Wine review: Steininger Riesling

29 11 2012

Not the first time tasting Steininger Riesling. Riesling is our favourite grape at the moment and it might make this review a little bit biased; hopefully not. As Steininger is not the “heaviest” or “strongest” riesling it suits well for aperitif. Austria produces lots of excellent rieslings and beerenausleses (sweet wine), otherwise maybe not so known for making wines compared to Southern neighbors like Italy and Spain.

Label of bottle is modest which embodies the belief of trust on taste of wine.

Appearance – light yellow, colour close to straw

Aroma – some minerals and fruits, soft and easy

Sensation/Taste – soft fruits and minerals, no taste of petrol, acidity does not dry mouth like “heaviest” rieslings

Fact and Figures:

Alcohol: 12,5% by volume
Extract: 26 g/l
Sugar: 5 g/l
Acidity: 7,5 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal/100 ml (330 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: metal screw cap


Wine is excellent choise to start tasting rieslings if you are afraid of taste of petrol and acids.

Restaurant review: Stefan’s Steakhouse Helsinki

25 11 2012

Restaurant Stefan’s Steakhouse Helsinki opened on the 16th November, 2012.

Stefan Richter, one of the founders, is a partly Finnish, partly American chef residing in California(small pictures below). He was a runner-up in the 5th season of U.S.A version of Top Chef cooking competition show. Interesting news is that he will try to win again in the 10th season this year! Richter has also appeared as a guest judge in the Finnish version of Top Chef. Aleksi Herlevi, winner of first Finnish Top Chef is the main chef at the restaurant (picture below).

Chain already has restaurants in Tampere and Turku and it is part of Restamax Group which has several restaurants with different styles in several cities.

Nice fireplace separates bar and dining room. Decoration is cozy and relaxed, lots of plaid and american style.

For starters ordered Scallop & Truffle seared scallops, cauliflower and fresh truffle, which is not so typical for steak restaurant but for cuisine by Top Chef”s it is and Green Salad green salad with wasabi dressing. Scallops were delicious. Small but so tasty portion, could hsbr eaten at least six scallops. In green salad could not find wasabi, otherwise ok. Maybe it was left away due to request not to use Lactose produts in this portion?

In steak restaurant you probably should eat only beef but challenged kitchen by ordering also fish for main course. Wanted to see if it is just mandatory option for those who would prefer something else than red beef. Therefore had for main courses Whole Grilled Sea Bass whole grilled sea bass, fennel seasoned with coriander and ginger-butter sauce but of course basic beef Finnish Tenderloin 180 g with cognac and peppercorn sauce, garlic & parsley butter and  caesar salad. Restaurant highlights the origins of beef, another alternatives are beefs from Australia and New Zealand. Sea Bass was just prepared as it was so hot but maybe a bit over cooked. Finnish Beef was great (good have been warmer) as well as sauce and butter. You might wonder why to order butter, but if you desire extreme experience, just order it. However, that amount of butter would be enough for 4 person. Caesar salad was also enjoyment with crisp salad leaves and tasty sauce.

You have to order side “dishes” from the following categories in order to get whole portion. Increases the price of main course up to 9€ which might lead to a little bit overpriced end result.

Sauces 3€cognac and peppercorn sauce, sauce bordelaise, smoked garlic sauce, red wine sauce, sauce bearnaise and grated horseradish & egg yolk

Butters 2€garlic & parsley, cep & thyme, cafe de Paris and goat cheese & pine kernels

Side orders 4€ … parmesan french fries, puikula potato mash, pan fried potatoes with aioli, truffled macaroni & cheese, coriander seasoned fennel, wilted fresh spinach, warm almond cous-cous, pan fried brussels sprouts & mushrooms, bean stew & oven roasted beetroots, rocket & goats cheese and caesar salad

For dessert ordered Chocolate Fondant chocolate fondant with vanilla ice-cream and Pepper & Pineapple pineapple seasoned with black pepper and mango sorbet. Fondant was delicious with ice cream. Must learn how to make it. Pineapple with merengue and sorbet was also good. Because portions are not too big, it is easy to continue with desserts.

Week after opening and dining area was full at 7PM (not the bar), good start for Stefan’s Steakhouse.


TOP 50 restaurants in Finland

22 11 2012

The 50 Best Restaurants in Finland

Project by Uni One Oy started in 2004 aiming to increase appreciation of Finland’s restaurants by listing the top 50 each year in a handy guide book format and in the newspaper. About 200-300 leading professionals from Finland’s restaurant industry – both chefs and others – are given the chance to vote for the establishment they see as the best. This creates the 50 Best list.

Interesting is that only 2 out of 5 Michelin star restaurants are in TOP 10 in this list

Restaurant Olo has 1 Michelin star which proves they have earned 1st place.  Also Nyt-Insert chose Olo to the second place in their review

Restaurant Muru was chosen restaurant of the year 2012 by Finnish Gastronomy Society which also is a proof of  being on top of this list

Restaurant Farang leads Restaurant and wine reviews ranking, again right place.

Chez Dominique with 2 Michelin stars also earns to be on top. All other positions you can judge by yourself.

1. Olo, Helsinki

2. Muru, Helsinki

3. Farang, Helsinki (X)

4. Chez Dominique, Helsinki

5. Savoy, Helsinki

6. Gaijin, Helsinki

7. Mami, Turku

8. Chef & Sommelier, Helsinki

9. Bertha, Tampere

10. Sergio’s, Turku

11. Sinne, Porvoo

12. Ateljé Finne, Helsinki

13. Luomo, Helsinki

14. Demo, Helsinki (X)

15. Nokka, Helsinki

16. G.W. Sundmans, Helsinki

17. Smör, Turku

18. Bistro O mat, Kirkkonummi

19. Spis, Helsinki (X)

20. Boulevard Social, Helsinki

21. Tintå, Turku

22. Hella ja Huone, Tampere

23. Kuurna, Helsinki

24. C, Tampere

25. Postres, Helsinki

26. Kosmos, Helsinki

27. Juuri, Helsinki

28. Sea Horse, Helsinki

29. Os, Kuopio

30. Salutorget, Helsinki (X)

31. Näsinneula, Tampere

32. Aito, Helsinki

33. Strindberg, Helsinki (X)

34. Carelia, Helsinki

35. Kolme Kruunua, Helsinki

36. Tertin kartano, Mikkeli

37. Pinella, Turku

38. Musta Lammas, Kuopio

39. Rivoletto, Helsinki

40. Sunn, Helsinki

41. Lupolo, Helsinki

42. Patrona, Helsinki

43. Gastone, Helsinki (X)

44. Teatterin Grilli, Helsinki (X)

45. Pure Bistro, Helsinki (X)

46. Pöllöwaari, Jyväskylä

47. Grotesk, Helsinki

48. Nautical, Maarianhamina

49. Gastropub tuulensuu

50. 1881 Uleåborg

Lots of restaurants to visit…. reviewed restaurants marked with (X)

Ranking by Restaurant and wine reviews ( can be found

Restaurant review: Harald – Viking restaurant

17 11 2012

Restaurant Harald’s Viking milieu takes you and your friends on a voyage back to the age of the Vikings, where food and drink highlight the festivities. Restaurant chain operates in seven cities and Helsinki was opened in spring 2012. It is situated next to Hard Rock Cafe and Pizza Hut on the 2nd floor at City-käytävä.

Restaurant was full on Saturday partly because of “Little” Christmas parties, for Finns time to relax and be sometimes racy. Medieval decor and waitresses with suitable clothing take you back in time. Stuffed moose heads and menu rack create feeling of original athmosphere. Big elk head on the wall above the table made dining safe.

First kitchen served crispbread with melted butter. Harald style mulled wine (glögi) included cowberry juice, star anise and cinnamon to mint feeling of Christmas.

Decied to order exciting starters:

MEAT STONE OF TAPIO, GOD OF THE FOREST  Bear salami, smoked reindeer liver, dry-cured wild boar, pork filet cured in apple smoke and game mousse served with garden greens, marinated tomatoes, root vegetable chips, tarred lingonberries and flat bread toasted by the campfire

FISH STONE OF AEGIR, GOD OF THE SEA Cold smoked salmon glazed with a blackcurrant sauce, smoked roach, tarred Baltic herring, wild mushroom mousse and crayfish marinated in fresh herbs served with garden greens, marinated tomatoes, root vegetable chips, blueberry-onion marmalade and sweet rye bread.

Detailed explenation what was included in the portions. Basically both portions were delicious. On meat stone bear salami, reindeer liver and tarred lingonberries were the best part of dish. Prepared meats like wild boar and pork filet were too close to what you can buy at the groceries. On fish stone smoked roach was really scrumptious as well as sweet rye bread with mousse.

Main courses were also interesting, especially had to try one of the swords available:

BEEF AND PORK ON GUDBRAND’S SWORD Steak and pork filet (300 g) glazed with Viking spice sauce served on a sword with black salt butter, Viking shield potatoes, rhubarb jam, Viking Power Beer sauce and Emperor’s Romaine salad with marinated tomatoes and goats’ milk cheddar from Kolattu farm

VIDAR GOATHERDER’S CHICKEN Roasted chicken breast and Kolattu farm’s goats’ cheese glazed with herb sauce served with Viking shield potatoes, honey-roasted root vegetables, tomato-raspberry salsa and Wine of Wisdom sauce

Sword was impressive and portion was huge, 300g’s is quite a lot of meat. Pork was well prepared but beef was a little bit chewy although it was medium as requested. Potatoes were delicious as well as sauces. Did not eat butter pat, which was on top of meats. Chicken was OK, but no specialities in that portion.

A little bit discomfiture with serving main courses. We got them when still enjoying starters. Accidentally kitchen had prepared dishes for us prior to for table next to us although they should have got them earlier.

Viking restaurant Harald Helsinki is suitable for diners looking for relaxed athmosphere (rento meininki) at least during Christmas parties. It is allowed to laugh hysterically and speak in a loud voice. Just dive in!


Wine review: Beaujolais Villages Nouveau Louis Tête

16 11 2012

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!

Beaujolais Nouveau  is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. It is the most popular vin de primeur, fermented for just a few weeks before being released for sale on the third Thursday of November

Beaujolais Villages Nouveau Louis Tête is the only Nouveau wine which is available at Alko. Reflects the declining appreciation of Beaujolais Nouveau wines. Remember that earlier there were at least two alternatives to choose from.

Appearance – light red, translucent, like sangria

Aroma – strawberry/rasberry, some alcohol behind

Sensation/Taste – almost like rose wine, bland taste, first taste makes mouth rough

Facts and figures:

Alcohol: 12,5% by volume
Extract: 26 g/l
Acidity: 6 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal/100 ml (330 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: metal screw cap


Suitable for Beaujolais Nouveau parties and for summer aperitif with ice (but it does not stand to drink until next summer)

Stefan’s Steakhouse has opened in Helsinki

14 11 2012

Stefan Richter is a partly Finnish, partly American chef residing in California. He was a runner-up in the 5th season of U.S.A version of Top Chef, cooking competition show. Richter has also appeared as a guest judge in the Finnish version of Top Chef.

First Stefan’s Steakhouse in Finland was opened in March 2011 in Tampere and second one in April 2012 in Turku.

Stefan’s Steakhouse Helsinki has opened on 16th November.
It situates at the same premises Grill Glöd used to be. Review will follow soon….

You can find restaurant info from websites:

Wine review: Nugan Estate Durif

10 11 2012

This is the first Wine review blog at Because Restaurant reviews would become too long if wine reviews included, decided to write about the wines separately.

Attracted to Nugan Estate Durif during game dinner at restaurant Blue Peter. Durif as a grape is really unknown to me but match with the game food was excellent. Therefore decided to review it separately. Compared to red wines sold in Alko, this one is at the higher price level but not so expensive as Grand Cru French red wines or for instance Amarone.

Reviewed following areas:

Appearance – Dark red, also when glass is almost empty (this is not goal anyway)

Aroma – Almost like Tempranillo (could bet for Tempranillo), boysen berries but not the sweetest ones

Sensation/Taste – Well balanced, some acidity and spices but does not dry mouth afterwards

Facts and figures:

Alcohol: 14,5% by volume
Extract: 36 g/l
Acidity: 6,6 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (390 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: natural cork


Be careful of cream of tartar, best to use wine decanter in order to avoid uncomfortable feeling in the mouth after last sip.

Confirmed that quite suitable wine for meats and especially for game food. Australian wineyards produce quality wines in overall.

More info about Nugan Estate

and grape

Restaurant review: Nuevo

10 11 2012

Restaurant Nuevo is situated in a old pedestrian precinct (Sofiankatu) between the Market Square and Senate Square. Nuevo’s decor and profile is modern.  The kitchen is inspired by the gastronomic regions of Spain, with regularly changing themed menus providing variety throughout the year. This time of the year Barcelona menu was served. Dinner can also started with Tapas.

Decided to start the dinner with Tapas Calamar Marinated octopus accompanied with chilli alioli and Tostada de rabo de toro Oxtail toast and with starter Ensalada de remolacha y queso Valdeón Salad with roasted beetroot and Valdeon cheese. Octopus was great, soft and tender.  Oxtail might have been more delicious without toast but it was nice combination. Basic beetroot salad was tasty as it should be. Promising start for the dinner.

For Platos principales (main course) chose Perca Fried perch accompanied with citrus potatoes and Piquillo sauce and Truhcha ártica Fried arctic char accompanied with oxtail risotto and caponata. Perch was well prepared and not too dry; shape was nice surprise, it was like roll. Archtic char was over cooked and if it would have been grilled without fish skin it might have been bulls eye. Now fish itself needed some salt, but risotto and sauce were really good.

For dessert coffee and tee but also original Spanish brandy…..this time Lepanto.

At 8PM restaurant was full; two big groups propably already celebrating little Christmas.

Nuevo is Spanish restaurant with Italian flavour as risotto and rocket salad were used. It is not usual to see rucola in spanish food. But so delicious….Maybe restaurant is a little bit old fashioned, but if you like Spanish gourmet food Nuevo is close it and also recommend  to visit Copas y Tapas which is quite near.

REVIEW: FOOD 3,5/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – Overall grade 4-/5

Restaurant review: Hard Rock Cafe Helsinki

3 11 2012

Visited Hard Rock Cafe Helsinki 3 weeks after opening. At 3PM not so crowded but after 7PM you had to wait in the bar. Decided to analyze quite deeply HRC Helsinki which meant that 6 hours was worth of it. First dining and then at the bar.

Had to taste colourful drinks because they tell a lot. Compare picture on the drink menu and real life, Cosmpolitan and Margarita. Well done!

For starter had huge portion of Hard Rock Nachos Fresh corn tortilla chips piled high with Jack and Cheddar cheeses and seasoned pinto beans. Served with sour cream, chopped green onions, pico de gallo, jalapeños and a side of fresh Hard Rock Grilled Salsa. Big enough to share which was true. Cheese sauce was excellent and nachos still crisp.

For main courses had of course Hamburger; The Big Cheese Topped with three thick slices of your choice of cheeses. Choose from American, Monterey Jack, Cheddar or Swiss. Chose Cheddar and asked steak to be prepared medium. In Finland you can easily order steak as medium because of the high qualitys standards. Burger was great, one of the best have eaten at Hard Rock Cafe’s.  Also ordered Honey-Citrus Grilled Chicken Salad Fresh cut greens tossed with sweet red onions, grilled Cajun chicken and tossed with our Honey-Citrus dressing. Topped with fresh orange segments, spiced pecans, red pepper strips, sweetened dried cranberries and blue cheese crumbles. Salad was the weakest link because chicken was almost missing. Also lay out differed from salads at other Hard Rock Cafe’s.

Would have liked to taste Hot Fudge Brownie Vanilla ice cream and hot fudge on a fresh brownie, topped with chopped walnuts, chocolate sprinkles, fresh whipped cream and a cherry but was already so full. Had to do it someother time and update this blog.

Service was excellent, also at the bar area. Be careful if you pay with credit card and want to tip, pushing numbers on the machine increase amout of tip easily. Recommend to give tip in cash. Salad dropped food grade, otherwise it would have been 4. However, one of the best experiences at Hard Rock Cafe’s. If you have sometime been disappointed to some HRC, try this one.


Like especially Elton John’s outfit….

%d bloggers like this: