Restaurant review: PureBistro

30 08 2013

PureBistro - reijosfood.com

Huge improvement compared to first visit a year ago! Guess, if the food in the picture above is fish or meat? You will only know it by reading on.

PureBistro is a modern bistro and bar with two terraces next to the Market Square in Torikorttelit buildings. Restaurant serves uncomplicated but well prepared bistro food. PureBistro is owned by Michelin star restaurant Luomo chef”s Jouni Toivanen and Mika Mattila. Luomo operates in 2nd floor.

Dining room is quite small but this evening it did not bother as restaurant was not full. Ask for window table and you can enjoy sea view and observe what happens at Market Square.

PureBistro - reijosfood.com

Our group ordered for starters one HOT FOREST MUSHROOMS WITH ORGANIC EGG 65 Metsäsieniä, tattitoffeeta ja luomukananmuna and several portions of TOAST SKAGEN Briossia, katkarapuja, siianmätiä, chilimajoneesia.

Had tasted at Taste of Helsinki 2013 boletus toffee and organic egg 65 but must repeat did not like combination. 65 means egg has been cooked up to 65C degrees, so it is was loose. Boletus toffee is really exotic “sauce”; it is too sweet for starter looking like grey brownish tepid liquid, almost like the wash water of the mushrooms. Big chanterelles saved a bit but again whole experience was too exotic to say it in nice words.

Toast Skagen was delicious and quite spicy due to chili. Whitefish roe crowned this otherwise simple looking portion.

PureBistro - reijosfood.comPureBistro - reijosfood.com

For main courses we had GRILLED ROOTVEGGIES, FETA CHEESE AND OAT Grillattuja juureksia, fetaa ja paahdettu ohraa, MISO-CURED SALMON AND VEGE TEMPURA JAPONESE Miso marinoitua lohta, tempuravihanneksia ja soijaa, GUINEA FOWL WITH TAPIOCA AND CURRY Helmikanaa, tapiokahelmiä ja currya and from daily menu STEAK ENTRECOTE JAPONESE STYLE.

Because of different cravings, all four main course were tasted and all of them were great.

Feta cheese paired well with rootveggies from which beetroot was welcomed choice. Salmon was a little bit raw from the middle which suited perfectly to Japonese style. Would have liked a little bit more tempura vegetables (chili, egg plant and lotus root), which were served in separate small bowl. Entrecote was tender and included also chili, which seemed to be unifying spice to most of the portions.

Now answer for the question: Meat and more specific, guinea fowl. Most of us first thought there was fish on the plate. How cleverly and skillfully set!

PureBistro - reijosfood.comPureBistro - reijosfood.comPureBistro - reijosfood.comPureBistro - reijosfood.com

For desserts one LE MARQUISE AU CHOCOLAT Suklaamarkiisia ja pistaasisorbet and from daily menu most of us chose CHOCO AND BANANA Banaanijäätelöä ja suklaakastiketta. One dessert without milk succeeded also well.

All desserts were scrumptious. Sorbet did not differ from ice-cream as it was so “creamy”. However, taste of pistachio was pushy.

PureBistro - reijosfood.comPureBistro - reijosfood.comPureBistro - reijosfood.com

Food was excellent. We had eaten at PureBistro in July (no review available), so we already expected great experience. Service was also in good shape, well explained what portions included and good knowledge of wines.

One weakness was the wine list, it was short, only about 5-6 white and red wines available. You could of course choose from separate wine list but prices for quality wines would be the same (expensive) as in restaurant Luomo. We had Max Ferdinand Richter Mûlheimer Sonnelay Riesling Zeppelin as white wine. Had to taste it before ordering as it was close to semi-dry, but suspicion vanished after tasting as wine was not too sweet at all. For red wine we enjoyed Dourthe Clos de los Siete which paired well also with salmon.

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

http://purebistro.fi/

First visit PureBistro review can be found by using search on reijosfood.com





2 Michelin star restaurant Chez Dominique closes down

26 08 2013

One and only 2 Michelin star restaurant in Finland and Helsinki, Chez Dominique, shuts down on the 5th October!

Chef Hans Välimäki explains that closing the restaurant is temporary and Chez Dominique will make a comeback someday. Hopefully so, but unlikely! It must have been close to get third Michelin star. After closing there are four 1 Michelin star restaurants in Helsinki: Demo, Luomo, Olo and Postres. Hopefully we do not see similar trend with these.

If you want to visit in Hans Välimäki restaurant, Midhill is your choice. Restaurant serves gourmet hamburgers and is located in the same shopping and restaurant area as Hard Rock Cafe.

******************************************************************************************************************

Parts of letter from chef Hans Välimäki in my email on 26th August, 2013 (sorry for not translating text in English but one sentence was already in English):

Etsin uutta inspiraatiota Chez Dominique tulevaisuudesta koko kuluneen kesän ja se löytyikin. Päätös on nyt tehty: voin ilolla ja YLPEYDELLÄ ilmoittaa, että ravintola Chez Dominique vetäytyy 5.10.2013 jälkeen määräämättömäksi ajaksi tauolle. Olemme auki koko syyskuun neljännestä päivästä lukien 5.10.2013 saakka.
 
Ravintolan loppuhuipennuksessa vetovastuun keittiöstä ottavat CD:n nuoret kasvatit Eric Räty ja Toni Toivanen.
 
Odotettavissa onkin jotain täysin uutta ja yllättävää, josta ei kannata jäädä paitsi.
 
Viimeisten viikkojen konseptia voisi kuvailla seuraavasti:
 
Pop-up, not f*** up: searching way to unknown…
 
Olen viettänyt viimeiset 15 vuotta enempi tai vähempi Chez Dominiquen keittiössä, ja saanut todellista lähituntumaa suomalaiseen gastronomiaan. Kehitys on ollut huimaa, ja kokit ovat Suomessa tällä hetkellä parempia kuin koskaan. Samat sanat salin ammattilaisista.
15 vuotta vilahti nopeasti. CD:ssä on koettu useita huippuhetkiä milloin erilaisten saavutusten kautta, milloin on juhlittu uusien tekniikoiden oppimista tai kilistelty vaikkapa vain loman alkamisen kunniaksi. Kivaa on ollut, parhaimmillaan superkivaa.
Olen ylpeä Dominiquesta ja kaikesta siitä, mitä olen upean henkilökuntani kanssa saavuttanut, mutta nyt on aika tehdä muuta.
Keittämisessä en taukoa pidä. Rakastan keittämistä, ja aion vedellä vedellä isosti ja komeasti täysin uusien haasteiden parissa! Niistä sitten myöhemmin.
Kiitos, kumarrus ja tuduluu kaikille Chez Dominiquessa viihtyneille.
Nähdään ainakin Midhillissä ja kuten aiemmin mainitsin, niin muutakin on tulossa. Chez Dominique palaa vielä. Aika näyttää miten, missä ja milloin.
 
Hyvää ja hauskaa loppukesää
 
Hans Välimäki
Tuleva entinen Michelin-keittäjä

http://chezdominique.fi/home





Restaurant review: Picasso (Puerto Banus, Spain)

25 08 2013

Picasso - reijosfood.com

Best Pizzas and longest queue in Puerto Banus and Marbella! There are also quite fancy boats and cars to be viewed.

Picasso - reijosfood.com

Visited Picasso about 10 years ago, so obvious choise was to refresh the memories. We came just in time, because after we were seated, continuous queue was waiting for free tables. What makes this restaurant most popular in Puerto Banus is excellent price/quality ratio and relaxed athmosphere compared to any other restaurant. Of course you have decided to enjoy pizzas or pasta. Or you might just want to eat biggest ice cream desserts you have ever seen.

Decided to order Pizza Tricolor Tomate natural, mozzarella búfala, jamón ibérico, rúcula y parmesano (in english Diced tomatos, buffalo mozzarella, serrano ham, rocket and parmesan shavings). Quite interesting combination and most suprising observation was that there was no tomato sauce or melted cheese on the pizza. All pizza toppings were placed after baking pizza dough and therefore they were really fresh! Crispy pizza with well chosen combination of toppings made Tricolor one of the best pizza experiences so far.

Pizza Tricolore - reijosfood.com

Pizza Tricolore - reijosfood.com

We had for starters Andalucian Gambas Pil Pil Gambas picantes, aceite de oliva, ajo,vino blanco y chili (in english Spicy prawns in oil, garlic, white wine and chili) which were quite normal staff but this review is focusing on pizza experience.

Recommend to order pizza or pasta, no starters, and leave some room for dessert. As mentioned earlier ice cream portions are huge but it was impossible to try them after Pil Pil starter and pizza.

In most busy vacation time, you have to stand in the queue from 5 up to 60 minutes depending on your arrival time. If you are guided to 2nd floor and are not with children, prepare for some noise and action because there are more families upstairs.

REVIEW: PIZZA 4+/5 – SERVICE 3/5 – OVERALL GRADE 3,5/5

And after dinner some photos of fancy boats and cars…

Lady Haya - reijosfood.comLady Haya - reijosfood.comBoat - reijosfood.comBoat - reijosfood.comBoat - reijosfood.comCar - reijosfood.com

http://www.pizzeriapicasso.com/en/index.php





Restaurant review: Garum (Marbella, Spain)

23 08 2013

Garum - reijosfood.com

Finnish chef in Marbella at restaurant Garum on the Paseo Maritimo!

Pleasant surprise which we did not know in advance when making table reservation. One of the waiters recognized our pronunciation and asked if we are from Finland. He mentioned it sounds the same as their chef’s.

Restaurante Garum is decorated with modern style and therefore differs quite a lot from other restaurants on the Paseo Maritimo. It has cross-kitchen with some flavours from Scandinavia and Finland. On lunch time you can order tapas and traditional Spanish food but in the evenings kitchen is more international. There is a small bar terrace in front of the restaurant if you just want to observe by-passers especially during the evening rush-hour.

Dinner started with Greetings from the kitchen. Simple snack but not bad at all.

Garum - reijosfood.com

For starters chose Japanese beef spring roll with japanese flavours served with pickled ginger and wasabi ice cream and Scandinavian style marinated herring served with wheat beer sorbet, lemon aquavit jelly and lingonberry cream.

Spring rolls were excellent and you could really find japanese flavours when diping them in wasabi and soya. If restaurant serves sour or rye bread, herring and lingonberries then there must be Finnish chef behind it. Only questiomark was the sorbet as it was smelted or should it have been frozen?

japanese beef spring roll with japanese flavours served with pickled ginger
and wasabi ice cream – See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/night/#sthash.5hPHnyIa.dpuf
japanese beef spring roll with japanese flavours served with pickled ginger
and wasabi ice cream – See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/night/#sthash.5hPHnyIa.dpuf
japanese beef spring roll with japanese flavours served with pickled ginger
and wasabi ice cream – See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/night/#sthash.5hPHnyIa.dpuf

Garum - reijosfood.comGarum - reijosfood.com

Kitchen served next food melter which was sorbet. The smaller class on the left….right one is Spanish rose.

Garum - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Grilled prawns served with risotto of sun dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese and sauvignon blanc with deep fried leak and Grilled sea bass served with truffle oiled green asparagus, jerusalem artichoke purée and salad of seedlings, herbs and pine seeds

You seldom find grilled that big prawns in Finnish restaurants, they are fried or prepared in oil if available at all. Therefore taste of prawns was scrumptious. Risotto was OK but maybe too much porridge type. Huge portion of sea bass, usually you get two that size of pieces. In overall, portions were generous.

Garum - reijosfood.comGarum - reijosfood.com

For dessert Swan lake Raspberry and cucumber gazpacho with melon relish and limoncello granite.

Brilliant idea to serve gazpacho as a dessert but of course from sweeter ingredients. Cucumber pieces were next to gazpacho class and added interesting flavour. Healthy, well-being dessert.

Garum - reijosfood.com

If you find restaurant with Finnish chef during your holiday outside of Finland, then you are in safe hands. The terrace of Garum was almost full around 10PM, we came as early as 830PM. Of course location is one of the best, but restaurant can not survive long without good food and service. Restaurante Garum has them both.

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

http://garummarbella.com/

Garum - reijosfood.com

Garum offers discerning diners the dual attraction of being one of Marbella’s hippest establishments while also providing a versatile culinary experience.

Centrally located in a vibrant and picturesque setting on the Paseo Marítimo, the restaurant is one of those rare gastronomic gems with an “all-day concept” of breakfast, lunch, dinner, tapas and late-night cocktails and soft chill out sounds − the kitchen remaining open non-stop from 11.00 am to midnight, seven days a week.

– See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/restaurant/#sthash.oBcw0rHU.dpuf

Garum offers discerning diners the dual attraction of being one of Marbella’s hippest establishments while also providing a versatile culinary experience.

Centrally located in a vibrant and picturesque setting on the Paseo Marítimo, the restaurant is one of those rare gastronomic gems with an “all-day concept” of breakfast, lunch, dinner, tapas and late-night cocktails and soft chill out sounds − the kitchen remaining open non-stop from 11.00 am to midnight, seven days a week.

– See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/restaurant/#sthash.oBcw0rHU.dpuf

Garum offers discerning diners the dual attraction of being one of Marbella’s hippest establishments while also providing a versatile culinary experience.

Centrally located in a vibrant and picturesque setting on the Paseo Marítimo, the restaurant is one of those rare gastronomic gems with an “all-day concept” of breakfast, lunch, dinner, tapas and late-night cocktails and soft chill out sounds − the kitchen remaining open non-stop from 11.00 am to midnight, seven days a week.

– See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/restaurant/#sthash.oBcw0rHU.dpuf





Vorschmack – traditional Finnish dish

19 08 2013

Vorschmack - reijosfood.com

There are several stories regarding the origin of Vorschmack but it has become a traditional, but not so widespread Finnish dish as it was one of the favourite appetizers of the Finnish statesman, war hero and gourmand Marshall C.G.E. Mannerheim.

For main course Vorschmack is too heavy due to salty, quite “interesting” taste and combination of side dishes.

Vorschmack is prepared mainly out of minced meat (lamb and pork), anchovises and/or herring, onions and spices. The dish is usually garnished with beetroot, pickles, sour cream and eaten with baked potato. Made one change to original recipe of side dishes, had oven baked beetroots instead of pickled ones. Bought Russian pickles but they were too salty and therefore suggest those ones which are in small glass jars. And to be honest, Vorschmack itself was canned. And in this can anchovises dominant flavor flavour too much.

Root vegetables - reijosfood.comPickles - reijosfood.com

Vorschmack - reijosfood.com

You can enjoy Vorschmack for instance at restaurants Savoy and Lasipalatsi in Helsinki. Had last year Vorschmack (picturebelow) as a starter in restaurant Lasipalatsi and it was delicious.

Lasipalatsi Vorschmack - reijosfood.com





Restaurant review: Messina (Marbella, Spain)

16 08 2013

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

When restaurant does not achieve the level they are reaching for…. 😦

Visited Restaurante Messina 2nd time because first experience was quite impressive (see review from last year via link below). Decided to try Menu Messina because 1st time ordered starters, main courses and dessert from a la carte list.

A mistake we should not have made, especially after asking if kitchen could serve one menu without milk products. But waitress took our order anyeay after checking it first from the kitchen if it would be possible.

But, huge mistake from the restaurant concerned 2nd dessert, although our order was accepted. But let’s come back at the end of post and go first through smaller gaps which restaurant trying to reach fine dining level, should really not afford.

Snacks

Layout and looks of snacks were impressive as last time. However, this time restaurant did not serve any greetings from the kitchen which usually starts the dinner. Waitress also explained too quickly how to go through small bites, so we had to partly guess, if we should eat 4th shrimps or marinated fish. So, we asked to get menu list back because it was not left on the table.

When ordering last time starter and main course from a la carte list, we got same type of snacks assortment to start with but it was not one of the a la carte portions. It was before starters.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.comRestaurante Messina - reijosfood.comRestaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

“Sea snail”

This exotic portion had to be eaten with fingers. Sea snail was not our favourite but maybe because it was quite chewy.

But, we wondered if we should go to wash our hands because restaurant did not provide towels to wipe our hands. If you have studied menu and wine list you might want to eat with clean fingers.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

Squid sandwich

Again eating with fingers. Open up the packet and you find the sandwich. Would recommend the restaurant to provide those towels. Sandwich itself was delicious.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

Sea urchim mi cuit and celery water

One of the best portions of the menu. Celery water did not include any additives and it was poured by waitress on top of the sea urchim.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

Tuna “parpatana” with crispy bread and fresh tomato juice

Again delicious portion. Tomato juice was again poured by waitress on top of tuna and it fresh tomatoes tasted good.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

Raw “grilled” crayfish and coconut

Crayfish was grilled from one side maybe 5 seconds but as it was fresh, it also tasted excellent. After eating crayfish waitress poured some fish broth in the coconut bowl. After mixing it with spoon, it changed into delicious fish soup. Well designed two-step portion by the chef, who is quite known in the area.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

Barbacued red mullet

Portion was OK, but fish was a little bit over cooked and therefore dry.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

Grilled sweetbread with yuzu cream

Rare delicacy but composition of sweetbread did not impress. Maybe it was our personal feeling and someone might like it.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

Malaga’s baby goat with pumpkin and mini pickled vegetables

Maybe baby goat should be greasy but this time it did not fit after soft sweetbread. Too close to each other.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

But, after finishing so called main courses, one waitress poured 20 cm long, green olive oil trail on the tablecloth while taking oil bowls away. Instead of changing tablecloth she covered the trail with napkin. Easier for the waitress but undesirable for customers.

But, before serving desserts, one waitress put dessert cutleries on the table. Then head waitress removed them, cleaned the table with scraper and put them back. Something had forgotten from the first waitress.

“Spanish French toast” Thai style

Really delicious dessert and other portion was replaced sorbet without milk as was planned.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.comRestaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

Yoghurth Chantilly and strawberries

But, then came the disaster! Restaurant had decided not to serve anything to replace the second dessert which included milk products. Waitress did not bother to tell that, just first served the dessert for person without milk product menu and then asked us to share it. She also explained that it does not include milk! We gave dessert back after commenting mistake but restarant served it again, now to me. Asked now what had happened to dessert without milk products. This was the moment restaurant had to tell that nothing was coming. Head waitress asked if she should discuss with the kitchen.

Too late, I said, and asked for check.

But, restaurant first tried to invoice whole value of the menu, but we requested 8€ discount from 78€ menu, which we got after discussion. Picture below is from the dessert we did not eat because milkless second dessert was not served at all.

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com

But, what was also annoying was the habit to serve champagne Dom Perignon Vintage 2003, we had ordered, every 5 minutes. Our dinner was interrupted continually by waitresses pouring noble drink about 2 cl’s at a time. Two times they almost served male first and 1 time they did so. Small thing but should be obvious for this restaurant to serve ladies first.

Messina tries to be fine dining restaurant. Modern decor, menu and appearance of food portions shows this to be true. But too much trying on the service side without properly trained dining room staff, does not carry.

If you decide to try Messina, order separate portions from a la carte list and do not ask changes for portions. Maybe also best time to visit restaurant is outside of main summer holiday season.

REVIEW: FOOD 4-/5 – SERVICE – 2/5 – OVERALL GRADE 2+/5

http://www.restaurantemessina.com/

Restaurante Messina - reijosfood.com





Restaurant review: Kappeli

11 08 2013

Muusa at Kappeli - reijosfood.com

Finnish food in historic building.

Restaurant Kappeli was opened to the public 1867 as summer restaurant but since 1970′s it has been open all year round. Latest renowation was in autumn 2011 still keeping same traditions in building structure. You can also find some art pieces inside the restaurants if you look carefully, like “Muusa” sculpture in the picture.

In the summer you can also dine at the outside terrace which is at the end of the building behind main terrace. If you want to sit in the middle of the main terrace but inside, ask for oriel window table for two. It is small but charming and one can even watch bands and singers on stage opposite the restaurant. We dined in that small glass walled space, like private dining at the sames time as Jazz Espa was playing at the stage and there were several diners in the main dining room.

Kappeli - reijosfood.com

For starters ordered large Kappeli’s vegetable salad Salad, sweet pepper, artichoke, endive, green beans, croutons and honey sauce and Kappeli’s fish assortment Smoked salmon mousse, cold smoked Baltic herring skagen, smoked whitebait, cold smoked salmon and organic scrambled eggs.

Vegetable salad was fresh and it was asked to be served without green beans and croutons. Fish assortment was dissappointment, too salty and more simple than last year when we dined and made review (see link below)

Kappeli salad - reijosfood.comFish starter - reijosfood.com

As main courses had Smoked salmon creamy false morel sauce, potatoes with dill, butter and onion, baked tomato and zucchini and large Caesar salad and chicken.

Differences compared to last visit can be seen from previous review. Asked now to get false morel sauce in separate bowl. Salmon itself was well prepared. Caesar salad was delicious again as it was last time, a safe choise.

Salmon at Kappeli - reijosfood.comCaesar salad at Kappeli - reijosfood.com

Kappeli is a perfect place to try Finnish kitchen in the center of events. Most of the diners are tourists. However, food compared to experience is too expensive as well as wines. But you have to pay some extra for the specific athmosphere, restaurant style and location as in any other city. If weather is good, take a table at the terrace which unfortunately is a little bit aloof and try large Caesar salad.

If you have S-Group loyalty card you can utilize offers like Italian sparkling wine. Maybe cost of a bottle is about 2€’s to the restaurant but as we are in Finland, 24€’s for Loyal Customers and for others 35€. Best offer still is bottle of champagne for 39€ in all S-Group HOK-Elanto restaurants and that is decent offer!

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

http://www.kappeli.fi/index.php?id=23

https://reijosfood.com/2012/07/14/restaurant-review-kappeli/

Sparkling at Kappeli - reijosfood.com








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