When I heard Lokal + Co in West End was offering a menu with Nordic influences, we were keen to visit.
We fell in love with the exquisite variety of fish dishes during our visit to Oslo last year. Smoked salmon, fermented trout, roe in a tube might not be appetising first thing in the morning for many, but it was such a healthy way to start the day. We would love to find something similar in Brisbane and held onto the hope Lokal + Co might be the answer to that prayer.
Lokal + Co is located just off the main West End strip down O’Connell Street and was easy to find. Owners Norwegian expat and chef Herge Olsen and Corey Thoms have created a lovely space with a fresh clean aesthetic of crisp white and pine. Furnishings were simple and functional, with touches of warm copper (I adored the globe light fixtures over the coffee/bar counter).
While the Danish open rye with sardines, egg, fennel, radish and iceberg lettuce (AUD$19) and grilled house cured gravlax with warm potato and braised fennel salad in a mustard seed aioli dressing (AUD$24) leaned more towards what we came to believe is ‘Nordic’, there was a chill in the air. Can you blame me if it drove a temptation for a warm wedged spiced roast pumpkin quinoa salad?
I loved that the quinoa was a crunchy element! The satisfying bulk came from the silky eggplant with creamy sweet and slightly smokey roasted pumpkin. The wedge of lemon would’ve been overkill with the tart tahini yoghurt dressing, but if you like the bite, knock yourself out and squeeze away!
The SO’s Cubano-pulled pork sandwich initially did not look like a serious contender. Not when compared to the now-considered-normal monster sized burgers and sandwiches that have dominated the dining scene these last couple of years. However where it lacked in size, it made up for in flavour.
Each half of Lokal + Co‘s Cubano-pulled pork sandwich fit quite comfortably in the SO’s hands when they were picked up. As he took each bite into the warm bread, barely anything slipped out from between the slices of bread and the SO’s hands stayed relatively clean.
I certainly enjoyed the several bites the SO offered and I almost voted he had the better meal. The leg ham and Jarlsberg cheese – absolutely perfect!
Was Lokal + Co the answer to our prayer for an omega-rich Scandanavian and Nordic breakfast? Unfortunately, no, but that is totally ok. Fermented trout and pickled sardines first thing in the morning isn’t for everyone. What Lokal + Co has to offer is.