Haakon poached eggs
Norwegian smoked salmon and eggs at Haakon

According to the 2016 World Happiness Report, five of the top 10 happiest countries are in Scandinavia. Denmark tops the rankings followed by Iceland in third place, Norway and Finland are fourth and fifth respectively, while Sweden rounds up the list at number 10.

Singaporeans can now experience that Scandinavian lifestyle without having to move there, at the newly opened Haakon Superfoods and Juice cafe.

"The Scandinavian lifestyle is about spending more time outdoors, more exercise, better eating and good living," says its founder Andreas Dale. "As food plays a big part in people's wellbeing, Haakon tries to bring that to our customers by ensuring that our food is healthy, fresh and good."

The Norwegian, who has a background in psychology and marketing, opened Haakon with a partner who is a medical doctor.

Haakon is a Norwegian name, frequently used by those of royal lineage. "It is a name we feel symbolises strength, which falls in line with our mantra of healthy life, strong body and peace of mind," he says.

He adds: "Scandinavians are quite simple when it comes to food: wholesome, nourishing, healthy and never compromising on taste."

The menu comprises a range of juices, smoothies, all-day breakfast items such as avocado toast, waffles with smoked salmon, and a wide range of smoothie bowls served with chia seeds and homemade granola.

Mr Dale recommends Haakon's Classic Acai Bowl, which has an organic acai blend topped with coconut flakes, banana, strawberries and blueberries; and the Original Rio Bowl, which has an organic acai and banana blend topped with coconut, dragon fruit and cocoa nibs. "Both bowls are popular, because they are rich in antioxidants, and are energy boosting foods," says Mr Dale. The smoothie bowls are priced from S$7.90.

For its juices and smoothies, Haakon uses ingredients such as acai, spirulina, organic matcha, maca powder and cocoa nibs, along with unusual fruit and vegetable juice combinations not frequently seen in other cafes. For example, its Mjolnir smoothie has acai, whey protein, blueberry, chia seeds, maca powder and apple in it.

Haakon salad
Picture: From Hakkon's Instagram page

Its range of salads and hot dishes have been designed for the calorie conscious – to give consumers the protein and nutrients needed while omitting the bad, says Mr Dale. All items on the menu have been reviewed by the doctor to ensure that they don't have hidden processed sugars or weird sounding unhealthy preservatives and additives.

Haakon also has traditionally Norwegian food products on its menu, such as the brunost, which is a Norwegian cheese with a distinctive caramelised flavour.

One way to have brunost is with waffles, coconut ice cream and fruits. Or diners could try the popular Smorrebrod brunost toast, which consists of brunost and lingonberry jam on rye bread.

Mr Dale says that the menu has options for everyone. For gym-goers, there are whey protein-loaded options. "For those who feel a cold coming, we have vitamin C-loaded blends," he says, referring to the Cold Assassin juice, a blend of lemon, orange, grapefruit and turmeric.

"It is not about a particular food or drink item that makes us Scandinavian, It is about embracing a lifestyle. We want to bring a piece of Scandinavia to our customers," he says.

Haakon Superfoods and Juice
118 Holland Avenue, Raffles Holland V, #01-03 haakon.com.sg

Written by Tay Suan Chiang for The Business Times.