Restaurant review: Rikhards Gastropub – Chef Hans Välimäki is back!

13 05 2014

Starters at Rikhards - reijosfood.com

2 Michelin star chef Hans Välimäki is back in business with new restaurant concept. Restaurants were opened early May in the same building where Chez Domique located.

Välimäki is fine dining restaurant with only 8 seats and Rikhards Gastropub more casual place, but with a touch of gourmet. As we received early warning that bookings can be made, we managed to get table less than two weeks from opening of Rikhards.

Decoration of Rikhards Gastropub is like name indicates; pub-styled, masculine and a little bit gloomy. Customers had not yet totally found restaurant, as there were empty tables in the late evening.

Restaurant Välimäki was behind closed doors, but it seemed to be booked-up. 1st Tasting menu with wines costs there a little bit over 300€ per person.

Rikhards Gastropub - reijosfood.comRikhards Gastropub - reijosfood.com

For starters decided to try 4 different portions: ”BAGNA GAUDA” Tarragon & watercress dip w/ season’s vegetables à la Master Ducasse…, ”POP CORN” Seaweed & chicken skin served with sesame, soy & truffle sour cream, SPICY CHICKEN WINGS (HV´S CHICKEN BASKET) Served glazed with kimchi mayonnaise. “Sticky fingers…” and NEW POTATOES WITH HAUGESUND HERRING New potatoes, dill butter & herring caviar.

Waiter suggested to start with “Pop Corn” which was brilliant idea. The dish, you can not get in any other restaurant, was extremely interesting; tasted like pop corn but fortunately impossible to find out taste of chicken skin. Eaten with fingers this starter with dips was excellent. “Pop Corn”, would say is more or less appetizer, because you do not seem to eat anything, threfore it requires another starter to accompany.

Then we tasted herring caviar with potatoes. Caviar was hidden under the potatoes and “oh boy” it was delicious. Must have been smash hit on May Day lunch! As starter has three potatoes, you would not necessarily need to order any other starters.

Then chicken wings, suitably spicy and not too sweet; with mayonnaise really scrumptious combination. Ended starters with fresh vegetables; again the dip was excellent.

Pop Corn at Rikhards - reijosfood.com

Haugesund herring at Rikhards - reijosfood.comChicken wings at Rikhards - reijosfood.comBagna Gauda at Rikhards - reijosfood.com

For main courses we had ”BANGERS & MASH” Salsiccia sausages with potato mash, cucumber & gravy of course… and TORSKRYGG A Swedish classic: codfish seared in brown butter, egg, shrimps, horseradish & velouté sauce w/ dill & mussel.

Three big, luscious and suitably flavored Italian sausages where on the top of mashed potatoes. Must say that if you want to eat all three, take light starter. One mistake was that cucumbers were forgotten, which made the portion look really simple.

Codfish was also delicious. However, the amount of sauce could have been smaller. It seems that main courses are quite sturdy, which suits to the concept.

Bangers & Mash - reijosfood.comTorskrygg at Rikhards - reijosfood.com

After Salsiccia sausages (could not eat all three) and codfish still had to try desserts and ordered KAKKUPALA Piece of cake with the sauce you wish and ICE CREAM & SORBETS.

Lemon tart (Kakkupala) was perfect, especially meringue made in the restaurant kitchen, was great. Ordered first toffee ice-cream, but as it was too salty for dessert and got vanilla ice-cream instead.

Lemon tart at Rikhards - reijosfood.comToffee ice-cream at Rikhards - reijosfood.comVanilla ice-cream at Rikhards - reijosfood.com

Food in Rikhards Gastropub is excellent. Hans Välimäki fills the bill which might be quite high due to his previous success. Without those two small slip up’s (forgotten cucumber and toffee ice-cream), food grade would have been close to 5.

Service was professional and polite. I have seen too often hypocritical, over-lively service leaving sometimes feeling you are treated like a child. Here it was better.

Overall grade would be higher, if pub interior would be more soft. And when confirming reservation, restaurant mentioned that table is reserved for 2 hours, which is quite short time for aperitifs, 3 course meal and coffees. 2 1/2 hours would be worth of 4,5 out of 5.

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

http://www.rikhards.fi/

 


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