I've never really given it much thought, but it was only when I sat down to eat at Ekte that I realised my diet consists of mostly heated food. I'm not really into salads (what is the point?) and though I love fruit and vegetables, I only eat the former in the morning and I usually cook all of my vegetables.
My friends and I walked into the restaurant, past the resident DJ who deserves a raise, and were seated opposite a table of tempting pastries.
The first thing I tasted was the smoked trout, pickled beetroot salad with sea purslane, radish, pea shoot & horseradish. It was neatly arranged; the plate was slathered with the salmon which gave the illusion of there being more food than there actually was. You should already know how I feel about small portions of food. It was a very refreshing dish, but the flavours didn't stand out to me. Everything was very neutral tasting.
I then had the pickled cucumber with smoked seaweed & horseradish and this was actually my second favourite dish out of the three I ate (see below for the first). The cucumbers had a crunchy skin and delightful soft inside. They were quite juicy; a burst of sweet pickle juice erupted in my mouth with every bite.
Lastly, I ate the smørrebrød topped with rare roast beef, celeriac & horseradish remoulade, crisp-fried onions, capers. Contrary to the title, the beef was not served 'rare' - I was told that this is just what the beef is referred to as. As the dish was completely cool, I feel I had to work a bit harder to identify what I was tasting. That may sound a bit weird but I feel like warmth brings out the best in food most of the time. The beef wasn't tough and it was presented very beautifully on the rye bread. All of the other components were pleasant but as was the same with the first dish, nothing stood out for me.
By no means would I conclude that I would not visit this restaurant again. I liked the minimalist surroundings, the calmness of it and the variety of foods on the menu.
Familiarise yourself with Ekte's menu here: http://ektelondon.co.uk