Wine, food and good living

27 10 2012

Visited Wine, food and good living event again. Maybe too crowded this time but seminar focusing on wines of the year was amazing due to Antti Rinta-Huumo’s enthustiatic presentation. Three candidates for white and red wines were excellent choices. For white wine our group chose Kung Fu Girl but red wine was more complicated. Can recommend “Girl” which is riesling with enough acid but also gentle. Glass on the left.

Viini-lehden Juha Berglund ja Antti Rinta-Huumo valitsevat tänä syksynä vuoden puna- ja valkoviinin jo yhdeksännen kerran kuuden finalistin joukosta. Tervetuloa maistamaan Antin johdolla tämän vuoden finalistit ja löydä omat suosikkisi. Ehdokkaat löytyvät Alkon normaalivalikoimasta ja ovat kohtuuhintaisia alle 30 euron viinejä. Vuoden viiniehdokkaiden kriiteereihin kuuluvat hinnan lisäksi virheetön valmistusprosessi aina tarhalta pulloon saakka sekä viinien hedelmäisyyden, tanniinien, hapokkuuden ja alkoholin miellyttävä harmonia.

It was also nice to taste new wines and especially different champagnes.
Something between the bottles?

See you there next year…..


20 10 2012

Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival celebrating beer held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and is the world’s largest fair, with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year.[1] To the locals, it is not called Oktoberfest, but “die Wiesn” – after the colloquial name of the fairgrounds themselves. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the original Munich event (Wikipedia)

Beer is definately important part of Oktoberfest. Unfortunately German beer has lost shelf space in supermarkets. One of the biggest supermarket chains offers about 50 beer brands but only 4 of them come from Germany. Has German beers lost beer battle?

A Pretzel (known as Breze(l) in German) is a type of baked food made from dough in soft and hard varieties and savory or sweet flavors in a unique knot-like shape, originating in Europe. The pretzel shape is a distinctive symmetrical looped form, with the ends of a long strip of dough intertwine brought together and then twisted back onto itself in a certain way (“a pretzel loop”). (Wikipedia).

Salty appetizer is really tasty and suitable to eat not only during Oktoberfest.

And of course, sausages like Bratwurst are the best part of Oktoberfest. This time added some Spanish flavour with Chorizo. Sauerkraut, that little bit bitter but perfect match for bratwurst is also a must. Mix some mustard with lingonperry jam and you got tasty sauce. Sliced potatoes with cream and mustard are also perfect side dish for sausages.

Oktoberfest is easy to arrange at home. From internet radio you can also listen cheerful music from Tirol.

Restaurant review: Blue Peter (Game menu)

19 10 2012

Restaurant Blue Peter serves each year separate Game menu, this year on 16-28.10.2012. Menu includes venison (moose), reindeer and wild duck. Especially venison is hunted at this time. Visited Blue Peter a la carte dining room second time this year, previous review can be found from January reviews

Reserved table next to the fireplace because window tables begins to be cool at this time of year. This time fireplace was reserved for candles.

For starters ordered Roast reindeer, terrine of cauliflower and chanterelle, cranberry and onion compote and Venison soup. Reindeer was tender and tasty as it should be almost carpaccio but lightly roasted. Compote added needed sweetness for portion. Soup which included tiny vegetables was a little bit letdown but luckily rolls corrected first impression a lot. Venison could have tasted more.

For main courses had Duck stew in red wine sauce Lappish potato duchesse and Pan fried Arctic char, roe hollandaise, Lappish potatoes. Stew was delicious, on top of duchesse were a little bit bitter cowberries which supplemented almost sweet sauce well. Arctic char is quite nature fish with game as usually restaurant serves salmon. Both portions included Lappish potatoes which are floury puikula potatoes (no exact translation). Roe hollandaise sauce was tasty and complemented fish perfectly.

For dessert enjoyed Warm apple, vanilla sauce and Crepe with old time vanilla ice cream and jam. Apple dessert was bull’s eye, really sweet and enjoyable. Crepe, the best in the city, was again delicious.


Blue Peter focuses always on athmosphere and service which are important part of total experience. Wine recommendations were well designed and were important part of dinner. Especially can recommend red wine Nugan Estate from Durif grapes. Durif was unknown grape  for me before but had to buy one bottle to home in order to ensure it was so good as it was with starters.

Click to access gamemenu.pdf

Restaurant review: Il Siciliano

13 10 2012

Ristorante Il Sicialiano is located at Aleksanteri street near Kluuvi and Kämp shopping centers. Sister restaurant is located in Flamingo shopping center, Vantaa. Restaurant takes only table reservations for larger groups, at least that was told on the phone.

At 3PM restaurant was full but after 5 minutes waiting we got table. A la carte list in the restauranat differs a little bit from web site, but that is not a problem. Music of course is Italian but also international soft music was played. Guests were local Helsinki shoppers with children, but most of lunch guests came from Russia, Spain and Italy. A little bit annoying were small flies around the table.

For aperitives and starters ordered FOCACCIA DELLA CASA (For 2 people) Garlic-pesto-tomato-rucola bread. Quite misleading as we got slices of pizza or pizzetta which were actually really delicious. But as I ordered pizza for main course thought that would get real foccacia. Also ordered PASTA ALL’ARRABBIATA (PICCOLA) tomato sauce, garlic, chili, parmesan, fresh basil and PROSCIUTTO E MELONE 2 pieces of melon, parmaham and honey. Pasta was cooked with professional way, however would have prefered more strong chili taste than which was served. Traditional prosciutto crudo with melon is always tasty, but we are used to Cantaloupe melon, not Honey melon which was on the plate.

For main courses ordered POLLO ALLA SICILIANA Sicilian Style Chickenbreast Filet, eggplant, Pecorino cheese Rucola, oil and PIZZA IL PADRINO Italian salame, chilli, radicchio, Rocket and sundried tomatoes. Ordered rice as side dish for Pollo but got potatoes; restaurant fixed mistake quickly after we pointed it out.  Chicken was not dry which was good. Pizza was also tasty because Italian salami piccante is always juicy and spicy. But as said earlier would have prefered something else for main course if would have known foccacia is pizza in this place.

Il Siciliano is genuine Italian pizzeria (maybe not ristorante) because you can order Averna and Grappa which are proofs of real Italian flavours. Seems to be busy all time which is proof of good food and casual athmosphere. Nice figure next to the door.


Hard Rock Cafe Helsinki – now open

10 10 2012

Hard Rock Cafe Helsinki opened on the 15th October! …..Restaurant and bar with 240 seats in the 1st floor and shop in the ground floor.

However, official opening ceremony will be on Summer 2013.

Behind the link below you shall find interview of David Holly, one of the three HRC interior designers. Holly visited Finland on the 9th October. Interview is in English and you can also see few scenes of the interior design. Sorry for the Finnish ad before interview.

Hard Rock Cafe Helsinki FB wall is full of pictures of new cafe. Also link to interview can be found there.

Review will follow in the near future….


Beetroot and chevre in two ways

6 10 2012

Sometimes it does good to try new foodstuff. Beetroot is quite common vegetable in Finland but usually potato and carrot win when preparing lunch or dinner. Decided to use beetroot and this time chevre in starter and main course. Accidentally onion suited well also for main course so could say dinner was made from beetroot, chevre and onion.

Starter was “Chevre beetroot toast” Chevre, beetroot, caramelized onion, balsamico and oak lead lettuce. Tasty but next time will fry beetroot and chevre on pan with butter. Onion was cooked with red wine, balsamic vinegar, honey, sugar and salt. Like the face imitation?

Main course was “Chicken breast with roasted beetroot” Chicken breast, oven roasted beetroot, chevre, caramelized red onion, oven baked onion and pepper sauce. This was delicious although I say it myself. No need for potato or other side dishes. Maybe chicken could have been in the oven 1 minute less after pre frying.

No points for home made food! Chevre is goat cheese, this time President.

PS. Riesling matched well for both dishes.

Sushi time

5 10 2012

Decided to try newcomer in the neighborhood Zakura Sushi. But this time picked up food at home.

Zakura Sushi opened first of September and it is located in the place where there used to be chinese restaurant. Zakura Sushi is family owned and neat place. When picking up food place was empty but quests with same purpose (picking up home) arrived after me. Waiting time for getting sushi’s was about 10 minutes.

Ordered Sushi Platter 11 pcs California rolls, salmon, tuna, king prawn, salmon roe, white fish, egg and tofu. Generous portion, nigiris were almost too huge to eat, makis were delicious. Also ordered Salmon Temaki 8 salmon maki rolls. These included salmon and cucumber and were nice, maybe salmon pieces were a little bit chewy.

As food was eaten at home, no review this time.

Helsinki A to Z: A guide to the City’s shopping, FOOD and more…

3 10 2012

Interesting article on Conde Nast Traveler. Useful food, restaurant and cafe tips. Old-school places and traditional food experiences.

Restaurant review: Gourmet Baltic Princess

1 10 2012

M/S Baltic Princess started operating on Helsinki-Tallinn route in July 2008. It is one of the biggest cruise ferries in the Baltic Sea, having capacity for 2,800  passengers. There are 927 cabins, several different restaurants, five bars, three shops, childrens’ world, sauna department and a modern conference room.

Gourmet Baltic Princess is located on deck 7 in the middle of the ship. You can enjoy lunch or dinner on the Baltic sea admiring the sea view as we did at the seaside table. High class and versatile à la carte with its wine alternatives suits all true gourmands looking for taste experiences. At lunchtime, there was only few people dining, most of the cruise guests settled for liquid food.

Trip from Tallinn to Helsinki takes 3,5 hourse, therefore you are able to dine without hurry. With shuttle boat, max 2 hours.

For starters ordered CHICKEN & FOIE GRAS Chicken terrine, duck liver creme and mushrooms and CRAYFISH & CUCUMBER Fried sea crab, shrimp tartar and pickled cucumber. Chicken tasted mostly chicken, not so much for terrine and creme was maybe too creasy. Marine starter was simple but delicious, sea crab was really tasty.

For main courses ordered MONKFISH & OLIVE Grilled monkfish flavoured with olives, cauliflower and smoked milk and special edition of Monkfish which included scallops, mussels and shrimps without any milk products. This time special edition topped off dinner. A la carte portion included not so tasty soft cauliflower “thing” and therefore ate mainly fish. Portion prepared by special request (special edition) was tasty and even waiter said it looked better.

For desssert FIG & APPLE & LEMON Mini cakes – fig, apple with maple syrup and lemon creme. Lemon creme was replaced with lemon sorbet; extremely palatable. Two of the cakes were warm, almost melted in mounth.


First time dined in this restaurant over a year ago; food experience was then a little bit better. Same waiter managed waitering well also this time.

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