Yes, you read that right, we review restaurants now. Why? Because I found it impossible to turn down a free meal? You are only partly right. The reason I couldn’t resist trialling Fika on Brick Lane in East London was the fact that they have recently redecorated and revamped their menu in tribute to the films of Wes Anderson. An East End restaurant themed after Mr Anderson may have you reaching for the hipster branding iron but bear with me. This is not a case of style over substance; the food is incredible.
As I take you through the culinary delights we were treated to, see if you can tell which Anderson films we were digesting.
Starters – Foxy Doughnut and Darjeeling Gravad Lax
Nice though the cured salmon with Darjeeling jelly was I most definitely won the first course (because we all know that the art of ordering food is a competitive one) with my Foxy Doughnut starter. What is a Foxy Doughnut you ask? Try a home-made doughnut topped with chicken liver pâté and then crowned with shredded apple. It was a mixture of sweet, savoury, and then sweet again that had me making slightly inappropriate noises at the table. If only Wes Anderson had directed When Harry Met Sally.
Mains – Tenenbaum’s Dinner and Pitch Perfect Meatballs
The Tenenbaum’s Dinner consists of three sliders (tiny burgers to you and me) each with a different indulgent cheese and a side of skin-on chips. The sliders were delicious and, if you’re happy to sacrifice some of your dignity and your companion’s respect for you, can just about be eaten without the aid of knife and fork. Once again I think I made the right decision with the meatballs as they were accompanied by mashed potato (heavenly with the potato skins included), apple cider sauce, and lingonberry jam. The Wes Anderson theme may have seemed a little gimmicky at first but they certainly take their food seriously at Fika.
Desserts – Kladdkaka and Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
I may not be able to pronounce Kladdkaka, much to my embarrassment when ordering, but I certainly enjoyed its chocolatey cake-ness. The more unusual dessert came in the form of small toasted peanut butter & jelly toasted sandwiches, something I had never experience outside of a film before. They were tantalisingly tasty but the majesty of the meal took its toll and we sadly had to leave half a sandwich and a spoonful of Kladdkaka uneaten. It was painful to leave some food on the plates but I was truly defeated.
Cocktails – The Inventory and Life Aquatic
What is dinner out without a cocktail or two? Both concoctions were exquisite and pleasingly sweet with The Inventory having quite a sting in its tail. What made these drinks really special was their presentation. The Life Aquatic came with half the cocktail in the glass and the other half in a small plastic bag resembling a goldfish bowl and a fish-based prize at a fairground. The Inventory came in the form of two tiny cups, a jar, and a jug, all of which had to be poured over some candy floss before stirring and drinking.
As this article will no doubt show I am not a professional food critic. That said I know what I like when it comes to food and I loved my trip to Fika. The restaurant was littered with Wes Anderson related artefacts and the food tasted and looked sublime. The DIY nature of the cocktails added to the charm and made the meal more of an experience than your average evening out on Brick Lane.
Our bill came to £66.15 which included two three-course meals with cocktails and service charge. Not too shabby I think you will have to agree.
Fika has recently extended its Wes Anderson theme until the end of September. For more information, to book a table, or peruse the menu visit www.fikalondon.com.