Last Updated: January 18, 2018
When we think of Swedish food in Singapore, it seems that the only place that springs to mind is IKEA — but it’s hardly representative of the diverse cuisine from this Scandinavian nation.
At Fika Swedish Cafe & Bistro, you can get an authentic taste of Sweden at an affordable price.
Located along Beach Road, this cafe serves traditional Swedish cuisine that’s also halal. Walking into the cafe brought me into a cosy space with clean and sleek furniture that was welcoming.
The second-floor seating comprised mostly of darker woods and even comfy couches! It almost felt like being invited to a friend’s home for a hearty dinner.
The couple who owns Fika Swedish Café & Bistro is a Swedish/Singaporean duo, and they started this cafe because they missed Swedish food and the cafe’s menu changes every season.
For the cold and grey winter season, they came up with hearty dishes brightened with a splash of colour.
I started the meal with the Roasted Turkey Salad ($19), which was drizzled with an in-house date vinaigrette sauce. Made with mostly root vegetables, such as beetroot and roasted sweet potato. The turkey strips added a savoury flavour to the greens, although they could’ve been juicier.
Another appetiser I tried was the Gravlax, Kale and Potato Pancakes ($10). This is actually a common Nordic breakfast food, served with a tangy homemade Nordic yoghurt.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the kale bits were not bitter at all; in fact, there was actually a slightly sweet aftertaste. Each mouthful brought a delicious burst of starchy potato goodness, which blended well with the yoghurt and kale.
The Pan-Seared Cod with Portobello and Root Vegetables ($27) was served on top of breaded Portobello mushrooms. The woodsy flavour of the Portobello mushrooms went well with the tangy balsamic date sauce.
Each bite of the fish was firm and juicy, with a light flavour that wasn’t too overwhelming. A very authentic taste of Swedish cuisine indeed!
If you’re looking for meatier options, try the Brine and Oven Roasted Chicken with Pan-Fried Vort Bread ($20). Vort bread is a traditional Nordic bread that has been soaked in milk before baking, causing it to be softer and chewier.
This dish is a labour of love because the half-chicken has to be brined for 12 hours, with water and oil prior to cooking. Then, it has to be marinated in spices, and then finally baked. Making the chicken thigh super juicy and succulent.
We visited when it was close to Christmas, and the highlight of the winter menu was the Traditional Christmas Board ($69), which serves two to three people.
Because Fika is a halal cafe, the meatballs were made only from beef. The meatball had a lovely crispy outer layer, and was super juicy on the inside. I’d take these meatballs over IKEA meatballs any day!
Another highlight was the Mushroom Stuffed Roasted Turkey Breast. The woodsy taste of mushrooms blended with the tender turkey meat. I definitely enjoyed how juicy the turkey breast was.
For salmon lovers, the Gravlax would be a delight to their taste buds. The soft salmon had a smoky aftertaste that lingered. Each piece melted in the mouth, without much need for chewing.
The Pickled Herrings was definitely an acquired taste, because of the strong fishy flavour. After a few bites, I actually started to enjoy it.
The board also had more Vort Bread, some Cheddar Slices, Roasted Baby Potatoes, Assorted Sausages, and some Creamed Kale with Endives to add a side of healthy greens. This is definitely a platter for sharing, and even then, you’re bound to get stuffed. We can only hope they’ll bring it back again on its next winter menu.
If you’re looking for traditional Swedish cuisine, head over to Fika Café and Bistro for halal Swedish fare. It’ll elevate your Nordic food experience beyond IKEA.
Expected Damage: $15 – $40 per pax