‘Hidden Folk’ at Fika Bar and Kitchen, Brick Lane
Located in the heart of Brick Lane, Fika Bar and Kitchen is a contemporary Swedish restaurant with a stylish twist – a very artistic approach to the dining experience, heavily influenced by Scandinavian folklore – called ‘Hidden Folk’.
Currently curated by Emma Farrarons, a Paris-born illustrator who has brought a unique visual flavour to the menus and restaurant space, the cozy main room of the restaurant instantly creates an atmosphere different to what you can expect from the east London area: a low-lit secluded space away from the hustle-and-bustle of the rest of the Lane.
Aha, another over-priced pretentious hipster-magnet I hear you cry? Delve into the menu and it quickly becomes clear that this is not the case…
Fika has steered clear of gimmicks and cliché to bring a unique menu to the table. While more conventional choices such as meatballs and burgers may be available (and very tasty they are too), you can expect to sample everything from flash-seared thick cut salmon to foraged mushroom risotto.
If you are a fish-lover I can highly recommend the ‘Tre Sorters Sill’, a starter of pickled herrings presented nicely in crushed purple potato and dill. The flavours are very well balanced thanks to the all-edible garnish, which is freshly hand-foraged for the restaurant from the area surrounding London – and the staff are more than happy to give more information about their foraged foods. This is a theme that can be found throughout many of Fika’s dishes; a nice touch to a menu that is never over-complicated, leaning more towards a simple blend of well-chosen ingredients.
There is a good range of drinks on offer, including a handful of Swedish beers (Pistonhead and Mariestads among them) as well as a decent wine selection which includes elderflower and elderberry wines for those of you who like your wines home-grown here in sunny England. The stand-out option here though is certainly the cocktails: Fika has brought in a skilled mixologist to create the cocktails for the Hidden Folk menu and the result is a very original collection. Try the ‘Forest Clearing’ or ‘Elves Touch’ and prepare to discover something new, and very delicious. The only downside is that they could be a little bigger, but the flavours are awesome.
Prices are high in comparison to the plethora of restaurants up and down the lane, but this is very much an alternative type of cuisine to your standard £10 curry night: well-prepared, tasty meals all with a little something special. Come for the meatballs, stay for the cosy vibes and unique cocktails.
Fika Bar & Kitchen
161 Brick Lane
Tel: 020 7613 2013