As a Swedish woman in England I do get homesick quite often. But what can you do when your husband is an Englishman and we chose to live in England. Go to Swedish restaurants of course! I also drag people I know along with us because I want to show off the cuisine of my home country. The more the merrier right?
I’ve actually been to Aquavit London twice now. Once just before Christmas with a group of English friends and the second time this Sunday just gone with my Lithuanian friend Rasa.
I believe Aquavit originally opened in New York and a few years ago they decided to open one in London too. This is a Michelin Star Restaurant people! It’s ‘cheap’ though for London I think. It feels just like home and I love that about this place.
I must admit that the service I received on both visits was not what I expected of a Michelin Star restaurant. It’s good but not great if you know what I mean. It’s a bit slow and we weren’t asked how our meal was. On my first visit they forgot a few items we’d ordered and we had to ask for them again. They were very apologetic about this to be fair. I am not one of those people that will not return to a restaurant based only on the service though, if I like the atmosphere and the food I will overlook service. On my first visit I’d booked a table for 5 but we ended up as a 6. They were so accommodating and arranged an extra table setting for us without any fuss. So swings and roundabouts I guess. And hey, I returned for a second visit so really that’s all that matters right?
If you’ve read our other restaurant reviews in our Ladies Who Brunch Series (of which there are many now) then you know by now that I absolutely cannot stand being rushed. I totally get that other people have booked the table after us and sometimes you have an allotted time assigned to you but…Don’t rush me!! Aquavit does absolutely not rush you. That’s a big plus in my book.
Well what is a Ladies who Brunch blog entry without some actual pictures? Nothing that’s what! Go ahead, admire my brilliant food photography hahahaha I do love taking pictures and yes, I do get those looks judging me in a restaurant and yes, I have forgotten what hot food tastes like hahahah but you know what, I don’t care what other people think. I like what I like and I won’t let anyone make me feel awkward or bad about that. So look at me with those judging eyes all you want lol
Us Swedes have some, to non swedes, odd foods. One of them is pickled herring. I personally can’t stand pickled herring but Rasa likes it. I was very pleased about that as I dragged her to Aquavit in the first place. She ordered from the Brunch menu and so got to pick 2 starters, 1 main and 1 dessert. She picked Matje Herring and Gravad Lax. Japan may have cornered the sushi market but Sweden is a pretty good place to try some raw fish too! I had my trusty old Toast Skagen which is actually called Shrimp Skagen on their menu. It’s so nice but can get very expensive if you make it at home yourself as it contains red caviar, Kalixlöjrom being my favourite, and is usually topped off with a nice dollop of it. As you can tell, Dill features in or on most of Swedish food.
For mains we were so very predictable and chose the meat balls and of course it is the most popular dish on the menu. So extremely tasty and the mash potato is just out of this world and creamy. Naturally served with lingonberries and pickled cucumber. No, not gherkins, fresh cucumber which has been lightly pickled by sitting in white vinegar and a little sugar and white pepper for a few hours. Yum! Hats of to their chefs!
I didn’t go with the brunch menu, I went a la carte so I didn’t have a dessert to choose. I’m more of a starter and mains type of woman because I can usually never fit in a desert after I’ve had a main. There is somehow always room for a main after a starter, see my logic? Rasa chose the pancakes with blueberries and cream and it looked lovely don’t you think?
Why you should totally visit!
As long as you are aware of the service not being amazing then you will love this place. Come to eat and chat with old friends without ever feeling rushed. I enjoyed both my visits as the company on both occasions were fantastic and so was the food. I really recommend this place to anyone looking for a relaxed place which isn’t overpriced and has plenty of Nordic food choices on the menu. Their tagline; Contemporary Nordic Dining
How to find Aquavit in London and New York
London address: 1 St James’s Market, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4SB, UK and New York address: 65 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022, USA
Please do leave a comment because as usual I would love to hear from you. Leave me more restaurant recommendations too please – Can’t ever have too many! The best way to visit somewhere new is by recommendation right?