Restaurant review: Bistro Telakka

23 05 2015

Telakka bistro replaced bistro Pirate Helsinki in May 2015. Same building and decor but new touch and enthusiasm.

Official opening was on the 22nd of May afternoon when Telakka served some delicious snacks, wine and beer for free. Snacks were actually bites from a la carte list. For instance mini Smoked salmon burger was excellent. Will definately try it later as big version.

Telakka bistro opening party

Highlight of Telakka burger is beef between roll’s. It is big and you are asked how minced meat is fried. Ordered it as medium which was also the end-result. Unfortunately french fries were too salty but bet it will be fixed later.

Telakka burger - reijosfood.com

Tasted also Goat cheese salad with beetroots. Excellent match especially with D’Vine Cabernet-Merlot red wine.

Goatcheese salad at Telakka - reijosfood.com

Avarage price of wine bottle on short list is about 35€, which is really affordable concerning wine prices in Helsinki restaurants in general.

Telakka bistro - reijosfood.com

Bistro Telakka - reijosfood.com

Telakka bistro is excellent supplementary dining place in Lauttasaari. One fish portion to main courses and place have promising future.

It is a little bit difficult to review service as you have to order from the bar inside. When it gets warmer, there will be hungry queuers waiting for possibility to place order.

REVIEW: FOOD 4/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE – 4/5

http://www.bistrotelakka.fi/

 

 





Restaurant review: Pjazza – Italian cuisine at its best

16 05 2015

Pjazza - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Pjazza was opened in Autumn 2014 providing Italian cuisine in quite impressive facilities. Restaurant area consists of several dining spaces like main dining room, loft above dining room, so called boulevard right after main entrance and small round table.

New Bepop Bar & Lounge was just opened on Ascension Day Eve providing better use for separate space. There is also VIP Lounge available and if you need Ballroom or seminar room, G18 is rented by Pjazza. And new terrace when ever the weather allows dining outside.

First visited the newly opened bar and tried Aperol Spritz. It is the best drink to review bar drinks and Pjazza did good job.

One interesting detail is that bar offers some snacks on Friday between 17-19. Typical for Italian bars, but not before in Finland.

Aperol Spritz at Pjazza

Pjazza personnel - reijosfood.com

On Sunday you can enjoy brunch buffet and what is definately welcomed speciality, live jazz three times a week! Even during brunch you can listen live jazz, which makes event lively and distinguish Pjazza from other brunch spots.

Pjazza bar - reijosfood.com

Menu consists naturally of Italian dishes. You can start the dinner with Antipasti, continue with Primi Piatti (pasta), enjoy Secondi (traditional Italian meat or fish) for main course and finalize ensamble with Dolci (dessert). But what differs Pjazza from other Italian cuisine restaurants in Helsinki?

Pjazza dining room - reijosfood.com

If you like to eat pizzas then you must try Pjazza. Dough used is left to rise for a minimum of 72 hours, and even up to 96 hours. And you can order all pizzas glutein-free. Nowadays quite necessary option. Tried neighbours pizza and it was one of the best in Helsinki.

First you are served some just baked bread with olive oil. One good example of Pjazza’s commitment to Italian cuisine. And when it comes to red wine you can buy a bottle of it with the price of 29€. And this time I mean wine is not basic carrafe wine, it is definately better than basic red wines you might think to be drinked.

Bread. olive oil and wine - reijosfood.com

For starter had Affetati Italian Misti Cold cuts including ham and salami. Especially liked procioutto cotto, which was delicious and fresh without any ham fat. Perfect starter as also olives were small and tasty with stones.

Antipasti at Pjazza - reijosfood.com

For main course decided to taste pasta, as it is best proof of capability of providing Italian kitchen for customers. Chose FETTUCINE GAMBERI E ZUCCHINI Fettucine with prawns, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and garlic.

What were pleasant surprises?

First of all pasta was al dente, which is not the case typically in Finland. People prefer unfortunately over cooked pasta. Then there was big king prawn included in the portion, which made the dish perfect. One of the best pastas available in Helsinki.

Pasta at Pjazza - reijosfood.com

Had to try Tiramisu for dessert. It is the only Italian dessert I can really compare. And Pjazza survived perfectly!

Excellent serving bowl, which completed enjoyment.

Tiramisu at Pjazza  - reijosfood.com

Food at Pjazza is excellent. If you are friend of Italian kitchen, then you go to this restaurant.

Maybe it is due to personnel working at Pjazza enabling Italian flavors really to carry the country on to your table.

And take a look at wine list. One of the best red wines is really under 30€ per bottle. Tasted also pinot grigio with pasta and it had enough character. Grappa selection is also reasonable. Without that digestive restaurant would not be Italian.

Grappa at Pjazza - reijosfood.com

When summer comes the terrace will be the spot for next dining experience. Improvement from previous a little bit “cold” restaurant is significant. Different spots for different moods. Please prepare to book table in advance.

Pjazza terrace - reijosfood.com

REVIEW: FOOD 4,5/5 – SERVICE 4,5/5 – OVERALL GRADE 5-/5

etusivu | Pjazza.





Wine review: Baron de Ley Reserva 2010

14 05 2015
Baron De Ley is a relatively new producer in Rioja. Started in 1985 by Rioja wine professional eager to create a chateau inspired winery with state-of the-art winemaking. They converted an ancient monastery into a magnificent estate and have been producing Rioja wines that reflect a modern style, expressive of the terroir and the Tempranillo grape. 
Baron de Ley - reijosfood.com
Tasted wine was Baron de Ley Reserva 2010. Red wine is produced 100% of Tempranillo grapes. After 20 months ageing in new American-oak casks, a further 24 months rounding off in the bottle has brought it to its moment of plenitude.

THE LOOK

Ruby-red colour, typical better Spanish red wine

THE NOSE

Powerful fruity character mingling with reminders of its ageing, nice bouquet

THE TASTE

First impression is soft, but volume gradually extends across the palate to end with a long finish. Included tannins but disturbingly

Facts:

Alcohol: 13,5%
Extract: 27 g/l
Acidity: 5 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (360 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: natural cork

“Gran reserva = matured for a long time, more than 3 years and in addition to a couple of years in the bottle. Reserva = aged 2-3 years and in addition to one year in the bottle

 

Baron de Ley Reserva 2010 - reijosfood.com

Enjoyed wine first as such and then with 1st of May food. Paired extremely well with chicken and spiced lamb sausages. Suits definately with red meats as there is enough taste.

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 4+/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK +++ / +++

Barón de Ley. A Rioja wine cellar in an old monastery.

 





Restaurant review: Tony’s deli

9 05 2015

Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Tony’s deli was re-opened in April 2015 after an extensive renovation. Italian cuisine continues to be the main attraction, but restaurant includes now more space due to the new spot at street level.

Main restaurant, Tony’s deli, serves more sophisticated portions like it did in the past.

Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

Lounge diVino with shop has a antipasti buffet and new in restaurant concept, Italian Street bar, is most relaxed, when it comes to athmosphere. There you can order antipasti trays and even listen modern music.

Lounge diVino - reijosfood.com

Antipasti Buffet - reijosfood.com

Tony’s deli (restaurant name) was founded already in 2005, but after some changes in restaurant location and ownership, Ravintolakolmio http://www.ravintolakolmio.fi/ operates it.

First hiccup came when asked recommendation for aperitif and if restaurant has Aperol Spritz. Waitress had to go ask if they have it….. Decided to order Campari soda and glass of house champagne, which was Mumm.

Campari soda - reijosfood.com

Started dinner with Antipasti as in Italian restaurant you should do. Depending on the amount and size of these small Italian snacks, you soon know if you have to skip Primi Piatti, pastas, which are also on menu.

For antipasti had Tony’s delis beef carpaccio with raspberry vinegar, Olives with basil and rocket and Grilled gem lettuce with parmesan and pine nuts.

Beef was tender but taste was covered under sweet vinegar, salt and parmesan. With less of those, this dish would have been excellent. Olives are good example of basic Italian antipasti and Tony’s deli managed well. Gem lettuce could have been more grilled, but it must be difficult to avoid burning of soft lettuce leave.

With starters restaurant serves delicious foccaccia and even gluten-free bread if needed.

Beef Carpaccio - reijosfood.com

Olives at Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

Salad at Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Braised entrecote of beef with thyme and red wine sauce and Pan-fried white fish with white wine sauce. For main courses you have to choose side dish from 8 different alternatives. Part of them are the same as starters.

Entrecote was braised well so that grease had almost gone. Only problem was that lettuce was softening in sauce. Suggest to serve it in separate bowl as potatoes for whitefish. Fish was well prepared but maybe side dish suggestion, potatoes, is not the perfect match.

Braised entrecote - reijosfood.com

Whitefish at Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

Wine list is modest consisting mainly from Italian wines. Chose for red wine Chianti which paired well with meat starter and main course. Montiggl riesling instead was dissappointment. Tasted almost like sauvignon blanc and it was served too early. Had to ask ice for it.

Noticed that restaurant offers wine tastings, but if 4 glasses are filled with 16cl at once, what happens to temperature of white wines?

Chianti at Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

Tony’s deli antipasti buffet is the one you must choose, if you visit restaurant. It is most popular among diners. Main courses are of course most difficult to prepare.

As restaurant has been opened month ago, waitering needs still some guidance.

Italian pizzeria music in the background might attract most and main dining room is quite impressive due to glass roof. There are many paintings on the wall’s and Sophia Loren is still on men’s room wall.

Sophia Loren - reijosfood.com

REVIEW: FOOD 3,5/5 – SERVICE 3+/5 – OVERALL GRADE 3,5/5

Restaurant Tony’s Deli – Italian restaurant, Helsinki

 





First of May (Vappu) lunch at Vanha

1 05 2015

Vanha - reijosfood.com

Historic restaurant Vanha ylioppilastalo, Vanha in short, has been serving customers for more than 140 years. It is the classic venue for hosting celebrations and events in Helsinki. Located at the heart of the city, Vanha is not only an impressive building but an integral part of Finnish cultural history. Vanha’s spacious Great Hall provides a luxurious venue for dazzling concerts, dinners and corporate events.

Vanha - reijosfood.com

Nowadays restaurant business is run by Royal Restaurants, which owns most of the fine dining restaurants in Helsinki.

Vappu lunch table - reijosfood.com

First of May (Labour Day) is a day for lunch or brunch depending which time you choose for eating. Usually first setting is already at 11.30 and that is OK, if you have not had chance to eat breakfast. Prefered latter setting, which was at 15.00 at Vanha.

People were crowded in small hallway because setting was late. Doors to Great Hall were opened 15.20, which meant that earlier setting ended too late.

Vappu is also day for bubbling drinks. Instead of sponsor champagne Lanson, ordered Moet & Chandon. Wine list was all along short, so short that there was only one red and one white wine alternative for glass. Tried white wine and it was barely drinkable with whitefish.

Menu at Vanha - reijosfood.com

Menu consisted of starter, main course and dessert buffets. Kind of was expecting that main courses would have been served to the tables but it would have been impossible.

Food available can be seen from the menu above but as it is only in Finnish, some highlights from it in English.

Starter buffet included herrings, gravlax, warm smoked salmon, lamb meatballs, caesar salad, breads and some other stuff.

For main course there was two alternatives, whitefish or beef fillet with root vegetables.

And for dessert chocolate cake, sweets and cheeses.

Starter Buffet at Vanha - reijosfood.com

Dessert Buffet at Vanha - reijosfood.com

Food itself was excellent. All dishes were fresh and well prepared. Even whitefish was delicious although it was in thermal container. Of course it was a little bit over cooked due to that, but otherwise good.

Restaurant advertised with live music. Well, 20 minutes playing by 6 ladies, which you could hardly hear. Our table was close to the stage for shows, which allowed to see and listen but I think that at other end of hall they could not hear anything. Ladies played well, that was not the problem, but you expect to hear music at least half of the time dining lasts, which was 2,5 hours.

Live music at Vanha - reijosfood.com

As mentioned before, food was excellent.

You can not review service because you had to pick up the food by yourself. Drink serving was polite and special thanks to effort made for bringing us Moet & Chandon instead of Lanson.

Vanha and Great Hall are glorious and therefore overall points could be better. But for vappu lunch system does not work. First you waited to get in because earlier setting was late. Then you queued for starters. And then next event was already starting when you paid the bill. Space was used too effectively on the First of May.

REVIEW: FOOD 4+/5 – SERVICE NA/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4-/5

Vanha Ylioppilastalo





Restaurant review: Brasserie Kämp – Kämp burger

26 04 2015

Brasserie Kämp - reijosfood.com

Hotel Kämp is a historical hotel in Helsinki. The hotel was originally built in 1887 by Carl Kämp. The building was demolished and the facade was rebuilt in 1965. The headquarters of the bank KOP were situated in the building for almost three decades, until 1995. A major restoration project, started in 1996, culminated in the reopening of Hotel Kämp in 1999.

Restaurant Brasserie Kämp offers a wide range of European food brasserie style. After building heated terrace four years ago you can dine “outside” all year around like in many brasseries in Paris. That is the place for enjoying Kämp burger.

Kämp burger consists of Black Angus beef patty, chipotle and bacon dressing, pickled red onion, cheddar, little gem lettuce between roll and pommes frites.

You can can choose the degree of maturity of the meat. Medium means that you get patty which is red inside. And patty is thick, thicker than you usually have seen and juicy. It is one reason for the price, 24€, but of course the milieu adds some value add. Fries are crispy as they should be and served with elegance.

With red wine, usually pinot noir, Kämp burger is perfect hunger killer for lunch!

Kämp burger - reijosfood.com

Brasserie Kämp is perfect location to observe passers-by on Esplanadi promenade and eat that famous Kämp burger. You can also watch swanky cars parked front of Hotel Kämp or driving to the hotel garage.

REVIEW: FOOD 4,5/5 – SERVICE 4,5/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5

Ravintola Brasserie Kämp.





Wine review: Faustino I

18 04 2015
Faustino I - reijosfood.com

Faustino I

Bodegas Faustino is located in Oyon – Álava in Rioja, Spain. It enjoys a well-deserved international reputation after more than 150 years of experience in the production and aging of premium wines. The winery has 650 hectares of vineyards in the heart of Rioja Alavesa, between Laguardia and Oyón villages (in the North of Spain). The fourth generation family business, has become a leader in the production and exportation of high quality wines.

The names of Bodegas Faustino wines are simple, just Faustino and something and usually something is number. The smaller the number, the better the wine should be. Winery produces red, white, rose and cava wines.

Tasted wine was Faustino I Gran Reserva 2001, which costs in Alko 24,90€ making it obviously upper shelf wine. Wine is produced from Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo grapes. I means that it should be the best of this Faustino red wine series.

Faustino I - reijosfood.com

THE LOOK

All Faustino bottle lables have same style and all Faustino red wine bottle labels have some traditional figure on them.

Faustino I 2001 was dark red but although it had some age already, no brownish color.

THE NOSE

Pleasant and rich aroma without surprises.

THE TASTE

Medium-bodied, aromatic but somehow lackluster flavor. Expected a little bit more after reading some of the tasting notes from professional wine sites.

Facts:

Alcohol: 13,5% by volume
Extract: 26 g/l
Acidity: 6,1 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (380 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: natural cork

“Gran reserva = matured for a long time, more than 3 years and in addition to a couple of years in the bottle. Reserva = aged 2-3 years and in addition to one year in the bottle

image

Tasted Faustino I first as such and that gave an impression of little bit lackluster flavor. To be honest this wine has not enough boost for red meats. But with blue cheese it paired extremely well.

Therefore recommend to enjoy Faustino I, at least 2001, with white meats, game birds and cheeses. Cheers!

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 3+/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++ / +++

Bodegas Faustino Rioja wine.








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