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





Restaurant review: Strindberg – one of the best views of Esplanade Park (Espa)

27 09 2014

Park Esplanade - reijosfood.com

Strindberg is located in Galleria Esplanad at North Esplanade. Restaurant dining room is at the 2nd floor. The atmosphere at this restaurant is urban, but at the same time pleasantly tranquil.

Sometimes loud discussion might break it, but not too disruptively. On Thursday evening restaurant was almost full booked, which is a proof of popularity.

Strindberg dining room - reijosfood.com

At street level is Strinberg café, very popular among tourists and Helsinki citizens. Just sit down, if you find a table and wait to be served, there is table service available. In the summer time table service applies also terrace, which is usually crowded, if weather is good. Maricafe is behind main cafe; there you can use Marimekko dishes and see Marimekko textiles.

Library bar has become a popular rendez-vous spot for many. Worth a visit too, although you would not dine, because you can observe diners through glass window. For us, most visited bar for glass of wine after shopping or before dinner. There is also lunch spot Bakfickan behind the bar at the open gallery area.

Strindberg library bar - reijosfood.com

If you order sparkling water, you get San Pellegrino, one of our favourites. Bread basket included soft white bread and thin crispbread supplemented with hand made butter. Additional olive oil was brought to the table, because butter included lactose.

Bread at Strindberg - reijosfood.com

For starters had King prawns with sweet pepper mousse and fennel and Tartare of slightly salted lavaret with beetroots and Dijonnaise sauce.

Prawns were tasty as well as portion as a whole. Missed, however, more flavor for mousse because taste of pepper was quite mild. Whitefish tartare was also scrumptious and as beetroot is one of the best roots in Finland, could you ask more? Whitefish roe, egg yolk and white and sauce supplemented perfectly.

King prawns at Strindberg - reijosfood.comLaveret at Strindberg - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Roasted Arctic char with beetroot risotto and tarragon butter and Chargrilled salmon with béarnaise sauce and poached egg .

Arctic char was perfeclty roasted, still some rose color inside the fish. Usually it is cooked too well-done and that ruins the enjoyment. Beetroot risotto matched well with fish, almost sweet, which complemented nicely salty fish.

Salmon dish is one of the classics, which has been on the menu for ages. Main course includes 3 salmon slices and starter 2, otherwise same. Chargrilled salmon is always delicious and if you like bearnaise sauce, this is a dish for you. Asked the sauce in separate bowl, because it might have ruined the taste of fish. Suggest to do that, if you try this portion.

Arctic char at Strindberg - reijosfood.comSalmon at Strindberg - reijosfood.com

For desserts of course one of the classics, French toast (Köyhät Ritarit) and Cloudberry chiboust with cardamom financier.

French toast is traditional dish and sometimes it is still made at homes. With add-on’s it makes your mouth drool, worth to try! Also other dessert was toothsome. The cake in this dish was unfortunately so small, that almost ordered a second similar dish. And Finnish berries; cloudberry, strawberry and blueberry freshned up sweetness.

French toast at Strindberg - reijosfood.conDessert at Strindberg - reijosfood.com

For wine we had some white wine; Chablis la Pierrelée , AC Chablis, La Chablisienne.

Excellent choise for fish dishes, not available at Alko. Also some variation in the enjoyment of white wine as riesling has dominated so long.

Chablis La Pierrelee - reijosfood.com

Strindberg never lets you down when it comes to food. There must have been some extra efforts for service, because it has always been professional, but this time also extremely attentive.

And location at the 2nd floor, if you are able to get window table, completes dining enjoyment. So, remember to ask for window table!

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

http://www.strindberg.fi/en/restaurant

http://www.galleriaesplanad.fi/en/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Restaurant review: Strindberg – one of the best views of Esplanade Park (Espa)

27 09 2014

Park Esplanade - reijosfood.com

Strindberg is located in Galleria Esplanad at North Esplanade. Restaurant dining room is at the 2nd floor. The atmosphere at this restaurant is urban, but at the same time pleasantly tranquil.

Sometimes loud discussion might break it, but not too disruptively. On Thursday evening restaurant was almost full booked, which is a proof of popularity.

Strindberg dining room - reijosfood.com

At street level is Strinberg café, very popular among tourists and Helsinki citizens. Just sit down, if you find a table and wait to be served, there is table service available. In the summer time table service applies also terrace, which is usually crowded, if weather is good. Maricafe is behind main cafe; there you can use Marimekko dishes and see Marimekko textiles.

Library bar has become a popular rendez-vous spot for many. Worth a visit too, although you would not dine, because you can observe diners through glass window. For us, most visited bar for glass of wine after shopping or before dinner. There is also lunch spot Bakfickan behind the bar at the open gallery area.

Strindberg library bar - reijosfood.com

If you order sparkling water, you get San Pellegrino, one of our favourites. Bread basket included soft white bread and thin crispbread supplemented with hand made butter. Additional olive oil was brought to the table, because butter included lactose.

Bread at Strindberg - reijosfood.com

For starters had King prawns with sweet pepper mousse and fennel and Tartare of slightly salted lavaret with beetroots and Dijonnaise sauce.

Prawns were tasty as well as portion as a whole. Missed, however, more flavor for mousse because taste of pepper was quite mild. Whitefish tartare was also scrumptious and as beetroot is one of the best roots in Finland, could you ask more? Whitefish roe, egg yolk and white and sauce supplemented perfectly.

King prawns at Strindberg - reijosfood.comLaveret at Strindberg - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Roasted Arctic char with beetroot risotto and tarragon butter and Chargrilled salmon with béarnaise sauce and poached egg .

Arctic char was perfeclty roasted, still some rose color inside the fish. Usually it is cooked too well-done and that ruins the enjoyment. Beetroot risotto matched well with fish, almost sweet, which complemented nicely salty fish.

Salmon dish is one of the classics, which has been on the menu for ages. Main course includes 3 salmon slices and starter 2, otherwise same. Chargrilled salmon is always delicious and if you like bearnaise sauce, this is a dish for you. Asked the sauce in separate bowl, because it might have ruined the taste of fish. Suggest to do that, if you try this portion.

Arctic char at Strindberg - reijosfood.comSalmon at Strindberg - reijosfood.com

For desserts of course one of the classics, French toast (Köyhät Ritarit) and Cloudberry chiboust with cardamom financier.

French toast is traditional dish and sometimes it is still made at homes. With add-on’s it makes your mouth drool, worth to try! Also other dessert was toothsome. The cake in this dish was unfortunately so small, that almost ordered a second similar dish. And Finnish berries; cloudberry, strawberry and blueberry freshned up sweetness.

French toast at Strindberg - reijosfood.conDessert at Strindberg - reijosfood.com

For wine we had some white wine; Chablis la Pierrelée , AC Chablis, La Chablisienne.

Excellent choise for fish dishes, not available at Alko. Also some variation in the enjoyment of white wine as riesling has dominated so long.

Chablis La Pierrelee - reijosfood.com

Strindberg never lets you down when it comes to food. There must have been some extra efforts for service, because it has always been professional, but this time also extremely attentive.

And location at the 2nd floor, if you are able to get window table, completes dining enjoyment. So, remember to ask for window table!

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

http://www.strindberg.fi/en/restaurant

http://www.galleriaesplanad.fi/en/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Hotel review: Swissotel Tallinn, Estonia

7 09 2014

 

Room with a view at Swissotel Tallinn - reijosfood.com

Five-star hotel Swissotel Tallinn is the highest building in the city, boasting impressive views of the old town and the Baltic Sea. 238 rooms and the facilities of this hotel should leave nothing to be desired and it did not indeed.

Check-in and check-out are quick, one of the most comfortables we have experienced.

ROOMS

We always ask for room in upper floors and our 2nd visit was rewarded with room from 29th floor with quite nice view to Tallinn harbour. Hotel also brought to our surprise a bottle of Laurent-Perrier champagne. What would be a better way to feel welcome.

We stayed at Swiss Executive room, which would had provided access to the Swiss Executive Lounge, which offers a range of special features like complimentary beverages, snacks & newspapers, as well as complimentary meeting space.  Unfortunately did not have time to enjoy the facility at all.

Room is spacious and elegantly decorated. And bathroom well equipped with shower and bathtub.

Laurent-Perrier at Swissotel Tallinn - reijosfood.com

Swissotel Tallinn room - reijosfood.com

Swissotel bathroom

PUBLIC SPACES

Public spaces are actually so exclusive that you could spend all the time at the hotel.

On the 11th floor there is heated indoor pool with Finnish sauna and a state-of-the-art fitness club. Purovel Spa and Sport is the perfect retreat after a long day out, offering a wide selection of treatments, from hydrotherapy to hot stone massages.

Unisex sauna was least attractive because it was quite simple; steam sauna’s suit better to spa’s. Maybe it has been there ealier as it was mentioned on hotel website. But would would be better to bathe in heated pool?

Purovel Spa

Tallinn’s “highest” culinary landmark is at the top of Swissôtel Tallinn, with views far out over the Baltic Sea and the medieval old town. Restoran Horisont and bar offer fine dining and drinks at 30th floor. Restaurant is ranked in 1st place on list of Tallinn best restaurants. Unfortunately we were not able to eat at the restaurant this time either because it was under renovation. Maybe 3rd time we are lucky.

Horisont bar

Cafe Swiss is at the 8th floor serving breakfast buffet (can recommend, lacked only sweet pastries), lunch and dinner. Service at breakfast was polite and professional. You could order extra goodies from waitresses which kitchen would prepare right away.

Cafe Swiss

Lobby includes reception, bar and coffee shop. Same waiters operated both places, service again thoughtful. Easy also just to drop, by if you want to take a peek.

LobbySwissotel lobby bar

Swissotel Tallinn is excellent place to spend long weekend. For 5 star hotel it is also quite affordable. Service is excellent and athmosphere relaxed.

Department store Stockmann is only 150 meters away from the hotel and walk to old town takes about 15 minutes.

REVIEW: ROOM 5-/5 – PUBLIC SPACES 5-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 5/5

Tallinn Hotel – Luxury Hotel Tallinn – Swissotel Tallinn

 





Seafront hot spot terraces in Kaivopuisto, Helsinki

14 08 2014

image

Kaivopuisto (Kaivari), is one of the oldest and best known parks in South Helsinki. The park is on the seafront and in the vicinity operates several cafes and restaurants. Another name for this post could be “Kaivopuisto terrace guide”, but as only 3 terraces have been chosen, more specific name was needed.

It takes only 25 minutes to walk to the first hot spot from Market Square. And if you arrive for one day visit to Helsinki with Tallink Cruise ship from Stockholm, only 20 minutes. But if you get tired before first pit stop, you can drop by at Cafe Ursula, which is the oldest seafront terrace in Kaivopuisto area.

 

Mattolaituri

The first hot spot is Mattolaituri. Mattolaituri (Carpet Pier) name comes from the pier which was, and sometimes still is, used for washing carpets. Otherwise nothing in common, as cafe building is most modern in Helsinki, as well as the terrace.

Mattolaituri is located across from island Uunisaari, in Eastern part of South Kaivopuisto.

Place is one of the few “Moet Ice Imperial hot spots” in Helsinki (link to find all hot spots Discover), which you can also see from the pictures. In the evenings also dancing and once a week movies.

There are several areas for relaxation; roof terrace, table area and deck chairs. Less queues in busiest times due to 2 serving desks.

Drinks: champagnes, especially Moet & Chandon and wines

Food: snacks or salad, not the main focus

Opening hours: 09.00AM – 02.00AM, open from MayDay to about end of September

Moet Ice Imperial at Mattolaituri - reijosfood.comMattolaituri - reijosfood.comMattolaituri in Kaivopuisto - reijosfood.comMattolaituri in Kaivopuisto - reijosfood.comMattolaituri_II - reijosfood.comMoet at Mattolaituri - reijosfood.com

Mattolaituri – Helsinki, Finland – Ravintola | Facebook

 

Cafe Carusel

Cafe Carusel is next hot spot locating across from islands Sirpalesaari, Liuskaluoto and Liuskasaari. It was opened already in mid 90’s and was at that time phenomenom.

Cafe/restaurant is open all-year-round as it has spacious interior. You can relax inside, if it rains or on sun beds or at table area. And if it happens to rain, choose Cafe Carusel. Also widest menu.

Drinks: beer, cider, wines, special coffees

Food: pizzas, salads, burgers, sandwiches, widest menu of the 3 hot spots

Opening hours: 09.00AM – 22.00PM every day, all year round

Cava at Carusel - reijosfood.comCafe Carusel - reijosfood.comSun beds at Carusel - reijosfood.comCafe Carusel - reijosfood.com

Cafe Carusel – Helsinki, Finland – Kahvila | Facebook

 

Birgitta

Birgitta Hernesaari, the newcomer, which was opened this summer, is third hot spot. This cafe is most rough-looking as exterior-walls seem to be burned.

Cafe is located almost in Hernesaari, which is the westernmost area in Kaivopuisto and near the new beach. You will see lot’s of cruise passengers from ship’s stopping for the day in Hernesaari port. Last time 1/3 of the customers were from the United States.

During busiest time the longest waiting time for order submission. Birgitta is also smallest from these 3 terraces.

Drinks: soft drinks, beer, video, wines

Food: speciality is burger grilled in charcoal grill, salads and sandwiches

Opening hours: 09.00AM – 22.00PM every day, not yet sure if cafe is open all year round

Refreshments at Birgitta - reijosfood.comBirgitta Hernesaari - reijosfood.comBirgitta - reijosfood.comBrunch at Birgitta - reijosfood.com

Birgitta Hernesaari – Kahvila | Facebook

So, if you visit Helsinki and like to relax on terraces, not just settle for hanging in downtown cafes and terraces. Walk or take a tram number 2 from Market Square to Kaivopuisto.





Wine review: Champagne Moet Ice Imperial

15 09 2013

Moet Ice Imperial - reijosfood.com

Champagne Moet Ice Imperial with ice, mint leaves and lime peels; is it champagne at all or just nine-days’ wonder? On Mattolaituri it is a relevant question.

If Finnish summer continues and you can still relax in September on the “beach”, Mattolaituri has “one”, you must take full advantage of it. And what would be the better place than Mattolaituri to taste some Moet Ice Imperial, champagne which breaks the traditions.

Mattolaituri is situated in Kaivopuisto and open only in the summer time. Is has become most popular cafe-bar in Helsinki on sunny days. The name Mattolaituri (Carpet pier) comes from old tradition, when Southern Helsinki residents used to wash in sea water their carpets on the piers.

Mattolaituri - reijosfood.comMattolaituri_II - reijosfood.com

Moet Ice Imperial includes only 10-20% Chardonnay. Other grapes are Pinot Noir 40-50% and Pinot Meunier 30-40%. Although this mixture tells something about the wines nature, champagne seeks with other elements dignified but relaxed athmosphere.

THE LOOK

First of all white bottle, set of white dishes and not so typical champagne glasses makes champagne experience look precious.

Look of wine is golden but it changes lighter depending on the amount of ice and flavors; mint leaves and lime.

Ice Imperial - reijosfood.comWine - reijosfood.com

THE NOSE

You can notice that wine is medium-dry but it does not make sense to evaluate Moet Ice Imperial the same way as other wines. After adding ice and flavors scent changes to oriental.

THE TASTE

Because champagne is medium-dry taste is really fruity. Sweetness dominates too much. With ice, mint and lime zest it is summer drink, not champagne. Taste changes from icy to spicy when drink in a class lessens. You might not like mint leaves or lime zest in your mouth after finishing the drink. Again, no sense to evaluate like normal champagnes.

Moet Ice Imperial is not intended for drinking as such, it requires to be flavored. With tasted combination it is drinkable like Cava Sangria which, I think, is better if prepared properly. Champagne suits for aperitif but difficult to find food which pairs with medium-dry champagne which is flavored.

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 2-/5 – BANG FOR THE BUG 0/+++ (without ice and accompaniments)

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 3+/5 – BANG FOR THE BUG +/+++ (with ice and accompaniments)

Ice Imperial . reijosfood.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mattolaituri/166211710057843

http://us.moet.com/Our-Champagnes/Moet-Ice-Imperial





Restaurant review: Muru

26 07 2013

Restaurant Muru

Muru, most popular fine dining bistro in Helsinki and Finland?

Restaurant Muru is a small bistro style restaurant located at Fredrikinkatu 41, Helsinki. Muru’s idea is to offer fresh food from the ingredients available daily without stiffness. Therefore menu is written only on blackboard on the wall and you just let the waiters and waitresses guide you.

You have to choose from 4 available starting times for dinner, first one at 5PM. Means that you have to be ready in 2 1/2 hours but if you take menu of the day, period of time is almost too short.

Muru menu

Since opening restaurant Muru has had tables reserved 2-3 months beforehand especially on Fridays and Saturdays. Also on Tuesday when we dined restaurant was full. Muru was chosen restaurant of the year 2011 which of course added popularity and in addition, chef’s and sommeliers are celebrities in Finland hosting food programs in TV. When we dined Henri Alen was in the kitchen and Samuil Angelov served in the dining room.

Decided to order menu of the day with wine pairings.  First we were served fresh bread with olive-artichoke tapenade which had a little bit too much citrus flavor.

Muru bread

For starter restaurant served Salmon-Roach ceviche with avocado creme which was tasty but maybe again a little bit too much flavor of citrus and acidity. Roach is Finnish white meated small fish which you seldom get in restaurants; 5 points for using it. Avocado creme softened acidity and was brilliant idea to combine with ceviche.

Salmon-roach chevice

For main courses we had Veal entrecote with vegetables, chanterelles and hollandaise sauce and Roasted whitefish with globe artichoke, scalded tomatoes and fish broth.

Veal was tender and did not include fat as entrecote usually does. Sauce suited well with meat and fresh vegetables completed portion, no need for some potato serving.

Whitefish was roasted perfectly and broth suited well creating the impression of bouillabaisse.

veal entrecoteWhitefish

18 months old Gouda cheese was served before dessert with Cherry compote. As cheese was not so salty compote did not need to be so sweet. Quite simple but worked well.

Cheese in Muru

For dessert menu included Cake made from almond flour, berry sauce and ice-cream or sorbet. Delicious ensamble which melted in your mouth, could have eaten at least three of these portions. You could find the taste of almond which of course was a big plus.

Cake

Can tell only briefly about the wines because did not write down the names except one.

Ciclope Rosso Toscano 2008 was served with the veal and it comes from Italy, Candialle winery owned by Finnish Jaakko Peränen. Paired well with meat and actually with gouda but because of amount of Merlot grape 50% would not recommend for aperitif. Unfotunately not available in Alko’s.

For ceviche, Italian white wine. For fish the choise was Savignon Blanc which is not our favourite grape. With dessert had glass of sweet wine, which paired perfectly with cake.

WinesRed wine

No wonder Muru is popular. Excellent food and service plus cozy and relaxed athmosphere. If wines would be more affordable overall grade would be 5 and exceed food and service grades also partly because of unique business idea.

However, with these points, Muru goes directly to shared first place 2013. Rankings can be found on page Restaurant Reviews.

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

http://www.murudining.fi/ravintola/in-english

http://www.candialle.com/english/winery.html

PS. Name Muru means Sugar or Crumb in English.

MuruMuru








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