Eric Varnhed wants to show us there’s more to Swedish food than meatballs. He’s clocked up 16 years in restaurants and cafes around town and is now injecting new life into Kirribilli’s Bligh Street with the recently opened Oski, a homage to his Scandinavian background.
At the cosy, 20-seat cafe, breakfast staples such as smashed avo on toast; house-made granola with puffed millet and stewed granola; and corn fritters, sit alongside lesser-known plates such as pyttipanna. The Swedish take on bubble and squeak is a hearty mix of sautéed ham, sausage, leeks and potatoes topped with a fried egg. It’s served with a zingy beetroot-and-dill-pickle to cut through the heavy flavours.
“In the summer time we’d like to ramp up the menu and introduce some traditional Swedish open sandwiches, including skagenrora, which is a creamy mix of dill, mayo and prawns typically served on thin slices of dense rye bread,” Varned says.
While most breakfast options are big enough to make a lunch out of, there’s also a beef burger and a brekkie bowl packed with green vegetables, quinoa, avocado, nuts and a poached egg. House-baked sweet treats such as muffins, friands and brown-sugar Portuguese tarts are on daily rotation.
“I’m going to pull out my mum’s kanelbullar (cinnamon-bun) recipe and start sharing them with Kirribilli soon,” Varned says.
It’s not just the menu that has Scandinavian inspiration. Oski’s minimal design is light, airy and timber-heavy. A black-and-white colour palette is lifted with bursts of greenery throughout. The three-legged Viking stools were made by the chef.
Mecca is in charge of the beans, and Somage Fine Foods – which also supplies to The Grounds, est. and Shannon Bennet’s Vue de Monde in Melbourne – has stocked the tea shelf. Smoothies and milkshakes are good kids options.
Tue to Sat 7am–3.30pm