London: Scandi lunch at Aster

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The building works near Victoria station has been going on for years, but now some parts of the development are finally ready. The rest is still a building site but the whole Nova area is brand new and quite exciting. There’s a Shake Shack (yum!), Franco Manca (yes, please!) and lots more restaurants to explore. The Scandinavian one was the first one I tried out, with my dear friends Gaby and Rowena for lunch one weekend.

Aster, as the restaurant is called, has a very nice interior (like all D&D London restaurants) and has a café area, restaurant area, bar and deli.

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We had lunch in the café area but it still felt restauranty enough for a lunch.

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With lots of familiar items on the menu it was difficult to choose but we got there in the end.

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Gaby had the meatballs with potato mash, cream sauce and lingonberries. Really nice and I got a small case of food envy (even though my homemade meatballs are really nice too!).

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I went for the smørrebrød (open-faced Danish sandwiches). One with pork belly, apple sauce and lovely crackling on rye.

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And one with prawns and mayonnaise. The pork sandwich was lovely and ticked all the boxes but I was disappointed with the prawn sandwich. It tasted nice, but I would have expected at least the double amount of prawns. Smørrebrød always have more toppings than bread but here that wasn’t the case.

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Rowena had the Aster Caeser salad with prawns, smoked vendace and rye croutons, but it arrived without the fish on the plate (!) and we had to ask for it. Then it took quite a while until the complete salad arrived and it was also smaller in size than the first one.

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The food was nice though (not wow – but nice) so we had pudding as well. Rowena had the apple cake with custard above which was really nice.

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And Gaby and I had a cinnamon bun each which was amazing. Still warm, buttery and lovely. We also spied people around us having afternoon tea which looked great so definitely want to go back and try that.

There are definitely a few tweaks to be done here, both when it comes to food and service (it was rather slow and wobbly) but hopefully it was all teething problems and it’s fixed now.

Aster restaurant, 150 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5LB

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Danish sandwiches at Copenhagen Airport

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When I go home to visit my family and friends in Sweden, I actually fly to Denmark as Copenhagen airport is the closest international airport. The train to Sweden takes only 12 minutes (over that famous bridge) so it’s very easy to get there.

I find myself spending a fair bit of time at this airport and although I have always liked certain things about it (the dark wooden floors, the hand luggage trolley and the shopping) the food selection has never been that great. This has changed in the last couple of years though and on my last visit, in January, I noticed that the well-known smørrebrød restaurant Aamann’s had opened a sandwich bar here that I just had to try.

I love the elaborate open-faced Danish sandwiches (smørrebrød) with more topping than bread and this one with steak tartar, tarragon mayo, capers, crispy onions, pickled red onions and cornichons was wonderful! It was also so filling I only managed the one (I will have to try the other ones another time) and very good value for money too at only DKK 65.

There are more places worth visiting for food at Copenhagen airport; Lagkagehuset and Joe and the juice have been around for a while now but I saw that Gorm’s pizza opened recently as well. It’s come a long way since the awful (and overpriced) sandwiches from a few years ago when the only safe option was a hot dog.