Restaurant review: Havis – Christmas Eve buffet 2014 + MERRY CHRISTMAS!

25 12 2014

Havis window table - reijosfood.com

Helsinki closes on Christmas Eve afternoon. Only few restaurants are open and most of them are hotel restaurants like Havis, which serves hotel Haven guests.

Winter came suddenly although one week ago all weather forecasts knew that there would be “black” Christmas. Snow makes Christmas atmosphere more real (if you happen to like snow)

Aperitives at Havis - reijosfood.com

Havis Christmas Eve buffet menu includes traditional Finnish Christmas dishes, even Christmas ham is available. Turkey has taken some place from ham, but not much. Herrings, roes and salted salmon or salted whitefish are must on Finnish Christmas table.

Havis Christmas Eve buffet menu - reijosfood.com

Buffet was not as generous as at restaurant Pirate (see previous post). However, each dish was prepared carefully and they were tasty.

Even Christmas ham tasted better than usually. Ham was partly smoked which made the taste delicious. Roe and salted salmon with side dishes were as they should be.

Food is prepared at open kitchen which is located in dining room Kitchen (of course).

Christmas ham at Havis - reijosfood.com

Buffet at Havis - reijosfood.com

Havis kitchen - reijosfood.com

Main courses were served to the tables. You could choose from Smoked salmon or Braised lamb shoulder. We ordered salmon which was one of the best salmon dishes ever eaten. Cooking time for fish was perfect and side dishes, carrot puree, small roasted potatoes and Hollandaise sauce paired brilliantly with fish.

Salmon at Havis - reijosfood.com

And dessert Bundt cake with ice-cream was scrumptious. Cake was spiced with Christmas and it matched brilliantly with apple ice-cream.

Dessert at Havis - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Havis is one of our favourite restaurants. We usually prefer to dine at dining room Havis, because it mirrors best the origins of Havis as you can see in the picture on the wall.

Restaurant was almost full all the time and most diners were hotel guests.

Havis - reijosfood.com

And of course we always ask for window table, which allows us to observe bustle at Market Square and near Old Market Hall. But on Christmas Eve no one rushes anymore anywhere. It is time for relaxing and enjoying good food and company.

You should visit hotel Haven bar at the 2nd floor. It is worth of seeing not only because of wide selection of drinks. It is decorated as member of Small Luxury hotels of the World should be.

Hotel Haven - reijosfood.com

Food was excellent due to main course and dessert. Because Havis is open also on Christmas time it earns high grade.

We had Veuve Clicquot and Vodka Martinis for aperitif. Best way to start Christmas dinner as you had already had some mulled wine earlier.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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

CHRISTMAS EVE MENU | Menu.

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Restaurant review: Yume – second visit 2014

7 11 2014
Drink at Yume - reijosfood.com

Bramble

Restaurant Yume is part of Kämp Group, which also operates luxury hotel Kämp. Yume serves Asian flavours in a modern decor, and is located in the same building as hotel Kämp. Inspired by the Jack Yoss Experience pop up restaurant which was at Yume in July 2012, restaurant’s menu changed and offers today a wide variety of modern Asian food.

Our first visit was in February when we enjoyed tasting menu. This time decided to try dishes on the a la carte list. Unfortunately whitefish was not there anymore; it was the best dish last time from the menu.

Restaurant Yume - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Yume

 

Before ordering food had to relax with aperitives. Chose Bramble Gin, bramble (blackberry) and lemon and Yume Roayl. With the amount of ice, Bramble drink almost dissappeared, but it was excellent apritif to start with. Royal included some herb, can not remember anymore which one. You could not notice bouquet of herb but the taste yes.

Drinks at Yume - reijosfood.com

For starters we ordered Thai pork ribs Pork ribs, herb salad and thai-chili sauce and Whitefish Kinilaw Whitefish, lime and chili.

Portion of ribs was huge and propably idea was to share it. But after tasting, I think no-one wants to share it. One of the best pork ribs dishes ever eaten. Last time one tiny setback was that food was not so spicy as we would like it to be, especially Asian. Now everything was in harmony including herbs, chili and sweetnes; perfect combination. And no grease at all around bones.

Whitefish was marinated with lime and it was partially raw matured. You must like lots of citrus taste and of course chili, if you order this. Lavaret or whitefish is one of the best Finnish fishes to prepare like this.

Pork ribs at Yume - reijosfood.comWhite fish at Yume - reijosfood.com

For main courses we had Cod and Crispy Noodles Fried cod, noodles and spicy ginger sauce and Salmon Teriyaki Roasted salmon and sweet teriayki sauce.

Cod is excellent fish, a little bit under valued. If there had been less deep frying, this portion would have been really delicious. Dish was fine tuned due to our request and sauce was luscious.

Unfortunately salmon was a little bit over roasted but side dishes, thai salad and sauce, matched brilliantly with the fish.

Cod at Yume - reijosfood.comSalmon at Yume - reijosfood.com

For wine we chose Weingut Weegmüller, Riesling Trocken 2012, Pfalz, Germany. Nice basic riesling, not so typical size, 1 liter.

As starters and main courses were quite heavy, we settled for espresso and tea. Tea pot was matching with Yume style.

Tea pot at Yume - reijosfood.com

Interesting detail is the location of extra cutlery. They were hidden in a small box under the table, but only on one side.

Cutlery at Yume - reijosfood.comYume - reijosfood.comYume dining room - reijosfood.com

Yume is one of the best “gourmet” Asian cuisine restaurants in Helsinki. As it is in the center of the city, next door to Hotel Kämp, it’s location is also perfect. Would have liked to give 4 1/2 for food, but main courses are most important part of dinner. Clear improvement was more use of spices, herbs and chili.

Modern rhythm music is not too loud and most of the tables are not thick on the ground, which makes discussion possible. Service was again professional as expected.

Next time, which will definately come, we shall try Hot Stone dishes. Scent in the restaurant is attractive due to several sizzling stones on the tables. It is not disruptive at all, which may be the case in some restaurants with the same idea.

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

http://ravintolayume.fi/en/





Hotel review: AC Hotel Malaga Palacio

24 09 2014

Rooftop pool - reijosfood.com

Hotel AC Palacio in Malaga is part of Marriot hotel chain. The location between the Málaga Cathedral and the Paseo del Parque, and its spectacular views of the port, make this hotel one of the must stay hotels. Hotel has 214 rooms and was renovated 2007.

Hotel AC Malaga Palacio - reijosfood.com

ROOM

We chose to stay at AC Superior Room with sea view and balcony. No doubt the view is spectacular.

Room was basically fine and decorated with wooden interior.

Had some trouble with bathroom, as we had to wait for light bulb change quite a long time, although lady in the reception promised, it would be done during the same afternoon. We even removed “Do not disturb” sign, as she said that no one would come, if it would hang on the door. So we called next day again as no one has visited our room. Then the pipe under the sink began to leak and it had to be replaced. Quite a lot disturbance for 4 nights stay….

imageView from AC Malaga Palacio room - reijosfood.comView from Ac Malaga Palacio - reijosfood.comRoom at AC Malaga Palacio - reijosfood.comHotel room at AC Palacio in Malaga - reijosfood.comBathroom at AC Palacio - reijosfood.com

PUBLIC SPACES

The fifteenth-floor Ático Bar & Restaurant on the terrace of the Hotel AC Málaga Palacio, is for use in both summer and winter times thanks to its panoramic glass space. A entity where you can enjoy a dinner or have a drink. From its terrace you can enjoy stunning views of the city, especially the port and the Paseo del Parque. Reservation is required and it can also be rented for private events. In this case, the catering service and bar located on the first floor will be available for our customers.
 Atico restaurant - reijosfood.com
Consequently, the restaurant and its terrace may be closed certain days. During our stay there were bachelor party and wedding party. Pool area is anyway available all the time and in the summer evenings it is quite noisy.
Atico terrace - reijosfood.comLunch at Atico Bar - reijosfood.com

Atico Bar - reijosfood.com

Outdoor pool at 15th floor is perfect place to relax after walking around the city. Atico restaurant & bar services can be utilized at the pool area, no need to starve.

Below you can also see La Piscina Lounge at 8th floor, which is part of Hotel Molina Lario. Last time we stayed in that hotel, see review by using search.

Rooftop pool - reijosfood.com

Rooftop pool at AC Malaga Palacio - reijosfood.comPool at AC Malaga Palacio . reijosfood.com

La Piscina Lounge - reijosfood.com
Breakfast is at the 2nd floor. It is not so versatile as in many similar hotels, actually only tomatoes for vegetables.
Lobby area is to the right from reception. Same furnitures as in all AC hotels, for instance Barcelona chairs.
One hint concerning elevators; there are three main elevators which are often reserved during rush hours. There is one elevator, which is partly hidden. That is usually free, but it does not go to the 15th floor, where Atico Bar & Restaurant as well as pool are located. Take that anyway and use stairs from 13th to 15th floor. We used that elavator also during breakfast times.
AC Palacio - lobby reijosfood.com
AC Malaga Palacio lobby - reijosfood.com
If you like to keep-fit, you can of course jog along the beach promenade.
However, hotel has small gym, which is equipped with cardiovascular equipment and weights.
Gym at AC Malaga Palacio - reijosfood.com

Mobile check-in and check-out is extremely customer friendly service. With Marriot apps you can check-in 24 hours earlier, choose check-in time and you get notification, when you can pick up the room key. As we arrived early at 11.00, we were able to get room with the help of this brilliant system.

Without two maintenance operations in our room, grade for room would have been 4. 15th floor Atico Bar & restaurant and pool area are definately worth to see and visit although you would not stay at the hotel.

View from Atico bar - reijosfood.com

REVIEW: ROOM 4-/5 – PUBLIC SPACES 4+/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4+/5
 




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

 





Hotel review: Regatta – boutique hotel in Hanko, Finland

23 08 2014

 

Moet Ice Imperial at hotel Regatta - reijosfood.com

Regatta Hotel is a modern boutique hotel located in Hanko in the Finnish architect Lars Sonck planned Art Nouveau building from 1898. There have always been hotel business in the famous cultural building and in 2012 the hotel opened again after a complete renovation.

Hotel Regatta - reijosfood.com

Hotel Regatta has 49 different rooms, including 2 single rooms, 45 double rooms and 2 suites (Regatta Suite and Lars Sonck Suite). Each room has its own air conditioning, safe, LCD- TV film- and information-system, internal phone, kettle and hairdryer. The rooms are on the first to fourth floor and accessible by elevator or by one of the two staircases.

This was our 2nd visit to Regatta, so everything was already familiar to us.

ROOM

We had Superior Plus room on the 4th floor with a nice view to the sea. Room itself was modern and cozy. In the summer small fridge would be useful, as there was no mini bar either. Bathroom was small, too small for this type of room. But same room level last time and the bathroom was superb. Take a look at yellow bath tube, which we expected to see also this time.

Hotel Regatta Superior Plus room - reijosfood.comAnna Codorniu Blanc de Blancs - reijosfood.comRegatta room with a view - reijosfood.comRegatta room 403 bathroom - reijosfood.com Regatta bathroom - reijosfood.com

PUBLIC SPACES

In the summer terraces are best part of the public spaces. Patio terrrace especially with cozy chairs tempts you for glass of champagne. Terrace by the street is also relaxing, but unfortunately had one of the worst rose wines ever.

Hotel does not have own dinner restaurant, as there are several nice restaurants nearby. In the winter time that might be deficiency, but in the summer you want to eat at some of the restaurants by the sea.

Hotel Regatta patio terrace - reijosfood.comHotel Regatta terrace - reijosfood.com

Hotel Regatta is the the best hotel or accomodation place in Hanko. Before it was renovated there was a big gap in that business. Only thing what I miss is the swimming pool, which was in front of the original hotel Regatta several years ago. The sea is 50 meters away but hotel swimming pool would complete luxury.

Hotel Regatta in Hanko - reijosfood.com

With fridge and same bathroom as last time, room would have been 5+. As there is only breakfast room and terraces, public spaces is close to 4.

But as the building is nicely built and athmosphere is luxorius with BMW test drive opportunity not forgetting local standards, overall grade is close to 5.

Must stay, if visiting Hanko.

REVIEW: ROOM 4+/5 – PUBLIC SPACES 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 5-/5

Hotel Regatta | Ajatonta nautintoa – ympäri vuoden





Hotel Manta of Helsinki – built around the statue of Havis Amanda

16 08 2014

Hotel Manta - reijosfood.com

Hotel Manta of Helsinki is a hotel room built around the statue of Manta in Market Square. The space designed by Tatshu Nishi serves as a hotel room by night, and as an open exhibition space during the day. The work not only creates a new surrealist setting for the monument, it offers a new perspective on the statue. Manta can now be met at eye level; also privately during the nights, if you were able to book the room.

Statue of Havis Amanda - reijosfood.com

The project is produced by the Helsinki Art Museum and it is part of the Helsinki Festival programme. In cooperation with Museum of Finnish Architecture and Design Museum. The work is supported by The Cenetary Foundation of the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design.

As visiting times during Helsinki Festival are between 11.30 – 17.30, cleaning up must be made in hurry. The cost for visit is 3€.

Cleaning of Hotel Manta - reijosfood.com

Hotel Manta of Helsinki was opened on the 15th of August and waiting for the first customer must have been exciting.

Hotel room was sold out in a minute, which is not surprising. Being part of art work must be fascinating. And price for night is not expensive, 130€. But of course without breakfast, which you can enjoy after checking out for instance at Market Square cafes.

Hotel Manta - reijosfood.com

Because of daily visiting hours, check-in can not be before 18.00 and check-out has to be made before 11.00.

Windows without curtains ensure that statue of Manta is visible all the time.

Hotel Manta of Helsinki - reijosfood.comHotel Manta of Helsinki - reijosfood.com

The statue is in the middle of the hotel room and actually splits twin bed. It sort of stands between the pillows.

Let’s see what is the condition of statue of Manta after Helsinki Festival celebrations will end. They will take two months.

Behind the link is also web camera pictures from past days.

Hotel Manta of Helsinki.





Restaurant review: Pöllöwaari (Jyväskylä)

22 07 2014

Riesling at Pöllöwaari - reijosfood.com

Boutique hotel Yöpuu in Jyväskylä, Finland is located in historic building which was built 1928. In the same building operates fine dining restaurant Pöllöwaari, where we dined during our stay at the hotel.

Restaurant has two dining hall’s and private cabinets. You could also eat at the small terrace outside.

Pöllöwaari dining room - reijosfood.comPöllöwaari terrace - reijosfood.com

Restaurant concept includes Winebar, where we tasted some wines a year ago. Great experience (https://reijosfood.com/2013/08/08/wine-tasting-without-advance-booking/). Nice “after taste” from that visit was the reason, why we decided to stay in this privately owned hotel instead of chain ones (hotel review coming later).

You could enjoy one of the three tasting menus like “Tour of the land” or “Voyage of the senses” depending on how many portions you would like to eat.

We ordered from a la carte list first starters and main courses.  The dinner started with delicious greetings from the kitchen. As you can see from the cover plate, restaurant uses Iittala “Taika” set of dishes.

Iittala Taika plate at Pöllöwaari - reijosfood.com

Kitchen's greetings at Pöllöwaari - reijosfood.com

For starters we ordered Whitefish & black currant with cucumber and sour cream and Lobster & cherry tomato with pumpkin seed and chervil.

Take a look at those portions, like art?! Whitefish had been colored with blueberry and taste of berries was perfect with black currant. There was also whitefish roe on the plate which is one of the best Finnish roes.

Warm lobster made another starter extravagant and it it really tasted like it. There was also lobster inside warm croquet. One of the best starters ever eaten.

Whitefish starter at Pöllöwaari - reijosfood.comLobster starter at Pöllöwaari - reijosfood.com

Main courses were Pike-perch & potato with celery, pea and lemon and Flounder & scallop with orange, sea sorrel and sparkling wine.

Pöllöwaari had not been able to get fresh pike-perch and it served whitefish instead. Lemon was actually hollandaise sauce which was excellent. Whitefish was a little bit overcooked but fish skin was eatable as it was enough crispy.

Sea sorrel is rare side dish and new for us.  Portion included quite a lot cauliflower which was not mentioned in the name of dish. Should have because the amount of it was 10 times more than sea sorrel. Disussed about that with head waitress, but maybe she did not understand our message. Scallop was fried as it should be, not overcooked.

Whitefish at Pöllöwaari - reijosfood.comFish at Pöllöwaari - reijosfood.com

For desserts we ordered Cranberry & blond chocolate with rye and rosemary and Lemon & meringue with limoncello and curd.

Cranberry mousse seems to smile waiting for someone to eat it. Half sweet, 1/4 salty and 1/4 bitter; excellent combination. Lemon dessert was scrumptious, not much more to say.

Dessert at Pöllöwaari - reijosfood.comDessert at Pöllöwaari - reijosfood.com

Restaurant uses lot’s of herbs. At the terrace there are boxes chef’s visit regularly. A proofpoint of fresh herbs chef’s grow by themselves.

Herbs at Pöllöwaari terrace - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Pöllöwaari is fine dining restaurant worth to try. Most of the portion names follow the trend; two main food ingredients named. Usually no more explantions but Pöllöwaari tried to give some more information by mentioning 2-3 other ingredients. This is difficult because you can not not name all but they should be well chosen. The discussion about sea morrel and cauliflower was one example.

Service was precious, maybe a little bit rigid. When dishes were brought to the table, contents were explained precisely.

From wine list, which included excellent cellar wines, we chose Domaines Schlumberger Riesling Grand Cru Kessler 2008. Golden yellow aromatic wine which paired well with fish dishes. Unfortunately not available Alko’s regarding to waitress.

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

http://www.hotelliyopuu.fi/en/3/2/Restaurant

 








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