Restaurant review: Samsara (Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Spain)

3 03 2018

Usually write about restaurants in Helsinki, Finland, but if find noteworthy spot somewhere else, review ends up here. Gran Canaria is one of the most holiday destinations, especially the south part. Most of the restaurants do not differ so much from each other and you can similar food from each restaurant. Some try to be a little fancier, maybe the the fanciest are at the hotels.

Restaurant Samsara in Costa Meloneras is hidden gem or not because it is so popular. It’s location is interesting, one could not guess from outside that in that worn building there is a fusion cuisine spacious restaurant with it’s own style. Decoration comes from Asia, buddha style dominating.

The idea is to share portions, dishes are not classified to starters and main courses. If you decide to eat one dish by yourself, there is not room for so called starter.

To start the dinner with, Samsara served Samosas for apetizers both times. Delicious snack is a nice bridge for courses you are waiting for. There will also be a small white roll, which is not needed and actually it does not fit in to the ensamble.

First visit dishes were “fish lasagne” POUPIETE DE LENGUADO Y SALMON AHUMADO CON CREMA DE LANGOSTA ORIENTAL and FILETES DE TOFU ENROLLADOS CON HOJA DE ESPINACA EN SALSA DE SETA SHITAKE.

“Lasagne” was tasty but as waiter said it was not so exotic and spicy as many other dishes. Wanted to try how two fishes, salmon and cod, paired with cheese. Interesting experience!

Tofu replaced turkey in vegan version of this dish. Dish was tasty and tofu cooked crispy.

For wine ordered Mas de Quince from bodegas Piedemonte. Winery is located in the town of Olite in Navarra, Spain of course. It was founded in 1992. The red varieties grown are: garnacha, tempranillo, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Wine was created from grapes sourced from more than 15 year old vineyards, with an average yield of 4000 kg/ha. Color was dark ruby and taste balanced with smooth tannins.

When visiting second time ordered SOLOMILLO CON CURRY PANANG and VERDURAS SALTEADAS CON CURRY DE MATSUMAN Y LECHE DE COCO ACOMPAÑADO DE ARROZ JAZMIN.

Tenderloin in curry sauce with vegetables and cashew nuts was bulls eye. Spicy and sweet sauce as well as soft, crispy pieces of meat made this dish excellent.

Vegan version of curry was not so spicy as expected but propably for many it was enough strong. Delicious dish and of course big portion.

Principe de Viana Edition Limitade was the wine we enjoyed during second visit. Grapes come from different wineyards and they are Tempranillo 25% Plot “El Carrascal”, Merlot 50% Plot “El Crucero” and Cabernet Sauvignon 25% Plot “La Muga”. It has been aged in 225-litre oak barrels for 14 months. Wine has deep ruby red colour. Taste is round and well-structured, dark berries and fruits with hints of vanilla.

When you enter to restaurant by climbing the stairs, you first see giant statue. Outside there is chilling area for enjoying drinks. There is also few tables for dining but winter time sometimes might be to cold to eat outside.

Indoor you can find different spaces. Dining rooms are decorated with sculptures, pictures, small items and all are more or less looking like there were brought from Asia or India.

 

Samsara serves some spicy dishes, but all of them are kind of pieces of art. Serving plates, bowls or trays are huge due to size of portions. One speciality is desserts, one can beforehand order cake for birthday party or for other celebration.

Service is propably the best in Costa Meloneras, many waiters and waitresses are ready to to serve.

Restaurant is open only in evenings and it is fully booked almost all the time. Therefore if you want to visit it, make your reservation enough early. They might ask to re-confirm it, but it is worth of it.

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

http://www.samsara-gc.com/indexe.html





Wine review: Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2017 and Albert Bichot Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau 2017

17 11 2017

 

Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. Wine is released for sale on the third Thursday of November. “Beaujolais Nouveau Day” used to see heavy marketing, with races to get the first bottles to different markets around the globe. But not any more, even labels seem to be same

The current release practice is to ship the wine ahead of the third Thursday of November, and release it to the local markets at 00.01 AM local time. In Finland Alko, monopoly company selling wines and alcohol, starts selling these wines at 09.00 on Thursday 16th November, 2017.

This year wines available from Alko were Albert Bichot Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau and Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau. So no changes compared to last year.

 

THE LOOK

Albert Bichot did not have time to renew label? One fun part are the labels which are colorful and creative. Luckily Georges Duboeuf did not dissappoint.

Both wines are almost violet, blue-reddish like young wines always are. But I think this year they are darker than last year.

THE NOSE

Fruity, even sweet aroma especially when using tasting glass. Rasberry and fruit candy scent came in to the nose from both wines.

It seems that Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau has more deep bouquet again.

THE TASTE

Young, light fruity wines. Berries dominate, but on the other hand taste is skinny. Aroma is better than taste, but with street food and pizzas, both wines pair basically ok.

Facts:

                             Georges Duboeuf                                        Albert Bichot
Alcohol:        13,00 %                                             13,00 %
Acidity:         5,2 g/l                                               5,5 g/l
Energy:         80 kcal / 100 ml (280 kJ / 100 ml)   70 kcal / 100 ml (290 kJ / 100 ml)

 

Albert Bichot cost 0,50€ more, why? Same label as last year, more modest taste.

 

REVIEW:

Georges Duboeuf  OVERALL GRADE 3,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++

Albert Bichot OVERALL GRADE 3/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK +/+++





Wine review: Matsu El Recio

16 07 2017

 

First time I saw this kind of a “hilarious” series of Spanish red wines, was couple of years ago at some wine fair in Helsinki. Already then I took the cards of the wines to study them more closely later.

Several times have ordered basic Matsu El Picaro in restaurants and it has always been enoyable. Medium-bodied, almost full bodied and pairs nicely with meny dishes. Therefore expectations for Matsu El Recio were maybe to high.

Matsu wines come from an area called Toro with very favourable conditions for obtaining a good quality grape. The climate in this area is a continental climate with an Atlantic influence. It is an area that experiences extreme temperature changes, reaching 11 degrees below zero in winter and 37 degrees in summer. There is also a considerable temperature contrast between night and day, which favours an optimum maturation of the grape. In addition, the annual rainfall is very low, so the risk of diseases appearing is also very low and therefore grapes grow in a perfectly healthy state.

Vineyards produce the Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo) variety; between 80 and 100 years of age and have a very low yield per vine.

THE LOOK

What was attracted my interest, was the label. Or actually series of labels. In this wine there is a middle aged man.

Color of the wine is quite deep red but not as brownish as I expected-

THE NOSE

Ripe plum, cranberry and sour cherry. Quite mild, actually difficult to find anything, but somhow acidity came through.

THE TASTE

Regarding to notes, wine should be full-bodied, but this one was not. Would say it medium-bodied. And acidity and tannins dominated also in taste as well noticed in bouquet. Also spiciness was obvious. Not my favourite.

 


 

Must say that this Matsu El Recio was dissappointment. I tried to find some wine error, acidity maybe was, but could not actually identify. Cork was ok also. Maybe it is just so, that this wine is too light and blend for my taste.

However, suggest to try El Picaro which is also affordable. I am now wondering if I shall try El Viejo at all. Any experience?

Facts:

Alcohol: 14,5% by volume
Acidity: 4,4 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal/100 ml
Closure: Natural cork

 

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 2/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK + / +++

http://bodegamatsu.com/en/





Wine review: Rouge de Carsin Suomi Finland 100 2014

6 03 2017

Finland’s big year 2017

Finland became an independent state on 6 December 1917. The newly born state was willed into being by the Finns after a long struggle. In spite of hard times, the Finnish people have for almost a hundred years engaged in the building of their country and making decisions together. Now the Finns are leading their country into a new century with courage and determination.

The centenary of Finland’s independence in 2017 will be the most significant commemorative year for this generation of Finns. The centenary emphasises Finland’s strengths, such as equality and democracy by offering Finns and friends of Finland diverse and international centenary programme in Finland and abroad. The centenary year provides opportunities to better understand the past, experience the jubilee together and set the course for Finland’s future success.

The official Finland 100 corporate partners, products and services and the centenary projects of different companies. When it comes to wines, Chateau Carsin from Bordeaux, France is the one of the 2 partners.

In early 1990, Château Carsin was purchased by Finnish wine enthusiasts, the Berglund family. At the same time New World wines were becoming strong in the markets. In order to be competitive, a totally modern winery was ordered from Australia. With that investment winery is able to compete against other French producers.

Winery has used in production traditional Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

THE LOOK

Suomi Finland 100 logo is on the label as a proof of partnership.

For quite young wine, color is already dark red. When you circulate the glass, wine flows down, as it would do when you observe older wines.

THE NOSE

Bouquet is pleasant, actually quite intense compared to the taste. Spicy with some berries like blackberry.

THE TASTE

Taste reveals that you are having quite young wine in your hands. Medium-bodied with soft tannins.

 

Facts:

Alcohol: 13,5% by volume
Acidity: 5,1 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal/100 ml
Closure: natural cork

 

There is also white wine, Blanc de Carsin 2015, available. As a friend of red wines, might not have time to taste it.

Suomi Finland wines are of course marketed in Finland, but if you find them somewhere else, please let me know.

 

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 4/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++ / +++

http://carsin.com/suomi100/

 

 





Wine review: Farnito Camponibbio 2009

10 02 2017

*
In 1967, Giovanni Carlo Sacchet and Antonio Mario Zaccheo set out to interesting wine and produce a Chianti Classico that it would gain international renown. Carpineto wines are the result of advanced scientific and enological processes and techniques which respect the territorial integrity of the land. Over 95% of the Carpineto production is of red wines, the majorityof which are wines which age 3+ years before reaching the market for sale, with current figures at over 3 million bottles of wine being sold yearly.

“Camponibbio” is a Vineyard located in the southern part of our Vino Nobile estate, just outside the town of Chianciano Terme, Siena. This vineyard is subdivided into various plots, each with its own grape varietal, clone and rootstock that best match the varying soil types. During each harvest winery selects the fruit from the best performing vineyard plots, given the weather conditions of that vintage.  The grape composition of each vintage, therefore, is made of varying percentages of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and even Merlot, which is not mentioned on the back label of the bottle.

THE LOOK

Style of label is old and it has kind of map of wineyard.

Color of the wine is intense, deep, ruby red with garnet highlights. Vintage 2009 does not yet provide hints of brownish color.

THE NOSE

First light but later intense, found plums, berries and liquorice. After letting the wine breath, could also find light stable and cigar box.

THE TASTE

Bold, yet balanced and elegant.

Facts:

Alcohol: 13,5% by volume
Extract: 40 g/l
Acidity: 5,5 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml
Closure: natural cork

It is recommended to decant the wine, then you can really enjoy the flavors and bouquet.

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 4/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++ / +++

http://www.carpineto.com/the-winery/?lang=en

 

 





Wine review: Amarone della Valpolicella di Sartori 2011

24 12 2016
Amarone of the month, Amarone della Valpolicella di Sartori 2011. Can not avoid buying Amarone, when it is Christmas.

Wineyard’s history goes back to 1898 when Pietro Sartori bought his first vineyard in Negrar. Nowadays Sartori’s success is in large part due to its international efforts, which represent over 80% of its sales in over 50 countries: throughout Europe like Finland, in North and South America, in Russia, in South East Asia. The labels on which the company is now focusing on are Regolo Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso DOC and Marani Bianco Veronese IGT. This makes me wonder, if Amarone is worth to try.
Grapes used in production are 50% Corvina Veronese, 40% Rondinella and 10% Molinara.


THE LOOK

Most Amarone bottle labes are modest without too much colors like Sartori

Intense red colour

THE NOSE

First feeling was coffee chololate. When you rotate the glass, you find typical aroma with hints of red fruit jam and spicy finish

THE TASTE

Also first taste is kind of coffee chocolate, which I have not recognized from other Amarones tasted. If you have tasted this wine, did you find the same aroma and taste?
Wine does not taste as sweet as many others, but it has same full bodines, of course.

Facts:

Alcohol: 15% by volume
Sugar: 9 g/l
Acids: 5,5 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml
Extract: 39 g/l
Closure: natural cork


img_2294

Amarone della Valpolicella di Sartori 2011 is nuanced, developed and pairs well will rustic meat dishes It paires also with cheeses, like Comte as well as Castello blue and white cheeses, which were as desserts on Christmas table.

Amarone is always wine you can trust, if you like to enjoy something else than red water.

 

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 4-/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++ / +++

http://www.sartorinet.com/en/

 

 





Wine review: Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2016 & Albert Bichot Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau 2016

20 11 2016

 

Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. Wine is released for sale on the third Thursday of November. “Beaujolais Nouveau Day” used to see heavy marketing, with races to get the first bottles to different markets around the globe. But not any more.

The current release practice is to ship the wine ahead of the third Thursday of November, and release it to the local markets at 00.01 AM local time. In Finland Alko, monopoly company selling wines and alcohol, starts selling these wines at 09.00 on Thursday 17th November, 2016.

This year wines available from Alko were Albert Bichot Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau and Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau.

 

THE LOOK

Label of last year’s wine from Georges Duboeuf was much more colorful. Maybe it is time to slow down a bit? Did it scare consumers?

Both wines are almost violet, blue-reddish like young wines always are. The color in the first picture is a little too dark than wine is in natural.

THE NOSE

Fruity, even sweet aroma especially when using tasting glass. Rasberry and fruit candy scent came in to the nose from both wines.

It seems that Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau has more deep bouquet.

THE TASTE

Young, light fruity wines. Berries dominate, but on the other hand taste is skinny. Aroma is better than taste, but with unspiced food and pizzas, both wines pair well.

Facts:

                             Georges Duboeuf                                        Albert Bichot
Alcohol:        12,00 %                                             12,50 %
Extract:        30 g/l                                                28 g/l
Acidity:         5,5 g/l                                               5,3 g/l
Energy:         70 kcal / 100 ml (280 kJ / 100 ml)   80 kcal / 100 ml (290 kJ / 100 ml)

REVIEW:

Georges Duboeuf  OVERALL GRADE 4-/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++

Albert Bichot OVERALL GRADE 3,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++








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