Reviews

Nordic Bakery, Soho

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Since my uni days in Sweden, I’ve often craved hot doughy cinnamon buns or Kanelbullar, the swirled pastries that lined the counters of quaint cafés in Lund and were a favourite for afternoon fika. Rollers cafe in the Manchester Arndale centre do a pretty decent version, seeped in an especially good cinnamon cream Cheese which made me particularly greedy when they offered out their frequent free samples, and often served as an indulgent post lecture snack. Now quite beyond my reach, it was with delight I discovered Nordic Bakery in Soho, decked out all scandi smart with that enticing scent of spice unique to Scandinavian baking.

So, at the sight of the long queue ordering cinnamon rolls in unison, I got one to take out so I could enjoy it in the morning, warmed it in the oven so the syrup oozes out. Dense and more filling that I’d expected it was the perfect Winter breakfast. They had an impressive selection of specialist scandi bakes, including Finnish Karelian pies made with cream and rice, which I’ve not seen anywhere in London. I still savour the memory of the traditional one I had in Helsinki with Lina of The New New Yorkers blog, and must try one here to compare.

Unfortunately it was as expensive as Sweden too; their smoked salmon on rye was £4.40 which is a lot for what is essentially half a sandwich and a minute one at that, even in Soho. But the cosy yet studious atmosphere has truly replicated that of my favourite coffee shops in Sweden, and for this I will be back.

The only other coffee shop I’ve come across with proper Nordic authenticity is Takk in Manchester, read about it here .

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Reviews

Cereal Killer Cafe

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A month after the opening of Cereal Killer, in a restrained attempt to avoid the Brick Lane length queues of diehard fruit loops, it was time to make the inevitable trip for one of their crunchy cocktails.

There’s been a lot hating on Cereal Killer as of late, many arguing it is ludicrous to pay 3 quid for a bowl of cereal; that these middle class wankers, to quote directly from their Facebook page reviews, have taken gentrification to a suffocating new level. Have these people never paid upwards of 3 quid for a coffee, never marvelled at cost price this actually amounts to and never considered the money they are contributing to tax dodging multinationals purely for the novelty of a branded take out cup with their name on? Run by 2 lads who’ve had the balls to follow their dream and poise as the Jedward of cafe culture, the novelty and originality of it makes it, in my opinion, much more worthwhile than getting a coffee to go.

I went for the Lion King cocktail of lion bar cereal and coco caramel Shreddies topped with Mars mix and served with a cute little bottle of caramel milk. It took several panicked scans of the walls shelved with pretty boxes to create endless combinations before I could order. I was overwhelmed, in a good way, and threw on a side order of Pop tarts to take my excitement to sugary new highs. Even the pop tarts section of the menu was 14 strong: we went for the confetti cupcake and hot fudge sundae flavours ( 2 for £2.50).

Slightly unnerved by eating from a glass cereal bowl, whilst giddy with the shovel of Mars mix which proved to be a wonderfully chewy contrast to the crunch we vowed to come back ASAP for another fix. There were minor flaws; I was thankful for my extra side of coconut milk (40p) as my caramel milk portion was stingy, and wasn’t the mars milkshake style indulgence I’d envisaged but simply milk with a dash of caramel syrup. I was also irritated by the cereal bowl shaped integrated table light which was so bright I had to cover it with my scarf. However, this did not detract from the Pokemon and Jurassic park cereal wall of nostalgia, and there were thoughful touches- various syrups just in case you needed any more sugar, and toast with a multitude of toppings for a full brekkie experience.

It was busy, and it was mid week at 7pm. These fellas must be raking it in- I’ve heard they’re already looking at another property in Camden. In the meantime I can’t wait to go back for a bowloccino with a Happy Hippo on top!

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my kitchen

Bombay Brunch

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Inspired by a recent trip to Dishoom, renowned in London for serving up the pinnacle of English/Indian fusion breakfasts, I decided to recreate their bacon Naan roll at home given this week’s hype for our upcoming trip to Mumbai and Goa.

Quite simply combining crispy fried honey cured bacon from Lidl with a slather of soft cheese, chopped parsley and a dollop of tomato and chilli chutney inside a hot buttery Naan, this was certainly a step up from your classic bacon butty. It was so good I made a mental note to put an alternative spin on my bacon every weekend, as I have grown tired of the HP & white bread combo, knowing but never pursuing the potential a few smoky salty rashers possesses. This would probably also work with mango chuntey but I think the sweetness of the tomato with the kick of the chilli marries so well with the bacon that this roll needs no alterations. Except perhaps a fried egg with a runny yolk and sprinkle of turmeric as the Indians would do for extra sauciness and spice.

Alongside this I served a classic Chai latte brewed with Tesco finest chai teabags, brown sugar and hot milk. I always crave something sweet and creamy in the mornings and this was the perfect weekend treat. I doubt I’ll be feasting on brekkies as Anglophiled as this in India but nonetheless this got me excited for something spicier in the mornings when I’m finally over there!

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