Restaurant review: Putte’s Bar & Pizza

28 09 2014

Salami pizza - reijosfood.com

Pizza Salami

Putte’s Bar & Pizza is located in the center of Helsinki city at Kalevankatu. It is easy to walk past, because there is only small signboard telling the existence of combination of bar and nightclub. Interior is also unpretentious, even rugged.

Putte's bar & pizza - reijosfood.com

We arrived between lunch and dinner time and for a while the bar was almost empty, more staffer than customers. I am not sure, if this affected the quality of pizzas, but have to say waited something else. Expectations were quite high because couple of local journals (for instance Nyt) had chosen pizza’s of this place the best ones in the city.

Pizza list is short and it should change regularly. Ingredients seemed to be creative and even some names like Silence of the Lambs (remember the movie….?). Positive thing is that mozzarella used comes from Italy. Story also tells that pizza base is unique and made from best flours after detailed studies in Italy and USA.

Pizza list on 26th September

Margherita
tomato, mozzarella, basil

Puttenesca
tomato, mozzarella, anchovies, olives, capers, garlic, chili, basil

Chevre-Aubergine
chevre, aubergine, tomato, mozzarella, rucola

Salami
tomato, mozzarella, salami

Funghi
mushrooms, mozzarella, rucola

Quattro Formaggi
Peltola Blue, Kolattu goat’s cheddar, Valio Emmental, ÅCA Kastelholm, tomato, rucola

Silence of the Lambs
lamb with north-african spices, tomato, mozzarella, rucola

We chose Salami and Funghi pizzas. Appearance of the pizza’s seemed to be delicious but….

Salami Napoli (was it, I am not sure?) pieces were quite thick and some parts tasted too much for pepper. Or was there too much pepper in some parts of pizza base? Anyway, on the pizza base there was too much salami, tomato sauce and cheese, which made the pizza quite pulp. I would rather use Salami Picante in this type of pizza in order to add some flavor.

Mushrooms were replaced by chanterelles which might sound sumptuous. But as all “funghi’s” were complete, even the big ones, chewing of them was not so pleasurable. Rucola was fresh and good-looking, sometimes this salad can be too thin and contains mostly rucola arms.

Salami pizza at Puttes bar - reijosfood.comFunghi pizza - reijosfood.com

Putte’s Bar & Pizza is primarly bar and hot spot. Pizza’s are add-on and actually only food you can get. Wide wine list raises overall grade. That is not typical for pizza places. Had excellent glass of Ripasso with salami pizza.

As you have to order pizza and drinks mainly from the bar counter, have not reviewed service. However, we were served by three different waitresses/waiters behind the bar and when pizza’s were brought to the table. These encounters were likeable.

REVIEW:  PIZZA 2/5 – SERVICE N/A – OVERALL GRADE 2,5/5





Restaurant review: Strindberg – one of the best views of Esplanade Park (Espa)

27 09 2014

Park Esplanade - reijosfood.com

Strindberg is located in Galleria Esplanad at North Esplanade. Restaurant dining room is at the 2nd floor. The atmosphere at this restaurant is urban, but at the same time pleasantly tranquil.

Sometimes loud discussion might break it, but not too disruptively. On Thursday evening restaurant was almost full booked, which is a proof of popularity.

Strindberg dining room - reijosfood.com

At street level is Strinberg café, very popular among tourists and Helsinki citizens. Just sit down, if you find a table and wait to be served, there is table service available. In the summer time table service applies also terrace, which is usually crowded, if weather is good. Maricafe is behind main cafe; there you can use Marimekko dishes and see Marimekko textiles.

Library bar has become a popular rendez-vous spot for many. Worth a visit too, although you would not dine, because you can observe diners through glass window. For us, most visited bar for glass of wine after shopping or before dinner. There is also lunch spot Bakfickan behind the bar at the open gallery area.

Strindberg library bar - reijosfood.com

If you order sparkling water, you get San Pellegrino, one of our favourites. Bread basket included soft white bread and thin crispbread supplemented with hand made butter. Additional olive oil was brought to the table, because butter included lactose.

Bread at Strindberg - reijosfood.com

For starters had King prawns with sweet pepper mousse and fennel and Tartare of slightly salted lavaret with beetroots and Dijonnaise sauce.

Prawns were tasty as well as portion as a whole. Missed, however, more flavor for mousse because taste of pepper was quite mild. Whitefish tartare was also scrumptious and as beetroot is one of the best roots in Finland, could you ask more? Whitefish roe, egg yolk and white and sauce supplemented perfectly.

King prawns at Strindberg - reijosfood.comLaveret at Strindberg - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Roasted Arctic char with beetroot risotto and tarragon butter and Chargrilled salmon with béarnaise sauce and poached egg .

Arctic char was perfeclty roasted, still some rose color inside the fish. Usually it is cooked too well-done and that ruins the enjoyment. Beetroot risotto matched well with fish, almost sweet, which complemented nicely salty fish.

Salmon dish is one of the classics, which has been on the menu for ages. Main course includes 3 salmon slices and starter 2, otherwise same. Chargrilled salmon is always delicious and if you like bearnaise sauce, this is a dish for you. Asked the sauce in separate bowl, because it might have ruined the taste of fish. Suggest to do that, if you try this portion.

Arctic char at Strindberg - reijosfood.comSalmon at Strindberg - reijosfood.com

For desserts of course one of the classics, French toast (Köyhät Ritarit) and Cloudberry chiboust with cardamom financier.

French toast is traditional dish and sometimes it is still made at homes. With add-on’s it makes your mouth drool, worth to try! Also other dessert was toothsome. The cake in this dish was unfortunately so small, that almost ordered a second similar dish. And Finnish berries; cloudberry, strawberry and blueberry freshned up sweetness.

French toast at Strindberg - reijosfood.conDessert at Strindberg - reijosfood.com

For wine we had some white wine; Chablis la Pierrelée , AC Chablis, La Chablisienne.

Excellent choise for fish dishes, not available at Alko. Also some variation in the enjoyment of white wine as riesling has dominated so long.

Chablis La Pierrelee - reijosfood.com

Strindberg never lets you down when it comes to food. There must have been some extra efforts for service, because it has always been professional, but this time also extremely attentive.

And location at the 2nd floor, if you are able to get window table, completes dining enjoyment. So, remember to ask for window table!

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

http://www.strindberg.fi/en/restaurant

http://www.galleriaesplanad.fi/en/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Restaurant review: Strindberg – one of the best views of Esplanade Park (Espa)

27 09 2014

Park Esplanade - reijosfood.com

Strindberg is located in Galleria Esplanad at North Esplanade. Restaurant dining room is at the 2nd floor. The atmosphere at this restaurant is urban, but at the same time pleasantly tranquil.

Sometimes loud discussion might break it, but not too disruptively. On Thursday evening restaurant was almost full booked, which is a proof of popularity.

Strindberg dining room - reijosfood.com

At street level is Strinberg café, very popular among tourists and Helsinki citizens. Just sit down, if you find a table and wait to be served, there is table service available. In the summer time table service applies also terrace, which is usually crowded, if weather is good. Maricafe is behind main cafe; there you can use Marimekko dishes and see Marimekko textiles.

Library bar has become a popular rendez-vous spot for many. Worth a visit too, although you would not dine, because you can observe diners through glass window. For us, most visited bar for glass of wine after shopping or before dinner. There is also lunch spot Bakfickan behind the bar at the open gallery area.

Strindberg library bar - reijosfood.com

If you order sparkling water, you get San Pellegrino, one of our favourites. Bread basket included soft white bread and thin crispbread supplemented with hand made butter. Additional olive oil was brought to the table, because butter included lactose.

Bread at Strindberg - reijosfood.com

For starters had King prawns with sweet pepper mousse and fennel and Tartare of slightly salted lavaret with beetroots and Dijonnaise sauce.

Prawns were tasty as well as portion as a whole. Missed, however, more flavor for mousse because taste of pepper was quite mild. Whitefish tartare was also scrumptious and as beetroot is one of the best roots in Finland, could you ask more? Whitefish roe, egg yolk and white and sauce supplemented perfectly.

King prawns at Strindberg - reijosfood.comLaveret at Strindberg - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Roasted Arctic char with beetroot risotto and tarragon butter and Chargrilled salmon with béarnaise sauce and poached egg .

Arctic char was perfeclty roasted, still some rose color inside the fish. Usually it is cooked too well-done and that ruins the enjoyment. Beetroot risotto matched well with fish, almost sweet, which complemented nicely salty fish.

Salmon dish is one of the classics, which has been on the menu for ages. Main course includes 3 salmon slices and starter 2, otherwise same. Chargrilled salmon is always delicious and if you like bearnaise sauce, this is a dish for you. Asked the sauce in separate bowl, because it might have ruined the taste of fish. Suggest to do that, if you try this portion.

Arctic char at Strindberg - reijosfood.comSalmon at Strindberg - reijosfood.com

For desserts of course one of the classics, French toast (Köyhät Ritarit) and Cloudberry chiboust with cardamom financier.

French toast is traditional dish and sometimes it is still made at homes. With add-on’s it makes your mouth drool, worth to try! Also other dessert was toothsome. The cake in this dish was unfortunately so small, that almost ordered a second similar dish. And Finnish berries; cloudberry, strawberry and blueberry freshned up sweetness.

French toast at Strindberg - reijosfood.conDessert at Strindberg - reijosfood.com

For wine we had some white wine; Chablis la Pierrelée , AC Chablis, La Chablisienne.

Excellent choise for fish dishes, not available at Alko. Also some variation in the enjoyment of white wine as riesling has dominated so long.

Chablis La Pierrelee - reijosfood.com

Strindberg never lets you down when it comes to food. There must have been some extra efforts for service, because it has always been professional, but this time also extremely attentive.

And location at the 2nd floor, if you are able to get window table, completes dining enjoyment. So, remember to ask for window table!

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

http://www.strindberg.fi/en/restaurant

http://www.galleriaesplanad.fi/en/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Hotel review: AC Hotel Malaga Palacio

24 09 2014

Rooftop pool - reijosfood.com

Hotel AC Palacio in Malaga is part of Marriot hotel chain. The location between the Málaga Cathedral and the Paseo del Parque, and its spectacular views of the port, make this hotel one of the must stay hotels. Hotel has 214 rooms and was renovated 2007.

Hotel AC Malaga Palacio - reijosfood.com

ROOM

We chose to stay at AC Superior Room with sea view and balcony. No doubt the view is spectacular.

Room was basically fine and decorated with wooden interior.

Had some trouble with bathroom, as we had to wait for light bulb change quite a long time, although lady in the reception promised, it would be done during the same afternoon. We even removed “Do not disturb” sign, as she said that no one would come, if it would hang on the door. So we called next day again as no one has visited our room. Then the pipe under the sink began to leak and it had to be replaced. Quite a lot disturbance for 4 nights stay….

imageView from AC Malaga Palacio room - reijosfood.comView from Ac Malaga Palacio - reijosfood.comRoom at AC Malaga Palacio - reijosfood.comHotel room at AC Palacio in Malaga - reijosfood.comBathroom at AC Palacio - reijosfood.com

PUBLIC SPACES

The fifteenth-floor Ático Bar & Restaurant on the terrace of the Hotel AC Málaga Palacio, is for use in both summer and winter times thanks to its panoramic glass space. A entity where you can enjoy a dinner or have a drink. From its terrace you can enjoy stunning views of the city, especially the port and the Paseo del Parque. Reservation is required and it can also be rented for private events. In this case, the catering service and bar located on the first floor will be available for our customers.
 Atico restaurant - reijosfood.com
Consequently, the restaurant and its terrace may be closed certain days. During our stay there were bachelor party and wedding party. Pool area is anyway available all the time and in the summer evenings it is quite noisy.
Atico terrace - reijosfood.comLunch at Atico Bar - reijosfood.com

Atico Bar - reijosfood.com

Outdoor pool at 15th floor is perfect place to relax after walking around the city. Atico restaurant & bar services can be utilized at the pool area, no need to starve.

Below you can also see La Piscina Lounge at 8th floor, which is part of Hotel Molina Lario. Last time we stayed in that hotel, see review by using search.

Rooftop pool - reijosfood.com

Rooftop pool at AC Malaga Palacio - reijosfood.comPool at AC Malaga Palacio . reijosfood.com

La Piscina Lounge - reijosfood.com
Breakfast is at the 2nd floor. It is not so versatile as in many similar hotels, actually only tomatoes for vegetables.
Lobby area is to the right from reception. Same furnitures as in all AC hotels, for instance Barcelona chairs.
One hint concerning elevators; there are three main elevators which are often reserved during rush hours. There is one elevator, which is partly hidden. That is usually free, but it does not go to the 15th floor, where Atico Bar & Restaurant as well as pool are located. Take that anyway and use stairs from 13th to 15th floor. We used that elavator also during breakfast times.
AC Palacio - lobby reijosfood.com
AC Malaga Palacio lobby - reijosfood.com
If you like to keep-fit, you can of course jog along the beach promenade.
However, hotel has small gym, which is equipped with cardiovascular equipment and weights.
Gym at AC Malaga Palacio - reijosfood.com

Mobile check-in and check-out is extremely customer friendly service. With Marriot apps you can check-in 24 hours earlier, choose check-in time and you get notification, when you can pick up the room key. As we arrived early at 11.00, we were able to get room with the help of this brilliant system.

Without two maintenance operations in our room, grade for room would have been 4. 15th floor Atico Bar & restaurant and pool area are definately worth to see and visit although you would not stay at the hotel.

View from Atico bar - reijosfood.com

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




World’s longest catwalk at Calle Larios in Malaga?

20 09 2014

The Marqués de Larios Street or popularly known as Calle Larios is the most important route of Málaga, since it is a place highly frequented by locals and tourists to be a link between the historic city center and the port, in addition to many shops and restaurants nearby.

Calle Larios has a length of 300 meters, which might make it the longest catwalk for fashion show in the world. At least during Malaga fashion week Nueva Moda.

Callen Larios - reijosfood.com

At the other end of Calle Larios is Plaza Constitucion, which is popular square in the evenings.

Plaza Constitucion in Malaga - reijosfood.com

We happened to be in Malaga during the fashion week and shortly passed by watching the show. Saw when whole pedestrian street was covered with blue protection cover. And cover really extends from end to end.

Calle Larios in Malaga - reijosfood.com

Obviously Nueva Moda is important event for Malaga recidents and shops, as so many people were dressed up in their best.

Sorry for the video clip quality but as we just stopped by, did not pay so much attention in camera controls.

 





Restaurant review: El Meson de Cervantes – Malaga; Spain

17 09 2014

Cava at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

El Meson de Cervantes  is located at the backyards of old town at Calle Alamos. It was established by the same chef, who owns El Tapeo de Cervantes just 50 meters away from Meson. The main difference with the restaurants is the dining room with normal tables and chairs, which Meson has but Tapeo does not have.

Visited El Meson de Cervantes 2nd time this year. Previous review can be found by using search.

El Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

Main allurement are tapas which you can order in three different sizes; tapas, 1/2 raciones or full raciones. You could also choose from restaurant menu different type of starters, main courses and desserts but menu is quite short. If you want to eat tapas at the dining room, you need to ask them in a polite way, although waiter might say that they are meant to eat at the bar.

Started the dinner with glass of cavas and tasty, salty green olives.

This time we ordered all dishes from restaurant menu. Actually most of the dishes are the same. Our dinner started with Warm salad of tuna, roasted peppers and green leaves and Pan seared small squids with spinach.

Tuna was perfectly fried as you can see in the picture below, not too well-done; therefore not too dry. This portion is not so typical for tapas restaurant, it is an example of the high quality level of el Meson de Cervantes.

Squids were best part of the dinner, perfect cooking on the pan and olive oil complemented nicely the flavor of two different squids. Recommend to order this starter, if you visit the restaurant.

Tuna salad - reijosfood.com

Squids at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

First main courses were fishes, 1/2 portions of Salmon with herb butter, black rice and a chick pea pyre and Sea bream wrapped in aubergine, carrot pyre and juniper sauce.

Well prepared portions both of them. Salmon was maybe a little bit over cooked but side dish delicious. Sea bream paired nicely with aubergine and carrot pyre was scrumptious. If I would have to choose, would take Sea bream as big main course only.

Salmon at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

Sea bream at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

For 2nd main courses we had 1/2 portions of Argentinian entrecote with fried potatoes, salad and chimichurri and Wild boar stew with sweet Malaga wine sauce and crispy rosti. 

Entrecote was well-done as requested.

But stew was not the same at all as last time. Found no wine in the sauce and taste was more like standard brown sauce. See the difference, picture on the left was from May and on the right taken few days ago. If we would have been served similar stew, grade for food would have been 0,25 points more.

Entrecote at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

Wild board stew at el Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.comLamb stew at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

Dinner ended with Apple tart and vanilla ice-cream which was bull’s eye again. Difficult to beat warm, sweet and soft apple pie with cold ice-cream….

Also Fig flan of sweet Malaga wine was tasty, but maybe a little bit too sweet.

Apple pie - reijosfood.com

Fig dessert - reijosfood.com

For wine we asked waitress to recommend some rose wine. There were actually three rose wines on wine list from which to choose, but after looking us, she brought us a bottle which was not on the list.

And good that she brought, because it was more full-bodied and darker than rose wines usually are. Wine was Barbazul from Huerta de Albalá, which is a recently created winery located in the province of Cadiz. As it is produced from Syrah grapes, quite dark red color is easily to be explained.

Barbazul rose - reijosfood.com

El Meson de Cervantes serves premium tapas and Spanish food in a relaxed athmosphere. If you decide to dine at restaurant, you can watch chef’s preparing portions in the open kitchen. You can also eat in more restful environment and enjoy to be served by professional waiters.

Tapas bar provides opportunity for close social interaction and eating at higher bar tables.

Restaurant is the place to visit out of hundreds of tapas bars and restaurants in Malaga, if you travel there. Hope the menu will be changed, because it was exactly the same as 4 months ago, as far as I remember. There are not so many dishes to choose from the menu.

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

http://www.elmesondecervantes.com/eng/index.html

 





Restaurant review: Vino Mio – Flamenco in Malaga, Spain

11 09 2014

Restaurante Vino Mío is famous for its Flamenco shows since 2003. The shows are performed by Andalucian Flamenco artists and can include audience participation.

Restaurant is located at a small plaza across from Teatro Cervantes and near pedestrian district.

Restaurante Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

Menu is not traditional Spanish, which you might expect from Flamenco restaurant. Asian flavors, wok’s and pasta come from other countries but mainly not from Spain.

There is Tapas menu available which has more Spanish type of apetizers, if you do not count humus and cous cous to them. However, tapas menu was not served during the show, but we managed to order one starter from it.

Aqua con gas was Perrier, not Spanish. Bread with olive tapenade was delicious, best part of the kitchen.

Perrier at Vino Mio - reijosfood.comBread at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

While watching flamenco with 4€ extra charge per person, we had for starters Bolsitas Crujientes (2) King prawns and vegetables wrapped up in a crispy filo parcel accompanied by tomato and oregano jam and from Tapas menu Surtido Cervantes Queso manchego, salchichon iberico y chorizo iberico.

As menu explained, ingredients were inside of filo parcel. Basically ok portion but required a little bit more flavor for instance by adding some chili.

Starter at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

Assortment of Spanish apetizers consisted of manchego cheese and two types of sausages. Basic and delicious pieces of Spanish cuisine. Chorizo pieces were soft which was pleasant surprise, because they can usually be quite thick and difficult to chew.

Tapas at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Wok Bangok Chicken chunks stir fried with fresh vegetables and finished with Thai sweet & sour sauce served with rice and Sate Bali Indonesian marinated chicken breast served with rice, prawn crackers and a peanut sauce.

Not so typical names for portions at flamenco restaurant in Spain?

Chicken skewer in sate sauce was excellent, simple but tasty. Wok Bangok unfortunately did not meet expectations, vegetables dominated too much.

Wok Bangok - reijosfood.com

Sate Bali - reijosfood.com

Flamenco show is presented at 20.00 – 21.30, which is quite early for locals. Most of the customers were tourists but Wednesday did not seemed to be busiest evening.

At the end of the show dancer picked few customers to join flamenco dance which was the funniest part of the show. Imagine yourself repeating the same steps and moves as professional dancer….

Flamenco at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

Flamenco dancer at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

For wine we had L’Hereu cava from Raventos i Blanc in Penedes region. Main grape is Macabeu 45%, but also Xarel.lo and Parellada are used in production. Wineyard has produced wines since 1497, which is also mentioned on the label of the bottle.

Cava at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

If you would like to see Flamenco for the first time, Vino Mio is the right place. Athmosphere is relaxed, guitar is played well and flamenco shouts and screaming are creditable.

Main think is not the food, but anyone can find something from the menu.

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

Restaurant Vino Mio Malaga, Vino Mio Malaga, Malaga Restaurant, Flamenco Restaurant Malaga, Vino Mio Flamenco Restaurant Malaga, Bino Mio Malaga, Vino Mio Restaurant in Malaga Centre,

 

 








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