Restaurant review: Gastrobar Emo – Michelin Bib Gourmand status

23 11 2014
Gastrobar Emo

Gastrobar Emo

 

Gastrobar Emo provides easygoing service and good food. Emo (Dam in english) was opened in August 2013 in the same place where Michelin star restaurant Olo used to be. Owners are also partly the same. Emo earned Michelin Bib Gourmand status quite soon after opening, which is a proof of quality food and reasonable prices.

Gastrobar Emo - reijosfood.com

Gastrobar Emo at Kasarimikatu

 

Emo - reijosfood.com

Gastrobar Emo dining room

There is also separate wine bar which provides opportunity to enjoy an aperitif or glass of wine. With drinks you can order snacks from bar menu.

Emo Wine bar - reijosfood.com

Emo wine bar

Quite soon after you arrive you will get fresh bread, but only one slice for each diner.

Bread bag at Emo - reijosfood.com

Paper bag for bread

We also ordered some Snacks with glasses of Taittinger. Unfortunately some bubbles had already dissapeared, because we got the last drops from the bottle.

Taittinger at Emo - reijosfood.com

Champagne Taittinger

For snacks we had Salami, which is actually basic salami slices and Dried tuna, which was delicious with mayonnaise. There are about 8 different alternatives to choose from, each cost you 4€. Good way to start the dinner.

Salami at Emo - reijosfood.com

Snacks – salami

 

Tuna at Emo - reijosfood.com

Snacks – dried tuna

 

You can choose your dinner from 13 different choises, each cost 10€. The sizes of portions are like starters, except new main courses, which could also be shared. Sharing food portions is THE TREND now, but we decided to order Salt baked Rainbow trout just for one.

Our dinner started with Potato pancake with whitefish roe and warm smoked salmon and Roasted saithe with vegetables.

Pancakes or blinis with roe are usually top class starters and so there were also at Emo. Excellent combination, really worth to try. Saithe was well roasted, but included a little bit too much salty ingredients like olives and capers. However, tomatoes softened the taste to a turn.

Blini ar Emo - reijosfood.com

Potato pancakes with whitefish roe and smoked salmon

 

Sei at Emo - reijosfood.com

Roasted saithe

 

Next came the fish! Preparing local Finnish fish under salt cover is really rare at restaurants in Helsinki. And this one was bull’s eye! Right cooking, not over or under, just perfect. Some add on’s like fried potatoes and green salad was there, but focus was on fish.

Second “starter” was Shellfish paella, excellent composite of small octopus, clam and rice.

Rainbow trout at Emo - reijosfood.com

Salt baked rainbow trout

Emon kirjolohi - reijosfood.com

Rainbow trout

 

Paella at Emo - reijosfood.com

Shellfish paella

Third “starter” was Piglet with sauerkraut and apple compote. Sauerkraut was hidden under three pieces of meat pieces. Nice and soft composite.

Hoped that this dish would have arrived a little bit earlier because rainbow trout was almost eaten while waiting piglet.

Pork at Emo- reijosfood.com

Piglet

Fourth and last “starter” was Charcoal grilled horse skewer with mayonnaise. Meat was a little bit dry, but taste of charcoal is always attractive.

Horse at Emo - reijosfood.com

Horse skewer

We ordered wine, which was suggested on the blackboard. Dry and fruit riesling, Boeckel, from Alsace, France paired well with seafood. For meats ordered glass of suggested Merlot which paired well with piglet and horse.

Riesling at Emo - reijosfood.com

Boeckel riesling

Waitering by about 5 different waitresses/waiters was professional. Saithe had to be changed, because it was first served with one ingredient we were asked to leave away.

All seafoods are close to 5, especially salt baked fish earns special note. 4 dishes from the list is enough, 3 might leave you hungry.

Gastrobar Emo is Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant and it deserves to be such.

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

Home – Ravintola EMO





Wine review: Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau & Château des Loges Beaujolais Villages Nouveau

21 11 2014

 

Beaujolais Nouveau - reijosfood.com

Beaujolais Nouveau

 

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 20th November.

Luckily 2014 we are able to taste 2 different wines, both cost to consumers less than 10€.

These wines are Château des Loges Beaujolais Villages Nouveau and Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau.

BJ wines- reijosfood.com

THE LOOK

Label of last year’s wine from Georges Duboeuf was much more colorful. Maybe it is time to slow down a bit? Did it scare consumers?

Both wines are almost violet, blue-reddish like young wines always are. The color in the first picture is a little too dark than wine is in natural.

THE NOSE

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

It seems that Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau has more deep bouquet.

THE TASTE

Young, light fruity wines. Berries dominate, but on the other hand taste is skinny. Aroma is better than taste, but with unspiced food and pizzas, both wines pair well.

Beaujolais Nouveau wines in Finland

Beaujolais Nouveau wines in Finland

Facts:

                             Georges Duboeuf                                         Chateau des Loges
Alcohol:        12,00 %                                             12,50 %
Extract:        26 g/l                                                27 g/l
Acidity:         5,5 g/l                                               5,7 g/l
Energy:         80 kcal / 100 ml (320 kJ / 100 ml)   80 kcal / 100 ml (340 kJ / 100 ml)

Do not know exactly what has happened, but 2014 Beaujolais Nouveau wines taste better than 2013 wine. Maybe better vintage? Any other opinions?

REVIEW:

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

Chateau des Loges OVERALL GRADE 3,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++





Restaurant review: Hanko Sushi – largest sushi bar chain in Finland

14 11 2014
Sushi from Hanko Sushi - reijosfood.com

Sushi from Hanko Sushi Bar

Hanko Sushi is Finland’s largest sushi restaurant or bar chain. The first Sushi Bar was founded in summer town Hanko (reason for name) and today chain has 15 Sushi Bar’s in several localities, most of them in the capital area. Many of the sushi spots are bar’s and take-away places, but for instance the one in Hanko can be called as restaurant. Larger dining room with several tables and summer terrace.

As fans of Sushi, tried first time Hanko Sushi Ruoholahti a two months ago and after that several times. Usually have dropped by some small sushi bar in shopping centers.

Hanko Sushi Ruoholahti

Hanko Sushi Ruoholahti

 

From Hanko Sushi picked up each time assortments. They have three different sizes and this review covers all of them.

Small Assortment consists of 10 sushi pieces

4 Nigiri’s: 2 Shake (Salmon*), 1 Ebi (Shrimp), Tamago (Omelet**)

6 Maki roll’s: 2 Kappa (Cucumber), 2 Shake (Salmon), 2 Lohiura (Salmon, avocado, sesame seeds)

Ginger, Wasabi, Soy sauce

Maki roll’s were great especially Shake and Lohiura. Pure Kappa is too simple, but with wasabi and soy sauce simple taste improves a lot.

Nigiri’s are our favourite, especially basic Shake. One Shake piece was replaced this time with Yakishake*, which is also delicious. Ebi is most difficult to eat and better leave Tamago as last piece because it is so scrumtiously sweet.

Small Assortment at Hanko Sushi

Small Assortment at Hanko Sushi

Medium Assortment has 12 sushi pieces which means two Nigiri’s more:

1 Yakishake (Grilled salmon), 1 Tara (Cod)

All Nigiri’s were again really scrumptious except Tara, which was quite chewy. Yakishake with mayonnaise was especially enjoyable. Tara was the reason for dropping 1/4 points.

*Tamago was in this medium assortment replaced with Seaweed, which actually was delicious. Almost conjured when saw Tamago missing, but not anymore when enjoyed Seaweed first of 12 sushi’s.

Hanko Sushi selection - reijosfood.com

Medium Assortment at Hanko Sushi

With Large Assortment you get again two Nigiri’s more but also some changes:

1 Unagi (Grilled eel), 1 Avocado, 1 Gunga Masako (Capelin roe)***

Again some changes because Tara*** was there and had replaced Gunka Masako. Why Tara, not our favourite… Anyhow, again delicious assortment and extreme sushi enjoyment. Especially Unagi was nice surprise. Ate it first time and it will not be the last. One of the best Sushi pieces ever tasted.

Large Assortment at Hanko Sushi

Large Assortment at Hanko Sushi

Soy sauce is the sweetest ever tasted at sushi bar’s. Almost too sweet because saltiness seems to remain hidden. But it is excellent, no need to say it. And wasabi is enough strong but not that strong that is makes your eyes drain.

Sushi’s at Hanko Sushi are excellent; fresh and tasty. So far takeaway portions have been the best in Helsinki.

I do not rate service, if one has the to order from cashier.

Next summer have to visit Hanko Sushi Hanko and have light lunch at the terrace in order to be able to compare quality and service. Hanko Sushi Iso-Omena in Espoo also has wider dining room with several tables.

No wine available, which urges you to purchase sushi’s with you and enjoy them with wine at home.

Overall grade is also difficult to rate, but visits to Hanko Sushi Ruoholahti have been quick but pleasant experiences.

Hanko Sushi bar Ruoholahti

Hanko Sushi bar Ruoholahti

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

Hanko Sushi.





Restaurant review: Yume – second visit 2014

7 11 2014
Drink at Yume - reijosfood.com

Bramble

Restaurant Yume is part of Kämp Group, which also operates luxury hotel Kämp. Yume serves Asian flavours 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.

Our first visit was in February when we enjoyed tasting menu. This time decided to try dishes on the a la carte list. Unfortunately whitefish was not there anymore; it was the best dish last time from the menu.

Restaurant Yume - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Yume

 

Before ordering food had to relax with aperitives. Chose Bramble Gin, bramble (blackberry) and lemon and Yume Roayl. With the amount of ice, Bramble drink almost dissappeared, but it was excellent apritif to start with. Royal included some herb, can not remember anymore which one. You could not notice bouquet of herb but the taste yes.

Drinks at Yume - reijosfood.com

For starters we ordered Thai pork ribs Pork ribs, herb salad and thai-chili sauce and Whitefish Kinilaw Whitefish, lime and chili.

Portion of ribs was huge and propably idea was to share it. But after tasting, I think no-one wants to share it. One of the best pork ribs dishes ever eaten. Last time one tiny setback was that food was not so spicy as we would like it to be, especially Asian. Now everything was in harmony including herbs, chili and sweetnes; perfect combination. And no grease at all around bones.

Whitefish was marinated with lime and it was partially raw matured. You must like lots of citrus taste and of course chili, if you order this. Lavaret or whitefish is one of the best Finnish fishes to prepare like this.

Pork ribs at Yume - reijosfood.comWhite fish at Yume - reijosfood.com

For main courses we had Cod and Crispy Noodles Fried cod, noodles and spicy ginger sauce and Salmon Teriyaki Roasted salmon and sweet teriayki sauce.

Cod is excellent fish, a little bit under valued. If there had been less deep frying, this portion would have been really delicious. Dish was fine tuned due to our request and sauce was luscious.

Unfortunately salmon was a little bit over roasted but side dishes, thai salad and sauce, matched brilliantly with the fish.

Cod at Yume - reijosfood.comSalmon at Yume - reijosfood.com

For wine we chose Weingut Weegmüller, Riesling Trocken 2012, Pfalz, Germany. Nice basic riesling, not so typical size, 1 liter.

As starters and main courses were quite heavy, we settled for espresso and tea. Tea pot was matching with Yume style.

Tea pot at Yume - reijosfood.com

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

Cutlery at Yume - reijosfood.comYume - reijosfood.comYume dining room - reijosfood.com

Yume is one of the best “gourmet” Asian cuisine restaurants in Helsinki. As it is in the center of the city, next door to Hotel Kämp, it’s location is also perfect. Would have liked to give 4 1/2 for food, but main courses are most important part of dinner. Clear improvement was more use of spices, herbs and chili.

Modern rhythm music is not too loud and most of the tables are not thick on the ground, which makes discussion possible. Service was again professional as expected.

Next time, which will definately come, we shall try Hot Stone dishes. Scent in the restaurant is attractive due to several sizzling stones on the tables. It is not disruptive at all, which may be the case in some restaurants with the same idea.

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

http://ravintolayume.fi/en/





Restaurant review: Rikhards Gastropub – Second visit 2014

1 11 2014
Rikhard's Gastropub - reijosfood.com

Rikhard’s Gastropub

Our second visit was 6 months after opening. This review focuses on Menu of the day, which two of us tasted. The price for menu is 49€, which might open up door for Michelin Bib Gourmand label.

If you want to read more about restaurant and last visit please click Rikhards | Search Results | Restaurant and wine epicure

Rikhards Gastropub - reijosfood.com

A la carte menu included most of the portions, which were on it 6 months ago. From starter or snacks section Chicken wings and New potatoes with Haugesund herring had dissappeared. It is a pity, because can not remember better tasting wings anywhere.

Had to start the dinner again with POP CORN which last time was pleasant surprise. The consistent excellent quality of this delicious apetizer was still there. Seaweed and chicken skin served with sesame, soy and truffle sour cream is a perfect combination.

Pop Corns - reijosfood.com

Menu of the day included for starter Mussels, for main course Beef tenderloin and for dessert sweet dish.

Moules in white wine sauce with thyme, garlic, cream, bacon and butter were scrumptious because of sauce and add-ons. Mussels are enjoyable anyway, but when they are cooked in a stock or more like a soup, they really make your mouth drooling. You can buy this portion also as main course, which is one option to enjoy shell fish.

Starter was served with ”friend fries”, garlic mayonnaise, spicy peanut butter sauce, and toasted rustic bread.

Mussels - reijosfood.comDinner table at Rikhards

Main course Beef tenderloin was served with French fries, green beans seasoned with bacon, Béarnaise sauce and fresh green salad. Amount of meat was extravagant. I can not remember that would have ever got so huge amount of beef tenderloin or any other meat anywhere.

After eating that pile of meat with delicious bearnaise sauce and glass of red wine, dinner could have ended there. Therefore no pictures about dessert although had to, of course, eat it.

Beef tenderloin at Rikhards - reijosfood.com

 

For wine we chose WIN WIN from German weingut von Winning. Elegant bouquet and balanced taste paired well with mussels and codfish.

Waiter at Rikhard's - reijosfood.com

Riesling at Rikhards - reijosfood.com

Two of us had Torskrygg for main course. Picture on the left is from last visit and on the right from this visit. Excellent dish again, maybe the sauce included now some lactose, as it was left away.

Torskrygg at Rikhards - reijosfood.comTorskrygg at Rikhards - reijosfood.com

 

Food at Rikhards Gastropub was again excellent. You get with only 49€ excellent gourmet dinner, if you choose Menu of the day.

Service was again professional and polite. Gentlemen serving us did great job and get special points for outfit.

Had to improve grade even though scores were high already last time.

It seems that Restamax is actual owner as restaurant webpage is now located on their pages.

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

Rikhards | Ravintola.fi

 





Champagne tasting at Wine, food and good living fair

30 10 2014

Yearly Wine, food and good living fair was at Messukeskus last weekend. With 2 vouchers or tickets, which you purchase beforehand, you can taste different Champagnes (wine costs 1 ticket). Value of tickets is 2,5€. You also “rent” tasting glass which costs 2€ after giving glass back.

Most of the champagnes available are at Champagne bar/lounge, but some can be found at booths hosted by wine exporter’s. Could unfortunately not find any vintage champagnes.

Tasted Champagnes are in order of merit, not in the order they were tasted. On the top are the wines we liked most.

——————————————————-

Winner was Gosset Excellence Brut. Champagne is produced from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes by champagne house Gosset. It was established in 1584 being one of the oldest wine makers. Champagne provides excellent balance between acidity, citrus and light minerals. (4+/5)

Second place goes to Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut which is produced from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes. Well balanced champagne suits for aperitif and with most of all food, except sweets. (4/5)

Third place goes to a little bit complicated champagne, Bonnaire Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, which costs only 34,90€ at Alko’s. 3rd place is therefore partly earned because of price. Sparkling drink from Bonnaire champagne house does not include sugar at all (non dose). Blanc de blancs, only Chardonnay grapes, makes the taste of wine stable. Due to acidity and extra dry taste, makes you want to sip water between tasting. (4-/5)

Next comes Duval-Leroy Brut AB. Wine has obtained the Ecocert organic certification, meeting standards and specifications at an international level. First wine prdouced only from Pinot Noir grapes. Main reason to choose Duval-Leroy’s Cuvée Brut is to enjoy a wine produced from organic viticulture. Family business was founded 1859 and is nowaday’s led by Carol Duval-Leroy. (3,5/5)

Then comes Taittinger Nocturne Sec, champagne which should be enjoyed late in the evening, because of amount of sugar, 18 g/l. We tried it at about 4PM, which seemed to be much too early. Grapes used in production are Chardonnay (40%), Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunieur. Taste is close to semi-dry as sweetness is obvious. (3,5/5)

Difficult to say which one of the next two champagnes was “better”.

André Clouet Grande Réserve Blanc de Noirs Brut is produced only from Pinot Noir grapes. It does not help to raise ranking, that wine costs at Alko only 29,90€ being one of the cheapest champagnes there. Pure Pinot Noire champagne is challenging, not only when it comes to look, but also flavor. Family owned Clouet wineyard is quite small and it produces about 300.000 bottles per year (2/5)

 Champage De Saint Gall Rosé Brut is produced from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. The way rose was made is not so great, pinot noir wine was added afterwards to sparkling wine. You can almost notice that in the look. In taste you can find some strawberry and rasberry. and Wine is produced by co-operative Union Champagne. (2-/5)

To summarize, maybe it is better to focus to fewer champagnes from same producer. At least thought afterwards after long day and evening. But if there are not vintage champagnes available, what would be your choice?

Some interesting champagnes were already finished, which you can see for instance in the picture below. Name of the champagnes were crossed out. But at the end of the day, maybe that was also good thing….

image





Tasting of 6 Fair Trade wines

26 10 2014

Fair Trade wines - reijosfood.com

Yearly Wine, food and good living expo was again at Messukeskus (Helsinki Fair Center) on the 23-26.10.2014. There are several wine tastings arranged during the event. We were able to make pre-booking for one of them and participated in tasting of South-African and Argentinean Fair Trade wines. Restaurant Savoy sommelier Antti Uusitalo was in charge to lead us to the secrets of less often noticed wines.

Sommelier Antti Uusitalo - reijosfood.com

Wine tasting - reijosfood.com

Thandi Sauvignon Blanc

First tasted wine came from South-African Thandi Wines, which was established in 1995. It was the first winery in the world to receive Fair Trade certificate.

Sauvignon Blanc is not out favourite, so the expectations were quite low. However, wine was really light and first it was difficult to find any black currant bouquet or taste. After 1/2 hour typical Sauvigon Blanc was easier to recognize. Suits for shellfish and chicken. (3/5)

El Condor Torrontes Chardonnay

Next wine came from from Argentinean La Riojana wine house, which was established on 1940. Grapes used in production are local Torrentes and Chadonnay. Torrentes rolled over Chardonnay and typical butter and oak taste was not found. Easy wine to be enjoyed well chilled for aperitf and slighlty spiced foods. (3+/5)

Thandi Shiraz Rosé

Next wine was again from Thandi Wines

Grapes used are in Thandi Shiraz Rose is produced from Shiraz-grapes (85 %) and Pinotage-grapes (15  %). Amount of shiraz makes the wine quite red. Wine is really dry for rose, a littke bit spicy and fruity. Suits for aperitif and with lightly spiced food but would also try with Asian flavors, though (3,5/5)

Bundustar Merlot 2013

Then tasting moved to red wines, first one came from Home of Origin Wine, South-Africa. Wine house is quite young, it was establlished in 2002. Name of wine comes from word ubuntu (community)

Typical Merlot, spicy and lots of tannins. Suits with red meats and spcicy food (3,5/5)

Café Culture Pinotage Coffee Mocha Pinotage 2013

Next wine was produced by KWV, established in 1918, which is the biggest wine exporter in South-Africa.

Is this wine? Really interesting (odd) experience! Wine tasted like old smoky cigar butt. There was coffee to be found in bouquet and taste. Would not buy ever! (1/5)

Tilimuqui Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Bonarda

 Second wine from La Riojana and last wine tasted.

Nice bouquet from Cabernet Sauvignon which was supplemented with Bonarda grapes. Best of all tasted Fair Trade wines. Would buy to home as taste is well balanced and full of dark berries (4+/5)

I have not picked wines based on ethical or sustainable reasons but tasting of these wine definately raises these topics when visiting next time wine shelfs. Maybe even will buy last wine tasted Tilimuqui Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Bonarda, which was positive surprise and price only 9,98€ at Alko.

In next post will write brifly about the Champagnes tasted during Expo.

Champagnes - reijosfood.com

 








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