Restaurant review: Yume – New Year’s Eve dinner

9 01 2016

Restaurant Yume - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Yume is part of Kämp Group, which also operates legendary luxury hotel Kämp. Yume serves asian flavours and dishes in a modern decor and is located in the same building as hotel Kämp. Inspired by the Jack Yoss Experience pop up restaurant which was at Yume in July 2012, restaurant’s menu changed and offers today a wide variety of modern asian food.

Note that restaurant is closed in January 2016 due to renovation.

New Year’s Eve did not differ so much from regular evening except when it comes to menu, that was planned for special day. Food is always well prepared and delicious at Yume, but special menu was not that special because menus have always been enjoyable. Maybe surprise small bite between dishes would have been spectacular.

Started with aperitives, but got first two dishes 2 minutes after drinks. Those two dishes, Spiced salmon in soy sauce and Sushi pieces were first part of the dinner being both starters. But it was quite odd that restaurant served these portions while taking first sips. OK, waitress noticed that eating did not start before had enjoyed the drinks and after that it was more comfortable to eat next dishes without rush.

Yume starters - reijosfood.com

3rd dish was the best of all portions. Pork ribs were so delicious that could have eaten them for rest of the menu. Extremely well spiced these juicy ribs were so far the best have ever tasted.

Yume beef - reijosfood.com

And 4th dish was Beef meat served with rice. A little bit too greasy, but with chili slices and “soup” again show case of Yume kitchen professionalism.

Yume beef - reijosfood.com

 

Yume can Asian-Scandinavian type desserts! Not too complicated for local taste. Means that sometimes different type of vegetables and herbs used in desserts make them almost snack or main course, not dessert. Dessert was Pudding with sorbet.

Yume dessert - reijosfood.com

Interesting detail is the location of extra cutlery. They are hidden in a small box under the table, but only on one side.

Cutlery at Yume - reijosfood.com

For wine chose The Velvet Devil from Charles Smith Wines, USA. 100% Merlot pairs well with spicy, almost even hot dishes.

The Velvet Devil at Yume - reijosfood.com

Yume is one of the best “gourmet” asian cusine restaurants in Helsinki. As it is in the center of the city, next door to Hotel Kämp, it’s location is also perfect. Modern rhythm music is not too loud and most of the tables are not thick on the ground, which makes discussion possible. Service was professional as expected and would have given 4,5, if starters would have not appear so quickly.

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

http://ravintolayume.fi/en/

 





Restaurant review: Copas y Tapas – revisit 2016

5 01 2016
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 at two levels and both areas are usually crowded.
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. Usually it is difficult to get table in short notice but maybe 2nd January after New Year was not the most popular restaurant day.

Three course dinner costs 43-47 € including “tapas” plate as starter, main course which can be chosen from 4 alternatives and dessert. 5€ additional payment for meat dishes.

Of course you need some time to make a decision what to order and best way to speed up decision process is to order aperitif. Better to ask what waiters would serve. Asked for red wine and got L’Avi Arrufi from region Terra-Alta. Wine full of character and bouquet.

For tapas starters restaurant served  Soup, Filled capsicum and Smoked pork. Soup was warm and tasty, enjoyed it first. Then finished capsicum, which had some delicious tuna filling. And last smoked pork, which was with add-on’s great experience. Compared to previous visit starters looked similar, but soup was different and capsicum was filled with shrimps not with tuna.

Tapas 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 Meat of the Day, Steak of the Day (5€ extra), Fish of the Day and Vegetarian.

Fish of the Day, Arctic char, was superb with roots and swamps. And fish was enough big, which is not the fact in all restaurants.

Arctic char at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Dessert was this time Pannacotta with sorbet. Extremely delicious, sweet bite.

Pannacotta at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

And with desserts, waiter or could even say sommelier, chose Gra a Gra Pinot Noir wine from Gramona. Not too sweet wine is produced as limited editions. So, recommend to taste it, if you have a chance.

gra a gra at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

For vegeterians Copas y Tapas is perfect place. Restaurant conjured 3 course vegeterian menu which was amazing. Main course was based on portobello mushrooms but tapas starter was masterpiece.

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. Food is more Finnish or Scandinavian but served like in Spanish restaurant.

Service, really important part of experience, was excellent again.

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

Ruoka | Ravintola Copas y Tapas





Wine review: Best mulled wines 2015

12 12 2015

Glögi - reijosfood.com

Mulled wines (Glögi or Hehkuviini in Finnish) are really popular in Finland during Christmas time. They can be purchased at Alko’s already at the end of October. As the assortment of mulled wines is quite wide it is important to select right ones. Many of the mulled wines at Alko are too sweet, too strong or strangely flavored.

So,  here is a selection of TOP3 best mulled wines available at Alko: Perinteinen Punaviiniglögi, Hehkuviini and Rauschgoldengel Organic Glühwein (1 litre bottle!)

Gluhwein - reijosfood.com

What is odd that first two come from Denmark, which seems to be THE country of mulled wines, if conclusion is based on Alko selection. So, most of the mulled wines are not made in Finland. As a matter in fact, most of them are imported or specially manufactured for Alko and bottled in Finland.

Gluhwein comes from Germany, of course. Very popular drink with several producers in Central Europe, but only one brand to be chosen in Finland.

THE LOOK

The labels of Danish mulled wine bottles look similar, same red ground and golden decorations. Organic gluhwein label is not so flashy, nice winter picture on it.

Hehkuviini is a little bit darker red than Perinteinen Punaviiniglögi. Gluhwine is even more lighter than Punaviiniglögi.

However, the difference of the look of mulled wines is usually negligible.

THE NOSE

The aroma of Perinteinen Punaviiniglögi is softer due to amount of less alcohol. Clove dominates but not disturbingly.

Hehkuviini smells like raisin and Christmas spices but alcohol tries to come up. The scent of both wines is christmassy, which is most important savor of mulled wines.

Gluhwein bouquet is nice, not too much alcohol which makes sniffing more pleasant.

THE TASTE

You can find cardamon form Perinteinen Punaviiniglögi. Taste is well balanced and spices are in harmony.

In Hehkuviini mostly you can taste almond and gingerbread. As it has more alcohol that can also be noticed. Quite a lot calories too…..

Gluhwein tasted much better than last years version. Balanced spiced taste and tempranillo grapes made this drink winner of the year. And most of all, it is not too sweet.

Gluhwein - reijosfood.com

Facts:

……………Gluhwein………….Punaviiniglögi……………..Hehkuviini
Alcohol:   10.00 %                       13.00%                           22.00% (be careful!)
Extract:   105 g/l                          120 g/l                           170 g/l
Acidity:    4.9 g/l                           5.7 g/l                            4.7 g/l
Sugar:     85 g/l                             95 g/l                             150 g/l
Energy:   100 kcal / 100 ml  120 kcal / 100 ml  190 kcal / 100 ml

Mulled wines are part of Christmas time, at least in Finland. It is a pity that Alko does not provide wider selection of Gluhweins, only one choice available but fortunately excellent. Gluhweins are quite close to mulled wines, but not so sweet.

One option is to buy low-alcohol mulled wines from super markets, but then you also to need to know which ones to pick. Most of them are actually juices.

REVIEWS:

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

Hehkuviini: OVERALL GRADE 4/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++ (little bit too strong)

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





Wine review: Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau and Doudet-Naudin Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau (2015)

20 11 2015

Beaujolais Nouveau 2015

Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. Wine is released for sale on the third Thursday of November. “Beaujolais Nouveau Day” used to see heavy marketing, with races to get the first bottles to different markets around the globe.

The current release practice is to ship the wine ahead of the third Thursday of November, and release it to the local markets at 00.01 AM local time. In Finland Alko, monopoly company selling wines and alcohol, starts selling these wines at 09.00 on Thursday 19th November.

Luckily 2015 we are able to taste 2 different wines, both cost to consumers less than 10€ in Alko.

These wines are Doudet-Naudin Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau and Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau. Georges Duboeuf wine was for also for sale last year, but Doudet-Naudin is new. One specific feature differentiates these wines from the previous vintages, amount of alcohol >13%!!!

BN2015

THE LOOK

Bottle: Label of Georges Duboeuf follows colorful and joyful trend but Doudet-Naudin does not look traditional Beaujolais Nouveau style with black background.

Wine: Both wines are almost violet, blue-reddish as young wines always are.

THE NOSE

Fruity, even sweet aroma especially when using tasting glass. Cherry, rasberry and fruit candy scent came in to the nose from both wines.

It seems that Doudet-Naidin has more deep bouquet.

THE TASTE

Medium-bodied, young, light fruity wines. Berries (cherry, cranberry) dominate, but on the other hand taste is light. Aroma is more convenient than taste, but with unspiced food and pizzas, both wines pair well.

Doudet-Naudin felt softer because less acidity, but extra 0,5% in strongness made this wine my favourite.

Facts:

                      Georges Duboeuf                                                  Doudet-Naidin
Alcohol:        13,00 %                                                           13,50 %
Extract:        30 g/l                                                               27 g/l
Acidity:         6,1 g/l                                                              5,7 g/l
Energy:         80 kcal / 100 ml (320 kJ / 100 ml)          90 kcal / 100 ml (360 kJ / 100 ml)

Alko has imported 50.000 bottles alltogether of these wines. Let’s see is they are finished before Christmas.

REVIEW:

Georges Duboeuf  OVERALL GRADE 4-/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++

Doudet-Naidin OVERALL GRADE 4/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++





Restaurant review: Kiila Food and Bar – revisit after almost 3 years

14 09 2015

Kiila_window table- reijosfood.com

Restaurant Kiila was opened on 2nd March 2012. Restaurant is open from morning until night offering breakfast, brunch on Sundays and public holidays, lunch, dinner and bar services.

Location for restaurant is one the the best in Helsinki, just opposite of department store Stockmann. And views to two directions give diners opportunity to watch shoppers and by-passers. The restaurant serves breakfast, Sunday brunch, lunch and dinners.

Visited third time Kiila Food and bar. Recent change was that bar after entrance was also for diners. That part of restaurant is called KiilaBurger and a la carte area has name Kiila A’la Carte. In the summer time terrace attract thirsty customers with drink offers, usually sparkling.

For starter ordered Salmon Cheviche Lime and citrus marinated salmon, coriander, mango and parsnip chips.

I had not eaten earlier combination which included salmon and mango. These two paired well and maybe alos partly because of herbs and rye bread. Really promising start for the dinner.

Kiila_starter - reijosfood.com

 

For main courses had Ribs and potato wedges with coleslaw and bbq sauce.

Ribs were excellent and there was plenty of them. Almost no grease at all which meant that you could easily eat them without chewing fat. Potatoes were not exactly wedges but taste and crispness were ok.

Kiila_main course - reijosfood.com

The prices of wines are affordable. Almost all wine bottles are under 40€, which is not the fact in most restaurants in Helsinki.

Had glass (or two…) of Zonnebloem Shiraz from South Africa. Wine paired perfectly with ribs.

 

The food at Kiila has improved from previous visits which quarentees that it does not have to wait me 3 years for re-visit. And remember always ask for window table.

 

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

Ravintola Kiila

 





Traditional Finnish crayfish party – re-post

21 07 2015

Crayfish - reijosfood.com

As Crayfish season starts again on the 21st of July, 2015, reminder for those who participate crayfish party first time.

Crayfish season in Finland is always from 21st of July until 31st of October. There are two species available, crayfish and signal crayfish. Origins of crayfish are in Finland but signal crayfish was imported from U.S.A in 1960’s. Crayfish is less common than signal crayfish and therefore more expensive. You can of course dine at restaurants offering crayfish menu’s, but more convenient is to enjoy them at home and hopefully outdoors.

1) DRINKS (most important after crayfish itselves)

First thing; make sure there is sufficient amount of drinks for the whole meal. You must have schnapps available, which can be Finnish vodka or Swedish aquavit. Then you must decide if champagne, white wine (recommend riesling) or beer suits best depending on your taste. And of course mineral or mountain spring waters must be available. But remember that all bottles on the table and in the fridge are not meant to be drank in a hurry. As crayfish dinner takes about 3-5 hours, be careful!

Drinks - reijosfood.comDrinks - reijosfood.com

2) TABLE-SETTING AND OTHER CRAYFISH TAT

Pictures of crayfish must be everywhere; in serviettes, tablecloth, plates, crayfish bib…etc . Even lanterns must include crayfish figures.

Eating crayfish requires specific knife in order to deal with claws. Otherwise they are eaten with the hands/fingers.

Crayfish tat - reijosfood.com

Crayfish - reijosfood.com

3) PROTECTION FROM SPLASHES

Crayfish bibs are usually made from disposable material, but you can of course make long-term investment or get them as a gift. And make sure bib is enough long to extend up to the knees. If it is too short, you will notice it afterwards.

Essu - reijosfood.com

4) AMOUNT OF CRAYFISH

To eat only crayfish the entire course of the meal is rare. It takes so long time to eat them, that you become hungry again during the dinner, so it is usual to eat crayfish as a starter. Thefore reserve about 7-10 crayfish for each diner and you are ready to float in the atmosphere. But if you decide to eat only crayfish, 20 is the minimum amount.

Crayfish - reijosfood.com

5) CRAYFISH SONGS

If you do not like to sing, after couple of vodka’s you might anyway be the loudest singer. Songs are short but funny, most famous is Swedish song: “Helan går”

If you are not sure how to eat crayfish, just google “How to eat crayfish” and you find several videos.

Then, it is crayfish party time!

Crayfish with Finlandia vodka - reijosfood.com





Wine review: Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2010

7 07 2015
 Zenato Amarone - reijosfood.com

The Zenato vineyards cover 75 hectares in the Zenato estate of S. Cristina in San Benedetto di Lugana, ideal for the Trebbiano di Lugana, and in the Costalunga estate in Valpolicella, the homeland of the famous Amarone Zenato.

Produced in Costalunga Estate, in the classical area of Valpolicella, a land well known for its wine and food culture, after a manual selection, the 80% Corvina, 10% Rondinella and 10% Oseleta grapes are left to rest in small boxes and then pressed to create a wine of undoubted quality with great complexity that gets better with age.

Tasted vintage 2010 which is maybe the youngest wine to try from Zenato Amarone red wines.

 

THE LOOK

Most Amarone bottles are modest without too much colors on the label or size of the bottle. Zenato is one of the most modest.

Color of wine is dark red with hints of brown color although wine is still quite young

THE NOSE

Typical Amarone, intense and strong bouquet. Be careful in sniffing as amount of alcohol might surprise you.

THE TASTE

Full-bodied and warm. Fig, plum and dark cherry can be found as flavors. Long aftertaste.

 

Facts:

Alcohol: 16,5% by volume
Extract: 45 g/l
Acidity: 6 g/l
Energy: 110 kcal/100 ml (460 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: natural cork

 

Antipasti and Amarone - reijosfood.com

 

Tasted Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2010 first as such. The wine suits well for enjoying also that way, but the you must like stronger and sweeter red wines. And with giant Riedel glass you really get best out of wine.

With Antipasti flavor even improved. Salty Italian ham and rocket salad paired extremely well with a little bit sweet wine. With red meat I would enjoy more “rough” wine than Amarone, but as friend of this wine type would not leave it to drink, if served :)

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

Zenato Winery.

 








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