had baskets piled high with Scandinavian goodies for what I can only assume is Christmas parties packed with Swedes, Danes, Norwegians, and Finns.) Also Saint Lucia’s Day is coming up, so the restaurant was preparing to host some events for that I think.

SK is only opened until 6, and the main option is a smørrebrød plate of 3 (£5.25) or 5 (£8.75). Smørrebrød means “bread and butter” but actually refers to any sort of open sandwich. SK has about 20 (maybe more) options pre-made (daily, I assume) behind the counter. There’s also a selection of salads.

Our meals

When researching Danish food (and Scandinavian food in general…those Northern Europeans seem to be pretty chummy), I read a lot about herring (SK notes on their website that they can make any non-herring lover or skeptic change their mind.) For one of my selections, I chose onion herring, and forced Pete to try the curried herring. For my other two selctions, keeping with the seafood theme, I chose gravlax and seafood salad. Pete got Danish liver pate with bacon, and smoked salmon with creme fraiche.

My plate

Pete's plate

They were all delicious (much better than the camp food I suffered in Odense and Kalmar), and the perfect size. The pate was exceptional. Pete wasn’t a fan of the herring (more for me!.) They pickle it and it’s really slimy. My plain one with onions was better than Pete’s which was in that yellow curry/mayonaise-y sauce (I think they call it coronation here?) and with a hard boiled egg.  The gravlax was really good too. I remember not being a huge fan of it when Mom made it, but I guess the Scandinavians have it in their blood. The bread (super dense, dark, and wheaty) was also delicious, and I think I read on the website that it is shipped in from Denmark. We also drank cappucinos from really stylish cups.

Cool mugs

All in all, the perfect lunch. And at a really good price (you’d pay that for a mediocre andwich, especially in that area, which is saturated with sub-par chain cafes.) More filling than a sandwich too. Even more perfect in that it’s a few blocks away from the madness of Oxford Circus.

The best part about it, though, was that other than us, I heard 1 or 2 other customers speaking English…the rest were speaking assorted Scandinavian languages, so clearly they have a loyal, appreciative, native clientle. I bet a ton of the profit comes from their grocery store (full of licorice, Nordic alcohol, Wasa crackers, frozen Swedish meatballs, etc.) Also, the staff were really lively and funny and had a great rapport with a lot of the customers.

Shop

This was definitely a surprise hit, and so far the only place (other than the Chinese restaurant which I had already been to) that I’d be excited to go back to (and will, now that I know it.)

Festive flags

In conclusion: eat more Danish (Scandinavian) food!

 

 

Details:

Just go to their website; it’s really good.

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About Steph

Eating my way through London, one letter at a time! https://eatabetical.wordpress.com
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15 Responses to D is for Danish: Scandinavian Kitchen

  1. Dad e o says:

    I can’t believe you made pete get curried herring! And I can’t believe pete did it!
    On to E

  2. Hello

    Thank you for your nice post about us. As we’re a small independent shop, blog write ups like these are really important to us. Not just because they tell new customersa about us, but because they tell our amazing team that they’re doing a great job.

    Just so you know – curried herring is a Danish thing. Nobody really knows why on earth us Danes are obsessed with curried herring. The Swedes are obsessed with a mustard herring. Is it a yellow thing? Maybe.

    Next time you pass by, don’t forget to try one of our cakes, usually baked by Rebekka (she has the touch, you know). The sticky Swedish chocolate cake is amazing – and today, because fo Lucia, we’re doig warm saffran buns. And Rebekka has made a chocolate frangipane tart with pears poached in mulled wine.

    Have a lovely Christmas and see you soon

    Bronte and the rest of the kitchen people x

    • steph says:

      We’ll definitely save room for dessert next time!

    • Melissa says:

      Idag ahr du hunnit med mycket, o vad skönt att det rör på sig åt rätt hpåll för dotra, men såna bökiga problem hon har stackarn, hoppas nu att det blir ordning på magen o att penicillinet hjälper;)Snygga kängor o snygga naglar, nu får du akta dig för dimisaljan;)krabkzzzzz

  3. Geoffrey says:

    Great post! It makes me excited to try Danish/Scandinavian food and makes me wanna go there when I come visit y’all!

  4. TheScandinavianMum says:

    Great article! Have RT on Twitter!

  5. Carolyn says:

    Great piece. Makes me hungry and I just ate breakfast. I went to their website and I recommend browsing there, terrific pictures and food descriptions and I learned about St Lucia. Great festival tho I wonder how she gets the wax out of he hair. Would love to be a guest one day. Not sure I could do Sweden in December.

  6. Quiana says:

    This is crtasyl clear. Thanks for taking the time!

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