Roster is a Bar & Restaurant near Market Square opposite to statue of Havis Amanda. New concept replaced restaurants Sasso and Fishmarket in order to provide more trendy and casual way of fine dining. Chef Kari Aihinen and Paul Hickman and part of restaurant Savoy team established the restaurant and as it called Roster Helsinki, one can expect similar concept in some other cities.
You can drink aperitives in the bar before heading to tables upstairs or downstairs for dinner. One option is to book one of the three Chef’s Tables next to open kitchen and watch chef’s preparing food.
What makes Roster Helsinki attractive restaurant, if not already otherwise, is the pricing of wines. Wines are priced with fixed margin, which makes quality wines more affordable. Enjoyed Ned & Henry’s Shiraz 2013 from Hewitson. Usually this wine costs close to 100€ in most restaurants, but “only” 46,40€ in Roster. Wine paired well with all dishes, full-bodied with light spices.
For dinner ordered fish and vegan dishes. Was actually going to order Wagyu BBQ, but beef was fineshed.
To start with you get warm bread and with starters green salad without extra charge.
Fish starter was C.O.D Amanda Lemon verbena seasoned cod, capers and clam crème.
Usually spiced “raw” fishes are salmon and whitefish, but cod suits perfectly for same purpose, when it is prepared like C.o.d Amanda.
Fish main course was Mrs. Pulpo Grilled octopus, Romesco sauce, avocado and chickpeas. Pulpo is difficult to prepare after octopus has been frozen. It becomes soft and loses it’s crispness, which was partly the case in M.r.s Pulpo. However, sauce and add ons were delicious and paired well with octopus, as well as Ned & Henry’s.
Vegan starter was Grilled Salad Grilled baby gem lettuce, tomato, avocado and jalapeno mayonnaise.
The lettuce was too soft, but the dressing, which was replaced by a vinagrette to make the vegan option, saved this dish.
Vegan main course was BOND Special Fried cauliflower, coriander and peanuts.
This is the only vegan option in the menu. A big head of cauliflower covered in too much peanut butter sauce. Not the most creative vegan dish.
Before dinner had visited restaurant terrace and enjoyed lunch. You could choose small dishes one by one but chose to taste all of them Bit’s and Bites. You could also call this tapas or antipasti.
Two type of cheeses, grilled sweet pepper, spiced whitefish, foie gras and sausage/olive bowl were excellent. Dish also included roasted almonds and pop corn, but could have survived without those. Suitable separately with beer, but not so matching with Pinot Noir red wine.
Roster Helsinki is combination of fine dining in casual athmosphere. Dishes are ambitious and their names entertaining.
Overall grade is 4+ because of pricing of wines. That way should be more common and would definately attract customers to explore better wines they would not usually do at restaurants.
REVIEW (FISH): FOOD 4/5 – SERVICE 4+/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4+/5
REVIEW (VEGAN): FOOD 2+/5
REVIEW (LUNCH): FOOD 4,5/5