Scandinavian style is huge in Melbourne cafe interiors at the moment so it’s good to see Scandi influences flowing through to cafe menus as well.
SMAK House food has the Scandi interior nailed: it’s all Nordic whites and greys. Polished concrete is juxtaposed with white wire seating, timber finishes and hanging greenery. Think calm and minimalist.
Smak means “taste” in Swedish and the menu here features a lot of Scandinavian ingredients like smoked salmon and beetroot. But the main focus of the menu is on healthy and nutritious food. This can sometimes translate to a certain over earnestness, like the “Smakpedia” section of the menu which defines key ingredients from farro to buckwheat.
When the emphasis is on flavour first, like SMAK Food house’s Silverbeet and leek pancakes ($18.50), it works. The pancakes are bursting with greens and teamed with a runny poached egg and pops of sweet chargrilled corn. It’s nutritious but also delicious.
But sometimes SMAK Food House can be over virtuous. Dare I say it, but the cauliflower rice egg white omelette ($16.50) could do with some egg yolks to give it some more depth and punch. The dishes I tried were also on the small side and I would generally expect more generous servings for the prices charged.
Luckily although the drinks menu offers everything from kombucha to golden lattes, SMAK Food House also serves up regular coffee for those of us who still have our vices. If you’re into “clean eating” then you’ll love SMAK Food House but be prepared for steep prices and small serves.
Details: SMAK Food House, 6C Daly street, South Yarra (Ph 03 8560 2146)