WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT:
- To get a dose of trendy Scandi and hygge style with the relaxed interior
- When you want to eat out but fancy a healthy and filling lunch
- It is very family friendly so children are very welcome
- Come on a Thursday for their Scandi night
Aldgate East is a vibrant changing area. Stunning new buildings are growing rapidly and with them, new places to meet and eat are forming.
One of the original eateries in the area is Smaka, a chilled café filled with natural light and a homely and paired back Scandinavian style.
Smaka’s owner Dennie runs the kitchen, putting together his favourite food combinations from his Swedish childhood. Everything served is healthy, clean and filling. The care and simplicity of the food is wonderful, the individual dish flavours are strong and you pick what you would like to eat from the selection on the counter made that day. Marinated salads, roasted vegetables, quiche and chocolate brownies are all Scandinavian classics and I was so excited to try everything!
Joining me at Smaka for lunch was my lovely friend Abs and her young son Macsen. The Scandinavian culture is one of family and healthy eating and the three of us tucked into our hearty dishes feeling relaxed and comfortable.
I chose a Mushroom Quiche with Pickled Cabbage and Broccoli Salad and Abs ate Marinated Chicken Breast with a Red Cabbage Salad and the portion sizes of both were generous and filling. I really enjoyed choosing from the different salads; each was vibrant in colour and texture and Dennie is keen to keep everything fresh and fragrant, using only locally sourced ingredients. Macsen tried a little of everything but I think he enjoyed the marinated chicken the most!
The menu changes daily and is seasonally led. Hot soup with beautiful bread, tasty meatballs and fresh sandwiches on sourdough and rye line the counter and all are freshly made on site by Dennie.
After our very healthy lunch we moved on to one of my favourite treats - Chocolate Brownie! Sticky through the centre and crumbly on the edges, I loved this brownie. Plus it was gluten free! Needless to say it was Macsen’s favourite too! I accompanied it with Swedish Lofbergs Coffee, which was extremely strong with a smooth texture, and I really enjoyed the end of my lunch.
Smaka offers a breakfast and lunch menu and recently started their ‘Scandi Night’ every Thursday. Opening till late, Dennie serves Swedish canapés with uniquely created cocktails and Scandi Ales and Cider. I am already planning my return trip on a Scandi Night!
It was a real treat to eat Dennie’s food - his passion for sharing his homeland and the laid back environment he has created is very special. I really enjoyed bringing Abs and Macsen to Smaka and highly recommend it to families.
Dotty Dishes was a guest of Smaka.
Smaka, 77 Alie Street, London, E1.