Fika is a very special place and I fear my words won't do it justice, but I'm a girl who was born to try. So here goes.
The evening I spent at Fika was honestly one of the most delightful evenings I've had in a long time. I think the word "unique" gets banded around a lot these days and it's become a bit diluted and meaningless but Fika IS unique, in the way that there is nowhere else quite like it.
As I sat drinking iced peppermint and elderflower tea, my eyes wandered all around the restaurant. There was just so much to take in – a real playground for your imagination. My thoughts were off with the pixies and elves and fairies that live under mushrooms (because they do, you know). Owner, Sadaf Malik, explained to me how she uses Fika as a vessel to share fun with others and this is so clear in the execution of the restaurant, carried out with obsessive attention to every last detail.
Ok, so you geddit. There's a Scandinavian forest in East London. What about the food? Well, yeah, as it happens, it's pretty good and pretty good-looking too. The menu is playful, both in copy and content. Dishes are named ingenuously and among the ingredients used are purple potatoes, black truffles, birch water and edible flowers, all keeping the magical woodland theme well and truly alive. Most things on the menu come with a twist, with items such as Ox cheek, elk burgers, gravadlax, pickled herring, meatballs (of course) and a mushroom risotto to die for. Sadaf works with a forager, one of the very best too. If I told you he supplied some of the foraged goods to Noma? Yep, that
There's a magical cocktail menu too and again not all is as it seems, but in the best possible way. Some clever ol' stick came up with names such as Goblin's Goblet and Forest Clearing. Expect hints of forest flavours such as dill, birch and wood-smoke.
I do love a theme and that's exactly what Fika offers, a truly enchanting one at that. The food, the interiors, the art, the ambience, the staff; they all complement each other and, like pieces of a puzzle, come together to form something quite perfect.
There's talk of a few traditional Swedish crayfish parties going down this autumn too. I'm told it's all about party hats, singing and erm…crayfish. Look out for news on that, they'll do it well, I'm sure of it.
smaklig måltid (bon appétit).
Cuisine: Swedish/ Scandinavian
Meal for Two: £44 (excluding wine)
Wine: £4.70 - £5.60
Fika, 161 Brick Lane, London. E1 6SB
T: 020 7613 2013