Michelin star restaurants in Helsinki 2015 – 5 restaurants awarded but 4 exists

26 02 2015

Lamb at Demo - reijosfood.com

Michelin Guide announced new list of Michelin starred restaurants in Finland today. Five restaurants got 1 Michelin star, all in Helsinki. Other cities are not yet included in Michelin reviews.

So five restaurant kept their stars, but as Luomo closed it’s doors in the beginning of this year, Helsinki actually has four Michelin star restaurants. Difficult business environment for fine dining restaurants. Postres changed name and concept, which meant that we have now 2 restaurant less carrying Michelin star.


Restaurants with 1 Michelin star in Helsinki are:

Ask, Vironkatu 8, Helsinki – Restaurant Ask.

Chef & Sommelier, Huvilakatu 28, Helsinki – Restaurant Chef & Sommelier, Helsinki / Chef & Sommelier – Organic restaurant in Eira.

Demo, Uudenmaankatu 9-11, Helsinki – Restaurant Demo | ”Share a laugh in the middle of culinary excellence”

Olo, Pohjoisesplanadi 5, Helsinki – OlO Restaurant treats you to a Gastronomic journey of Nordic influence

Demo bar - reijosfood.com

Pictures are from restaurant Demo which has had Michelin star since 2007.

Restaurant review: Boulevard Social

22 02 2015

Boulevard Social was third BW restaurant and it opened its doors in May 2012 on the Boulevard Street (guess where the name comes?). The kitchen and bar offer combination of traditional flavors from Greece, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco and other Mediterranean countries. The quite simple bistro decor used in the restaurant has been designed to enhance the restaurant’s flavors.

All BW restaurants share idea that dishes are to be shared. You can choose from two tasting menus with matching wines or order from a la carte list. We decided to order first few snacks, one starter to be shared and two main courses to be shared.

But before dinner we ordered for aperif Pumpkin el Greco, which was recommended by waitress. It included thyme, which suits well for many meat dishes, but with this drink end-result was not so successful at least when it comes to our taste.

Aperitif at Boulevard Social

We started the dinner with snacks 2x GRILLED GREEN MUSSELS `ON A STICK grilled green shell mussels, almond and chorizo salsa and 2x MINI CHICKEN KEBAB `SOUVLAKI´ grilled chicken kebeb marinated with herbs, coriander, dill yoghurt.

Mussels with salsa were extremely delicous, almond and chorizo paired well with grilled green mussels.

Grilled meat tastes usually better that fried. Chicken pieces were juicy but at the same time firm due to way of cooking. Sauces were again scrumptious and with them whole dish was bull’s eye.

Snacks at Boulevard Social

For starter we ordered GRILLED TIGER PRAWNS `CHERMOULA´ grilled tiger prawns and lemon, honey roasted sesame seeds, saffron mayonnaise to be shared.

Four tiger prawns for 28€ is quite much but of course they are also quite expensive comperad to basic prawns. Grilling made shellfish perfect and with sauce worth of 5 points.


For main courses enjoyed WHITE FISH, ROASTED RED PEPPER & SAFFRON fried white fish, roasted red pepper and saffron broth, merquez sausage, mussels, squid, turmeric aioli, chick peas and ROASTED SEA BASS & HERBS roasted sea bass, parsley, coriander, tomato, roasted almond butter, fennel labneh.

The degree of ripeness of both fishes was consumate. Fish skin of whitefish was easy to eat and of course no fish bones disturbed. Only disruptive thing was the salinity. When dish included lot’s of herbs, sauces and many flavors as you can see and read from the name of dishes, you do not actually need salt.

For side dish ordered Patatas Fritas which were great but actually you do not need them unless you are really hungry.

White fish at Boulevard Social

Sea bass at Boulevard Social

Fish at Boulevard Social

What makes Boulevard Social cuisine interesting and inviting are the various sauces, which are served with each dish. Actually sauces formed an important part of dining experience. You really get a chance to taste flavors from all Mediterranean countries.

Sauces at Boulevard Social

Wine list focuses on wines from southern France, Italy and Portugal regarding to restaurant web site. But there are lot’s of wines from other countries and regions.

We had bottle of Rudesheim riesling which has been created by Swedish cellar master Markus Lunden. Wine is produced at Weingut Georg Beuer. This riesling paired well with all dishes we had, enough crispy and dry.

Riesling at Boulevard Social

Usually it is difficult to get table from restaurant unless you make reservation at least week earlier. We made the reservation a day before and dined on early dining time (2,5 hours time to eat). Tables are close to each other but we had table for 4 person and therefore plenty of room.

Restaurant Boulevard Social

Snacks and starter were really enjoyable but contradictory tastes and saltiness in main courses affected food points.

Service was polite and professional. But as dishes came so quickly, had to ask to slow down the pace before sea bass.

Boulevard Social has unique cuisine in Helsinki and especially flavors from North Africa add exotic impression. Dining room is twilight, therefore pictures are a little bit dark, sorry for that.

If you want enjoy well prepaired portions and especially desire exotic not so common tastes in Helsinki, restaurant is for you.

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

Restaurant Boulevard Social


Restaurant review: Kaartin Hodari & Hummeri

15 02 2015

Kaartin Hodai & Hummeri - reijosfood.com

“Kaartin Hodari & Hummeri” is not actually restaurant, but as it serves mainly gourmet hot-dogs, it deserves to be reviewed. Direct translation for the name of the restaurant is “Hot dog & Lobster in Kaarti”.

Restaurant is owned by same chef’s and sommelier’s as Muru and Pastis. Hodari & Hummeri is located next to Pastis, which is in a way convenient.

Dining room is tiny, only 5 small tables. One option is to eat by window but the you have to sit on pillows.

You can not reserve table which is understandable.

Kaartin Hodari & Hummeri - reijosfood.com

Because of the name of the restaurant, had to order Shrimp & Lobster version of 7 alternative hot dogs.

Also tried French fries with salt although you could flavor the with truffle, parmesan, chili or herb-garlic.

And glass of pinot noir red wine pairs nicely with this stuff due to softer taste of grape.

Hot dog at Kaartin Hodari & Hummeri - reijosfood.com

Hot dog was fresh and tasty. It included of course sausage which first suprised me. Had to ask, if this really is shrimp and lobster version. Kind of was waiting to see visible pieces of lobster, like in the logo. Think I chewed one piece of lobster. Anyway with tomato, onion and other stuff inside the the roll made this hod dog really enjoyable.

Shrimp and Lobster hot dog - reijosfood.com

Hot dog was delicious, but overpriced compared to amount of lobster it included. Would you pay 20€ for hot dog? All other versions are under 10€, which makes more sense. Otherwise FOOD grade would have been higher.

Because you have to place the order at bar counter, service is not reviewed.

Overall grade is high because business idea is unique. If you like hot dogs, Kaartin Hodari & Hummeri is worth to try.


Kaartin Hodari & Hummeri.

Wine review: Aalto – Spanish winery and red wine have Finnish name!

13 02 2015


Famous Finnish architect and designer Alwar Aalto has desinged several buildings in Finland including Finlandia Hall. Buildings designed by him can be found also in USA, Germany, Italy, France, etc. One of his most known glassware works was Aalto (Savoy) vase.

Bodegas Aalto was founded in 1998 by Mariano Garcia, Vega Sicilia’s legendary winemaker of over 30 years, and Javier Zaccagini, former President of the Ribera del Duero AOC. Almost 20 years since it was founded, the winery is considered one of the best in the region. The name of the winery was inspired by famous Finnish designer Alwar Aalto. Aalto is main wine for this winery and also reviewed wine carried Aalto name.

Grape used in producing Aalto red wine is 100% TINTO FINO. Tempranillo, more known grape, is known under a number of local synonyms in different regions of Spain, Cencibel and Tinto Fino are used in several regions, and it is also known as Tinta del País in Ribera del Duoro where Aalto winery is located.

Aalto wine - reijosfood.com


Label itself is one of the most minimalist seen before. Different colors of black and silver gray letters and small bunch of grapes in the upper right corner of O letter.

Vintage 2010 was dark red like but not not brownish, which means that 2010 is still quite young.


Bouquet was rich and pleasant, could recognize tempranillo. Some black berries and hint of fennel. Aroma became even more elegant after 10 minutes.


Full-bodied, again elegant and soft. Filled mouth not just flowed down. Again tempranillo was easy to identify, one of the best Spanish wines ever tasted. And this was not the first time!

I am fan of tempranillo wines, which might affect, but not too much. Tasted wine first as such and then with fillet steak. Pairs perfectly with red meat and bet that also with strong cheeses.

Fillet steak and Aalto wine - reijosfood.com


Alcohol: 15% by volume
Extract: 28 g/l
Acidity: 5 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (380 kJ/100 ml)

Vintage 2010 is “stronger” than 2008, which had 14% alcohol by volume. To be honest, liked vintage 2008 a little more than 2010….but 2010 is also great and enjoyable!

Aalto wine is elegant but partly because of low production volume, it is not the most unexpensive. Although you have to pay a little bit more the quality really provides value for the money.



SPIS – Restaurant of the Year 2015 in Finland!

10 02 2015
Snacks at Spis

Snacks at Spis

10th February 2015: The Finnish Gastronomic Society has nominated restaurant SPIS as the Restaurant of the Year 2015!
“The tiny Helsinki based 18 seating restaurant is specialized on healthy Nordic cuisine. It stands out with the way its food is being prepared and how the chefs appraise the freshest Nordic ingredients. The menu of SPIS is based around vegetables, but they also offer at least one fish and meat entré.”
Sweets on Lego

Sweets on Lego

What a coincidence, we dined at SPIS last Saturday on 7th February not knowing of about this nomination. Congratulations to SPIS, it has earned the reward! Read our review Restaurant review: SPIS – genuine Nordic cuisine | Reijosfood.
Spis dining room

Spis dining room

Restaurant review: SPIS – genuine Nordic cuisine

8 02 2015

What is Nordic cuisine? It is delicious fresh food with lots of vegetables in different forms. Food is not ruined with strong spices and therefore the original flavor of food ingredients is the main thing.

Spis - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Spis is cozy 18-seat Nordic, maybe the smallest, fine dining restaurant in Helsinki. It is open only in the evenings from Tuesday to Saturday. Because of the size and popularity, you have to choose to dine early at 0530PM/0600PM or to eat at later table setting at 0830PM. Spis serves two tasting menus, there is no separate a la carte list available.

Interesting detail are walls, which seem to be under renovation, but they are not. Walls just reflect the simplification of the decor.

Dinner started again with snacks; several of them, which really differentiate Spis from many “gourmet” bistros in Helsinki. We had 4 dish menu but got about 10 plates to be enjoyed during the dinner.

First we were served small tasty toast. With champagne perfect finger food.

Champagne at Spis - reijosfood.com

After toast we were served root fireworks! From right potato, yellow root, horseradish and lastly striperoot. Not sure, if striperoot is right translation for raitajuuri, but it is like beetroot. Each Finnish delicacy, which were eaten with fingers, included right seasoning or herb.

Forget potato chips and peanuts, offer this type of snacks also at home, if you can prepare them!


The came greetings from the kitchen, which was warm potato soup. Kitchen also prepared special edition of the greeting because of cream in the soup. Carrots in different forms were warmly welcomed surprise.

Potato soup at Spis - reijosfood.com


And only now actual dinner started!

For starter kitchen served portion, which was called Cabbage and Mustard. Sounds simple but combination of brioche flavored with mustard paired with cabbage perfectly.


First warm main course was salmon with root salad. Salmon was almost raw, but it was not at the same time. It had been cooked or steamed at 42C degrees, which made it soft. Spoon would have been enough to take care of it.


Between main courses we got sorbets, nice way to clean the mouth and prepare stomach for meat.

Spis served for second warm main course Pressed lamb which had been first cooked for 3 days and then roasted. Below lamb was vorschmack and some beetroots. Heavenly experience, must say!


Intermediate dessert consisted of Västerbotten cheese sorbet and Blackcurrant sorbet, which did not include milk products. Västerbotten cheese is famous Swedish cheese, which suits well for main courses but suits in this case for dessert as well.

Although it is a question of 4 dish dinner, Spis serves two desserts.



Sweet dessert consisted of cake, which melted in the mouth and ice-cream. More please!


Dinner ended up with tea and espresso. But as you are able to taste Ålvados, which is calvados from Åland, you have to try it. And with dessert drinks still some sweets served on huge Lego block. Great way to end the dinner.


Restaurant Spis earns full points for food. Service is professional; contents of portions were explained well and suggestions for wines were one of the most succesful so far.

With starter we were served white wine produced from chenin blanc grapes. With salmon wine menu included Chablis, of course made from chardonnay grapes by Chateau de Beru and with lamb red wine from cabernet franc grapes produced by small Italian winery marco sara.


To summarize, the food is excellent and probably one the healthiest you can eat at the restaurants. Spis also takes care of food allergies with skill although there is only tasting menu’s available.

If you are looking for great Finnish/Nordic food experience, try Spis.


SPIS | Nordic restaurant

Hotel review: Barcelona Princess

6 02 2015

Hotel Barcelona Princess

The hotel Barcelona Princess boasts 363 fully-equipped rooms, a sun terrace with pool on the 23rd floor with a nice view of the city and small pool with gym on the 3rd floor.


Located on the ’Avenida Diagonal’ just in front of the shopping center Fórum, this 4-star hotel is located less than 20 minutes from the centre of Barcelona with decent public transport alternatives available.

Interesting detail is Desigual Loft on the 23rd floor with decor, which takes care of every detail, patchwork rugs, lamps, wicker armchairs and low tables puff type created by artisans of different peoples of the Mediterranean.

Desigual loft - reijosfood.com


Spent few nights in the double room on the 19th floor with sea view. Room was well equipped, bath robe and slippers waiting to be used. Free mini bar with soft drinks and bottle of beer per day and free WI-FI.


Bath room was behind the glass wall, but it can be hided with automated screen, if you are shy. However, toilet and shower are behind doors, some relief?

Hotel Barcelona Princess room - reijosfood




Breakfast was generous compared to many other hotels in Barcelona. Something for everyone. Tried also room service once. Service was quick and actually room service price list is affordable.

On the first floor there is small bar and lobby but hotel is not actually place for dinners. Prepare to reserve table from “real” restaurants in the city or by the sea.

Two pools and new and well designed rooms are best part of the hotel.

Location from Plaza Catalunya is quite far, but walking by the sea to Port Olympico does not take too much time. Then it is up to you, if you want to continue to Maremagnum and then to Ramblas by foot. I actually walked that route, but with one pit stop in Tapa Tapa tapas bar or restaurant.

Hotel Barcelona Princess is for business travellers and for those, who do not want to pay higher prices in the city for lower standard.


Hotel Barcelona Princess – Official Website | Barcelona Hotel.

500 followers – thank you all!

2 02 2015

500 Follows!

I recently received message that reijosfood.com has over 500 followers!

Moet Ice Imperial at Mattolaituri

95% of followers are outside of Finland, which is awesome.

Over 500 followers, big thanks to all of YOU!

Hope you enjoy restaurant and wine reviews mainly in Helsinki also in the future.

Cepas Viejas and lamb shank

Wine review: Dominio de Tares Cepas Viejas Mencía 2011

1 02 2015

I have been lazy that I have not been written about wines tasted and enjoyed. This will change 2015!

Cepas Viejas - reijosfood.com

I was planning to purchase Spanish red wine for lamb and original intention was to buy Aalto wine. Nearby Alko did not had it, so decided to try full-bodied Dominio de Tares Cepas Viejas Mencía 2011. Wine is produced from Mencia grapes at Dominio de Tares bodega. Actually all that info is in the name of wine :). I can not remember that I have tasted before wine produced from Mencia, but I can be wrong. Mencia is not so common as many other Spanish grapes like Tempranillo.

Dominio de Tares is located in the region of El Bierzo (León) and settled in an exceptional area surrounded by high quality vineyards. Also main area for Mencia. The vineyard, with indigenous varieties mencía and godello, has been selected after an exahustive search of the best pagos under de D.O. Bierzo, by looking for the most interesting soils and settlements.

Cepas Viejas - reijosfood.com


Cherry red colour with violet tones on the rim. WIne is darker than Pinot Noir which is usually benchmark for Mencia when it comes to color.


Powerful nose of intense fruity aromas of raspberries and cherries, as well as flowery hints of violets in perfect combination with oak spices and fragrances of liquorice.


Nuanced and developed. Boysen berries, spicy and warm. The tannins are firm, but well integrated, the acidity is lively. Amount of alcohol can be just regognized.

Cepas Viejas - reijosfood.com


Alcohol: 14,5%
Extract: 32 g/l
Acidity: 5 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (390 kJ/100 ml)

Wine is excellent and especially paired perfectly well with overcooked lamb shank. Wine can be found from upper shelf in Alko due to price, but it is worth of it.



Home – Dominio de Tares.

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