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Nordic Bakery Review

We’re mad for Scandinavia

Written by . Published on December 29th 2011.


Nordic Bakery Review

SO, so cool. The iceman (or is that ice-girl?) baketh. This is a Scandinavian tease. There are now two Nordic Bakeries, the original in Golden Square, Soho, and the newer version spreading its karma across Marylebone from Westmoreland Street. You won’t tell them apart from the photos.

A Finnish lesson in how to design a coffee house without decorating it. The carpet is on the wall, everything else seems to be wood. The menu is painted on the window: Cinnamon Buns, Dark Rye Bread, Coffee… And that is pretty much what you get.

The cakes too may not be of the French or international cream and calories concoctions but nevertheless, do not be fooled, they pack their weight in butter.

We do not get bogged down in too many detailed descriptions here. If you really, really want to know, you can buy the book. There is a crate of crisps and a counter of cakes and a little fancy juicy bottle display.

Look closely on a Google search of the equally unchatty website – there are a few snowy pictures of calming landscapes – you notice there is a little lexicon that says it is ‘a peaceful place in a frantic city’. Gotcha, peaceful like the Arctic tundra, peaceful like a library, peaceful like a mantra. And yet, there are more vibes than a bikram yoga class. Meditate your food. For which, the priority is of course, absolute provenance. Eat your literature.

The point is the baking. The rye bread is excellent and comes in sandwiches with egg, or herring, or smoked salmon or prawn and egg. It is chewy like-it-is-doing-you-good-bread but without being too worthy that you want to give up on it. It is quite decadent. It is bondage bread. Rough and requiring masticating. Tough it out.

Nordic5

The cakes too may not be of the French or international cream and calories concoctions but nevertheless, do not be fooled, they pack their weight in butter. Orange, Ginger, Tiger, Tosca is marbled, light. If your girlfriend/boyfriend baked cake like this you would propose. There are croissants – more butter – and lingonberry juice – more promises of vitamins. This Scandi diet business is a little nutritionally conflicted. But our cookies are rustic.

Cripes, I just realized that little bottle of blueberry juice is £5.90. The label says it contains the fruit of 2,300 blueberries, so maybe it is worth it? It tastes as thick as wine without the fragrance. Blueberries are not going to take over from grapes any time soon.

The staff are auditioning for parts in zombie movies – beautiful, usually blonde iconic café sirens, chosen for their pigtails. And unlike other places, they deliver to the table, so you feel cosetted, like an old lady.

Be calm. Read your newspaper. Try the open sandwiches. Chill. Keep your voice down. Shhhhh.

 

Rating:         11/20
Breakdown:   6/10 food
                       3/5 ambience
                       2/5 service

Nordic Bakery
14A Golden Square  
London ,W1F 9JG
0203 230 1077

Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1 – 5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6 – 9 get a DVD, 10 – 11 if you must, 12 – 13 if you’re passing, 14 – 15 worth a trip, 16 –17 very good, 17 – 18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20: We get carried away.

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