My husband Kris discovered Nordic Bakery before he discovered me. He is the one who introduced me to their divine Karelian Pies (Finnish pasties) and I have been a fan ever since. So, when Nordic Bakery’s lovely Marketing Assistant Aurora invited us to review their new lunch menu as well as try their other baked goodies, we didn’t have to think twice to say yes.
Nordic Bakery is a Scandinavian-style café that started way back in 2007 and has since opened three stores around London. The first one was in Soho’s Golden Square (the one we frequent most). For the purpose of this review we decided to check out the one in New Cavendish Street, Marylebone.
Inside, beyond the functional considerations, the café is stripped back and mostly sparsely decorated. Unpretentious and subtly lovely, the design is akin to their simple and unfussy menu. The interior style is distinctively minimalist, paying homage to the Scandinavian lifestyle of health, simplicity and freedom from clutter. Their coffee shops offer a sanctuary against the hectic London lifestyle. The walls and tables are mostly dark with textured wall rugs to break the monotony and the slightly clinical look of the space. Various configurations of tables, chairs and bench seating offer the flexibility of communal as well as solo dining.
We sampled a parade of dishes starting with their delicious, homemade Salmon Soup which is a Finnish classic. Deep bowls came packed with big chunks of delicate salmon and diced potatoes in a mildly creamy, aromatic broth, deftly seasoned and garnished with dill. This is a perfect winter soup, full of warming, super-comforting, soul-nourishing goodness; however, it is light enough for summer as well, which is quite rare. The accompanying wafer-thin Finnish crisp bread was perfect to dunk, slurp and bite.
We also tried two of their dark rye bread sandwiches with Smoked Salmon and Gravadlax toppings. The robust bread was slathered with dill mayo and topped with generous layers of the freshest salmon slivers. It also came with a dinky pot of mustard sauce that lends a bit of sweetness and lifted the whole ensemble.
I do adore a good quiche and absolutely loved their Spinach and Ricotta version which went so well with the soup. The pastry had a firmer texture compared to other quiches (no soggy bottoms here!) and the filling was cheesy and delicious,. I tried it cold, but am sure it will taste even better warmed up.
My favourite thing about Nordic Bakery is, of course, the traditional Karelian Pie. A Finnish delicacy, it is made of thin rye crust and then filled with a savoury smooth potato mash or rice porridge.
The best bit of course is the Egg Butter that you get to slather on top. It is exactly what it says on the tin – chopped up boiled eggs infused with butter, dill and parsley. It is best enjoyed as a snack or for breakfast and tastes heavenly. This is comfort food, Finnish-style!
We then arrived at Kris’ favourite part of the meal – the sweet delights. Nordic Bakery does some seriously sinful Swedish and Finnish pastries and cakes.
Their freshly made and oh-so-sticky Cinnamon Buns are legendary, but this time we also tried the delicious Swedish Cinnamon Rolls that had the taste of the spicy cinnamon unfurling through its warm and soft pastry layers. Pair them with the whiff of their freshly brewed in-house coffee and you have reached Nordic Nirvana.
They have also launched a Raspberry Cream Bun which I call a Scandi-style take on English Scones with jam and cream, but perhaps creamier, softer and even more decadent.
Nordic Bakery are about to launch some vegan friendly dishes so do keep your eyes peeled. They are easily one of our favourite coffee shops to hang out at in London. The food is fresh, wholesome and clean and the vibe is relaxed and calm. Given the frenetic pace of the city we live in, we clearly need more of these.
Location: 37b New Cavendish Street, Marylebone, London W1G 8JR
More information can be found here.
NB. Our meal was complimentary but all photos and opinions are mine.