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Where to find the delicious Scandinavian dish smørrebrød in London

MyLondon logo MyLondon 25/11/2021 Georgie Hughes

Scandinavia has made a splash in the UK, from IKEA homeware to trends such as hygge.

It seems the cuisine is starting to become a hit too, as Nordic-themed restaurants are popping up across our country with different takes on the cuisine from the region.

Scandinavian dishes might not be on your radar, but they definitely should be since they’re quite different and very delicious.

Read more: 'I tried my first ever bottomless brunch and it finally made me feel at home in London'

Smørrebrød is one such dish that can be found all across the region but is particularly common in Denmark.

It might sound exotic but it is basically an open-faced sandwich that usually comes with rye bread and various different toppings such as avocado and egg, tuna and miso, meatballs and red cabbage and pickled herring.

Before I visited Copenhagen I’d never heard of it before, but during my trip I became well acquainted with it as it was on offer in nearly every cafe and restaurant I visited.

There are a few rules when you’re having smørrebrød: use cutlery when you’re eating it, absolutely don’t use ketchup, don’t add a top piece of bread and only have one protein at a time.

There are a few restaurants across London that have smørrebrød on the menu and plenty of other Scandi meals too for anyone wanting to try something new.

ScandiKitchen

Shrimp and egg served on rye bread at ScandiKitchen © @scandikitchen on Instagram Shrimp and egg served on rye bread at ScandiKitchen

ScandiKitchen is the UK’s leading Scandinavian food outlet, supplying those from the region with their most missed grocery items. Traditional Scandi food isn’t easy to find in Britain, so the owners wanted to give Danes, Swedes, Finns and Norwegians their favourite foods from their home countries. The business also has a cosy cafe in Fitzrovia where visitors can get a taste of their home country.

The smørrebrød on offer here is very affordable at £3.25 for one and £7 for two. You can get your hands on a selection of traditional dishes, like pickled herring with beetroot, egg and chives. Another standout on the menu is the Nordic smoked salmon with avocado, apple, fennel and dill and of course the Swedish meatballs with beetroot and pickles.

You can find the ScandiKitchen cafe at 61 Great Titchfield Street, London, W1W 7PP and the nearest tube station is Oxford Circus.

Ekte

Two smørrebrød dishes at Ekte © @ektelondon on Instagram Two smørrebrød dishes at Ekte

This restaurant has been on the London scene since 2018 and was opened by the Danish-born restaurateur Søren Jessen. The name means genuine or real in Norwegian and this is exactly what you get at Ekte, as all the dishes served take their inspiration from Scandinavian cuisine. The restaurant uses British produce that has been sustainably sourced so you can enjoy your taste of the north without feeling guilty.

There are lots of options at Ekte, including bottomless brunch and a deli, but smørrebrød is a staple at the restaurant, with fish, meat and vegan offerings. Seafood lovers can try the curried herring, celery, apple, topped with boiled egg and dill. For those who like their food a bit more meaty there is the rare roasted aged beef from Glenarm Estate, celeriac, horseradish remoulade, crispy onion and watercress.

You can find Ekte at 2-8 Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR and the nearest tube stop is Mansion House.

KuPP

Smörgåsbords at KuPP © @kupp.ltd on Instagram Smörgåsbords at KuPP

More Nordic dishes can be enjoyed at this restaurant in Paddington. KuPP uses traditional techniques such as curing, pickling and smoking in the culinary process and selects fresh products from both Scandinavian and British suppliers. Not only can you pig out on meatballs with mash and lingonberry jam, the restaurant also serves smörgåsbord. This is kind of like a Scandi version of tapas, as customers are served a board to share filled with open-faced sandwiches along with other delicacies. Choose either a KuPP bord with pork and chorizo sausage rolls, smoked Scottish salmon and roasted beetroot to name a few, or treat yourself to a seafood medley with the Fiske bord.

You can find KuPP at Unit 53, 5 Merchant Square, London, W2 1AS. The nearest tube stations are Edgware Road or Paddington Station.

Aquavit

Shrimp Skagen © @aquavitlondon on Instagram Shrimp Skagen

You can get more of your Scandi fix at this restaurant near St James’ Square. Aquavit may have a Michelin star, but the atmosphere inside is warm and welcoming. Named after the spirit Akvavit that is distilled in the Nordic region, the restaurant features it on their menu with tonic, as a G&T replacement.

Smörgåsbord can also be found here to be shared among your fellow diners. The Loc Duart Gravlax with mustard, dill sauce and traditionally cured salmon is a standout on the menu and the Shrimp Skagen is a favourite among visitors. There are also vegan options, like the smoked pumpkin and einkorn salad, green kale, and smoked vegan cheese.

You can find Aquavit at 1 St James's Market, Carlton St, St. James's, London SW1Y 4QQ. The nearest tube station is Piccadilly Circus.

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