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2-8 Bloomberg Arcade
One of few independent restaurants in the glossy Bloomberg Arcade, this all-day Nordic kitchen is the brainchild of Soren Jessen, the man behind City stalwart 1 Lombard Street. Early risers can pop in for Danish pastries (the cinnamon buns are particularly good) or eggs any which way, before a more substantial menu takes over in the evening. Yes, the atmosphere might first seem a little flat, with genteel music playing and an unremarkable minimalist interior (black walls, industrial hanging pendant lights), but there’s vibrancy aplenty to be found in the young, charming staff and the cracking menu of expertly made Nordic dishes.
Kick off with a few plates of smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches) to share: sweet, fresh prawns arrive piled high on soft rye bread, completed by egg whites and a tangy lemon mayo; and pleasingly soft grilled celeriac comes topped with garlic mayonnaise and is given extra crunch by toasted hazlenuts. To follow, we were impressed by flaky roasted cod rubbed in brown butter, served alongside sharp dill-pickled cucumber and barbecued celeriac, but even better was a vegetarian dish of almost pasta-like salsify: a creamy delight, bolstered by earthy mushrooms and thick Västerbotten cheese. Homey desserts include a crunchy, warming crumble filled with spiced apple and cardamom, and sticky chocolate cake with a gooey centre, topped with fluffy whipped cream and a pistachio praline. To drink, choose from a large selection of European wines, with prices ranging from the pocket-friendly to the flashy. With its traditional yet accessible menu and friendly team, Ekte provides an accomplished introduction to a cuisine that is still a rarity in London.
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Best Modern European restaurants in London
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2-8 Bloomberg Arcade
Bank Tube Station 109m
Fenchurch Street Station 191m
Tallow Chandlers' Hall 180m
Mon-Fri 7am-10.30pm Sat-Sun 10am-10.30pm (Sun -4pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
Having recently had trips to Copenhagen and Reykjavik I have fallen in love with all things Scandinavian, particularly the food. I'm surprised that there aren't more places that serve this delicious and naturally healthy cuisine in London. Now I've found Ekte I will be back often. I had a light lunch (apart from the pudding...) with a selection of the open sandwiches. The curried herring was my pick of the starters - the fish was surprisingly subtle and the rye-bread (made on the premises apparently) was nutty, sweet and savoury all at once. Thankfully there was enough room for the kladdkaka which is a sticky chocolate cake (a bit like a slice of chocolate fondant). I can't recommend this enough. Chewy without being claggy. My only issue was the fact that, being lunch, I couldn't test the list of schnapps and aquavit. Next time, of which there will be many.
Let me declare up front that I am the owner. But this is why I love Ekte. Smorrebrod is a wonderful sandwich option. Half the bread and it's on rye! Also roasted cod, brown butter, roast celeriac, pink pepper, dill pickled cucumber. Carefully sourced ingredients served with minimum fuss. Sustainable where possible. Relaxed friendly atmosphere. Great Norman Foster architecture and cool nordic interior design. What is not to like?
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