This past year, Stockholm has seen the opening of an endless stream of Instagram-friendly all-day cafés, with blond wooden furniture, panelled walls, good coffee and a sliced avocado sandwich being the common denominators. Ikon Kafé, by the team behind Kaffeverket and Snickarbacken 7, certainly fits the mould (blond furniture, check, panelled walls, check, and sliced avocado sandwich, check). But unlike many of the others, this particular café piqued my interest, mainly because they seem to put their own twist on the seemingly predictable menu. What brilliant mind would think to add a sprinkle of Japanese ‘togarashi’ pepper to said avocado sandwich? And what happens when the chefs decide to switch the bacon on eggs Benedict to brisket? There was only one way to find out…
The homely and airy space, located on Karlbergsvägen, makes me think of a living room. People seem to float in and out of the café, many of them greeting the staff on their way through. It’s all very un-Stockholm-like, free-and-easy. Sort of like Central Perk, the café from Friends, but without the saggy orange mohair sofa. Ikon is the kind of place where a Mimosa (125 kronor) feels like an appropriate weekend lunch beverage.
The green smoothie bowl (85 kronor), a trendy dish that has taken the health food community by storm since it started showing up in Instagram feeds in 2015, is an odd conception, made up of a spinach, avocado, kale, banana, apple, chia seed and coconut water smoothie, topped with berries, pomegranate seeds, coconut flakes and roasted almonds. It tastes surprisingly good, and is very filling. I’ve always had a sweet tooth for American pancakes (105 kronor), but am quite disappointed with Ikon’s mushy and flavourless version.
On the savoury side, the eggs Benedict (145 kronor) with spinach, brisket and Hollandaise served on levain bread, is a hit. The creamy, pale yellow sauce is plentiful and almost covers the toast completely, which I’m thrilled about. The burger (165 kronor) is another success – much of which can be attributed to the coarsely ground beef and the delicious truffle aioli.
Does Ikon Kafé stand out in a crowd of similar venues? No, not really. Does it bring something new to the table? I’m all for the small tweaks to some of the classic dishes, but they aren’t nearly enough to make a real statement. Do I leave content and feel like I’ve got my money’s worth? Yes, and if this were my neck of the woods, I’d probably be found hanging out here, every now and then.
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