Ever heard about the 3 ‘s’s of Danish dining?
Smørrebrød – rye bread open faced sandwiches, topped generously with a variety of ingredients
Snitter – smaller pieces of topped smørrebrød, almost like a canape but still piled high
Snaps – a liquer that’s drunk during a meal, in the form of a small shot (but it’s for sipping, not downing!)
And undoubtedly, the fourth S would be Snaps + Rye, a Time Out Top 20 restaurant in West London, serving Danish dishes and drinks. A couple of weeks ago, I joined the Visit Denmark team to check it out…
The interior of Snaps + Rye proves that hygge is for life, not just a hashtag trend on Instagram, with its cosy, intimate feel and simple yet vibrant touches of decor. Potted plants in tins hang at the windows, and blankets are available for those wishing to sit outside and watch the people of West London go by.
Chatting to the friendly team, I took my seat and tucked into a selection of three snitter that the S+R team had cooked up. Guys, they were SO GOOD. So flavour-packed and fresh and melding multiple tastes and textures to create a delicious mouthful. And who knew I’d enjoy herring so much?
We were poured glasses of the snaps liqueur and taught the Danish ritual associated with it . Raising the glass to your tablemates, you declare ‘skål!’ (basically, cheers) and make eye contact with everyone at the table before you take your sip. Eye contact is repeated, before setting your glasses down once more.
Once we’d tried the professional dishes, it was time to create our very own smørrebrød toppings. Presented with a table full of fresh, colourful ingredients to choose from, I got to work…
The first snitter I created was actually the one in the middle. Y’know, the one that looks a bit like Jurassic Park, if it were shrunk down to roughly the size of a credit card. Underneath the asparagus and herbs, there’s plenty of trout mixture, which I really liked.
The key to a good smørrebrød? Making sure the rich rye bread doesn’t upstage your toppings – so flavoursome ingredients piled high are essential.
Snitter number two was inspired by a pretty popular meal – anyone for brunch on bread? Hard boiled egg (because, unfortunately, no poached was available) and smoked salmon, sprinkled with a touch of cress. Okay, the cress isn’t really a brunch thing (read: isn’t a brunch thing at all), but I figured, egg and cress, why not. And it all worked.
Once I hit my third piece of bread, I was beginning to run out of creative steam. I wanted to go for something a bit more off-the-wall, so I teamed a couple of small herring slices with pickled carrot and cucumber. A strong soy-based sauce gave it exactly the extra kick it needed, and surprisingly, it actually tasted pretty decent.
Okay, so, chances are if you rock up to Snaps + Rye after reading this, you won’t be presented with a table of ingredients to make up your own smørrebrød. Instead, the work’s all done for you, as the team offer up delicious Danish open sandwiches, with toppings changing daily.
As well as the smørrebrøds, Snaps + Rye also do full dinner and brunch menus, and if the taste and ingredients of my night’s spoils are anything to go by, it’s sure worth a visit.
Snaps + Rye
93 Golborne Road, London, W10 5NL
020 8964 3004
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