Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday brunch at Scandinavian Embassy

Here's two things I miss about London: my crazy lovely Swedish friends and cinnamons buns from the Nordic Bakery. And I think I've found a little place to fill this gap a little. While walking around de Pijp on a Saturday, I discovered Scandinavian Embassy, a tiny café/eatery which was filled with people chatting over coffee and cinnamon buns. Last weekend my family came to visit and I was determined to bring them here (we saw tons of cute breakfast places on the way there but I convinced them to walk a little further, even though everyone was getting a little hangry (hungry + angry)). It was definitely worth it.

Before you walk through the door you can already smell the freshly baked cinnamon buns and strong coffee; there's absolutely nothing more inviting than that.

The place is quite small and cosy, yet the decoration is clean and simple, typical Scandinavian. When you enter this place you almost forget you're in Amsterdam. A real fire place would have made it even better, especially during winter.. dreamy

Though it was Sunday brunch time, we were lucky enough to get a table right away. I had heard things about the poached eggs here, so knew what I had to order and went for the full Scandi breakfast. 

Starting with freshly pressed juice made from carrots, apples and lemon. I could drink this every day (definitely need to find a good juicer now!)

My brother is just as obsessed with cinnamon buns as I am - if not more. If there's a cinnamon bun on the menu, he'll order it. Scandinavian cinnamon buns are all quite different (Finnish, Swedish etc.), and these buns are from a Norwegian recipe I believe.  Much less sugary than what I'm used to which I like a lot since it makes it more acceptable to eat for breakfast ;) It's not the same as the Finnish buns at the Nordic Bakery but it's just as delicious. This one was still warm on the inside.. 

A doughy, cinnamon-y, cardamon dreamy pillow of goodness. There's almost nothing better than a fresh cinnamon bun. 

While my brother tried to stop us from eating his whole bun, our lattés arrived. Now, I'm no expert in coffee, but this is one of the best cups of coffee I've ever had. Strong and full of flavour. This isn't 'just coffee', you can taste that it's has been prepared with quality ingredients. 

Our 'first course' was sheep's yoghurt with apple-elderflower syrup and granola. I quite liked this, the granola was excellent, but I'm just not a big fan of goat/sheep products (cheese & milk). Though the sheep flavour was subtle, it was still a bit overpowering for my tastebuds. Nonetheless, the syrup and granola made up for it.

Next it was time for our main brunch course. My brother and I ordered the poached eggs with salt cured salmon and Danish rye bread. 

My dad had the herring (one Swedish tradition I'm not a great fan of) which was beautifully presented. Like me, my dad appreciates good food and he was over the moon with this dish.

My mom also got an amazing looking- and tasting plate. Poached eggs, duck, potatoes, lingonberries, apple wrapped in crunchy lettuce. I had a bite of the duck which was really tasty. 

My brother and I had quite a 'classic' brekkie: poached eggs on rye bread with salmon. This was just SO delicious. The dark rye bread, subtle combination of poached eggs and yoghurt (yes you read that right) and of course the delicious salmon. This picture probably doesn't even do the dish justice. Can I have this for breakfast every Sunday please?

I made the small mistake of ordering some lemon because I have the habit of always eating fish with a squeeze of lemon. After receiving the thinnest lemon slices which were impossible to squeeze over the salmon, the chef - Rikard - came over to our table. He explained the process of curing the salmon, the story behind Gravad Lax ('buried salmon'), the Swedish tradition, and his personal curing recipe consisting of salt, dill and honey. He explained that adding lemon juice wouldn't do the salmon any justice since it doesn't go well with the fattiness of the fish. He apologized for possibly sounding arrogant but this actually showed that he cares about the food he presents to his guests and the way it is eaten (so definitely not with lemon as he compared it to pouring ketchup over the salmon, yikes). 

After finishing every last bit of food on our plates, we chatted a little before making our way out. I think everyone agrees this place was definitely worth coming to and my parents absolutely loved it (and they are not too easy to impress when it comes to food). I believe our bill came to around €70 (4 persons), which might sound like a lot. But when you consider the quality of the ingredients, the traditional recipes, the best coffee in town and the effort & care that is put into the food, it's really not that pricey. All of us would gladly return here!  

On the way out were were tempted by more buns and an amazing looking carrot cake (which I actually tried today. It's really tasty). With happy and full tummies we continued our Sunday in sunny Amsterdam. We couldn't have asked for a better way to start the day. And I felt a little bit like I was back in London, surrounded by cinnamon buns and Scandinavians. I'll be back - ok actually I've already been back, but I'll be back again and again! (more info here)

© whiskers & lions

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