Restaurant Review: Messina (Spain)

29 05 2012

Restaurant Messina is ranked 2nd by TripAdvisor customer reviews in Marbella. Messina is quite small with about 30 seats. Made reservation 2 weeks ahead and restaurant called to reconfirm it same day as we dined. All seats were occupied by diners by 9PM, so obviously restaurant is very popular place.

Decor is modern, background music played was soft lounge e.g. like from Hotel Costes albums. Waitering was professional and polite, contents of each portion were described in detail.

Greetings from the kitchen were generous. Smoked Bressaola, Serrano and other stuff in stone “cup”; aroma of smoke was strong when waitress raised cover. Parsley with cheese in sticks with some additional ingredients and “ice cream” in glass cube were brilliant performance by the kitchen.

For starters we ordered Ingredientes de sushi y espuma de arroz – Sushi “de-fusion” with a rice foam and Cecina de Salmon – smoked dried salmon with tomatoes and olive powder. When sushi was brought, thick gray steam raised from small grid after waitress poured ginger liquid on it, amazing! And when soft tuna fish was dipped in rice foam, wasabi and ginger liquid, combination was marvelous. Salmon with add on’s was also enjoyable.

For main courses chose Salmonete con meloso de quinoa – Red mullet with sweet quinoa, shimps and octopus and Corvina de conil – Sea bass/Crocker. Both fishes were properly cooked and accompaniments suited well for them. Octopus under red mullet was crispy and asparagus under Crocker enough crisp also.

For wine we chose Radix rose wine. Almost red but still rose with strong bouquet and flavor. Good choice for wide taste of the world during dinner.

Dessert was Queso y vino – Cheese and wine. Four different types of cheese with 4cl glass of Pedro Ximenez sherry. Cheese and port or sherry are always unbeatable combination; with these cheeses sherry was bulls eye.

Restaurant Messina provides culinaristic and artistic dinner experience one should try if visiting Marbella.

REVIEW: FOOD 4,5/5 – SERVICE 4,5/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5 (Messina website is not up to date when it comes to a la carte list)

Restaurant review: Casa Mare

27 05 2012

Restaurant Casa Mare is most popular all year round bistro in the suburb. Especially families with small children come to eat pizza with salad buffet which includes to all main courses. Sometimes place is close to kindergarten; actually there is also playgroud for children.

Restaurant is owned by Ravintolakolmio which owns also Tony’s deli where we dined few months ago. Review available.

For starters ordered Halloum cheese and tomato (grilled halloum, tomatoes, olives and rucola) and Salad buffet. Cheese with add on’s was tasty and not too salty. Salad buffet is simple; few basic salads and home made bread.

For main course ate Chorizo-Mozzarella pasta (spicy red pepper-tomato sauce, chorizo sausage, mozzarella de buffala, rucola and penne pasta) and Catch of the day (this time White fish with vegetables and potato mash). Pasta was great, too easy to over cook pennes, but now they were perfect. Sauce was enough spicy and mozzarella softened it suitably. But then started problems.

Catch of th day was ordered without potato mash, but it came with it. Kitchen decided to move pieces of fish to another plate and due to long waiting time, fish skin was already a little bit “soft” (see picture). For dessert ordered Crepes with strawberries; regarding to waiter there should have not been cream on it,  but there was. Had to ask to replace portion. On top of this, espresso had to be sent back because it was cold. Restaurant noticed these mistakes and we did not have to pay for dessert and coffees; well done!

Casa Mare has every summer special offer, two pizzas for price of one. Gonna utilize that in July as many other people will too.


Restaurant review: Girol (Spain)

27 05 2012

Restaurante Girol: Una cocina que fusiona auténticos sabores mediterráneos con toques de imaginación y creatividad de la gastronomía española e internacional – A cuisine that blends authentic Mediterranean flavors with a touch of imagination and creativity of Spanish and international cuisine.

Restaurant is a family establishment which opened its doors in 2006. Girol is mentioned in 2011 and 2012 Michelin Guides with two forks and knives. So the expectations were little bit high when entering in. One can see how restaurant looks like by watching video below.

Decided to order Menu degustacion corto – Sampling menu consisting of 1 starter, 1 fish, 1 meat and 1 dessert. All sampling dishes should have been also available as separate portions. Dinner started with delicious kitchen greetings. First warm “cups” and then quail egg.

Starter was Ajo blanco Malagueno – caracoles cuisados y tomate; “Ajo blanco” from Malaga (traditional dish with crumbs, water, garlic and almonds) stewed snails and tomate. Cold Ajo blanco was poured onto other ingredients, extremely yammy. Light garlic and almond taste supplemented well crumbs and all other flavors.

For fish we were served Lubina de acuicultura con estofado de patatas al laurel; Sea bass from fish farm and potatoes chew with bay leaf. Fish was perfectly prepared and cooking time was absolutely right.

Meat was Magret de cato asado con setas, cardo de cultivato acompafiado com salsa de mostaza; Roasted duck with mushrooms, cultivated histle served with mustard sauce. Unfortunately duck was a little bit chewy but histle (like risotto) saved a lot.

Dessert was Tarta de quesos fresco y curado con caramelo de citricos; Pie of fresh and mature cheeses with citrus candy. Creative dessert; maybe pie is wrong term but combination was enjoyable. Picture tells a lot more

Our “private” dinner was succesful; Girol earns to be mentioned in Michelin Guide. Location might be challenging because it is a little bit aside, but worth to find.

To be honest, best restaurant in Fuengirola town which is quite worn nowadays.








Bar and restaurant Boulevard Social has opened

27 05 2012

Owners of Farang and Gaijin Tomi Björk and Matti Wiberg has opened Boulevard Social on 21st May restaurant.

Restaurant provides flavours from Middle East, Mediterranean and North African kitchens. Chef is Kristian Perkola who worked before at Gaijin. As Farang and Gaijin were honored with Bib Gourmand sign one could expect same quality at Boulevard Social.

Restaurant can serve 70 customers and terrace 30 customers at the same time. Location –  next to restaurant Gaijin.

Examples from the menu: RAS EL HANOUT´ DUCK, BOULEVARD SOCIAL `BOULLABAISE´, GRILLED TIGER PRAWNS OUZO & TARRAGON and LAMB SHOULDER `HARISSA. Menu includes also Finnish dishes, but obviously prepared with Boulevard Social way.


Viking restaurant Harald has opened in Helsinki

25 05 2012
Harald’s Viking milieu takes  on a voyage back to the age of the Vikings, where food and drink highlight the festivities. Restaurant operates already in Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Lahti, Oulu, Tampere and Turku.
In Helsinki Harald opened on 24th May and locates in Aleksanterinkatu 21 near Stockmann department store. The address is the same for Hard Rock Cafe but only HRC has entrance in Aleksanterinkatu.

Opening hours

Mon-Tue 11-23
Wed-Thu 11-24
Fri 11-01
Sat 12-01, Sun 13-22

You can gain some understanding of restaurant athmosphere by watching this ad:

Starbucks has opened in Finland

23 05 2012

The first Starbucks Coffee in Finland has opened on 15th May at Helsinki airport. There was even queue on opening day outside of Starbucks.

Wonder why Starbucks did not come to Finland earlier because Finns drink more coffee than any one else. Plan seems to be open about 20 new places in the future.

Restaurant review: Aroma (Spain)

14 05 2012







Restaurante Aroma is pleasant surprise in a little bit worn area. Polite waiter and waitresses and well prepared portions. One can dine outside or in, both have same style and red coloured tables.

For starters chose Ensalada ahumados and Primera mixta.. Both were delicious, best parts in Starter selection were fried camenbert cheese and pate. Ahumados, smoked cold salmon was soft and fresh.

For main courses ordered Lenguado planch, Sole fish. Maybe a little bit over grilled but garlic taste made it enjoyable. Side dish vegetables were well prepared also for eye.

Only Sorbetes fruta for dessert, so big were portions served. Tea was served in nice pot, had to include in photo.

Aroma awakens your senses, it is written in the check. Close achieving that!

Too many by passing peddlers trying to sell copies of different brands. One can avoid this by dining inside.

Ice Hockey World Championship 2012 at HARTWALL-AREENA

8 05 2012

Finland, world ice hockey champion from the last year, hosts together with Sweden 2012 games. Picture in the stamp presents one of the greatest goals in ice hockey history. With the puck suction-cupped on, Mikael Granlund brought his stick up and used the crossbar to scrape the puck off. It dropped behind a stunned Russian goalie.  See also You Tube video.

Update: unfortunately no medal this year. Russia won this time, congratulations!

Games in Finland are played at HARTWALL-AREENA in Helsinki. One gets easily hungry watching games but there are plenty of opportunities to dine or have a quick snack. HARTWALL-AREENA has following restaurants from which one could choose for example:

Platinum, fine dining restaurant with a la carte or buffet dining rooms. Trendy and cozy restaurant offers a modern and international menu. Golden Star Cafe, cozy and multifunctional restaurant with a bar. Silver Star Cafe, newly renovated place offering also lunch everyday. Cave restaurant, which is built into the rock; mainly for private occasions. There are also couple of fast food restaurants/cafes/bars.


All restaurants at Hartwall-Areena are operated by Restel Event Restaurants


THE goal:


BTW, Lady Gaga will perform at HARTWALL-AREENA on 27th and 28th August. Tickets for first concert were sold out right away; for 28th concert, tickets are available from 15th May.

Restaurant review: Teatterin Grilli

1 05 2012

Restaurant Teatteri is one of the most popular places to spend evening in Helsinki night life or to relax at the terrace on warm summer day. Complex consists of dining room Teatterin Grilli, night club, two bars (Kellobaari and Teatteribaari), popular terrace and self-service wine & deli cafe. Decor is modern including pictures/paintings; one can catch a glimpse of those in picture below.

Decided to dine this time on Labour Day or 1st of May Eve instead of having lunch on May Day which is typical lunch and picnic date for celebrating spring and studies.

Teatterin Grilli a la carte list is tempting; many savory dishes which makes difficult to decide what to order. Think I have eaten here best hamburger ever, TG burger, which includes chilli flavoured shrimp mayonnaise and country style potatoes. Would also say it was worth of price 19,10€.

This time ordered for starters Starter selection Creamy langoustine soup, salmon roasted with black pepper and slightly smoked deer which is well qualified combination of single starters and Salmon roasted with black pepper, marinated fennel and avocado crème.
Soup was best part of the selection of 3 starters, otherwise quite ordinary tastes. Nicely arranged on the plate, however.

For main courses ordered  Fried whitefish, puikula potatoes mashed with lemon butter and vendace roe sauce and Grilled halibut, fried salsify and parsley sauce.
Both fishes were well prepared and cooking time was rightly calculated. One needs to take Side orders for these portions like Country style potatoes, otherwise one might stay hungry. Mashed potatoes were replaced by vegetables; kitchen is ready to make changes if needed.

For dessert had Cheese Plate; manchego, gouda and Peltola blue. Portion could have included fig or fig jam because it was quite dry but Peltola blue is always savory and glass of port wine made it easier to enjoy dining.

Teatterin Grilli is always popular, need to make table reservation in advance. Got email reply in few minutes which might be the record in confirming reservation. Little bit focus on taste of food and restaurant would earn full 4, because all other elements are in good shape.


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