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RESTAURANT REVIEW: KUPP, PADDINGTON BASIN

KuPP is transforming the London Scandi-food vibe with its simple approach and laid-back warehouse feel, and we were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to try it out… 

Ask me about the trend of Scandinavian food establishments sweeping the nation and I will tell you they are all similarly low key, all serving pickles and meatballs while embarking upon the same mission to bring white-washed tranquility and pot-plants to the hustle of London. That would have been the answer, should I say, before Scandi-influenced KuPP on Merchant Square in Paddington changed my opinion.

KuPP is surrounded by the beautiful Paddington Basin and serves trendy Krusovice

KuPP is surrounded by the beautiful Paddington Basin and serves trendy Krusovice

Presented as a minimalist, yet warming restaurant/bar and store, it’s immediately clear that there is more to it than a quiet simplicity; it’s the social dining element that is at the heart of KuPP and it bounces off the copper tables and low-hanging pendant lights. Gone is my opinion that it’s all about a serene and quiet, urban haven and in is the reality that it’s more about an urban, shared party. Yes, it’s in a big expansive space but there is no emptiness or white wall in sight. With a fun warehouse feel, it’s worth popping down for some chilled after-work drinks or ‘fika’ – which literally translates, ‘to have coffee’ – as you couldn’t deny the buzz the space had with lines of trendy after-work drinkers buying Krusovice at the bar and fresh coffee at the store.

We managed to find ourselves sat on the waterfront, with only a thin pane of floor-to-window glass separating us and the twinkling Paddington Basin. Our waiter was infectiously jolly and – even though he assured us he hates salmon anywhere else – recommended the salted salmon coulibiac, which turned out to be the firm favourite of the evening, again, even though I would never have chosen it otherwise. He could clearly see that my friend and I were potentially going to have a fight over the food if one got the better dish, so he subtly suggested we get some side plates and share. It turned out to be very good advice, as I would have been particularly jealous of the potted rabbit otherwise!

Try the new Smorgasbord Brunch - it's great!

Try the new Smorgasbord Brunch – it’s great!

The food is uncomplicated and focused on good sourcing practices (as a country girl, this is always a big tick in the box for me). My starter of smoked salmon with lemon, capers & Leksands Knacker crispbread was smoked the traditional Norwegian way in Stoke Newington, the only place in the capital to do so and the rich, smoky taste transported straight from the kiln to the plate. The oven roasted venison loin with layers of roast beetroot provided the meaty taste needed to contrast the fresh fish. Again, the meat was of undeniable quality and there wasn’t a pickle or a meatball in sight.

Though Laura held a very visual distaste for the traditional lingonberry in the Lingonberry Mess, desert was simplistic and welcomed. My banana bread with cinnamon ice-cream provided the light relief needed at the end of the indulgent main event and surprised me in its basic qualities. It turns out Scandi really isn’t all pickles, lingonberries and meatballs. This one’s well worth a try.

THE KNOWLEDGE

COST…
Around £90

GOOD FOR…
Something a bit different with a touch of Scandinavia and genuine atmosphere

WHAT TO EAT…
Baked salmon coulibiac

WHAT TO KNOW…
The Hansen & Lydersen salmon is sustainably farmed between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic and is traditionally hung and cold smoked for a minimum of 12 hours

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