eat: fika

IMG_0814Fika is a Swedish word that means “a break from work”. In London, it might even mean a break from the ordinary.  Located in Brick Lane,  usually known for its oversaturation of Indian restaurants and bars is this little oasis of good food and quirky designs. By day it is a coffee shop that serves brunch, but we came here later in the day for some dinner. Upon stepping through the doors we were transported into the world of Wes Anderson. Tonight’s dinner theme takes it’s cues from movies like “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou”, “The Fantastic Mr. Fox”, “Moonrise Kingdom” and “The Royal Tenenbaums”.

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He says: When she asked me if I wanted to eat at restaurant that was modelling their menu after Wes Anderson movies, I was like YES! I love the move “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” (there must be something with the clay animation dancing). I loved the creativity that was used to come up with the transformation. The fact that the staff even wore the yellow suits from “The Life Aquatic” helped create a whimsical atmosphere. The food was good, especially their mashed potato and peanut butter/jelly sandwiches dessert which brought me back to my childhood days.

She says: We watched “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” on Netflix the night before just to get myself up to speed with Wes Anderson movies. Perhaps it was the movie that made me choose all of the seafood dishes that night. Going out to eat in London can be difficult if you are trying to be healthy and watch what you eat. With a Scandinavian influenced menu, I was glad that there were some healthy options at Fika.

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He says: To drink, they had fun and boozy drinks with cocktail names such as “Let’s take an Inventory”. The base of the drink was a shot of vodka and whiskey. This may sound strong, but it was balanced with the cotton candy, a dash of chilli and toffee syrup. Putting the drink together was fun.

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She says: I chose a subtle concoction of dill vodka and elderflower, topped with lemonade also known as “The Life Aquatic”.  It’s the small touches that count in the design of this drink, with the shape of the glass looking almost like a fish bowl with the dill representing some greenery or seaweed that you’d find in the sea. They even included the seahorse that was given to Steve Zissou featured on a little plastic bag.

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She says:  I chose “The Darjeeling Gravad Lax” as my starter which was a fairly light option to begin with, consisting of home cured salmon with darjeeling jelly. This is a distinctive Scandinavian dish, though with a subtle twist drawing inspiration from Wes Anderson’s movie “The Darjeeling Limited”.  Overall the dish was very simple and delicate with a couple of slices of toasted bread and rocket, probably something that I could try my hand at recreating for Him on a Sunday brunch at home.

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He says: I picked “The Foxy doughnut” as my starter – it was not as light and fluffy as we would have liked but the chicken pate works really well with the Granny smith apples and beetroot puree.

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Let’s continue the Expedition onto the main courses. Perhaps we will find the elusive jaguar shark. Although “The Expedition” salad didn’t have shark it did have salmon, crayfish and tiger prawns. Lightly dressed with lemon, it was a substantial green salad and a nice healthy, summer dish for her as she keeps up her 30 day regime of fitness and clean food consumption.

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From the sea we move to the land. Nothing says land more than meat and potatoes. “The Campfire” was a ribeye steak paired with mash potatoes and a small salad. The mash was buttery and flavourful, it served as the holder for the gravy, yummy.

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For dessert, she had the Swedish chocolate cake, kladdkaka.  Probably a lot more caloriffic than her dishes up till now as the sticky chocolate was rich, accompanied with vanilla ice cream and dusted with chocolate.

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For my dessert, who knew such a simple thing such as peanut butter and jelly would be such a great treat after the main course. The crispy warm bread served as a great vessel for these two classic flavour combinations. Definitely a surprisingly good dessert.

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The verdict: It’s a bit gutsy to change your menu and restaurant decor to fit a theme. But leave it to Fika to do this well.  The food had Scandinavian influences, but incorporated the movie themes seamlessly from the decor, to the menu right down to the wait staff. The restaurant transported you to a different world. This comes to no surprise because their designs has been mentioned in the blog Designers Anonymous. Interestingly, the crowd tonight was an eclectic mix of young couples and a family with their two young kids. We would probably come back to this Fika to try their brunch or as a starting point on a night out in Shoreditch, as there is a cool terrace area upstairs to eat and drink and the food was well priced, substantial in portion size and delicious. To leave you with a couple of Wes Anderson “The Darjeeling Limited” movie quotes, when you come to Fika one day you’ll won’t be asking “Where’s the savoury snacks?”… you’ll be saying “Let’s get into it!”.

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Disclaimer: love2feed were invited to eat as guests of Fika

Address: 161 Brick Lane, London, E1 6SB
Website: http://www.fikalondon.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fika-London
Twitter: https://twitter.com/fika_london

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