Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Restaurant Review: Scandi Brunch Supper Club, Islington

Smoked salmon at Scandi Brunch 

Back at the start of December I went to my second pop up / supper club event; Scandi Brunch in Islington.

The brunch was a celebration of some Scandinavian Christmas food. Most of it was new to me, but there were several Scandinavians round the table who had come for a taste of home. The appreciative noises praised the authentic flavours. No mean feat when you are probably being compared to mum's home cooking!

I was expecting individual plates of food, but what came out were large share platters. I have nothing against share platters but when you are sharing with eight strangers, not all of whom who were considerate of that fact, it could create a little tension.

Our feast started with an enormous mound of cured salmon (definitely no risk of the salmon running out) came accompanied with sourdough crisp breads and some fantastic pickled cucumbers (which did run out). The (home?) cured salmon didn't have a particularly strong flavour, but the precious tangy cucumbers provided a fantastic hit to raise the dish.

The salt baked celeriac was something I've never tried before. The salt seemed to mellow the celeriac and baking it created a more open (not quite fluffy) texture. It was a new way to enjoy celeriac, but I liked it. A beetroot and spelt pearl barley salad and swede soup with Norwegian brown cheese completed the savoury dishes. The brown cheese was another new taste for me. The cheese had melted into the soup and was intense as the ripest French cheeses I've tasted. It was challenging, worked well in a small portion, but I'm not sure how much of it I could eat in one sitting.

After the savoury food the onslaught of sweets arrived. The 'main' dessert was the 'ricksem' (rice pudding) with cheery syrup. The rice pudding was far creamier than the English version. In fact it tasted like there was more cream than rice in the dish, perfect for an indulgence in small portions. In addition to the cherry syrup I would have would have liked some chopped cherries through the rice to provide a different texture.

After the rice pudding we had a series of treats. The cinnamon buns had hint of cardamon through them. If the truffles and ginger bread were an indulgence, the homemade donuts to take home were a pure excess.

I left wanting more, not because I wasn't full, but because all of the food was so enjoyable.

I went to a couple of pop up events in Sydney, but Scandi Brunch and Mike and Ollie have been my first supper clubs. Perhaps the raw home cook events still exist, but both these operations were definitely more commercial. I admire anyone who tries to make their living through their passion for food, so I'm certainly not judging, but when you attend the events it's definitely worth setting your expectations. These aren't homespun events, but semi-professional operations.

Cured salmon with sourdough crispbread and pickled cucumber

Beetroot & pearled spelt salad

Salt baked celeriac 

Roast swede and nutmeg soup with rye soup and 
Norwegian brown cheese

Norwegian riskrem (rice pudding) with cherry syrup


Rum and coconut truffles 

Cinnamon buns 

Christmas ginger bread

Scandi Brunch

You can view all of the places I've eaten in London on a map here.

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