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.





Restaurant review: Pastor – revisit

12 04 2015

Pastor was opened in August 2014 adding new cuisine in Helsinki restaurant scene. Inspiration comes from the Peruvian kitchen with add on’s from east Asian ingredients. Really fusion cuisine as there are some hints from sushi culture and Spanish kitchen. The portions can be eaten alone or they can be shared, of course nowadays.

Decor is simple, maybe even rugged. But as Pastor is also open until 3AM on Friday’s and Saturday’s and transforms even more laid-back socializing place, it does not matter.

Visited Pastor second time, previous review can be found be using search.

Pastor kitchen - reijosfood.com

Pastor dining room - reijosfood.com

Menu consists of Ceviche bar snacks, starters, main courses, side dishes and desserts. Ceviche dishes are popular in the coastal regions of the South and Central Americas. The dish is typically made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with chili. One proof of Peruvian kitchen!

Decided to order for aperitives again glass of house champagne, Lassaigne Les Vignes de Montgueuz and glass of excellent riesling, Brauneberger Juffer, which was chosen by Pekka Koiranen, head of restaurant and propably the best sommelier in Finland. Wine included some residual sugar making it semi-dry.

Wine world is the best part of Pastor. Recommend to ask sommelier to choose wines, that is the most easiest way to get right wines for complicated flavors. We even got two wines for starters and main courses in order to compare them with food.

With starters we were served Schlumberger Riesling Saering and Montinore Borealist, half glasses of both wines. With ribs Greenhough Pinot Noir and Tommasi Amarone Valpolicella Classico. And with seabass Comte Lafond Sancerre and Gewurztraminer J. Höfstätter.

With this selection you can call Pastor also as wine restaurant.

imageimageSancerre - reijosfood.comimageimageimage

 

You have 2 1/2 hours time enough for eating. Last time we had to finish wines at the bar but as we did not have any dessert, time was enough.

Restaurant is popular in the evenings, so prepare to book table well in advance. It is possible to dine at the bar but dining is more convenient in real dining room where you can see the kitchen.

Pastor is fresh and welcomed dining experience with new flavors. Service is quick and polite.

Overall grade is high because of the focus in wines. And it is needed, because wines are maybe not the most common beverage in Peruvian cuisine, are they?

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

http://www.pastorrestaurant.fi/

 





Restaurant review: Sundmans Krog – revisit after 2 years

8 04 2015
Sundmans Krog - reijosfood.com

Sundmans krog

 

Opposite of the Old Market Hall used to be two restaurants with almost similar names, G.W.Sundmans and Sundmans Krog. However, difference was quite huge. In the past one Michelin star restaurant G.W. Sundmans in the second floor was closed from public last year; it is now private restaurant for special occasions.

Restaurant Sundmans Krog is more laid-back restaurant with one speciality, fish buffet, which you can order for starter or for main course. For main course it is maybe too modest and needs some additional dishes.

Dining rooms in the old building is refreshing as most new restaurants try to be trend setters or their decor is really simple.

We were seated in small side room at sofa table. A little bit echoing but otherwise nice to sit on soft couch compared to hard wooden chairs.

Sundmans Krog

Started the dinner with easy decision, Sundmans Krog’s traditional fish buffet with dill potatoes.

Potatoes were brought to the table with bread and unique butter scoop. Restaurant’s name on paper cover was a nice surprise.

Spiced salmon was unfortunately too salty and it disturbed because herrings at the buffet are salty of course.

This time salmon roe was missing although buffet table included sour cream and onion mince. Was it finished or did the restaurant save money?

Cold fish Buffet at Sundmans Krog - reijosfood.com

Butter at Sundmans Krog - reijosfood.com

For main course ordered Fish of the day with Stewed potato seasoned with mussel cream and dill- fennel sauce. 

The fish available is quite rare in Helsinki restaurants, haddock. It is close to cod but smaller and drier fish. White pepper do not match with white meated fish, at least not in this case.

 Haddock at Sundmans Krog - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Sundmans Krog was one of the few restaurants open on Eastern Sunday in Helsinki. However, it was not full at all. Maybe fish buffet should be a little bit more generous or extra ordinary in order to attract more customers.

We did not try special offer from separate Steak and red wine list, which is available until 5th May. Maybe that would have raised grade for food.

Service was professional and polite as expected.

Two years ago Sundmans Krog earned better points but maybe next time it will come back to the same level.

REVIEW: FOOD 3,5/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4-/5

Sundmans krog | Services | G.W. Sundmans & Sundmans Krog.

If you get window table you can see Market Hall and Market Square, ask for it.

Sundmans Krog window table - reijosfood.com





Restaurant review: BBQ House in Kamppi shopping center

5 04 2015

BBQ House - reijosfood.com

Restaurant BBQ House is situated in Kamppi shopping center. Restaurant has heated outdoor terrace, where we dined, which expands in the summer to a large bar and terrace area. BBQ House is specialised in steaks and meats, name should also tell it. If you decide to dine inside or terrace is full, you can watch how chefs manage to do they work in open kitchen.

The Argentinian touch, which restaurant used to have, has almost disappeared during the past years. Portuguese language is menu is still there.

Started the dinner with restaurant offer wine, only 15€ for bottle of French sparkling wine. Excellent price/quality ratio in Finnish restaurants.

Henrideblanc at BBQ House - reijosfood.com

For starters we chose Tapas dishes. From alternatives we decided to taste Marinated vegetables and artichoke, Shrimp toast and Kangaroo meat with sweet potato chips. 

All three tapas starter were basically ok. No surprises, enough tasty and enjoyable. Wonder why restaurant has kangaroo meat on list, it does not suit with other dishes.

Tapas in Bbq House - reijosfood.com

Tapas at Bbq House - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Chicken and Reef perch (scope fish). For these dishes you have to choose sauce from different alternatives and side dish from 5alternatives.

With chicken tried rum-pepper sauce and sweet potato fries. Excellent combination and when chicken breast still has some skin on it, taste improves.

Never have seen Finnish restaurants serving Reef perch. Is this the way BBQ House tries to tease customers like with kangaroo meat.

With fish had BBQ salad and chimichurri as sauce. Paired nicely with fish, but price for quite small portion is high.

Chicken at BBQ House - reijosfood.com

Fish at BBQ House - reijosfood.com

Sitting at the heated terrace is convenient although outside temperature is close to 0C degrees still in April. You can watch what happens at Kamppi Square and front of Tennispalatsi, biggest cinema complex in Finland.

Terrace dining raises overall grade.

REVIEW: FOOD 3,5/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4-/5

BBQ House: pihviravintola – helsinki – kamppi – narinkkatori

Kamppi Square

previous review available http://reijosfood.com/2012/03/10/latino-flavours-at-restaurant-bbq-house/





Wine review: Leindl Irrbling Riesling Reserve 2013

29 03 2015

What, again riesling….?! Yes, because at the moment think it is THE best white wine grape.

The Austrian winery Leindl is a young company from Zöbing in Kamptal. The main focus is on grapes Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, Muscat, Burgundy and Zweigelt and Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and St. Laurent.

Tasted wine, Leindl Irrbling Riesling Reserve 2013, has been maturated 9 months in stainless steel tanks, and on top of that 3 months in bottles. Most of riesling wines get some flavor from oak barrels, which usually improves the taste. I have tasted really “hard” steel tank rieslings like Gun Metal, which was not so pleasant experience. However, Leindl’s Irrbling, at least the reserve one, exceeded expectations.

Leindl riesling reserve - reijosfood.com

THE LOOK

Pale yellow with some light green apple, no visible acidity.

THE NOSE

Pleasant balanced aroma, nothing disturbed sniffing, not even possible steel metal tank bouquet

THE TASTE

Dry, some minerals but not so much as usually in Austian rieslings. No metal flavor, not too much petrol or acidity. Some might thing, that this is too light for riesling, but I do not.

Riesling - reijosfood.com

Facts:

Alcohol: 13,5 by volume
Extract: 25 g/l
Acidity: 6,6 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (360 kJ/100 ml)
Sugar: 5 g/l

This wine is suitable with white fishes and white meats but also good choice for aperitif.

Tasted the wine first as aperitif and then with spicy salad thai style and grilled giant shrimps. For main course had blue halibut with noodles again asian style. Leindl Irrbling Riesling Reserve 2013 paired nicely with both dishes.

Bang for the buck is two plus because wine costs a little bit over 20€ in Alko. Cut few euros and this wine would be bull’s eye.

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

Weingut Leindl | Wir verbinden Tradition & Innovation.





Restaurant review: Copas y Tapas – revisit

24 03 2015
Cava at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Cupatge d’honor from Pere Ventura

Copas y Tapas is an independent family-owned business which serves Spanish food and wines with Finnish flavor. Restaurant is located at Fabianinkatu, close to Senate Square. Dining rooms are on two levels and both areas were booked-up on Saturday evening.
Copas y Tapas downstairs

Copas y Tapas downstairs

Copas y Tapas upper dining room

Copas y Tapas upper dining room

 

Have visited Copas y Tapas several times before; earlier reviews can be found by using search. Previous visits have been successful, therefore expectations were again high.

Three course dinner costs 46€ including “tapas” plate as starter, main course which can be chosen from 4 alternatives and dessert. 5€ additional payment for meat dishes.

Recommend to choose Menu of the Day because if you choose dishes separately, you pay as much for starter and main course.

But of course you might need some time to make a decision and best way to speed up decision process is to taste some cava for aperitif. Chose Cupatge d’Honor from Pere Ventura. Wine is produced from xarel.lo and chardonnay (30%) grapes. Chardonnay gives some smoothnes and balance to this cava, which I can recommend, if you have chance to taste it.

This time restaurant served for starters Soup, Filled capsicum and Smoked pork.

Soup was warm and tasty, enjoyed it first. Then finished capsicum, which had some delicious shrimp filling. And last smoked pork, which was with add-on’s great experience.

Tapas plate at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

You can choose from four different main courses, which differ almost every day depending on fresh ingredients available. Today alternatives were Duck, Marbled beef (5€ extra), Whitefish and Vegetarian. Chose meat, which was cooked on charcoal grill and whitefish.

With meat was served grilled scrumptious portobello mushrooms and some other enjoyable side dishes. And as you can see from the picture below, ripeness is perfect.

Whitefish was also superb with roots and swamps. And fish was enough big, which is not the fact in all restaurants.

Beef at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Whitefish at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Decided to share 5 pieces of cheese instead of sweet dessert. Only way to remember all tasted cheeses was to ask waiter to write the names down, which he did really quickly, see the list below. Best one was blue cheese type of piece on the right side of plate.

Delicious home-made crispbread should be available in supermarkets, because it was so tasty.

Cheese plate at Copas y Tapas

Cheese list at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

For wine ordered bottle of Torres Vina Sol, which is neutral and easy to drink.

But of course wine lovers must enjoy wines, which pair with food eaten and therefore had glass of Propiedad from Palacios Remondo with the meat. Excellent wine produced from garnacha grapes in the Rioja region.

And with cheeses waiter, or could even say sommelier, chose Nectaria riesling wine from Torres. Not too sweet wine is produced in Chile at Valle de Curico.

Torres Vina Sol - reijosfood.com

Red wine at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.comorres sweet wines at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Copas y Tapas is excellent affordable fine dining bistro in Helsinki restaurant scene, especially if you want to have serious discussion about Spanish wines. Bottles are always brought to the table and usually you can choose from two alternatives, which waiter have pre-selected for you matching to the food.

Fusion cuisine blends brilliantly best parts of Spanish and Finnish food cultures. Michelin guys should check it for Bib Gourmand label.

Service, really important part of experience, was excellent again. Owner of the restaurant came to shake hands with us after recognizing us, which added extra feeling of being welcomed.

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

Ruoka | Ravintola Copas y Tapas








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