Restaurant review: Gaijin – re-visit

19 09 2016


“Gaijin” is Japanese word meaning “non Japanese” or “alien”. Restaurant has been extremely popular from the date it was established, which means you must prepare to reserve table enough early. Easiest you get the table at 17.00 ro after 20.00. Before eight, you have 2,5 hours time to dine which is common nowadays in trendy and busy restaurants. There is also possibility to eat in the small bar, but tables are not actually meant for eating due to height.

Decided on third visit again to trust on chef’s skills and ordered tasting menu, MENU GAIJIN and VEGE, which you can also get as vegan version. But before eating tasted aperitives like Gaijin Martini which was really refreshing and tasty drink. Not os strong as martini’s usuallu are, but that was not a problem at all.

Gaijin menu included following dishes:

MUSSEL & YUZU HONEY

green shell mussel, yuzu-honey dressing, seaweed caviar


PORK BUN

pork belly, kimchi mayonnaise, pickled cucumber, soft bread


SASHIMI TASTING

selection of sashimi, roe, wasabi-yuzu dressing, wakami, wasabi mayonnese


SASHIMI PRAWN, FOIE & ROASTED ALMOND “NIGIRI”

Tigerprawn “nigiri”, foie gras, truffle, teriayki rice, almond snow


ROASTED “SAIKYO MISO” SALMON & CAULIFLOWER

‘saikyo’-miso marinated salmon, cauliflower, truffle, dashi emulsion, bonito


BABY BACK PORK RIBS

pork ribs, soy mirin caramel, togarashi


SEARED SCALLOP & X.O

seared scallops, rare chinese X.O. dressing dressing, X.O. mayonese, crispy garlic, seaweed caviar


GAIJIN TONKATSU PARTY

grispy fried pork, salad leafs, Japanese pickles, Gaijin’s kimchi, sesame dressing, chilli paste, brown butter mayonnese


 PUMPKIN & LICORICE

pumpkin & almond cake, licorice ice-cream, pistachio and vanilla creme anglaise, licorice cream, licorice marengue

You could order matching wines, but decided to have red wine, Antonutti, from Merlot grapes. Colorful label on the bottle. Wine itself is quite basic but paired well with all dishes enjoyed.

Most of the wines are quite expensive except few “table wines” like Antonutti. On the other hand asian fusion food does not require vintage wines as the taste of wine disappears under the spices and herbs.

Instead of describing and reviewing all dishes, I summarize dining experience.

All dishes were delicious and savory. The whole menu, when it comes to taste, was better than last time I ate it. More spices were used and if you look at the partly rare ingredients, combining them to different dishes, was briallianty done.

Could have given even litter better grade for FOOD, but using only pork for 3 different meat dishes menu included, lowered the grade. Last time also chicken and lamb was used.

VEGE version was also excellent. Maybe later will post a review about it.

Restaurant Gaijin is cozy and relaxing place to eat as all 4 restaurants which are owned by same chef’s.

Service is great as you could expect although the spaces between tables are narrow. Ingredients of all dishes are opened up every time although remembering all of them must not be easy.

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

http://gaijin.fi/?lang=en





Restaurant review: Gaijin – re-visit

18 09 2016


“Gaijin” is Japanese word meaning “non Japanese” or “alien”. Restaurant has been extremely popular from the date it was established, which means you must prepare to reserve table enough early. Easiest you get the table at 17.00 ro after 20.00. Before eight, you have 2,5 hours time to dine which is common nowadays in trendy and busy restaurants. There is also possibility to eat in the small bar, but tables are not actually meant for eating due to height.

Decided on third visit again to trust on chef’s skills and ordered tasting menu, MENU GAIJIN and VEGE, which you can also get as vegan version. But before eating tasted aperitives like Gaijin Martini which was really refreshing and tasty drink. Not os strong as martini’s usuallu are, but that was not a problem at all.

Gaijin menu included following dishes:

MUSSEL & YUZU HONEY

green shell mussel, yuzu-honey dressing, seaweed caviar


PORK BUN

pork belly, kimchi mayonnaise, pickled cucumber, soft bread


SASHIMI TASTING

selection of sashimi, roe, wasabi-yuzu dressing, wakami, wasabi mayonnese


SASHIMI PRAWN, FOIE & ROASTED ALMOND “NIGIRI”

Tigerprawn “nigiri”, foie gras, truffle, teriayki rice, almond snow


ROASTED “SAIKYO MISO” SALMON & CAULIFLOWER

‘saikyo’-miso marinated salmon, cauliflower, truffle, dashi emulsion, bonito


BABY BACK PORK RIBS

pork ribs, soy mirin caramel, togarashi


SEARED SCALLOP & X.O

seared scallops, rare chinese X.O. dressing dressing, X.O. mayonese, crispy garlic, seaweed caviar


GAIJIN TONKATSU PARTY

grispy fried pork, salad leafs, Japanese pickles, Gaijin’s kimchi, sesame dressing, chilli paste, brown butter mayonnese


 PUMPKIN & LICORICE

pumpkin & almond cake, licorice ice-cream, pistachio and vanilla creme anglaise, licorice cream, licorice marengue

You could order matching wines, but decided to have red wine, Antonutti, from Merlot grapes. Colorful label on the bottle. Wine itself is quite basic but paired well with all dishes enjoyed.

Most of the wines are quite expensive except few “table wines” like Antonutti. On the other hand asian fusion food does not require vintage wines as the taste of wine disappears under the spices and herbs.

Instead of describing and reviewing all dishes, I summarize dining experience.

All dishes were delicious and savory. The whole menu, when it comes to taste, was better than last time I ate it. More spices were used and if you look at the partly rare ingredients, combining them to different dishes, was briallianty done.

Could have given even litter better grade for FOOD, but using only pork for 3 different meat dishes menu included, lowered the grade. Last time also chicken and lamb was used.

VEGE version was also excellent. Maybe later will post a review about it.

Restaurant Gaijin is cozy and relaxing place to eat as all 4 restaurants which are owned by same chef’s.

Service is great as you could expect although the spaces between tables are narrow. Ingredients of all dishes are opened up every time although remembering all of them must not be easy.

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

http://gaijin.fi/?lang=en





Restaurant review: Gaijin

30 03 2013

Gaijin is Japanese word meaning “non Japanese” or “alien. As well as Farang is a Thai word for foreigner and especially for Europeans “non Thai”.

These both words are used in the restaurant names of Farang and Gaijin, second restaurant of chefs Tomi Björk and Matti Wiberg. Gaijin offers flavours by combining traditional Japanese and Korean dishes with foods from North China. Most of the dishes have been designed to be shared, usually two set menus with possibility to order wine packages. Because Gaijin is popular place you must prepare to reserve table enough early. And restaurant seemed to be full after 5 PM.

Restaurant was honoured with Bib Gourmand by Michelin Guide next year after opening in April 2011 and again 2013. It is located on the corner of Bulevardi and Yrjönkatu next to third restaurant of Björk and Wiberg, Boulevard Social.

We decided to trust on Chef’s skills and ordered tasting menu named MENU GAIJIN. BUT … table reservation started at 5PM and after  2,5 hours we should leave. BUT… we just finished and asked for coffee/tea and got 15 minutes extra time. BUT… after dining several times at so great Farang we were a little bit disappointed with the intensity of flavours. BUT….

MUSSEL

green shell mussel, yuzu-mirin dressing, pickled noodle

Gaijin Mussels

Excellent performance by the chef. One of the best experiecens of the dinner.

PORK BUN

pork belly, kimchi mayonnaise, pickled cucumber, soft bread

Prok Bun

Quite big soft bread made wonder if this was fast food but it was not. Nice!

SASHIMI

sashimi of the day

Sashimi

Sashimis were great. Finns and Japanese are close to when it comes to raw fish. Could eat more….!

FOIE & UNAGI

glazed eel, duck liver, nori-bread, cherry

Lady is not keen on foie gras, no problem. Otherwise quite tasty portion.

MISO SALMON, APPLE & LEMON

‘saikyo’-miso marinated salmon, apple, cucumber, pickled daikon, lemon jam, walnut, marinated roe, truffle-dashi broth

Miso Salmon

For Lady most prefered dish. OK for me, but expected more flavours.

CHICKEN UMEBOSHI YAKITORI

grilled chicken marinated in sweet plum soy

Chicken

Chicken was pretty OK but it lacked some taste. Unfortunately two pieces were raw

SESAME, GINGER & SOY SCALLOP

fried scallop, sesame-soy dressing, spring onion, seaweed caviar

Scallops

Again, nice BUT……You can create more taste of scallops if you fry them a little bit more

MONGOLIAN LAMB HOT POT

braised lamb neck, grilled and smoked fennel, lamb broth

Lamb

Great meat especially in Easter!

 

GREEN TEA & WHITE XOCO

green tea flavored white chocolate mousse, meringue, granny smith apple, szechuan pepper

DessertDessert

Dessert was best part of dinner. Usually Japanese do not eat dessert but these were really delicious

Restaurant Gaijin is cozy and relaxing place to eat. If you decide to order Menu Gaijin, best time to enjoy it is after 8PM. We started dinner at 5PM and should leave at 0730PM. There are dining slots for customers as in many other restaurants today. We were too slow. Go to Farang if you like spicy food, dine at Gaijin if you prefer milder tastes; beginning of journey to more spicy world.

Service is great as you could expect and served by copy cat cute waitresses. They know wines and food which is important.

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

http://gaijin.fi/?lang=en





Michelin star restaurants in Helsinki 2019 – sixth restaurant awarded with star

20 02 2019

Michelin Guide announced new list of Michelin starred restaurants in Finland today, again one new restaurant got it’s first Michelin star, Palace. This may not be surprise because restaurant was established by two famous chef’s Eero Vottonen and Hans Välimäki. In the past Välimäki’s restaurant had 2 Michelin stars. Vottonen was 2018 Finland’s representative in Bocuse d’Or competion. Today Vottonen is the main chef and Välimäki has opened Penelope restaurant, which represents quite different style

Five restaurants kept 1 Michelin star, all in Helsinki. 

It seems that other cities are not yet included in Michelin reviews although there are good candidates.

 

Restaurants with 1 Michelin star in Helsinki, Finland are:

Ask, Vironkatu 8, Helsinki – http://restaurantask.com/?lang=en

Ora, Huvilakatu 28, Helsinki – http://www.orarestaurant.fi/

Demo, Uudenmaankatu 9-11, Helsinki – http://www.restaurantdemo.fi/?lang=fi

Olo, Pohjoisesplanadi 5, Helsinki – http://olo-ravintola.fi/en/

Grön, Albertinkatu 36 – https://www.restaurantgron.com/

Palace, Eteläranta 10 – http://www.palacerestaurant.fi/fi/etusivu/

 

Demo bar - reijosfood.com

Picture from restaurant Demo which has had Michelin star since 2007.

Picture from Grön about 3 years ago – dish waiting for sauce

 

Bib Gourmand restaurants are Boulevard Social, Gaijin and Farang, owned by same chefs, incredible achievement year over year. Emo was dropped from the list. Jord was able to keep it’s position

I would add to this list at least restaurants Copas y Tapas, SPIS, ….Today there are at least dozen restaurants, which provide excellent food with decent prices and professional service. I shall bet Michelin consultants have not had time to visit all those.

Anyway, all listed restaurants earned to be named.





Michelin star restaurants in Helsinki 2018 – back to track

19 02 2018

 

Michelin Guide announced new list of Michelin starred restaurants in Finland today, one new restaurant got it’s first Michelin star, Grön.

Three restaurants kept 1 Michelin star, all in Helsinki. Chef & Sommelier was closed but same owners got right away one star for their new restaurant Ora.

It seems that other cities are not yet included in Michelin reviews although there are good candidates.

 

Restaurants with 1 Michelin star in Helsinki, Finland are:

Ask, Vironkatu 8, Helsinki – http://restaurantask.com/?lang=en

Ora, Huvilakatu 28, Helsinki – http://www.orarestaurant.fi/

Demo, Uudenmaankatu 9-11, Helsinki – http://www.restaurantdemo.fi/?lang=fi

Olo, Pohjoisesplanadi 5, Helsinki – http://olo-ravintola.fi/en/

Grön, Albertinkatu 36 – https://www.restaurantgron.com/

 

Demo bar - reijosfood.com

Picture from restaurant Demo which has had Michelin star since 2007.

Picture from Grön about 2 years ago – dish waiting for sauce

 

Helsinki got one Bib Gourmand restaurant more. Boulevard Social, Gaijin and Farang are owned by same chefs, incredible achievement year over year. Emo was named again. Jord is the new restaurant.

I would add to this list at least restaurants Copas y Tapas, SPISBar Con, Roster, The CockYes Yes Yes,….Today there are at least dozen restaurants which provide excellent food with decent prices and professional service. I shall bet Michelin consultants have not had time to visit all those.

Anyway, all listed restaurants earned to be named.





Michelin star restaurants in Helsinki 2017 – no changes

22 02 2017

Lamb at Demo - reijosfood.com

Michelin Guide announced new list of Michelin starred restaurants in Finland today, no surprises. Four restaurants kept 1 Michelin star, all in Helsinki. No new stars, unfortunately. It seems that other cities are not yet included in Michelin reviews although there are good candidates.

 

Restaurants with 1 Michelin star in Helsinki, Finland 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.

Bib Gourmand restaurants also remained the same as last year; Boulevard Social, Gaijin and Farang are owned by same chefs, incredible achievement year over year. Fourth restaurant is Emo.

I would add to this list at least restaurants Copas y Tapas and SPIS, latter could even earn 1 Michelin star. There are at least 5 additional restaurants which provide excellent food with decent prices and professional service. I shall bet Michelin consultants have not had time to visit all those.

Anyway, all listed restaurants earn to be named.





Restaurant review: Toscanini

25 05 2014

Campari Soda at Toscanini - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Toscanini has received its relaxed atmosphere from Tuscany, Italy. Menu is based on essential elements of Italian kitchen, such as olive oil, herbs, tomatoes and Tuscan cheeses and cold cuts. In addition, bread is baked daily by restaurants own baker, or is it?

Location is perfect, almost opposite of Svenska Teatern and Stockmann. Famous BW- restaurants, Gaijin and Boulevard Social are neighbors. Being part of Klaus K hotel means that many of the dining customers also enjoy luxorious hotel premises. Design hotel with white decoration in the lobby. Klaus K and it’s restaurants were recently acquired by Kämp Group which might have been the reason for lame service.

Toscanini - reijosfood.com

Because of excellent weather we had late lunch at the terrace. No one wants to eat in as you can see from the picture above.

Started lunch with Campari Sodas which is always appropriate way to lead to the right mood. Bread basket came right away after ordering; foccaccia was not as fresh as it should have been, but tapenade was delicious.

Bread basket at Toscanini - reijosfood.com

Lunch started with Antipasto variety for two including two type of salami’s, parmesan cheese, small olives, artichokes, grilled sweet peppers and mushrooms.

If restaurant is Italian, it can not flop in serving traditional Italian starters. Nor did Toscanini. Everything on the plate was perfect, fresh and you could imagine to be in Tuscany.

Antipasto at Toscanini - reijosfood.com

For main courses we had Sautéed fillet of cod with seafood flavoured Nerone rice and Braised lamb neck with fried lemon polenta and Marsala sauce.

Unfortunately these portions brought us back to Helsinki and Bulevardi. Cod was way too much over-salted but shrimps and octopus pieces in rice compensated a little bit. Lamb was tender but dry and it seemed that salt had been completely forgotten. Wonder if polenta had been prepared at the restaurant kitchen, because it tasted and felt like industrialized product?

Cold at Toscanini - reijosfood.comLamb neck at Toscanini - reijosfood.com

Service was this time the weakest link. We have been at Toscanini several times before, but now there were too many failures.

We had to order mineral water twice, had to remind waiter to bring wine glasses (soave and chianti of course) we had ordered and never got menu back again in order to be able choose desserts. Therefore just ordered coffees and chardonnay grappa. As I wrote earlier company has new owner, which may have impacted to the service, if employees are worried about restaurant’s future.

Toscanini used to participate in Taste of Helsinki, but not this year. Will miss tiramisu they have served there.

Grappa at Toscanini - reijosfood.com

It is always great to eat outdoors, at nice terrace, therefore overall grade is higher.

REVIEW: FOOD 3+/5 – SERVICE 3-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4-/5





Restaurant review: Bronda – 4th BW restaurant in Helsinki

9 04 2014

Beef tartar at Bronda - reijosfood.com

Bronda, the 4th restaurant in Helsinki by Tomi Björck and Matti Wikberg, opened it’s doors on Monday 10th, 2014. Located on the corner of Eteläesplanadi and Korkeavuorenkatu, large space with high ceilings and big windows with otherwise plain interior design, offer interesting dining experience. Nautical roof lamps and mirrors on the wall are eye catchers.

The lounge bar is open until late and it offers view to Park Esplanade. It surely will be one of the most busiest bar in the district.

Bronda name comes from the building restaurant is located.

Bronda - reijosfood.com

Bronda’s dishes should reflect Europe and particularly countries Spain, Italy and France. The food is meant to be shared as in other BW restaurants Farang*, Gaijin* and Boulevard Social (*reviews available on reijosfood.com). Bronda concept is copied from those succesful Bib Gourmand restaurants; even same drinks with same exotic names are served.

First look at the menu was challenging; you could choose from snacks, fresh and/or warm dishes. So we decided to choose one of the two tasting menus, Menu Esplanad, with suggested wines.

Tasting menu at Bronda - reijosfood.com

Dinner started with Sashimi, aioli prawns and sorrel which were served on a wooden plate. Sashimi was prepared from lavaret (whitefish). Fish was soft and mellow and shrimps were fresh of course. In overall excellent combination after sorrel soup was poured into the bowls.

Sashimi and prawns at Bronda - reijosfood.com

Second dish was Beef tartar with butter milk and dried bread. If your read menu, you can see that there are lot’s of different ingredients used. I am not sure, if we could find all of them, but beef was tender anyway. This was also the first dish to be shared, so portion had to be divided in two parts.

Beef tartar at Bronda - reijosfood.com

Then we were served third and fourth dish at the same time; Fish stewed Basque style and  Risotto Milanese. Basque style meant mussels, chorizo and sherry flavored stock. Tempting, but at the same time challenging dish for the kitchen. Fish itself was ok, but one of the 5 mussels had not opened. No chorizo taste at all, actually one small bite was found. Risotto had waited serving some time as it was not so warm anymore. To prepare perfect structure, kitchen needs some more practice.

Fish and risotto at Bronda - reijosfood.comFish at Bronda - reijosfood.com

Last so called main course was dissappointing. On the menu it says Cotoletta which means schnitzel. However, more detailed description tells that you should get crisp pork chop. Bronda served dry Wiener Schnitzel with fennel salad and tomato compote. This dish dropped food grade below 4. I am sure this dish will not be as such on the menu in the future, but side dishes could be the same.

Wiener Schnitzel at Bronda - reijosfood.com

Dessert should have been Tiramisu, but as we had asked one menu lactose-free, one portion was replaced with Lemon pie Bronda without informing beforehand. However, both desserts were delicious and crowned the dinner. Pie included rosemary and thyme which made the experience exciting.

Tiramisu at Bronda - reijosfood.comLemon tart at Bronda - reijosfood.com

When it comes to recommended wines they are overpriced. You pay 50€ for 2 1/2 glasses of basic wines. Choose instead a bottle or glass from the list, because some wines are quite reasonably priced. For the tasting menu first wine should have been riesling but it was replaced by gruner-veltliner. Second glass, pinot noir, was poured from 1,5 litre bottle. Third, dessert wine, was 5 years old Madeira which paired well with desserts.

Bronda was full when we entered and was still full when we leaved. Relaxed athmosphere and loud background noise make restaurant perfect place for group gatherings. As snacks and some food are served in the bar, it will be the the most succesful part of concept. You can see Park Esplanade from the windows while dining and at the same time  can observe other people present in the bar. Although portions are well designed and look impressive, propably food is not the main issue. Main idea is social interaction.

REVIEW: FOOD 3,5/5 – SERVICE 4/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4-/5

http://ravintolabronda.fi/?lang=en

Read also this http://nyt.fi/a1305818948042





Guide Michelin: Bib Gourmand designated restaurants in Helsinki

14 03 2014

What is Bib Gourmand restaurant?

The Bib Gourmand designation denotes good cuisine at a reasonable price in a variety of comfort categories. Defined as “Inspectors’ Favorites for Good Value,” Bib Gourmand restaurants offer two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included), and are often of most value to a city’s residents, who regularly dine in neighborhood restaurants” (source: Guide Michelin)

Restaurants with Bib Gourmand designation 2014 in Helsinki are:

Boulevard Social http://boulevardsocial.fi/en/ (NEW!)

Not visited

Farang https://reijosfood.com/?s=Farang

Farang - reijosfood.comFarang - reijosfood.com

Gaijin https://reijosfood.com/?s=Gaijin

Gaijin Mussels - reijosfood.comChicken at Gaijin - reijosfood.com

Emo https://reijosfood.com/?s=Emo (NEW!)

Halibut at Emo - reijosfood.comVendaces at Emo - reijosfood.com

PureBistro https://reijosfood.com/?s=PureBistro

PureBistro - reijosfood.comPureBistro - reijosfood.com

You can find reviews of these restaurants at reijosfood.com via links.

Amazing that first three restaurants are owned by same chef’s, Tomi Björk and Matti Wiberg. They have just opened 4th restaurant Bronda, which will be reviewed by Restaurant and Wine epicure (reijosfood) in April. Maybe next year it will be designated as Bib Gourmand restaurant?

Emo and PureBistro are partly owned by Michelin star restaurant chef’s; Emo is little sister for Olo and PureBistro for Luomo.

Grotesk and Solna lost their Bib Gourmand designations.

Conclusion: 

Would say that at least 3 of the designated restaurants have earned to be on the list; Emo, Farang and PureBistro. Now that Michelin Guide have chosen 3 “ethnic” kitchens, Yume could replace Gaijin. But as it is owned by Kämp Group not by chef’s, it might be obstacle. There are also some other restaurants which could be designated like Copas y Tapas, Meche or Spis, see reviews at reijosfood.com.





Taste of Helsinki 2013

15 06 2013

Taste of Helsinki

Second Taste of Helsinki was arranged on 13-16.6.2013. Some of the restaurants had changed, this year present was 12 restaurants: Aito, Ask, Bistro O Mat, C, Demo, Gaijin, Juuri, Luomo, Muru, Olo, Smör and Toscanini with 36 tapas sized dishes to choose from. 3 out of 12 restaurants have Michelin stars (bolded ones).

Pleasant memories from last year and of course high expectations now.

On Saturday the amount of visitors was less than year ago and ordering food was therefore quite quick. We were in the first setting; maybe starting time was too early at 11.00 and wind was freezing although it was sunny day.

First ordered Smoked bream, potatoes and ramsons (Ask) and “EARTHQUAKE” – Organic egg 64,7°C with mushroom toffee (Luomo). Bream was basically, not so common Finnish fish to use in restaurants. Earthquake did not convince. Sweet toffee with salty egg did not match together at all. Of course it is tour de force to cook egg right but it did not help in this case.

Taste of Helsinki

FOOD REVIEWS: Ask 4/5 – Luomo 2/5

Then tried FRIED FRESH LAMB SAUSAGE, spring vegetable salad and mustard sauce (Muru) and  SALMON from Rørvik with spring potatoes from Merimasku (Olo).  Sausage was tast but a little bit chewy, had to bit few pieces too long. Salmon was best starter, fresh and perfect match with side dishes; best part of Finnish cuisine!

Taste of Helsinki

FOOD REVIEWS: Muru 4-/5 – Olo 5-/5

For “main” courses started with BRAISED WILD BOAR, turnip, carrot and spruce sprout (Aito). Delicious, all side dishes were perfect match. Only problems with plastic cutlery was carrot which was a little bit too raw for them and maybe a little bit too salty meat.

Taste of Helsinki

FOOD REVIEW: Aito 4,5/5

Then tasted SLOWLY BRAISED CHEEK OF CORN FED PORK, champignon, truffle and wrinkly carrot (Demo). Excellent braised pork and delicious sauce. Fresh Finnish vegetables supplemented ensemble.

Taste of Helsinki

FOOD REVIEW: Demo 4,5/5

Third food was NECK OF WILD BOAR with false morel pie and sauce of raspberry leaves (Juuri). This wild boar was best of “main” courses. Perfect composition and taste. Not too much side dishes, focus on itself.

Taste of Helsinki

FOOD REVIEW: Juuri 5-/5

Only dessert enjoyed was TOSCANINI’S TIRAMISÚ (Toscanini). Safe choice because did not want to try too exotic portions. Sorry for the finger, wind tried to throw away cardboard plates all the time and had to secure photo for few seconds.

Taste of Helsinki

FOOD REVIEW: Toscanini 4+/5

Did we were more critical now but chose really excellent portions last year. Of course you might make some mistakes when choosing from 36 dishes but would have liked to rank all tasted ones over 4,5. But enjoyed and congratulations to Olo and Juuri for excellent performance. Let’s see if there will be third year for Taste of Helsinki.

And again, lot’s of Markka’s spent! Do not budget anything as you shall exceed your budget anyway. Have fun, do not try to think too much coins.

http://www.tasteofhelsinki.fi/en/





Michelin star restaurants in Helsinki 2013

14 03 2013

Restaurant Demo

Michelin Guide has updated it’s list of rewarded restaurants. All 5 existing Michelin restaurants kept their stars, so no new Michelin restaurants in Finland or Helsinki. G.W. Sundmans might be rewarded soon as it has been highlighted with red letters meaning “rising star”.  Restaurant has had 1 Michelin star several years ago.

Restaurants with Michelin stars are:

Chez Dominique, Rikhardinkatu 4, Helsinki: 2 stars (owner Hans Välimäki) http://www.chezdominique.fi/home_cd2?

Demo, Uudenmaankatu 9-11, Helsinki: 1 star (owners Tommi Tuominen and Teemu Aura) http://www.restaurantdemo.fi/demo

Luomo, Vironkatu 8, Helsinki: 1 star (owners Jouni Toivanen and Mika Mattila) http://www.luomo.fi/en/restaurant/

Olo, Kasarmikatu 44, Helsinki: 1 star (owners Pekka Terävä and Petri Lukkarinen) http://www.olo-restaurant.com/home.html

Postres, Eteläesplanadi 8, Helsinki: 1 star (owners Samuli Wirgentius and Jari Liimatta) http://www.postres.fi/

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Bib Gourmand restaurants 2013 are:

Farang, Ainonkatu 3, Helsinki

Gaijin, Bulevardi 6, Helsinki

Grotesk, Ludviginkatu 8-10, Helsinki

Pure Bistro, Pohjoisesplanadi 9, Helsinki (new)

Solna, Solnantie 26, Helsinki

Interesting is that Farang and Gaijin still both have Bid Gourmand (excellent price/quality ratio) logos; both owned by chefs Tomi Björk and Matti Wiberg.  Farang has opened restuarant in Stockholm, must find out the rating. Also interesting is that Grotesk, owned by same chefs as Demo, kept Bid Gourmand logo although it changed it’s style. Update: did not remember to write that PureBistro is owned by Luomu owners! One Michelin star restaurant and one Bib Gourmand restaurant. However, when we vistited PureBistro, we were not so happy about the food.

Restaurant Spis raised also to Michelin Guide, review available https://reijosfood.com/2012/08/10/restaurant-review-spis/





TOP 50 restaurants in Finland

22 11 2012

The 50 Best Restaurants in Finland

Project by Uni One Oy started in 2004 aiming to increase appreciation of Finland’s restaurants by listing the top 50 each year in a handy guide book format and in the newspaper. About 200-300 leading professionals from Finland’s restaurant industry – both chefs and others – are given the chance to vote for the establishment they see as the best. This creates the 50 Best list.

Interesting is that only 2 out of 5 Michelin star restaurants are in TOP 10 in this list https://reijosfood.com/2012/03/14/michelin-star-restaurants-in-finland-2012/

Restaurant Olo has 1 Michelin star which proves they have earned 1st place.  Also Nyt-Insert chose Olo to the second place in their review http://nyt.fi/20121102-nyt-liite-valitsi-nokka-on-helsingin-paras-ravintola/

Restaurant Muru was chosen restaurant of the year 2012 by Finnish Gastronomy Society which also is a proof of  being on top of this list http://www.gastronomit.fi/vuodenravintola.php.

Restaurant Farang leads Restaurant and wine reviews ranking, again right place.

Chez Dominique with 2 Michelin stars also earns to be on top. All other positions you can judge by yourself.

1. Olo, Helsinki

2. Muru, Helsinki

3. Farang, Helsinki (X)

4. Chez Dominique, Helsinki

5. Savoy, Helsinki

6. Gaijin, Helsinki

7. Mami, Turku

8. Chef & Sommelier, Helsinki

9. Bertha, Tampere

10. Sergio’s, Turku

11. Sinne, Porvoo

12. Ateljé Finne, Helsinki

13. Luomo, Helsinki

14. Demo, Helsinki (X)

15. Nokka, Helsinki

16. G.W. Sundmans, Helsinki

17. Smör, Turku

18. Bistro O mat, Kirkkonummi

19. Spis, Helsinki (X)

20. Boulevard Social, Helsinki

21. Tintå, Turku

22. Hella ja Huone, Tampere

23. Kuurna, Helsinki

24. C, Tampere

25. Postres, Helsinki

26. Kosmos, Helsinki

27. Juuri, Helsinki

28. Sea Horse, Helsinki

29. Os, Kuopio

30. Salutorget, Helsinki (X)

31. Näsinneula, Tampere

32. Aito, Helsinki

33. Strindberg, Helsinki (X)

34. Carelia, Helsinki

35. Kolme Kruunua, Helsinki

36. Tertin kartano, Mikkeli

37. Pinella, Turku

38. Musta Lammas, Kuopio

39. Rivoletto, Helsinki

40. Sunn, Helsinki

41. Lupolo, Helsinki

42. Patrona, Helsinki

43. Gastone, Helsinki (X)

44. Teatterin Grilli, Helsinki (X)

45. Pure Bistro, Helsinki (X)

46. Pöllöwaari, Jyväskylä

47. Grotesk, Helsinki

48. Nautical, Maarianhamina

49. Gastropub tuulensuu

50. 1881 Uleåborg

Lots of restaurants to visit…. reviewed restaurants marked with (X)

Ranking by Restaurant and wine reviews (reijosfood.com) can be found https://reijosfood.com/about/





Taste of Helsinki – Part II reviews

17 06 2012

Part II includes reviews of tasted dishes at Taste of Helsinki.

http://www.tasteofhelsinki.fi/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Helsinki-Menu-2012.jpg

Small  disappointment was that none of the restaurants offered fresh fish for main course even though Helsinki is located by the sea. However, all dishes were delicious. Plastic cutlery was understandable, but caused some challenges. Must say that chefs made good job in a hurry. All dishes were well prepared and outlooks were perfect.

Decided to taste for starters Gambas Paris from restaurant Bistro o Mat  Grilled prawns, goat cheese, salad and grilled garlic bread which was excellent. Grill was outside by the restaurant marquee. From restaurant Muru (restaurant of the year 2012) Pate from Sir Lintsi, marinated swamps and red onion compote which was scrumptious, especially sweet onion compote. From Demo (1 Michelin star) ate Cold-smoked salmon and truffle potato pyre, excellent choice. And from Carelia fetched Endive-Aura Gold salad with caramelized walnuts, maybe Aura Gold should have been without alloy.

Chose for main courses from restaurant Farang Crispy pork, palm sugar caramel and rice vinegar which was really crisp but little bit difficult to eat with plastic fork. From restaurant Smör Organic lamb, early potato and ice herb, maybe best of all dishes.

For dessert had Tiramisu from Toscanini and Fraise, strawberries and meringue from Bistro o Mat. Tiramisu is always sweet, Italian restaurant Toscanini is located near Tomi Björks restaurants Gaijin and Boulevard Social. Meringue was tasty, totally different experience one gets in most cases. Must visit Bistro o Mat soon although it is located in Kirkkonummi.

This time reviews are for all dishes, not for different restaurant kitchens. One can not either judge service as food was served over the counter. All dishes provided possibility to relish gourmet food. Because weather was so good open air event succeeded 100%. Only minus was lack of tabels and chairs.

REVIEW: FOOD 4,5/5 (starters)

REVIEW: FOOD 5-/5 (main courses)

REVIEW: FOOD 4+/5 (desserts)





Bar and restaurant Boulevard Social has opened

27 05 2012

Owners of Farang and Gaijin Tomi Björk and Matti Wiberg has opened Boulevard Social on 21st May restaurant.

Restaurant provides flavours from Middle East, Mediterranean and North African kitchens. Chef is Kristian Perkola who worked before at Gaijin. As Farang and Gaijin were honored with Bib Gourmand sign one could expect same quality at Boulevard Social.

Restaurant can serve 70 customers and terrace 30 customers at the same time. Location –  next to restaurant Gaijin.

Examples from the menu: RAS EL HANOUT´ DUCK, BOULEVARD SOCIAL `BOULLABAISE´, GRILLED TIGER PRAWNS OUZO & TARRAGON and LAMB SHOULDER `HARISSA. Menu includes also Finnish dishes, but obviously prepared with Boulevard Social way.

http://boulevardsocial.fi

 





Michelin star restaurants in Finland 2012

14 03 2012

Michelin Guide has updated it’s list of rewarded restaurants. All 5 existing Michelin restaurants kept their stars Chez Dominique in lead with 2 stars. We hoped that Chez Dominique would earn third star, but unfortunately not. Work or even food art of Hans Välimäki would have been worth of it.

Restaurants with Michelin stars are:

Chez Dominique, Rikhardinkatu 4, Helsinki: 2 stars (owner Hans Välimäki) http://www.chezdominique.fi/home_cd2?

Demo, Uudenmaankatu 9-11, Helsinki: 1 star (owners Tommi Tuominen and Teemu Aura) http://www.restaurantdemo.fi/demo

Luomo, Vironkatu 8, Helsinki: 1 star (owners Jouni Toivanen and Mika Mattila) http://www.luomo.fi/en/restaurant/

Olo, Kasarmikatu 44, Helsinki: 1 star (owners Pekka Terävä and Petri Lukkarinen) http://www.olo-restaurant.com/home.html

Postres, Eteläesplanadi 8, Helsinki: 1 star (owners Samuli Wirgentius and Jari Liimatta) http://www.postres.fi/

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Bib Gourmand restaurants are:

Farang, Ainonkatu 3, Helsinki

Gaijin, Bulevardi 6, Helsinki – (new)

Grotesk, Ludviginkatu 8-10, Helsinki

La Table, Lönnrotinkatu 27, Helsinki (new location)

Solna, Solnantie 26, Helsinki

Interesting is that Farang and Gaijin have now both Bid Gourmand (excellent price/quality ratio) logos; both owned by chefs Tomi Björk and Matti Wiberg.  Also interesting is that Grotesk, owned by same chefs as Demo, got Bid Gourmand logo. First time same owners have two restaurants in Michelin Guide.

http://www.viamichelin.com/web/Restaurants#resultSearch@address=&merge=Helsinki&sK=1792&sejour=&michelin=false&arrivaldate=&nights=&people=








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