When Borealis – a handsome-looking Nordic restaurant – gets it right, it really delivers. On a recent visit, a herring smørrebrød (open-faced sandwich) was delightful, the capers and onions adding sharpness, delicately balanced with sour cream. A main of lamb rump, meanwhile, was satisfyingly tender – the meat blushing like two enamoured millennials on their first Tinder date. A mushroom and chestnut kroppkakor (Swedish potato dumpling) was a triumph: earthy and heart-warming, situated in a pool of lap-it-up, sage-infused cream with mellow pumpkin slices.
But Borealis has notable drawbacks. On arrival, I was handed a list of the day’s specials, including a 50-day aged rib eye steak, which I was quickly told was unavailable, as it had only been aged for 43 days. (Why, then, even put it on the menu?). Desserts proved semi-disastrous. One – a kladdkaka (chocolate cake) – was a marvel, while the other, the cinnamon bun ice cream was, quite literally, inedible. Fresh out the freezer, it was as solid as a granite worktop. And, on a Tuesday evening, this Borough High Street restaurant was so empty it was comparable to an extravagant – yet eerily deserted – hotel lobby you might see in a TV documentary about North Korea.
In part, Borealis shows promise, and a look at Google Reviews suggests I was unlucky on my visit. Just hope you go on one of its good days.