Restaurant review: Grön

25 03 2016

The idea behind Grön, which was opened in November 2015, was to create tasty, focused, plant-based and  inspiring food that concentrates on high-quality ingredients. All this is prepared in an atmosphere that should make guests feel relaxed, happy and welcome.



Restaurant offers a small selection of à la carte dishes as well as a four course “Grön Menu”. The food is based on seasonal, organic, wild and the Scandinavian produce.

The name Grön (Green) also means that vegan and vegetarian dishes should be in major role. With only about 20 seats, Grön is one of the smallest restaurants in Helsinki. Therefore, with growing popularity, it is wise to reserve table in time.

For starters had vegan ones, Beetroot with beetroot leaves, woodruff flavours and beetroot broth and Broad beans “Nordic hummus”, seeds, sprouts and fermented buckwheat bread.



The idea of serving beetroot in different formats sounds brilliant but the uppermost taste was raw root. Dish was also quite difficult to eat due to long beetroot slices and big salad leaves after broth was poured on the vegetables. Must be careful not to splash red color on clothes.

Nordic hummus consistency was more like mashed potatoes.  Not very tasty.  What made this dish worth ordering was the buckwheat bread.  The consistency of this bread was very meaty; hard to believe it was bread.

For main courses had Smoked chicken with onion, jerusalem artichokes and a sauce of roasted chicken skins and as vegetarian option Celeriac cooked in grain crust  with grain “porridge” and hazelnut.



Smoked chicken was cooked properly as it was not dry. Also the taste of sauce was perfect and paired well with vegetables. The amount of potatoes was bounteous and partly concealed the taste of artichokes.

The main course…..Seeing the word “porridge” in quotation marks, made it sound like it would be porridge like, not actual porridge. To make things worse, the consistency was more like baby food.  If you’re vegan, make sure to ask to leave the cheese out.  It is not included in the list of ingredients, but it was mentioned by the waiter that it was what “made the dish”.

Restaurant has separate wine list in a small notebook and you could enjoy vintage wines, but the prices are not so affordable. Decided to order from “standard” list organic Marcosaras’s Chiopperttino, which tasted like a combination of cigar box and sheep stables. Very organic, very original would say.



Restaurant Grön is trendy place and it’s chef Toni Kostian was chosen as chef of the year at Gastro Fair in Helsinki on 18th March 2016. Gastro arranged competition between cook’s. As restaurant is small, one interesting detail of taking advantage of all facilities, is wine cabinet in toilet.

Service was polite and easy-going. When it comes to food, unique dishes and way to prepare them will keep restaurant busy for many months to come.



Farewell to Wine Expo in Helsinki?

21 03 2016

For several reasons Wine Expo in Helsinki has to be renewed or there has to come decision to stop keeping the fair.

  • Only Spanish bodegas were enough interested in to be exhibitors with country department. Visited Bodegas Penafiel and tasted two nice Crianzas.




  • Almost as many beer exhibitors as wine exhibitors or importers. What beer has to do with wines?


  • Entrance fee 23€ and you were forced to take tasting glass with you.


However, tasted few wines. From Hewitson always reliable Ned & Henry, Le Lecateur and Miss Harry. One of the best wineries in the world come from Australia.




From Sweden wine agent Granqvist offered wines from Scriani, Amarone Della Valpolicella and Valpolicella Ripasso. These wines differed from standard similar wines, especially Amarone. It was not that sweet as Amarones typicall are. Also the strong aroma of stable make this wine extraordinary.



But with same setup prefer to visit wine importers own events and new Champagne tasting in April sounds more interesting than Wine Expo in the future.

Restaurant review: The Mess

18 03 2016

The Mess claims to be the living room of the Mothership of Work (MoW) working space collective. MoW is recently opened co-working hub for creative companies and individuals. Restaurant The Mess, which was officially opened on the 4th of March 2016, serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks and keeps doors open late night. Role models for concept come from New York.

Entrance divides restaurant in two spaces, bar/dining room with kitchen and second dining room. As music is played quite loud and if you only come to eat, second dining room might feel better.

Dinner menu is quite short which applies to wine list too. The Mess stresses that it has taken into account special diets as well as vegan choices. Therefore, post includes review of tasted vegan dishes.

For starter ordered HOD DOG Spiced pork sausage, red onoin jam, sauerkraut

Wine review: Chill Out – Soft & Vibrant Merlot

9 03 2016
Chill out wine -
Chill Out wines are a range of wines by Finnish beverage company Altia. Wines come from Europe, Australia and South-Africa and then they are bottled by Altia. Product range contains red, white, rose and sparkling wines. Even ecological and alcohol-free wines include in sortiment.
BUT, all wines are in plastic bottles or bags!

Chill out merlot -


Plastic bottle is light but it feels quite odd in hand because of the weight.

As wine is young it is also quite pale red for Merlot grapes.


Modest bouquet, hardly can recognize otherwise so spicy Merlot.


Taste is as weak as aroma. Merlot wine usually “kick” a little bit but this one was without character. On the other hand easy to drink if you do not like full-bodied wines.


Alcohol: 14,5% by volume
Extract: 31 g/l
Acidity: 5 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (380 kJ/100 ml)
Closure: Plastic cork

Chill Out wines must target younger consumers but also those who sail, visit festivals or camp. Light weigh makes it easy to take more bottles with you. And bottle is still recyclable.

Maybe wines should be enjoyed from plastic glasses to maximize bouquet and taste? Real wine glass is not optimal choice, prefer food glass instead.

When price of the wine at Alko is about 7€, it is one of the cheapest wines there.




Restaurant review: Patrona

4 03 2016

Margarita at Patrona -

Restaurant Patrona was born on February 2012, after a long and hard renovation. Target was to build a showroom of the rich & colourful Mexican culture.

But Patrona is not only showroom,  it also serves great flavours of the Mexican kitchen, combining street food, market food and traditional mexican food. An important part of mexican gastronomy is the Tequila. Drink menu is based on different tequilas which can be enjoyed by glass or mixed with unique flavours.

Menu is quite versatile consisting of starters, market plates & Masa, main courses & Guisados and few desserts. You can also choose from tasting menus (4, 5 or 6 courses).

Of course started the dinner with Classic Marqarita; tequile, citrus liquor and lime juice. Salt around the glass supplements the Mexican enjoyment.

For starter had FISH CEVICHE White fish, ginger-habanero tiger milk, cucumber, red onion, ice fennel

Fish cheviche at Patrona -

Nice combination of white fish, herbs and spices. Small side dishes were corn chips with salsa. Might have added more white fish but maybe the portion would have been too big then.

For main course enjoyed CHICKEN ENMOLADAS Roasted chicken with zucchini and carrots, chili-chocolate-peanut sauce, crispy tortillas, cream and fresco cheese, sesame seeds

Patrona -

This main course was very tasty and all ingredients paired extremely well with each other. Maybe again more chicken but on the other hand the size would have grown.

Wines are not so important part of Mexican cuisine as beers and therefore wine list is short.

Patrona is qenuine Mexican restaurant. You can not compare it to any Tex-Mex fast-food chain places Helsinki is full of. Food is prepared Mexican way and you can not find hamburgers neither Fajitas which are too typical for those Tex-Mex restaurants.

Decoration is completed with Mexican style, the whole Mexico was actually put on display in one picture.

Patrona decoration -

For my taste a little bit more chili in main course and food review would had been 4,5.  Service was thoughtful and professional.

If you like Mexican food, try Patrona instead of those copy-paste Tex-Mex restaurants.



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