When Funkis turned 20 this year it didn’t have a party. Instead, the Swedish brand opened a cafe, called Koket. It may be old news to loyal customers, but if you haven’t been into the Paddington clothing and homewares store you probably haven’t noticed it. It’s hidden at the back of the shop, in an alley-like space that spills out onto a grey and green sunlit courtyard. “It used to be a storeroom, we wanted to find a better use for this beautiful space and we’d always wanted to do a cafe. It’s everyone’s dream opening a cafe, isn’t it?” asks Carina Enström Gibb, who runs it with Mandy Goodger and her daughter, Freyja.
Like the concept behind Funkis, the cafe’s mission is to share Swedish culture. It’s specifically inspired by what’s happening in Gotland, Freyja says. “It's an island between Russia and Sweden that's very different from the mainland.” Koket is based on both the natural aesthetic of the island, which is rocky, grey and covered in greenery, and the trend in cafes there; they have particularly beautiful fit-outs and serve modern Swedish dishes.
You won’t find any Swedish-style drip coffee or meatballs here. Instead there’s espresso (by Allpress), Swedish dishes and Scandinavian products with a modern twist. “We definitely want to offer something different, many of the recipes are from my mum,” says Carina.
The counter is adorned with kanelbulle (cinnamon buns), pretzels and sandwiches stuffed with Feather and Bone meat. To order, there’s dark rye skagen (open-faced sandwiches); traditionally, they’re topped with pickled herring, but here they come with house gravlax and pickles, or pumpkin and eggs. There’s muesli with honeyed lingonberry compote and pyttipanna-inspired baked eggs with Tasmanian Dutch cream potatoes (Swedes are very serious about potato quality, says Freyja), garlic and mushrooms. “‘Pyttipanna’ means ‘little bits in a pan’, it's one of my mum's best dishes. It's traditionally a second or third-day dish where you chop up all the leftover vegetables or meat,” says Carina. “We want to develop more things in the future. This is the minimum right now.”
202 Oxford Street, Paddington
(02) 9368 7045