Restaurant review: Pastor – Drink & Dine

29 11 2014

Aperitives at Pastor - reijosfood.com

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. Background music is played quite loud but does not disturb too much. Room height between dining room and bar hides part of it.

Pastor kitchen -reijosfood.comPastor 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 glass of champagne, Lassaigne Les Vignes de Montgueuz and drink, which was recommended by waiter, Twinkly. By ordering that you also support Movember movement with 1€ donation.

Wine world is the best part of Pastor. One of the most famous sommerliers in Finland, Pekka Koiranen, chose the wines for us. Recommend to let him to do so, that is the most easiest way to get right wines for complicated flavors.

With fish and shellfish we were suggested to try Von Winning riesling which paired extremely well with tart cheviche. Easy to continue with salmon. With ribs enjoyed glass of Serva azon Pinot Nero from J.Hofstätter, excellent match with spicy pork. And with dessert tasted Beerenauslese Cuvee from grapes 60 % Welschriesling and 40 % Chardonnay, from Weinlaubenhof Kracher. Again perfect match with partly sweet and partly pungent dish.

Pekka Koiranen at Pastor - reijosfood.comVon Winning riesling at Pastor - reijosfood.comPinot Nero red wine at Pastor - reijosfood.comBeerenauslese wine at Pastor - reijosfood.com

You have 2 1/2 hours time enough for eating. As we had starters, main courses, desserts and espressos and we arrived 15 minutes late, we had to finish wines at the bar. At that time restaurant and bar were already filled with hungry and thirsty customers. And it seems that this is a fact for most of the evenings. Therefore prepare to book table on time.

Pastor bar - reijosfood.com

Pastor is fresh and welcomed dining experience with new flavors. Service was enough quick, which seemed to be challenge during the first months after opening. Although restaurant was full booked our portions arrived in appropriate schedule.

Overall grade raises 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 – SERVICE 4,5/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5

http://www.pastorrestaurant.fi/

 





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





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

 





Restaurant review: El Greco – Greek cuisine in Helsinki

19 10 2014

 

El Greco - reijosfood.com

Restaurant El Greco

El Greco was opened in April 2014 in the same building as restaurant Ragu. Restaurant serves traditional Greek food and Greek wines. In the summer there has been some evenings with live music, which at least we have missed. Mandolin in the picture was just for our amusement.

Greek dinner must start with Ouzo accompanied by some ice cubes and water. Fresh bread with olive oil also is a must, small olive oil bottle hidden under bread slices made experience more personal.

Ouzo - reijosfood.com

Cheese pie at El Greco - reijosfood.com

Dolmades at El Greco - reijosfood.com

 

For main courses chose FISH OF THE DAY Fried zander or whitefish fillet, sauce from fresh tomatoes and SUVLAKI KOTOPULO Chicken and vegetables skewered on a spit, lemon & olive oil sauce.

Fish was zander or pike perch, which is rare in Greek kitchen, but we are in Finland. Fish was perfectly fried and tomato flavor in sauce matched well.

Chicken pieces in skewer were soft, not dry at all, which is too often typical for souvlakis. We shared fried potatoes but actually you did not need those. And without them main courses were extremely healthy.

Zander at El Greco- reijosfood.com

Souvlaki at El Greco - reijosfood.com

 

And for dessert to digest the food some Mango sorbet. Two sorbet balls are quite a lot to be eaten, but anyway excellent food melter.

Sorbet at El Greco - reijosfood.com

 

For wine restaurant owner suggested Kanenas white wine from Chardonnay grapes produced by Tsantali wineyards. The shape of the bottle is not typical, it is lower and more stylistic. Bouquet of wine was mild, you just recognized chardonnay. Also the taste was light but wine paired well with starters and main courses.

Greek wine - reijosfood.com

 

El Greco earns to be named best Greek restaurant in Helsinki when it comes to food. Dining area consists of three dining rooms; one with views to Ludviginkatu, one smaller in the middle and one under covered glass terrace. Only Greek music is played on the background, naturally.

But maybe we are used to a little bit more worn and more noisy tavernas, which we have visited during holidays in Greece. El Greco is located in the same building as Ragu with similar outlook (you can actually see Ragu terrace in the background). Building suits well for Ragu, but is it too solemn for Greek restaurant? Maybe not. If you dine there, share your thoughts. We are going to visit El Greco anyway again.

El Greco terrace - reijosfood.com

 

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

English — El Greco

Tsantali.





Restaurant review: Fishmarket – only fish available

12 10 2014
Fishmarket menu. - reijosfood.com

Fishmarket menu

Restaurant Fishmarket was re-opened in May 2013. It serves wide selection of sea and fresh water cuicine like fish, roe, lobster, craysfish, oysters and shellfish. If you like to eat meat choose some other restaurant, because there is no single meat food on the a la carte list.

Fishmarket is located in Torikorttelit next to the Market Square (Kauppatori) on the ground floor of the same building as restaurant Sasso (see Sasso review by using search). Decor is modern and luminous after change in ownership and property renowation. Visited Fishmarket last year, review also can be found at reijosfood.com.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

You could choose from different kind of seafood platters and even eat those at seafood bar, if you do not like standard dinner tables. We decided to choose “basic” fish portions, which meant again long waiting times.

Last time restaurant served kitchen greetings in glass jar but not anymore. Menu had changed also; sorry for the Finnish menu in the first picture. Menu is not so ambmitious anymore, even Fish and Chips are available.

Excellent Sweet archipelago bread and home made yeast bread with salted butter were brought to the table first. No changes for these goodies.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

For starters ordered Snacks and Pan fried scallop with mini octopus. Snacks was new on the menu, maybe tapas type of dishes are becomming more common?

For snacks chose Smoked pike mousse with root vegetable chips, Light soy marinated salmon with baby gem.

All three snacks were enjoyable. Hoped that mousse would incude some pieces of pike, but it was pure mousse with taste of pike. Salmon is always delicious but could not find any taste of soy in this case, maybe forgotten. Combination of small scallops and crayfish on cockleshell tasted good.

Unfortunately pan fried scallops were already cold when they were brought to the table.

Snacks at Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

Scallops and octopus at Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

Main course dishes were Grilled turbot with carrot sauce and Pan fried salmon with deep fried fennel and spinach-pesto.

Turbot included some fish bones and scales, which was odd for this restaurant. Fish was also a little bit overcooked.

Salmon was perfectly fried, some rose still inside of fish. As salmon is quite greasy itself, maybe oily pesto is not perfect partner for it.

Tunnot at Fishmarket - reijosfood.comSalmon at Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

For desserts had Dark chocolate fondant with black currant sorbet and Sorbet.

Actually asked to replace sorbet with vanilla ice-cream but is was first forgotten. Got vanilla ice-cream in separate cup after reminding it. Replaced the sorbet with vanilla ice-cream, therefore plate seems a little bit messy. Maybe new portion would have been better idea.

If you like black currant, then you like home made sorbet, which was the choise for another dessert.

Chocolate fondant at Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

One extremely positive thing is the wide selection of riesling wines. Too often you have to choose from few alternatives because chardonnays and savignon blancs dominate wine lists, but at Fishmarket you really can celebrate with rieslings. Chose Sepp Moser Riesling von den Terrassen from Austria, which was excellent. Definately right balance of acidity, minerals, fruits and taste of petrol. Not too much, but enough. The color of wine is more yellow than rieslings usually are.

Riesling at Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

Fishmarket had all prerequisites to be the best seafood restaurant in Helsinki. Food is good but maybe again one waiter was missing because service was quite slow. Therefore it might make sense to order platters for starter or main course because you can pass the time by opening crabs.

Had to drop points for food and overall grade from last visit. The change in menu impacted to portions, which were on the other hand also more affordable.

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

Front | Restaurant Fishmarket.








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