"This should become a destination restaurant for Scandinavian dishes"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the Pipeline. Billing itself as a rock bar with ‘music, pool, pinball, hot chicks, bums, punks, hipsters, bohemians, rockabilly greasers and regular Joes’, serving Scandinavian food, and claiming to ‘soon be known the world over as the happiest place in London’ I had images of a Shoreditch version of rockers haunt The Crow Bar, complete with gastropub at the side.
Once through the doors however, I was met with a distinctly cosy venue that was part bar part restaurant, with pool tables and a smattering of after work drinkers. There was a distinctly laid back atmosphere - and yes, I’d even go so far as to say happy – two men seated at the table next to us were actually playing board games. A birthday was being celebrated with champagne further away, and people seemed to be smiling as they made their way to the bar.
There were few punters actually dining, and as the manager explained people seem to come here for the well stocked bar rather than for dinner. A shame, as it’s evident that care and effort has gone into the menu, which changes daily according to what ingredients are available.
To start with we went for the Scandinavian snack platter – according to the menu a daily assortment of fish, meat and vegetables (£6.50). We got a large plate of cold meats, smokey cheese similar to Cheddar, ryvita and prawns in dill mayonnaise. Being greedy we’d ordered a second starter of smoked salmon on a slightly sweet Swedish rye bread with red caviar and dill mayonnaise, this condiment clearly being a favourite.
For the mains we tried to go as traditional as possible opting for the Köttbullar, or Swedish Meatballs (£8.50) which are made with a mixture of beef and pork, and according to the menu, love. They were served with a homemade potato mash, a deliciously rich gravy and a Lingonberry jam on the side. My companion opted for the Wallenbergare (£11), a burger made from veal, also served with mash, green peas, light gravy and Lingonberry jam.
Needless to say after all this wholesome food we were completely stuffed, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try the homemade raspberry parfait with meringues (£3) which was smooth and creamy and not overly sweet, and the absolutely amazing homemade chocolate truffles made with cinnamon. (£4) We washed all this down with a Tenuta Poggio 2006 Chianti, one of the best I have sampled in a while and well worth the £25 price tag.
It’s cold in Sweden, which is why the food is stodgy enough to sustain one through the bleakest of winters, therefore we faced the wind and rain outside with bravery having eaten to our hearts’ content. Perfect winter food, this should soon become a destination restaurant for those wanting to try Scandinavian dishes. At around £65 for a three course meal for two it’s also excellent value.
Leila reviewed the Pipeline on Tue 17 Nov 2009