Restaurant review: Brasserie Kämp – Kämp burger

26 04 2015

Brasserie Kämp - reijosfood.com

Hotel Kämp is a historical hotel in Helsinki. The hotel was originally built in 1887 by Carl Kämp. The building was demolished and the facade was rebuilt in 1965. The headquarters of the bank KOP were situated in the building for almost three decades, until 1995. A major restoration project, started in 1996, culminated in the reopening of Hotel Kämp in 1999.

Restaurant Brasserie Kämp offers a wide range of European food brasserie style. After building heated terrace four years ago you can dine “outside” all year around like in many brasseries in Paris. That is the place for enjoying Kämp burger.

Kämp burger consists of Black Angus beef patty, chipotle and bacon dressing, pickled red onion, cheddar, little gem lettuce between roll and pommes frites.

You can can choose the degree of maturity of the meat. Medium means that you get patty which is red inside. And patty is thick, thicker than you usually have seen and juicy. It is one reason for the price, 24€, but of course the milieu adds some value add. Fries are crispy as they should be and served with elegance.

With red wine, usually pinot noir, Kämp burger is perfect hunger killer for lunch!

Kämp burger - reijosfood.com

Brasserie Kämp is perfect location to observe passers-by on Esplanadi promenade and eat that famous Kämp burger. You can also watch swanky cars parked front of Hotel Kämp or driving to the hotel garage.

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

Ravintola Brasserie Kämp.





Restaurant review: Pastor – revisit

12 04 2015

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.

Visited Pastor second time, previous review can be found be using search.

Pastor kitchen - reijosfood.com

Pastor 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 again glass of house champagne, Lassaigne Les Vignes de Montgueuz and glass of excellent riesling, Brauneberger Juffer, which was chosen by Pekka Koiranen, head of restaurant and propably the best sommelier in Finland. Wine included some residual sugar making it semi-dry.

Wine world is the best part of Pastor. Recommend to ask sommelier to choose wines, that is the most easiest way to get right wines for complicated flavors. We even got two wines for starters and main courses in order to compare them with food.

With starters we were served Schlumberger Riesling Saering and Montinore Borealist, half glasses of both wines. With ribs Greenhough Pinot Noir and Tommasi Amarone Valpolicella Classico. And with seabass Comte Lafond Sancerre and Gewurztraminer J. Höfstätter.

With this selection you can call Pastor also as wine restaurant.

imageimageSancerre - reijosfood.comimageimageimage

 

You have 2 1/2 hours time enough for eating. Last time we had to finish wines at the bar but as we did not have any dessert, time was enough.

Restaurant is popular in the evenings, so prepare to book table well in advance. It is possible to dine at the bar but dining is more convenient in real dining room where you can see the kitchen.

Pastor is fresh and welcomed dining experience with new flavors. Service is quick and polite.

Overall grade is high 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 4,5/5 – SERVICE 4,5/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5

http://www.pastorrestaurant.fi/

 





Restaurant review: Sundmans Krog – revisit after 2 years

8 04 2015
Sundmans Krog - reijosfood.com

Sundmans krog

 

Opposite of the Old Market Hall used to be two restaurants with almost similar names, G.W.Sundmans and Sundmans Krog. However, difference was quite huge. In the past one Michelin star restaurant G.W. Sundmans in the second floor was closed from public last year; it is now private restaurant for special occasions.

Restaurant Sundmans Krog is more laid-back restaurant with one speciality, fish buffet, which you can order for starter or for main course. For main course it is maybe too modest and needs some additional dishes.

Dining rooms in the old building is refreshing as most new restaurants try to be trend setters or their decor is really simple.

We were seated in small side room at sofa table. A little bit echoing but otherwise nice to sit on soft couch compared to hard wooden chairs.

Sundmans Krog

Started the dinner with easy decision, Sundmans Krog’s traditional fish buffet with dill potatoes.

Potatoes were brought to the table with bread and unique butter scoop. Restaurant’s name on paper cover was a nice surprise.

Spiced salmon was unfortunately too salty and it disturbed because herrings at the buffet are salty of course.

This time salmon roe was missing although buffet table included sour cream and onion mince. Was it finished or did the restaurant save money?

Cold fish Buffet at Sundmans Krog - reijosfood.com

Butter at Sundmans Krog - reijosfood.com

For main course ordered Fish of the day with Stewed potato seasoned with mussel cream and dill- fennel sauce. 

The fish available is quite rare in Helsinki restaurants, haddock. It is close to cod but smaller and drier fish. White pepper do not match with white meated fish, at least not in this case.

 Haddock at Sundmans Krog - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Sundmans Krog was one of the few restaurants open on Eastern Sunday in Helsinki. However, it was not full at all. Maybe fish buffet should be a little bit more generous or extra ordinary in order to attract more customers.

We did not try special offer from separate Steak and red wine list, which is available until 5th May. Maybe that would have raised grade for food.

Service was professional and polite as expected.

Two years ago Sundmans Krog earned better points but maybe next time it will come back to the same level.

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

Sundmans krog | Services | G.W. Sundmans & Sundmans Krog.

If you get window table you can see Market Hall and Market Square, ask for it.

Sundmans Krog window table - reijosfood.com





Restaurant review: BBQ House in Kamppi shopping center

5 04 2015

BBQ House - reijosfood.com

Restaurant BBQ House is situated in Kamppi shopping center. Restaurant has heated outdoor terrace, where we dined, which expands in the summer to a large bar and terrace area. BBQ House is specialised in steaks and meats, name should also tell it. If you decide to dine inside or terrace is full, you can watch how chefs manage to do they work in open kitchen.

The Argentinian touch, which restaurant used to have, has almost disappeared during the past years. Portuguese language is menu is still there.

Started the dinner with restaurant offer wine, only 15€ for bottle of French sparkling wine. Excellent price/quality ratio in Finnish restaurants.

Henrideblanc at BBQ House - reijosfood.com

For starters we chose Tapas dishes. From alternatives we decided to taste Marinated vegetables and artichoke, Shrimp toast and Kangaroo meat with sweet potato chips. 

All three tapas starter were basically ok. No surprises, enough tasty and enjoyable. Wonder why restaurant has kangaroo meat on list, it does not suit with other dishes.

Tapas in Bbq House - reijosfood.com

Tapas at Bbq House - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Chicken and Reef perch (scope fish). For these dishes you have to choose sauce from different alternatives and side dish from 5alternatives.

With chicken tried rum-pepper sauce and sweet potato fries. Excellent combination and when chicken breast still has some skin on it, taste improves.

Never have seen Finnish restaurants serving Reef perch. Is this the way BBQ House tries to tease customers like with kangaroo meat.

With fish had BBQ salad and chimichurri as sauce. Paired nicely with fish, but price for quite small portion is high.

Chicken at BBQ House - reijosfood.com

Fish at BBQ House - reijosfood.com

Sitting at the heated terrace is convenient although outside temperature is close to 0C degrees still in April. You can watch what happens at Kamppi Square and front of Tennispalatsi, biggest cinema complex in Finland.

Terrace dining raises overall grade.

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

BBQ House: pihviravintola – helsinki – kamppi – narinkkatori

Kamppi Square

previous review available http://reijosfood.com/2012/03/10/latino-flavours-at-restaurant-bbq-house/





Restaurant review: Copas y Tapas – revisit

24 03 2015
Cava at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Cupatge d’honor from Pere Ventura

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 on two levels and both areas were booked-up on Saturday evening.
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.

Three course dinner costs 46€ including “tapas” plate as starter, main course which can be chosen from 4 alternatives and dessert. 5€ additional payment for meat dishes.

Recommend to choose Menu of the Day because if you choose dishes separately, you pay as much for starter and main course.

But of course you might need some time to make a decision and best way to speed up decision process is to taste some cava for aperitif. Chose Cupatge d’Honor from Pere Ventura. Wine is produced from xarel.lo and chardonnay (30%) grapes. Chardonnay gives some smoothnes and balance to this cava, which I can recommend, if you have chance to taste it.

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

Soup was warm and tasty, enjoyed it first. Then finished capsicum, which had some delicious shrimp filling. And last smoked pork, which was with add-on’s great experience.

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, Marbled beef (5€ extra), Whitefish and Vegetarian. Chose meat, which was cooked on charcoal grill and whitefish.

With meat was served grilled scrumptious portobello mushrooms and some other enjoyable side dishes. And as you can see from the picture below, ripeness is perfect.

Whitefish was also superb with roots and swamps. And fish was enough big, which is not the fact in all restaurants.

Beef at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Whitefish at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Decided to share 5 pieces of cheese instead of sweet dessert. Only way to remember all tasted cheeses was to ask waiter to write the names down, which he did really quickly, see the list below. Best one was blue cheese type of piece on the right side of plate.

Delicious home-made crispbread should be available in supermarkets, because it was so tasty.

Cheese plate at Copas y Tapas

Cheese list at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

For wine ordered bottle of Torres Vina Sol, which is neutral and easy to drink.

But of course wine lovers must enjoy wines, which pair with food eaten and therefore had glass of Propiedad from Palacios Remondo with the meat. Excellent wine produced from garnacha grapes in the Rioja region.

And with cheeses waiter, or could even say sommelier, chose Nectaria riesling wine from Torres. Not too sweet wine is produced in Chile at Valle de Curico.

Torres Vina Sol - reijosfood.com

Red wine at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.comorres sweet wines at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

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. Michelin guys should check it for Bib Gourmand label.

Service, really important part of experience, was excellent again. Owner of the restaurant came to shake hands with us after recognizing us, which added extra feeling of being welcomed.

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

Ruoka | Ravintola Copas y Tapas





Restaurant review: Teatterin Grilli – what has happened?

19 03 2015

Teatterin Grilli - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Teatterin Grilli is situated in Esplanade Park (Espa) behind Swedish theatre. It has been the front runner in compaining dining and social interaction with bar, which once was popular. Same concept has been operative at least for 10 years, which is a long life-cycle for restaurant/bar.

This time ordered from downgraded a la carte list Lime marinated whitefish, avocado and grilled gem lettuce and Grilled king prawns and country bread. Why downgraded? You could buy bread with tomato for 4,50€ as a starter.

Small portion of small whitefish pieces was tasty. If starter pays close to 14€, the size should be bigger. Whitefish is not the cheapest fish but would call this dish as snack.

Starter at Teatterin Grilli - reijosfood.com

For main courses had Grilled salmon, roasted eggplant, spinach and bell pepper sauce and TG Burger with chili flavoured shrimp mayonnaise and pommes frites.

Asked one salmon portion without spinach and waiter wrote that down. However, original portion included it and restaurant offered to change it. Now the fish was bigger and cooking was better, first salmon was overcooked and therefore dry.

TG burger was what it should have been. Delicious and spicy shrimp sauce makes this burger worth of over 20€. Unfortunately french fries were already softened, maybe to portion stayed too long under heat lamp.

Salmon 1 at Teatterin Grilli - reijosfood.com

Salmon 2 at Teatterin Grilli - reijosfood.com

TG burger - reijosfood.com

First ordered for wine also as aperitif Peter Lehman Art & Soul riesling. Due to taste of petrol and acidity, ordered glasses of Arthur Metz riesling, which is more suitable for pre-dinner wine. Art & Soul paired well with fish dishes, but with burger red wine, of course.

Riesling at Teatterin Grilli - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Teatterin Grilli is not any more what it used to be. Customers have dissappeared, only about 16 diners at 8PM. Although head waitress said that dining room was full before we arrived. Did we scare all other customer away?

Small starters and re-prepared salmon did not convice. Compared to food served last time and several other times, something had happened in the kitchen.

And serving, it went wrong from the start. We asked for another table in empty dining room, as we were first seated close to the kitchen and service door, which was open all the time. We got another table from not so convenient space where serving was difficult due to pillar. And we really felt, that we were not welcomed by main waitress after asking new table.

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

http://www.teatteri.fi/teatterin-grilli





Restaurant review: Ragu – revisit

15 03 2015

Restaurant Ragu opened its doors April 15, 2014, respecting the history of renovated Neo-Renaissance house in the 1890s. Restaurant has dining rooms and all year-round open terrace, where we dined this time. Chefs Antti Antti Asujamaa and Erno Kemi have created a menu from Italian food traditions and Scandinavian ingredients.

Ragu used to have wine bar when we visited first time, but success in restaurant side required more space and bar was partly changed to dining room.

Started the dinner with Aperol Spritz and bland de blanc Champagne. Ragu makes the best Spritzs in Helsinki, because the amount of Aperol is just the right, so that you can identify the flavor.

Aperol Spritz at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Champagne at Ragu - reijosfood.com

You can choose separate portions from a la carte list or pick, for instance, one of the menus. We chose again menu Ludari with 4 courses, which partly are surprises. The name of the menu comes from the street restaurant is located, Ludviginkatu.

Kitchen is skilled to take into account customers constraints of some food ingredients and other wishes especially with this menu. Menu should change on weekly basis.

After placing the order freshly baked 4 different breads and 4 different spreads were brought to the table. Restaurant also served self made glutein-free bread (in the picture) and must say that the baker really can her job. You can also order home that bread, if you ask it day before.

Glutein-free bread at Ragu - reijosfood.com

For starters we were served Broiled trout, which was delicious. You really enjoy the taste of fish when it is broiled, but not too much because part of the trout was medium cooked.

Quail egg and pecorino cheese on salad leaves complemented the enjoyment of eating first course.

Broiled trout at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Second course was Crab soup which was served with style.

Pieces of crab were in glass jar, which was poured half full with crab stock.

You could also order this dish from a la carte list, which I can warmly recommend. That tasty and mouth-watering crab soup was!

Crab soup at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Crab soup in Ragu - reijosfood.com

For 3rd and main courses restaurant served Braised Iberico pork with risotto and Halibut with dark fish soup.

Pork was crisp due to long cooking time. Dish itself was prepared with professional way. Cauliflower lightened otherwise quite luscious dish.

Propably halibut was meant to be second dish as it was so small. Also salinity disturbed a little bit. Maybe the weakest link of all dishes.

Iberico pork at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Halibut at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Before dessert restaurant served Blue cheese in a glass jar. Jars are typical for Ragu as I was served veal similar way when visited first time restaurant.

Blue cheese at Ragu - reijosfood.com

And for desserts we got two different portions due to special requests concerning some of the food ingredients.

Pannacotta cake, Ice-cream and other goodies made the dessert like heaven.

Special dessert was prepared from Meringue and Sorbet, again tour de force from the kitchen.

Great way to end the dinner.

Dessert and wine at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Dessert at Ragu - reijosfood.com

For wines we trusted restaurant’s recommendations for each portion. All served wines came from Italy, of course.

Maybe the best of all 4 different wines was the only red wine with pork. From barbera grapes produced Giulia Negri from Piemonte paired brilliantly with meat.

Sweet white wine with dessert was not too sweet and matched with dish nicely.

Red wine at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Ragu has also Italian vintage wines from Angelo Baja, Piemonte. So, you can spend almost 500€ for white wine bottle of vintage 1999, if you like to.

Restaurant, as it is in elegantly renovated building and it’s dining rooms are classic yet chic, enjoys still of success. You can eat in privacy as tables are not too close to each other. Music is not too loud, again more customer-centric approach. As you can see from the glasses on the tables, every detail has been taken into account.

There are many paintings on the walls. We were sitting at the covered terrace where picture below was taken. Remember seeing at least 6 art works in that space.

Ragu dining room - reijosfood.com

Painting at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Food at Ragu is well prepared, elegantly set and delicious. Finnish-Italian fusion cuisine works well by combining best parts of both. If fish main course would not have been so salty, Ragu would have earned close to 5 points for food.

Waitresses take orders and serve drinks but you can meet chef’s, bakers and confectioners as they bring most of the portions to the tables. The contents of each portion was explained well and it is needed, if you choose surprise menu as we did.

Our revisit was successfull and can thefore recommend Ragu, if you are looking for sophisticated and modern dinner setting with excellent food.

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








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