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.





Restaurant review: Copas y Tapas – Spanish cuisine by Finnish chef’s

5 10 2014
Copas y Tapas

Copas y Tapas

 

Copas y Tapas is an independent family-owned business which serves Spanish food and wines with Finnish flavor. Restaurant or actually Tapas Bar is located at Fabianinkatu, close to Senate Square. Dining rooms are on two levels and both areas were booked-up on Saturday evening.

Have visited Copas y Tapas couple of times before; earlier reviews can be found by using search. Previous visits have been successful, therefore expectations were again high.

Actually our experience started 5 minutes after reservation, which was made via TableOnline one week before dinner. We have requested to avoid some ingredients and restaurant chef sent email asking some additional info. That was quick and definately customer friendly.

Three course dinner costs 46€ (not bad) including tapas as starters, main course which can be chosen from 4 alternatives and dessert. 4€ additional payment for one of the meat dishes. Dinner starts with assortment of three tapas. You do not know what you get because restaurant chooses what to offer. But of course you can influence a little bit on it.

This time restaurant served for starters Carrot soup, Filled capsicum and Smoked pork.

First we enjoyed soup which was flavoured with saffron. Very tasty! Next we ate capsicum filled with cream cheese and crayfish, excellent. Pork was accompanied with kohlrabi to lighten up greasiness.

Tapas plate 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 Duck, Rabbit (4€ extra), Pike- Perch and Vegetarian.

Both enjoyed portions were delicious and healthy, not ruined with potatoes. Rabbit was prepared with two ways, you get fillet and pressed meat. Two sauces, chioggia beet and tomatoes paired well with both meats.

With roasted pike-perch was also chioggia beet, small chanterelles and pear pieces. Correct degree of ripeness made the gusto perfect.

 

Rabbit at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.comFish at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Decided to share 3 pieces of cheese before dessert. Delicious home-made crispbread should be available in supermarkets, because it was so tasty. Cava paired especially well with smelted cheese, no need for port or red wine or other “cheese drinks”. These cheeses were chosen to match with white wines.

Cheese plate at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

For dessert restaurant served Pannacotta with black currant pyre.

Sweet, but not too sweet, dessert ended the dinner nicely. One portion included chocolate pieces and one pistache due to milk in chocolate.

Pannacotta at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

For wine ordered bottle of cava Gramona III Lustros Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2006, which is produced from Xarel-lo (70%) and Macabeo (30%) grapes. Wine is also really dry as it includes only 2 g/l sugar. Must be one of the driest cavas.

Was going to order III Lustros in Malaga in May, but it was finished from the restaurant we visited. Had instead Gramona Imperial Gran Reserva Brut, which includes Chardonnay grapes. In Finland these wines cost at restaurant 40€ more than at restaurant in Malaga, believe or not, because of VAT.

Cava at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Copas y Tapas is one of the most promising affordable fine dining bistros in Helsinki restaurant scene, especially if you want to have serious discussion about Spanish wines. Fusion cuisine blends brilliantly best parts of Spanish and Finnish food cultures. Michelin guys should check it for Bib Gourmand label.

And selection of Spanish brandies is wide. Tried Torres 20 which tastes more like cognac.

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

Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

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

http://www.copasytapas.fi/





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








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