To ensure the natural wine doesn’t stop flowing, Café Frieda serves cuvée and Grüner Veltliner on tap. And for good reason: owners Ben and Samina, who also run Mrs Robinson’s down the road, believe biodynamic food and wine should be made readily available. Stepping inside this 3-in-1 café, restaurant and bar is like immersing yourself in a melting pot of dining and drinking cultures. Offering entry-level fine dining, Frieda serves a line-up of dishes that fuse east and west in a way that suits all tastes. Walk-ins here are welcome: groups are offered front-row seats by the open kitchen while lone diners can immerse themselves in more secluded seating to enjoy the impressive hi-fi system that pays homage to Tokyo’s audiophile listening bars.
Frieda’s Michelin-star-trained team are adherents of the nose-to-tail philosophy popularized by British chef Fergus Henderson. The freshly-baked sausage rolls make full use of their ingredients: smoked Erdhof Seewalde veal, Mangalitsa pork and off-cuts of crunchy croissant dough. Think pigs in a blanket but with prime meat and months of recipe development. Currently served 12-18h, the main food menu includes line-caught white Albacore tuna sourced from one of the few remaining artisan fishing ports in Europe. It comes soaked in a bath of tart chili and yuzu kosho, topped with layers of hollandaise emulsion and served with crispy matchstick fries. Beautifully cracked and creviced tomatoes and shishito peppers are doused in a shoyu and Sicilian olive oil vinaigrette and topped with smoked kombu seaweed in lieu of salt. As for beverages, you can expect homemade soft drinks, Belgian beers and specialty Scandinavian ciders. To finish, try the plum sorbet and a glass of red pepper and angelica root vermouth, soundtracked by eclectic avant-garde vinyl.
Text: Claire Mouchemore / Photos: Robert Rieger