On our third day in London, we finally started doing some sightseeing (that wasn't food-related). Our first stop was Piccadilly Circus, but before we got there, we stopped for a light lunch at Nordic Bakery's Golden Square location. I don't remember how we found out about the bakery, but I had written in my notes that they had, among other things, a Finnish pastry and we hadn't done anything yet for WorldEats for Finland, so we really wanted to go. The bakery was packed when we got there and it was hard to find a seat, although admittedly some people were just taking up tables without actually eating or drinking anything.
A started off with a pour-over coffee (£2.60, all prices from current online menu and similar to what we paid last year), which they called a filter coffee. He found it a little weak and watery with not much flavor. He didn't like many of the coffees in London, but that's a topic for another post. Besides the coffee, we got a few snacks to split. The first was a cinnamon bun (£2.90). According to the bakery, every Nordic country makes a unique cinnamon bun and theirs is a take on the Finnish style.
This cinnamon bun was really dense but had a nice sweet flavor to it without being overwhelmingly sweet. It was very sticky. We saw some review on Yelp before we went there that the bun was hard as a rock, but that was definitely not the case with ours or any of the other ones we saw while we were there. I don't know if that person was expecting Cinnabon, but this is a different style and frankly I liked it better. The sweetness also seemed much more natural.
The second thing we got was the karelian pie (£2), which was the Finnish snack we had come for in the first place. They describe this on their menu as a "rye crusted savoury snack with rice or potato mash filling, served with butter spread." We had never seen or heard of this pie before, but we've never been to a Finnish restaurant or close to Finland itself.
We got the rice version of the pie, and the rice filling on the inside had the consistency of rice pudding (which we like). It was a little sweet, but the butter spread on top helped make it into a savory pie. The crust was a lot thinner than we were expecting before we ordered it, so the entire pie was very soft. It was a really interesting snack, very tasty and worth trying, but not our favorite part of the meal. We haven't really had anything like it before or since, and would likely try it again if we had the chance.
To balance out all of the pies and pastries, we also got the leverpostej sandwich (£4.40), which was an open-faced sandwich with liver pate and pickled beetroot. This was our favorite part of our meal at the bakery. The pate had really nice flavor and wasn't too metallic, just very balanced. The beets were really fresh and went well with the pate. The ingredients on the sandwich were all good quality and the whole thing tasted very clean. We just found it a little expensive since it wasn't very large, as you can see since there is a fork in the picture with it.
We enjoyed the food we got at the Nordic Bakery, and if we happened to be passing by again, we would drop in again for another snack (but maybe not coffee). Now that we've tried the Finnish snacks that we wanted to, we probably wouldn't take a big detour or make a special trip just to visit, but we would definitely consider trying some more snacks if in the area.