This Danish café in W10 serves brilliant dishes in a stylishly-designed Scandi-style setting.
Scandinavian cooking has been a big deal here in London for a few years, but much of it has been Swedish in origin or orientation. Snaps & Rye is Danish. You’d have to be well versed in the region’s cuisines to spot the finer points of difference, but whatever the national origin, the result is sensationally good.
Snaps & Rye occupies a large ground floor in a patch of north Notting Hill that still retains plenty of old-fashioned run-down charm. When I say ‘occupies’, what I mean is: ‘transforms into a thing of beauty’. This place embodies all that’s best about Scandinavian design: simple and functional, but every detail designed or chosen with aesthetic pleasure in mind.
But Snaps & Rye isn’t just a pretty space. The owners have clearly taken great pains to make their food, prepared by a British chef called Tania Steytler, as good as it can possibly be. While Denmark’s famous open-faced sandwiches (smørrebrød) are simple in concept, Steytler raises them to great heights through superb ingredients, masterly cooking skills and attention to detail.
There’s a selection of ready-made sandwiches, but we ate two from an ‘à la carte smørrebrød’ menu that had just been introduced that day. One was exquisite: frikadeller (meatballs) with blue cheese croquette, red cabbage, roast apple purée and a crisped slice of heavenly own-made rye bread. The other was even better: flash-fried smoked eel with potato salad, watercress salad, a creamy mustard dressing and a slice of ‘crisped ham’ (think prosciutto with the consistency of a Golden Wonder) on top. A delicate liquorice ice cream was a lovely finale to the meal.
Our waiter could not have been friendlier, more enthusiastic or better-informed. The drinks offering has not just a good choice of aquavits and beers but well-chosen wines, starting under £20 and all representing excellent value. It’s open only during the day, though they have plans eventually to open in the evening. The portions are not meagre, but neither are they huge; three sandwiches between two would be plenty while still not breaking the bank.
An espresso served in lovely cups was well made (beans from Nude), but not hot enough. Apart from that, this meal was a joy in every respect. Note: the restaurant is tricky to contact, as the phone line is in the office, not the restaurant. Final note: S&R has a small shop. Danish people adore liquorice. If you buy any of their sweets to take away, you will too.
Snaps & Rye now offers a brunch menu every day, and on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings serves a four-course fish menu.
|Venue name:||Snaps & Rye||Contact:|
93 Golborne Road
|Opening hours:||Tue-Wed 8am-6pm; Thu, Fri & Sat 8am-11.30pm; Sun 10am-6pm|
|Transport:||Tube: Ladbroke Grove/Westbourne Park|
|Price:||Meal for two with hot drinks and service: around £30.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
Snaps & Rye have just started opening for dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. We ate there for the first time last night (after several recommendations from friends) and were bowled over by the excellent food, warm and helpful staff and good atmosphere. The kitchen went out of their way to accommodate my dietary needs (no gluten) and came up with imaginative and delicious alternatives wherever necessary. It is a set four-course menu but you get to choose between two mains - last night salmon and roast lamb were on offer. The ingredients are obviously as fresh as can be and of the highest quality and are beautifully presented and served with an imaginative twist. (The lamb came with subtly liquorice-flavoured jus and the best mashed potato I've ever tasted, with a hint of five-spice.) We are very glad to have the only Danish restaurant in London so close to home and will definitely be going back.