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: Farang – tasting menu

29 02 2016

Farang and Korona - reijosfood.com

Farang is a restaurant which serves modern Asian cuisine, located within the premises of the historical Kunsthalle. Restaurant’s simplified, modern and atmospheric decor combined with the warm service and strong expertise in Asian cuisine creates an excellent setting for a comprehensive dining experience.

One can also drink aperitif in the small bar inside one the the two dining rooms and observe other diners.

As a regular visitor, dediced again to enjoy Farang Tasting menu. Menu consist of 8 dishes if you include thai roti bread as one of them.

CHA PLU, `ROASTED ALBACORE
lime marinated Albacore tuna on a cha plu leaf, green mango, roasted peanut, Atlantic salmon roe

Farang starter - reijosfood.com

HAMACHI SASHIMI `COCONUT & LIME´
hamachi sashimi, coconut cream and lime dressing, Asian herbs

Farang sashimi - reijosfood.com

CRISPY SOFTSHELL CRAB `SALT & PEPPER´
softshell crab, green mango, mint, peanut `nahm jim´dressing

Farang soft shell crab - reijosfood.com
CRISPY PORK & PALM SUGAR CARAMEL
braised, crispy fried pork, caramel, rice vinegar

Farang crispy pork - reijosfood.com

THAI-ROTI BREAD, REDANG CURRY
chinese water cress, bok choy, soft bean curd, battered crispy tofu

Farang thai roti bread - reijosfood.com

MORNING GLORY, `SALT & PEPPER´ TOFU
chinese water cress, bok choy, battered crispy tofu

image

CARAMELIZED BEEF SHORTRIBS, `JUNGLE CURRY & CHILI JAM
roasted beef shortribs, Farang’s `chili jam´ flavoured jungle curry, coconut cream, thai eggplant, `nahm pla prik´ dressing

image

HOLA HOLA 19´
thai style marinated fruits, sweet pea, vanilla and coconut cream, guava peach sorbet

Farang Hola Hola - reijosfood.com

First dish was superb, rolled leaf around tuna with herbs and spices was excellent as always. Fish can change because once it was trout.

Sashimi was soft and spicy dressing complemented the flavour of fish.

Soft shell crab was crispy and paired well with mango and herbs.

One of the favourites crispy pork with palmsugar caramel did not disappoint this time either. It has been one of the favourites all 7 years Farang has been operating.

Tofu had to be eaten with thai roti bread. Bread with sauces was that scrumptious that one could have eaten only those.

Beef shortribs were tender but like more pork ribs. Maybe was already full but this dish was not at the level all others were.

Dessert was 19th version of Hola Hola, becoming already a classic sweet dish. Asian dessert is difficult for Finns but Farang can prepare them to better suit local taste.

Tasting menu has not changed much during the years, but can absolutely recommend it, becase one has a chance to get familiar with different asian flavours. By ordering from a la carte list only few savors can be enjoyed.

For wine had Italian red wine Korone produced from Sangiovese, Merlot, small percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon and autochthonous vines. Wine paired extremely well with spicy tastes because of grape combination.

Farang was again nominated as Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant in February 2016. Actually 3 of 4 Bib Gourmand restaurants in Helsinki are owned by the same guys. Not bad at all!

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

https://farang.fi/en/

 

 





Restaurant review: Yume – New Year’s Eve dinner

9 01 2016

Restaurant Yume - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Yume is part of Kämp Group, which also operates legendary luxury hotel Kämp. Yume serves asian flavours and dishes 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.

Note that restaurant is closed in January 2016 due to renovation.

New Year’s Eve did not differ so much from regular evening except when it comes to menu, that was planned for special day. Food is always well prepared and delicious at Yume, but special menu was not that special because menus have always been enjoyable. Maybe surprise small bite between dishes would have been spectacular.

Started with aperitives, but got first two dishes 2 minutes after drinks. Those two dishes, Spiced salmon in soy sauce and Sushi pieces were first part of the dinner being both starters. But it was quite odd that restaurant served these portions while taking first sips. OK, waitress noticed that eating did not start before had enjoyed the drinks and after that it was more comfortable to eat next dishes without rush.

Yume starters - reijosfood.com

3rd dish was the best of all portions. Pork ribs were so delicious that could have eaten them for rest of the menu. Extremely well spiced these juicy ribs were so far the best have ever tasted.

Yume beef - reijosfood.com

And 4th dish was Beef meat served with rice. A little bit too greasy, but with chili slices and “soup” again show case of Yume kitchen professionalism.

Yume beef - reijosfood.com

 

Yume can Asian-Scandinavian type desserts! Not too complicated for local taste. Means that sometimes different type of vegetables and herbs used in desserts make them almost snack or main course, not dessert. Dessert was Pudding with sorbet.

Yume dessert - reijosfood.com

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

Cutlery at Yume - reijosfood.com

For wine chose The Velvet Devil from Charles Smith Wines, USA. 100% Merlot pairs well with spicy, almost even hot dishes.

The Velvet Devil at Yume - reijosfood.com

Yume is one of the best “gourmet” asian cusine restaurants in Helsinki. As it is in the center of the city, next door to Hotel Kämp, it’s location is also perfect. Modern rhythm music is not too loud and most of the tables are not thick on the ground, which makes discussion possible. Service was professional as expected and would have given 4,5, if starters would have not appear so quickly.

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

http://ravintolayume.fi/en/

 





Restaurant review: Chedi (Tallinn, Estonia)

13 07 2014

Chedi starters - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Chedi is a contemporary treatment of Asian food culture. Contrasts, combination of tastes and mixture different raw materials are where the contemporary Asian cuisine is heading at. Chedi location is in Old Town, which is one of food culture areas in Tallinn.

Next to Chedi is another Sparkling Group restaurant Bocca (review 02.02.2013, use search at reijosfood)

Chedi - reijosfood.com

For several years Chedi has been chosen in TOP 5 of best restaurants of Estonia. The reason we decided to visit there and of course our penchant for Asian cuisine.

Started the dinner with Small eat’s Dim sum platter with mushrooms and vegetable, Fried soft shell crab with red chilli and curry leaves and Jasmine tea smoked pork ribs.

Dim sums were great, especially the red ones. Soft shell crabs were also delicious but maybe the taste of crabs disappeared under frying. Pork ribs were one of the best ever eaten. But this is maybe because never before have tasted Jasmine tee smoked ribs.

Dim Sum at Chedi - reijosfood.comSof shell crabs at Chedi - reijosfood.comPork ribs at Chedi - reijosfood.com

For main courses we chose Grilled salmon in Chef ’s special sauce and Spicy prawns with water chestnut, chilli and almonds. For side dish restaurant served rice in wooden bowl. Would have ordered Thai style pike-perch but restaurant had not got any pike-perch fish.

Waitress asked if the salmon shoud be medium or well-done. This was a proof that kitchen knew what to do with salmon. Ordered medium, got it and enjoyed.

Spicy prawns were not enough spicy although there was lot’s of curry. Luckily we had asked extra spices which we used with every portion. However, prawns were excellent.

Salmon at Chedi - reijosfood.comPrawns at Chedi - reijosfood.comRice at Chedi - reijosfood.com

For desserts we just had green tea and coffee due to the fact that our stomachs were almost filled with three hors d’oeuvres.

Chedi dining room - reijosfood.com

Chedi is a restaurant worth to visit in Tallinn, if you like Asian food. Decor is stylistic with buddhist features. You have to be ready to eat with sticks and spoon which are used instead of fork and knife. Of even with fingers, if it is easier. You do not have to worry about smearing your fingers because you can wash them afterwards and dry them thoroughly with hand cloth.

Chedi table - reijosfood.com

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

http://chedi.ee/en/

 

 





Restaurant review: Yume – modern Asian cuisine

28 02 2014

Restaurant Yume - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Yume is part of Kämp Group, which also operates legendary luxury hotel Kämp. Yume serves asian flavours and dishes 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.

We arrived early at 5PM when restaurant opens. Reason for early arrival was Michael Buble concert, where we should be at 8PM latest when the warm-up band or actually accapella group Naturally 7 should start singing. Although we would have a little bit more than 2 hours to eat, we decided to order longer tasting menu

Menu Tiong Bahru

which included 7 dishes. Shorter menu would have included one dish less.

First two dishes were brought to the table at the same time

Fresh Spring Rolls

Fresh veggie spring roll, sweet chili sauce and black vinegar

Yellowtail Sashimi

Yellowtail sashimi, sweet soy-chili sauce

Veggie ment mainly sprouts which made first dish one-sided although rolls were delicious with sauces.

Sashimis were perfect, two pieces of soft fish for both. Suitably flavored sauce and vegetables made the dish masterpiece. We used chopsticks for sashimis as they were an option to be used for eating.

Sprubg rolls and sashimi at Yume - reijosfood.com

Third and fourth dishes were again at the same time on the table.

Pork Ribs

Pork Ribs and thai-chili sauce

Som Tum Salad

Spicy green papaya salad with cucumber and carrots

Pork ribs were juicy, crunchy and crisp at the same time. Sometimes candied pork, which is usually offered in modern asian restaurants, can be dry. These ribs were not candied and the way the were prepared was new for us. Extremely scrumptious, if you happen to like a little bit greasy pork.

Salad supplemented well this combination, better than rice would had. Noticed that kitchen had not yet served any rice which was good idea. Sometimes you might eat too much if rice is all the time on the table.

Pork ribs and salad at Yume - reijosfood.com

Pork ribs at Yume - reijosfood.com

Hot Stone

Beef/Lamb/Tofu tai Tiger Prawn

We chose tiger prawns instead of meat. Waitress instructed us first to fry prawns on the hot stone, then dip them to the sauce and add salt and chili powder. Understandable, because otherwise whole restaurant would have been filled with stick smoke as most of the tables would have used hot stones.

Tiger prawns at Yume - reijosfood.comTiger prawns on stone at Yume - reijosfood.com

Whitefish “sweet and sour”

Roasted whitefish, black sweet and sour sauce, fresh herb salad

Whitefish was best of all portions. First fish was roasted perfectly and then placed to the sauce in in order to get more flavor. Mint and other herbs completed this taste of heaven. And if you would still be hungry big bowl of rice would take it away. You could choose whitefish also from a la carte list from “warm dishes to share” section but for two I would suggest to order two portions. You would not like to share this one 🙂

Whitefish at Yume - reijosfood.comWhitefis and rice at Yume - reijosfood.com

Passionfruit Pudding

Passion pudding, coconut sorbet

Dessert was one of the best in asian type of fine dining restaurants. Not too asian but still asian flavors. Means that sometimes different type of vegetables and herbs used in desserts make them almost snack or main course, not dessert.

Pudding at Yume - reijosfood.com

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

At 5PM restaurant was still empty as it has just opened it’s doors. At 7PM most of the tables were occupied although Canada played against USA in Sotshi Olympic Ice-Hockey games. Unfortunutely Finland had just lost to Sweden and will play for bronze medal.

Cutlery at Yume - reijosfood.comYume - reijosfood.com

For wine we chose Gysler Weinheimer Riesling Trocken 2010 from Pfalz, Germany. Dry, but not too dry riesling with enough acidity and fruit flavors paired well with oriental tastes. Also had glass of pinot noir from Bourgogne, France with ribs. This wine would have been served if you would have ordered matching wines with tasting menu.

Yume is one of the best “gourmet” asian cusine restaurants in Helsinki. As it is in the center of the city, next door to Hotel Kämp, it’s location is also perfect. Modern rhythm music is not too loud and most of the tables are not thick on the ground, which makes discussion possible. A little bit more spices in some of the dishes and then food would have also scored 4,5. Service was professional as expected.

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

http://ravintolayume.fi/en/





Restaurant review: Farang

1 08 2013

Farang - reijosfood.com

Best Asian style fine dining restaurant in Helsinki and Finland? Also one of the best restaurants in Finland? Are you ready to eat with fingers and without knife?

Restaurant Farang serves modern Asian cuisine utilizing traditional habits like only fork and spoon available for eating. Dining rooms are located within the premises of the Taidehalli. You could also enjoy aperitif in the bar at the back of the main dining room. However, we were suggested to enjoy aperitifs in our table. We had planned to visit the bar but now missed it.

Farang has been nominated on Michelin guide as charming restaurant third year in a row and it was chosen the best of the 50 restaurants in Finland 2011. Therefore it was fully booked at 6PM when we dined on last day of July as it usually is.

Our second review was now based on enjoying TASTING MENU ‘SIAM’ because Farang Menu had not changed so much. 2012 Farang got best points (see review via link below). Siam Tasting Menu included 9 dishes + rice.

GREEN SHELL MUSSEL, GREEN NAHM JIM DRESSING
coriander, seaweed caviar, crispy onion

Spicy and delicious small bites, really well prepared. Must eat with fingers.

Farang - reijosfood.com

CHA PLU LEAF WITH SMOKED EEL
roasted peanuts, seaweed caviar

Some more eel would have crowned this otherwise so scrumptious portion. Must eat with fingers.

Farang- reijosfood.com

GRILLED BLACK ANGUS BEEF ‘DRY RED CURRY’
grilled beef, salad of green papaya flavored with red curry, thai basil, organic coconut oil

Spicy and delicious, more beef thank you! Rice was served now.

Farang - reijosfood.com

PORK RIBS ‘ROASTED RICE’
red nahm jim dressing, roasted rice, ginger, coriander

Best ribs ever, if you get these you will not ask anymore for any other ribs. Must eat with fingers.

Farang - reijosfood.com

FRIED SCALLOP ON HALF SHELL ‘SATAY’
satay sauce, peanut relish, coconut cream

Scallop was splitted which released the flavours perfectly and satay sauce complimented dining pleasure.

Farang - reijosfood.com

MORNING GLORY, CRISPY FRIED SALT & PEPPER TOFU
chinese water cress, bok choy, soft bean curd, battered crispy tofu

Nice combination; if bok choy had been chopped it would have been easier to eat because knife was not available.

Farang - reijosfood.com

YELLOW CURRY ‘MALAY’, ROASTED CHICKEN 
roasted peanuts, lime leaf, thai cucumber relish

Chicken was delicious! As a suprise we were not informed, that due to some of our requests one portion was replaced by salmon. As salmon (fish) is quite far from chicken, maybe it would have been fair to tell about it. However, salmon was well prepared and not too dry.

Farang - reijosfood.com

THAI JASMINE RICE

‘SAMUI SUNSET’ 
passion creme, lychee blood orange sorbet

‘KOPI LUWAK’
peanut cake, coconut parfait, coffee ‘gele’, mango sorbet

Both desserts were served at the same time. Mango sorbet was like ice-cream, soft and “creamy”

Farang - reijosfood.comFarang - reijosfood.com

Tried also recommendations for wines. However, the quantity of wines (about 50 cl for one person) might be a little bit effusive. Muskateller was not perfect choise for first three dishes as it is quite modest and light. Especially with Black Angus beef it was totally lost. All other wine recommendations paired perfectly with food.

Muskateller 2011, Satterhof, Gamlitz, Sudsteiermark, Austria
Edelsatz 2012, Philipp Kuhn, Platz, Germany
Mencia 2008, Godelia, Bierzo, Spain
Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Errazuriz, Casablanca Valley, Chile

Let’s be careful out there…why use old tv series phrase? One waitress asked us not to take photos of other customers which we never do. This time customer was the red box which is in the first picture. So…..use your camera wisely. On the other hand some training for one waitress. In this modern society when all mobile phones have cameras it would be difficult to ban photographing but recommend Farang would do it in order to avoid misunderstandings. This incident dropped service and overall grades which otherwise would have been as good as last time.

However, if you like Asian fine dining and spicy food and do not convey to eat with fingers and without knife, you are in the right place. Also restaurant is really skilled to change the composition of portions according to your wishes when it comes to food allergies. Recommend to taste Farang Menu because it shows best how outstanding food you can get.

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

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

https://reijosfood.com/2012/06/30/restaurant-review-farang/








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