First of May (Vappu) lunch at Vanha

1 05 2015

Vanha - reijosfood.com

Historic restaurant Vanha ylioppilastalo, Vanha in short, has been serving customers for more than 140 years. It is the classic venue for hosting celebrations and events in Helsinki. Located at the heart of the city, Vanha is not only an impressive building but an integral part of Finnish cultural history. Vanha’s spacious Great Hall provides a luxurious venue for dazzling concerts, dinners and corporate events.

Vanha - reijosfood.com

Nowadays restaurant business is run by Royal Restaurants, which owns most of the fine dining restaurants in Helsinki.

Vappu lunch table - reijosfood.com

First of May (Labour Day) is a day for lunch or brunch depending which time you choose for eating. Usually first setting is already at 11.30 and that is OK, if you have not had chance to eat breakfast. Prefered latter setting, which was at 15.00 at Vanha.

People were crowded in small hallway because setting was late. Doors to Great Hall were opened 15.20, which meant that earlier setting ended too late.

Vappu is also day for bubbling drinks. Instead of sponsor champagne Lanson, ordered Moet & Chandon. Wine list was all along short, so short that there was only one red and one white wine alternative for glass. Tried white wine and it was barely drinkable with whitefish.

Menu at Vanha - reijosfood.com

Menu consisted of starter, main course and dessert buffets. Kind of was expecting that main courses would have been served to the tables but it would have been impossible.

Food available can be seen from the menu above but as it is only in Finnish, some highlights from it in English.

Starter buffet included herrings, gravlax, warm smoked salmon, lamb meatballs, caesar salad, breads and some other stuff.

For main course there was two alternatives, whitefish or beef fillet with root vegetables.

And for dessert chocolate cake, sweets and cheeses.

Starter Buffet at Vanha - reijosfood.com

Dessert Buffet at Vanha - reijosfood.com

Food itself was excellent. All dishes were fresh and well prepared. Even whitefish was delicious although it was in thermal container. Of course it was a little bit over cooked due to that, but otherwise good.

Restaurant advertised with live music. Well, 20 minutes playing by 6 ladies, which you could hardly hear. Our table was close to the stage for shows, which allowed to see and listen but I think that at other end of hall they could not hear anything. Ladies played well, that was not the problem, but you expect to hear music at least half of the time dining lasts, which was 2,5 hours.

Live music at Vanha - reijosfood.com

As mentioned before, food was excellent.

You can not review service because you had to pick up the food by yourself. Drink serving was polite and special thanks to effort made for bringing us Moet & Chandon instead of Lanson.

Vanha and Great Hall are glorious and therefore overall points could be better. But for vappu lunch system does not work. First you waited to get in because earlier setting was late. Then you queued for starters. And then next event was already starting when you paid the bill. Space was used too effectively on the First of May.

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

Vanha Ylioppilastalo


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