Lucy Self brunches on Brick Lane and finds plenty to love about the Swedish café Fika Bar and Kitchen.
Get your brunch on with this fabulous smoked haddock omelette recipe!
Fika Bar and Kitchen, on East London’s infamous Brick Lane, is a simple cafe that is much more then a simple cafe. For a start, as the name denotes, it is Swedish, meaning that alongside immaculate coffee and cute waitresses, it has a menu of traditional dishes, predictably natty interior and a permanent roster of Scandi-themed supper clubs and gourmet goings ons.
We’ll start with the menu. On our Saturday brunch hour slot, we chose from a short but seductive selection of breakfast dishes with a sprinkling of Swedishness to keep things interesting. A sunny pile of scrambled eggs and thick wads of pink bacon came with a refreshing salad of tomato and rocket and a dark slab of rye bread. A fat cigar like pancake came stuffed with bacon and blueberries, then doused in a shiny coat of maple syrup. There’s also a selection of healthy, but mostly just delicious, brunch-compatible concoctions to wash it all down. We recommend the handmade peppermint, elderflower and mint iced tea.
Dishes stretch far beyond morning time too: from open sandwiches of beetroot bread topped with goats cheese and foraged wood sorrel served with a birch tree water shot to heartier lunch dishes such as their Big Elk Burger served in ciabatta from E5 Bakehouse. And an even wider selection at dinner, which includes their homemade meatballs (check out their Meatball Mondays on our Best Cheap Eats).
All the above options and more can be taken in the tiny but charming interior space, think all the best bits from a jaunt to Ikea mashed with a junk shop, or on the covered rooftop. We don’t know any Londoner who isn’t obsessed with finding secret alfresco spots, and this is a good one!
Finally, the off menu stuff, including their current series of Hidden Folk suppers focusing on the fabled forest creatures of Scandinavian folklore. Taking place until the end of September, the space will be transformed with a trolls grotto and real foliage and a selection of bespoke artwork from illustrator and designer Emma Farrarons. The menu will be given a make over too, aiming to ‘trick and tease’ guests with unusual colours and flavours such as purple carrots, black truffle potatoes and ox cheeks – as well as cocktails made from dill, birch and wood-smoke.
For more information about Hidden Folk or to book check out fikalondon.com