NORDIC BAKERY: YOU’RE PULLING MY EAR
I have a Finnish friend and gym buddy called Martina. She, like so many of my female friends, can be horribly annoying. But, in between periods of sublime irritation, she has her uses.
Like today, when I wanted to go and sample London’s first Suomi-Kahvila after reading about it in Time Out.
She was a mine of information and informed me “Finns do two things well, coffee and suicide” She also told me it would not be a Kahvila of any kind without two things on the menu. Karjalanpiirakka ( Karelian pie) and Korvapuusti ( cinnamon buns) which literally means “pulling your ear”
Well, she will be pleased to know they have both.
It is, in true Finnish style, beautifully designed if unhampered by enough chairs and the small displays of open sandwiches, were appealing if few in variety.
A few years ago, it is reported that Jacques Chirac lost the Olympics for France when he said the only place in the world with worse food that the UK was in Finland. The Finnish delegate promptly changed his vote leading to pleasing pictures of Parisians soap dodgers crying and wailing openly. Tee and indeed hee.
He obviously didn’t try the Karelian Pie which is delicious. A thin pie of rye pastry with savoury rice and milk topped with the traditional (I am told by Martina) layer of egg butter. All very melt in the mouth-tastic.
Less so the Korvapuusti which was more challenging. Frighteningly solid and chewy, it needed dipping into the excellent hot chocolate before I could polish it off.
A quick visit to the tiny downstairs kitchen found baker, Sini preparing rhubarb and chocolates cakes for the rest of the day. The only thing they don’t make is the bread which is flown in from Finland. She also explained that the owner, Jali Walsten is, apparently, a well known ex professional ice hockey player who now helps small Scandinavian companies set up businesses in the UK. That may explain why the cinnamon bun was as hard as a puck.
Quite if there is the market for a place like this, I am not sure, but it is worth a visit for the pie. Perhaps they commit suicide by getting someone to drop one of those cinnamon buns on their head from a great height and, perhaps if fatty Chirac had tasted one of those lovely pies, he would have kept his gob shut and it would be Parisians facing an enormo bill for a two week sporting occasion rather than us Londoners
Afterwards and to walk off some of the calories, I wandered home via the monthly market in Whitecross St. All the usual suspects to bore you with but I was heartened to see my good chum, Petra from Chocstar and Ian Hartland, who was still talking to me after my recent visit to make Mrs King's pork pies for EAT MY GLOBE.
One welcome new addition was Luardos, run by a young chap called Simon who was selling very good looking Fajita and Quesadilla from a luminous green van.
The market is there for another couple of days. Worth checking out.