Fika, Brick Lane

I was recently shopping one Sunday afternoon on Brick lane, when my friend suggested we try a little cafe-kitchen she knew called Fika - so we checked it out.

Fika is one of those blink and you'll miss it kind of places. When you get inside, the interiors are lovely with lots of exposed brickwork - you almost feel as though you are sat outside, inside. We were seated by one of the four boisterous waiters in a raised alcove, set slightly to the side, with a single small candle to light the space. The walls were decorated with old newspaper clippings and the benches were covered in pretend grass, with little square cushions to sit on.

It did prove tricky at times to catch the waiter's attention from where we were sat. However, all the guys running the show were great and very accommodating, even with any specific requests, including my hot chocolate with marshmallows and a shot of coffee.

Xenia researching..
Menus in books, and milk in milk bottles
There were seven main dishes to pick from and the menus had been adorably worked into the pages of small hard-back books. Xenia went bold with Swedish meatballs (complete with an essential dollop of loganberry jelly). I picked the mushroom pie - which was fantastic. So much so, that I decided to try my own version and share it with all of you.

I would still certainly recommend a trip to Fika if you get the chance, particularly as they also put rocket in the mushroom pie, which I forgot! Also I'd love to know what you think of the roof garden as sadly on the day we were there, it was just a little bit too chilly.

Serves 4 

  • 2 large potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped 
      (You could use a whole one but I prefer extra mushrooms!)
  • 400g fresh mushrooms, sliced 
      (Any. I opted for a punnet of chestnut & two portabellos)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 12 -15 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only (1tsp of dried)
  • slosh of red wine
  • 6 tbsp of flour
  • 250mls beef stock
  • 125g of goats cheese
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Chop and boil the potatoes for the mash, I like to leave the skins on - it's so much easier, looks pretty and holds in much more of the fibre and goodness. In a separate pan, sauté the onion and garlic. After a few minutes, stir in the mushrooms - you can use any type - I opted for chestnut and portabello.

Once the mushrooms have cooked, slowly siv and gently fold in the flour before pouring over the beef stock, adding it slowly to avoid any lumps. Season with salt, pepper, red wine and thyme.

Once everything's cooked and the potatoes have been mashed, pour the mushroom sauce into a large casserole dish. Sprinkle with crumbed goats cheese and layer over the mashed potato. Decorate with a few sprigs on thyme and pop in the grill at 180 degrees for 5-10 minutes. Serve with either green beans, or watercress and rocket salad.

*** Mushrooms are impressively low in calories. A handful of buttons is only 20 calories but provides some nutrients not found in many other foods: including around 15% of our daily requirements for copper and 10% for selenium

161 Brick Lane, London, E1 6SB
Tel: 020 7613 2013 
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