Restaurant review: Demo – Michelin star since 2007

31 08 2014

 

Demo logo. - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Demo is a about 40 -seat Michelin star restaurant that opened it’s doors January 2003. Demo serves high class food combined with personal and friendly service. Restaurant goal is to offer a chance to top quality dining, in a relaxed and cozy environment. Means that Demo is the most casual Michelin star restaurant in Helsinki.

Demo earned it’s first Michelin star in 2007 and has been able to keep it for 7 years in a row. Restaurant is open only in the evenings from Tuesday to Saturday. You have to choose from daily menu between 4, 5, 6 or 7 dishes menu, which is well-thought set of the best dishes restaurant cooks innovate daily. You can also order wine pairings instead of bottle or glass of wine chosen by sommelier.

We decided to enjoy six course dinner with suggested wines. Actual plan was five but luckily we chose six because otherwise we would have missed best course, king prawns. For aperitf we ordered glasses of house champagne, Gosset Grande Reserve Brut, which was excellent choice.

Before first dish of the menu, we were served Greetings from kitchen;  salmon, clam, roe and avocado creme. Perfect kick-off for the dinner. Also got some fresh, delicious sunflower seed bread and carrot brioche with ashed butter.

Demo kitchen greeting - reijosfood.comBreat at Demo - reijosfood.com

First course was masterpiece. Sherry flavored broth was poured at the table on top of foie gras, pork and apple. Taste of sherry was mild, but maybe it would have nominated too much, if flavor would have been stronger.

Wine for this course was French dry white wine, produced from chenin blanc grapes. Perfect pairing!

Demo starter - reijosfood.com

Second course consisted of reindeer and beetroot, combination of salty meat and partly sweet root. Pieces of reindeer carpaccio and cooked ones were delicious, carpaccio was soft as it should be. Also beetroot matched nicely with meat. Would say that best parts of Finnish food ingredients were combained in this dish.

Interesting, but successful wine choice with reindeer and beetroot was Château Miraval Côtes de Provence rosé. This “Brangelina” dry (not the driest) rose wine matched especially well because portion was partly salty and partly sweet. I was wondering, if red wine would have suited better, but maybe not because of sweetness of beetroot. Wine review in previous post.

Reindeer at Demo - reijosfood.comBrangelina rose  - reijosfood.com

Third course was the best of all dishes, grilled King Prawns with pork grease. You can get similar prawns in some restaurants by the Mediterranean Sea but only prawns. Demo kitchen adds flavors from pork, dill and garlic mayonnaise which supplements total enjoyment. You might be a little bit terrified, when you hear that there is some grease included in ingredients, but crispy leaf erases the feeling of fear.

Grand Cru Chablis, of course from chardonnay grapes served with prawns, matched extremely well with shellfish.

Demo - reijosfood.com

Fourth dish was actual main course. Lamb in two ways, fried and braised. Fried meat was crisp and almost tasted like reindeer. Braised meat was excellent with cauliflower and green asparagus. One example of Michelin star kitchen was the potato croquet and beetroot colored wrapping on top of it.

For wine sommelier had chosen Pli from Candialle wine yard, which is owned by Finnish wine producer Jaakko Peränen CANDIALLE – Panzano in Chianti. Perfect pairing, amount of Sangiovese (95%) and Petit Verdot (5%) made the wine soft but well balanced. Must buy it also to home.

Lamb at Demo - reijosfood.comPil red wine at Demo - reijosfood.com

For fifth dishes and first desserts we got two different versions. This was due to our request to avoid certain ingredients in another diners portions. Kitchen succeeded brilliantly in this, because all other portions looked similar.

Cheese ice-cream was at the same time salty and sweet, would say the sweetness dominated. Berry sorbet suited well after meat.

Sweet wine which was served with these desserts had only about 6% of alcoholicity. Similarities to apple cider came to my mind, but wine was not so bubbling as ciders are.

Dessert at Demo - reijosfood.comDessert at Demo - reijosfood.com

Sixth course and second dessert was Ice-Cream mousse with blackcurrant cake. Portion included blackcurrant with three ways, which made the dessert refreshing.

Dessert at Demo - reijosfood.com

With coffee and tea kitchen served small confections which were luscious. Marmalade, marshmallows and soft buscuits were perfect ending for fabulous dinner.

Dessert snacks at Demo - reijosfood.com

Interior was renewed about a year ago, which refreshed the look of dining room. Would say that decor has been successfully implemented, it is not too simple neither overkilled.

Demo bar - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Demo is entitled to Michelin star because of comprehensive culinary experience. Athmosphere is casual and informal, but not too much for Michelin restaurant. Service was of course professional, contents of each portion were told clearly as well as the background of wines.

And this time wines were perfect match for all dishes. Sommelier deserves special thanks for choises and therefore overall grade is almost the best restaurant can get from us. Why not 5 for food? You might complain a little bit about the price level but no more than worth of 0,25 points from the best points for food.

Review from previous visit can be found by using search.

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

Restaurant Demo | ”Share a laugh in the middle of culinary excellence”.

 

 

 





Wine review: Brangelina rose – Château Miraval Côtes de Provence rosé

30 08 2014

Brangelina rose  - reijosfood.com

Miraval is the new wine business venture of actor and actresses Brad Pitt with Angelina Jolie in association with the famous Perrin family of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The first 6,000-bottle run sold out within five hours. And hullabaloo continued when Wine Spectator ranked Château Miraval Côtes de Provence rosé as best rose wine 2013.

Grapes used in production are Cinsault, Grenache, Rolle and Syrah. Quite extraordinary combination, wine would not look like rose without Syrah.

We were able to taste this “jewel” at restaurant Demo, as it was one of the wines paired with foods in the menu. With reindeer and beetroot this rose wine matched well because portion was partly salty and partly sweet. I was wondering, if red wine would have suited better, but maybe not because of sweetness of beetroot.

Raindeer at Demo - reijosfood.com

THE LOOK

Looking at the packaging, it looks basically champagne bottle, close to Ruinart which was previously tasted

The color is kind of like fluorescent, light pale pink. If you would see this without knowing which wine is concerned, you might think that someone has added water to red wine

THE NOSE

Wild strawberries and/or raspberry, more like a mild candy

THE TASTE

Fresh fruits aromas, a refreshing acidity but palate is mild compared to most rose wines

Facts:

Alcohol: 13.00 %
Extract: 21 g/l
Acidity: 5.4 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal / 100 ml (340 kJ / 100 ml)

 

Chateau Miraval rose - reijosfood.com

Would I buy this wine, if it would happen to appear in our Alko. Perhaps yes, because I did not first believe, that it would suit for reindeer. But this is summer wine and in the winter would prefer stronger rose.

Actually you can buy it from Alko Arkadia; there are still some bottles left from 120 batch Alko had purchased.

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

Miraval Provence

All Lists of Top 100 Wines | Top 100 of 2013 | Wine Spectator





Wine review: Champagne Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut

28 08 2014

Ruinart and Riedel - reijosfood.com

The Ruinart House was officially created on 1st September 1729 by Nicolas Ruinart, which makes the company oldest established champagne house. The Chardonnay illuminates wines, exalting their brilliance and creating the particular fluidity that makes them so distinctive. Today house is owned by the parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA.

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs is produced from a blend of 100% premiers crus Chardonnay grapes from the best of recent vintages. Grapes from the estate vineyards in Sillery and Brimont are joined by carefully selected grapes from other premiers crus vineyards in the Côte de Blancs and the Montagne de Reims.

THE LOOK

The design of the bottle is elegant and it is sold in stylish box

Champagne shows a superb, golden yellow color but in the bottle it is more yellow than in the glass. Small bubbles in straight strip raise from the bottom of glass continuously

THE NOSE

The nose is clean and light without any disturbing side scents. 100 % Chardonnay guarantees neutrality

THE TASTE

On the palate the wine is very supple and harmonious, with notes of honey and minerals on the long, sustained finish. One of the most pure champagne tastes

Facts:

Alcohol: 12.50 %
Extract: 33 g/l
Acidity: 4.9 g/l
Sugar: 8 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal / 100 ml (350 kJ / 100 ml)

Champagne Ruinart Blanc de Blancs - reijosfood.com

Although Ruinart Blanc de Blancs is NV, it is not basic champagne. It is more expensive due to the chardonnay grapes and whole concept is luxorious including shape of the bottle and package.

Wine suits well for special occasions, to be enjoyed as such. Ruinart pairs with white fishes, shellfish and mildly flavored food. As taste is so delicate, it would be waste to try it with spicy cookings. Excellent champagne, worth to taste and enjoy.

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

Ruinart, Wines and Spirits, premium wines – LVMH.





Hotel review: Regatta – boutique hotel in Hanko, Finland

23 08 2014

 

Moet Ice Imperial at hotel Regatta - reijosfood.com

Regatta Hotel is a modern boutique hotel located in Hanko in the Finnish architect Lars Sonck planned Art Nouveau building from 1898. There have always been hotel business in the famous cultural building and in 2012 the hotel opened again after a complete renovation.

Hotel Regatta - reijosfood.com

Hotel Regatta has 49 different rooms, including 2 single rooms, 45 double rooms and 2 suites (Regatta Suite and Lars Sonck Suite). Each room has its own air conditioning, safe, LCD- TV film- and information-system, internal phone, kettle and hairdryer. The rooms are on the first to fourth floor and accessible by elevator or by one of the two staircases.

This was our 2nd visit to Regatta, so everything was already familiar to us.

ROOM

We had Superior Plus room on the 4th floor with a nice view to the sea. Room itself was modern and cozy. In the summer small fridge would be useful, as there was no mini bar either. Bathroom was small, too small for this type of room. But same room level last time and the bathroom was superb. Take a look at yellow bath tube, which we expected to see also this time.

Hotel Regatta Superior Plus room - reijosfood.comAnna Codorniu Blanc de Blancs - reijosfood.comRegatta room with a view - reijosfood.comRegatta room 403 bathroom - reijosfood.com Regatta bathroom - reijosfood.com

PUBLIC SPACES

In the summer terraces are best part of the public spaces. Patio terrrace especially with cozy chairs tempts you for glass of champagne. Terrace by the street is also relaxing, but unfortunately had one of the worst rose wines ever.

Hotel does not have own dinner restaurant, as there are several nice restaurants nearby. In the winter time that might be deficiency, but in the summer you want to eat at some of the restaurants by the sea.

Hotel Regatta patio terrace - reijosfood.comHotel Regatta terrace - reijosfood.com

Hotel Regatta is the the best hotel or accomodation place in Hanko. Before it was renovated there was a big gap in that business. Only thing what I miss is the swimming pool, which was in front of the original hotel Regatta several years ago. The sea is 50 meters away but hotel swimming pool would complete luxury.

Hotel Regatta in Hanko - reijosfood.com

With fridge and same bathroom as last time, room would have been 5+. As there is only breakfast room and terraces, public spaces is close to 4.

But as the building is nicely built and athmosphere is luxorius with BMW test drive opportunity not forgetting local standards, overall grade is close to 5.

Must stay, if visiting Hanko.

REVIEW: ROOM 4+/5 – PUBLIC SPACES 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 5-/5

Hotel Regatta | Ajatonta nautintoa – ympäri vuoden





Restaurant review: Salutorget – Scandinavian bistro

19 08 2014

 

Riesling at Salutorget - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Salutorget includes  stylish dining room (not bistro type), bar/cafe  and terrace. Restaurant serves lunch and dinner but also brunch on Sundays. Salutorget is located close to Kauppatori (Salutorget in Swedish and  Market Square in English), which is the most known market or plaza in Helsinki.

You can see that there has been financial institutions operating in the same building earlier as rest rooms are in old bank vault. At least there you are in safe. Place has been renovated with craftmanship; 1800’s construction and pillars create a dignified athmosphere.

Menu consists of traditional Finnish and Scandinavian dishes, nothing fancy.  If you are keen on tasting them, like Baltic herrings, Whitefish, Reindeer or even Vendaces, then you are in the right place.

For starters we chose Salutorget’s small fishes (3pc): Shrimps á la Skagen, Cold smoked white fish with dill creme and Smoked salmon and creme fraiche with Dijon and Salad with broiled salmon; broiled salmon, egg, asparagus and mustard sauce

Taste and look of small fishes was ok but expected a little bit more from shrimps. Maybe they match with toast better than as separate dish. Belive that some ingredients had been forgotten from mustard sauce because it’s taste was so mild. Broiled salmon is always delicious.

Small fishes at Salutorget - reijosfood.comSalmon salad at Salutorget - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Roasted white fish with spring potatoes and egg sauce with chives and Salutorget´s pepper steak, garlic potato chips, grilled green asparagus and pepper hollandaise

Noticed afterwards that had forgotten take pictures from main courses for two reasons!

Firstly had to ask waiter to bring glass of red wine which I had ordered. Meat was already waiting to be eaten. Secondly had to ask for cutlerys which waiter forgot to bring after starters.

About main courses: Pepper steak should have been medium but it was almost almost well-done. Potato chips felt as they were old, would say the shape was more like slice not chip. Whitefish was luckily well prepared and basic new potatoes are always good.

So, you will see picture taken at the terrace instead of portions.

Salutorget terrace - reijosfood.com

For desserts we had Berry crumble and vanilla sauce with rosemary and Lime youghurt mousse with limoncello sorbet

Desserts were best part of dinner and saved evening. Crumble with vanilla sauce was delicious, mouth-watering combination. Mousse with sorbet was refreshing after salty fish.

Dessert 1 at Salutorget - reijosfood.comDessert 2 at Salutorget - reijosfood.com

Wine list is quite short; interesting to see that all wines are from European countries; mainly France, Italy and Spain.

For wine we chose Riesling Reservé Dopff au Moulin from Alsace, France. Nice, quite light riesling paired well with fishes we ate. As mentioned before, had glass of Les Vignerons Carignan Syrah from GCF, France with meat.

 

Dining room and bar were almost empty most of the time, which is unusual for Friday evening. One reason was the amount of happenings, like kick-off of Helsinki Festival.

Salutorget - reijosfood.comSalutorget bar - reijosfood.com

We have visited Salutorget couple of times (reviews can be found by using search), but this visit was a little bit dissappointing. Food used to be excellent as well as service.

Because of the cozy terrace and interior still believe that Salutorget can perform better. Therefore 4 for the overall grade.

On the same date was opening of Hotel Manta of Helsinki. Previous post was about this “hotel”.

Hotel Manta - reijosfood.com

REVIEW: FOOD 3+/5 – SERVICE 3+/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4/5

http://www.salutorget.fi/en





Hotel Manta of Helsinki – built around the statue of Havis Amanda

16 08 2014

Hotel Manta - reijosfood.com

Hotel Manta of Helsinki is a hotel room built around the statue of Manta in Market Square. The space designed by Tatshu Nishi serves as a hotel room by night, and as an open exhibition space during the day. The work not only creates a new surrealist setting for the monument, it offers a new perspective on the statue. Manta can now be met at eye level; also privately during the nights, if you were able to book the room.

Statue of Havis Amanda - reijosfood.com

The project is produced by the Helsinki Art Museum and it is part of the Helsinki Festival programme. In cooperation with Museum of Finnish Architecture and Design Museum. The work is supported by The Cenetary Foundation of the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design.

As visiting times during Helsinki Festival are between 11.30 – 17.30, cleaning up must be made in hurry. The cost for visit is 3€.

Cleaning of Hotel Manta - reijosfood.com

Hotel Manta of Helsinki was opened on the 15th of August and waiting for the first customer must have been exciting.

Hotel room was sold out in a minute, which is not surprising. Being part of art work must be fascinating. And price for night is not expensive, 130€. But of course without breakfast, which you can enjoy after checking out for instance at Market Square cafes.

Hotel Manta - reijosfood.com

Because of daily visiting hours, check-in can not be before 18.00 and check-out has to be made before 11.00.

Windows without curtains ensure that statue of Manta is visible all the time.

Hotel Manta of Helsinki - reijosfood.comHotel Manta of Helsinki - reijosfood.com

The statue is in the middle of the hotel room and actually splits twin bed. It sort of stands between the pillows.

Let’s see what is the condition of statue of Manta after Helsinki Festival celebrations will end. They will take two months.

Behind the link is also web camera pictures from past days.

Hotel Manta of Helsinki.





Seafront hot spot terraces in Kaivopuisto, Helsinki

14 08 2014

image

Kaivopuisto (Kaivari), is one of the oldest and best known parks in South Helsinki. The park is on the seafront and in the vicinity operates several cafes and restaurants. Another name for this post could be “Kaivopuisto terrace guide”, but as only 3 terraces have been chosen, more specific name was needed.

It takes only 25 minutes to walk to the first hot spot from Market Square. And if you arrive for one day visit to Helsinki with Tallink Cruise ship from Stockholm, only 20 minutes. But if you get tired before first pit stop, you can drop by at Cafe Ursula, which is the oldest seafront terrace in Kaivopuisto area.

 

Mattolaituri

The first hot spot is Mattolaituri. Mattolaituri (Carpet Pier) name comes from the pier which was, and sometimes still is, used for washing carpets. Otherwise nothing in common, as cafe building is most modern in Helsinki, as well as the terrace.

Mattolaituri is located across from island Uunisaari, in Eastern part of South Kaivopuisto.

Place is one of the few “Moet Ice Imperial hot spots” in Helsinki (link to find all hot spots Discover), which you can also see from the pictures. In the evenings also dancing and once a week movies.

There are several areas for relaxation; roof terrace, table area and deck chairs. Less queues in busiest times due to 2 serving desks.

Drinks: champagnes, especially Moet & Chandon and wines

Food: snacks or salad, not the main focus

Opening hours: 09.00AM – 02.00AM, open from MayDay to about end of September

Moet Ice Imperial at Mattolaituri - reijosfood.comMattolaituri - reijosfood.comMattolaituri in Kaivopuisto - reijosfood.comMattolaituri in Kaivopuisto - reijosfood.comMattolaituri_II - reijosfood.comMoet at Mattolaituri - reijosfood.com

Mattolaituri – Helsinki, Finland – Ravintola | Facebook

 

Cafe Carusel

Cafe Carusel is next hot spot locating across from islands Sirpalesaari, Liuskaluoto and Liuskasaari. It was opened already in mid 90’s and was at that time phenomenom.

Cafe/restaurant is open all-year-round as it has spacious interior. You can relax inside, if it rains or on sun beds or at table area. And if it happens to rain, choose Cafe Carusel. Also widest menu.

Drinks: beer, cider, wines, special coffees

Food: pizzas, salads, burgers, sandwiches, widest menu of the 3 hot spots

Opening hours: 09.00AM – 22.00PM every day, all year round

Cava at Carusel - reijosfood.comCafe Carusel - reijosfood.comSun beds at Carusel - reijosfood.comCafe Carusel - reijosfood.com

Cafe Carusel – Helsinki, Finland – Kahvila | Facebook

 

Birgitta

Birgitta Hernesaari, the newcomer, which was opened this summer, is third hot spot. This cafe is most rough-looking as exterior-walls seem to be burned.

Cafe is located almost in Hernesaari, which is the westernmost area in Kaivopuisto and near the new beach. You will see lot’s of cruise passengers from ship’s stopping for the day in Hernesaari port. Last time 1/3 of the customers were from the United States.

During busiest time the longest waiting time for order submission. Birgitta is also smallest from these 3 terraces.

Drinks: soft drinks, beer, video, wines

Food: speciality is burger grilled in charcoal grill, salads and sandwiches

Opening hours: 09.00AM – 22.00PM every day, not yet sure if cafe is open all year round

Refreshments at Birgitta - reijosfood.comBirgitta Hernesaari - reijosfood.comBirgitta - reijosfood.comBrunch at Birgitta - reijosfood.com

Birgitta Hernesaari – Kahvila | Facebook

So, if you visit Helsinki and like to relax on terraces, not just settle for hanging in downtown cafes and terraces. Walk or take a tram number 2 from Market Square to Kaivopuisto.








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