Skål! The Scandinavian word for “cheers” was something I heard throughout my evening spent at Nordic restaurant Ekte. Conveniently located within the Bloomberg Arcade in the City, Ekte means “genuine” in Norwegian, and this is exactly the ethos that Danish-born restaurateur Soren Jessen wanted to celebrate.
Ekte has an all-day restaurant as well as a café/deli favoured by City workers wanting quick takeaway options. I was invited to visit Ekte for an evening of Nordic debauchery at their infamous Crayfish Party. Jessen and event manager Fili explained how a crayfish party is a traditional Nordic celebration in the summer months. We were told to expect a lot of food, drinks, and singing.
We arrived at Ekte and were greeted by a huge table decked out with party hats, glasses of wine, the potato-based Scandinavian spirit Aquavit, and a smorgasbord of Ekte’s best dishes. A few of my favourites were the curried herring with celery, apple, boiled eggs, and dill, and the Västerbotten pie made from a Swedish cow’s milk cheese.
The crayfish arrived in huge platters with the bright red crustaceans gleaming under some edible flowers. The Ekte team taught us the best ways to crack open the crayfish and easily pull out the delicious meat. Throughout our meal, Soren would lead the group in singing along to tunes like Mamma Mia and Twinkle Twinkle and had changed the lyrics to fit the crayfish party theme. As the Aquavit continued to flow, the entire table spent the evening immersed in song, great conversation, and of course, lots of fantastic crayfish.
Ekte Nordic Kitchen
Phone: 0203 814 8330
Address: 2-8 Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR