Restaurant SPIS is small 18-seat Nordic restaurant in Kasarminkatu, Helsinki. It is open only in the evenings. Because restaurant is tiny and very popular, during weekens you have to choose to dine at 0530/06.00PM or 0830PM. From Tuesday to Thursday dining starts between 0600-0800PM without time limit. And then and at “night shift” you can order Long Tasting Menu with six courses. However, with snacks and greetings from kitchen, you get over 10 plates front of you.
Enjoyed Short Tasting Menu with 4 courses. Price varies from 50-57€ depending on ingredients. Vegan menu is also available, which is not yet so typical for fine dining bistros. But this is quite natural for SPIS, as main ingredients used are vegetables.
First surprise were crackers, which started the dinner. Had already ordered glass of champagne, bubbly and fresh.
Second snack were vegetable greetings from the kitchen, yellow root and spiced cucumber, so simple but always delicious.
And third snack was even more interesting and scrumptious, “spaghetti” with cloudberries. Creative way to combine ingredients, which you may not use together in your own kitchen.
After 3 apetizers kitchen brought first dish, starter, which name I do not unfortunately remember any more. First picture below tells more. As menu do not describe what it includes, post should be written quite soon after dining. Now it has gone three weeks.
Second dish was pike perch with two ways with onions. Pleasantly soft and tasty fish and sweet onions paired well with each other.
And third dish, second main course, was braised pork with fennel. Excellent mixture of salty meat and slightly sweet vegetable!
Before desserts we were served cup of cloudberry soup. This led perfectly to sweeter world of SPIS dishes.
First dessert was greetings from the kitchen, kind of apple crumble.
And fourth dish and actual dessert was cake, which melted in the mouth.
You can combine food with recommened wines with price of 36€, which we did. Because SPIS uses lot’s of vegetables and way of using spices is Nordic, also the wines are light.
With starter we were served sauvignon blanc, which unfortunately not, is my favourite wine.
For vegan version next two wines would have been orange wine, totally new experience, but after first glass changed it to stronger red wine from Italy, which was served with pork. Orange wine is produced from different white wine grapes, which have spent some maceration time in contact with the grape skins, giving the wine an orange color.
Must say that as a friend of full bodied red wines, would next time order a bottle of ripasso or something similar.
After asking for check, restaurant always serves final culinary pieces, some sweets on huge Lego brick
SPIS is one of the best Nordic food restaurants in Helsinki. Food served is well prepared, creative and tasty. And I really appreciate that restaurants goes through the trouble of preparing all snacks between the dishes.
Service has always been one of the strengths of restaurant. Chef”s bring some of the dishes to tables, which makes the dining more intimate. However, this time it was sort of difficult to hear what waitresses explained to us.
Some changes in wines and overall grade would have been 5-.
REVIEW: FOOD 5-/5 – SERVICE 4,5/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5