A love for all things Scandinavian is sweeping the country. It’s been around for a few years in cafe designs and the way your food is plated up. Now more places are actually serving food from the region. The latest in Sydney is Nordic B., an homage to the Scandinavian region and all that it produces.
The restaurant owners are no trend-chasers, though; they’re merely lucky. Leif Kivela and Marl Jaatinen are both Scandinavian, and their bar comes from their simple desire to bring a slice of home to Sydney. “We had all these foods and alcohols that we really like that weren’t possible to get anywhere,” says Kivela. The duo went back north and did a little research on how their favourite things were served so they could do the same in Sydney.
Nordic B. is Scandinavian in theme and design without being a pastiche restaurant. It’s simple, light in colour but with a few spots of ornamentation in some hanging fruits, a bird mural and a strangely off-theme straw fence. The latter is part of the wooden bench–filled courtyard, with the inside portion of the venue divided between a bar and a lounge-styled restaurant.
The bar offers a rare selection of Scandinavian booze. “If you go out drinking in Finland you will find all these things you can’t find here,” says Kivela. Probably the first thing you’ll find either in Finland or at Nordic B. is the Lonkero, a canned cocktail of gin, soda and grapefruit juice. At the end of the night you might see some Danish Aalborg akavit distilled with amber or Valhalla, which is a Finnish vodka-based liqueur with angelica, wormwood and yarrow. A few Scandinavian beers and a mixed selection of modern and classic Northern-European cocktails round out the list.
Although Nordic B. officially resides in the restaurant category, the venue feels very much like a bar. This is mostly to do with chef Ben Pollock’s menu, which sticks to simple drinking-styled snacks, such as a trio of dumpling-sized Swedish meatballs with lingonberry jam; salmon mousse on Finnish rye; and some empanada impersonating pierogi. “You’ve got some quite traditional dishes but then we’ve tried to spice them up and make them a bit more modern,” says Kivela.
191 King Street, Newtown
(02) 8095 8357
Wed to Thu 5.30–10pm