Restaurant Loiste is located in the heart of Helsinki at the 10th Floor of Hotel Vaakuna and Sokos department store. There is a fantastic view from terraces and part of the restaurant windows. If you are seated on the right side of the restaurant when you come in you can not enjoy of the view, unfortunately. Therefore ask for window table and you can take a look at Kamppi shopping center, old bus station and Lasipalatsi (in english Glass Palace). Loiste is casual type of restaurant but tries to put effort on the menu and food.
There is also playground for the children; if you do not need this “service” as many hotel guests might, be sure your table is not close to it because of the noise. For this reason we gave lower overall grade.
If you want to enjoy aperitif or you are not hungry enough you can always visit Bar Loiste which serves you on the same premises, at 10th floor.
You could choose three different type of starters. Restaurant has on the menu “Snadit”, small appetizers, as one option to start your dining. Two other options for starters and main courses are “Herkkuja Pohjolastaie. Delicacies from the North” and “Pohjolasta Etelään ie. from North to South”. Menu includes mainly Finnish genuine food but also provides flavours of European kitchens; mainly Southern part and Italy.
From a la carte list we first chose “Snadit” i.e. Duck liver toast with fig compote and Goat Cheese with honey-beetroot syrup. Duck liver toast smelted smoothly in the mouth. Goat cheese should have been grilled a little bit more. Beetroot carpaccio and herb foam and Smoked reindeer with cowberry syrup. Both were delicious; one suggestion for improvement, should not use cold meat as restaurant obviously aims for high standards.
For main cource chose from Delicacies from the North Fish of the day with vegetables and aspargus potato pyre. Fish was typical Finnish fish Pike Perch and perfectly roasted. Excellent flexibility from the kitchen also when we asked some changes. And from North to South chose Red Mullet with shellfish risotto and crab stock which was generous portion, risotto properly prepared and surprise was the amount of prawns and pieces of scallop. Usually you can only taste the flavours of risotto.
For dessert chose only Red Currant sorbet which was nicely served as you can see from the picture above.
Wine list is short and consists of quality wines. Means also that bottle of wine increases quite a lot the total price of the dinner.
Restaurant Loiste has upgraded it’s menu, a year ago served also hamburgers. Requires a lot from casual type of restaurant but succeeded well this time!
REVIEW: Food 4+/5 – Service 4/5 – Overall grade 3,5/5
But: if you just want to have a drink at Loiste and wine bar is closed, recommend to find another place because they are not able to serve you from the bar in mid of dining room (update on 21st July 2012)