Restaurant review: Kiila Food and Bar – revisit after almost 3 years

14 09 2015

Kiila_window table- reijosfood.com

Restaurant Kiila was opened on 2nd March 2012. Restaurant is open from morning until night offering breakfast, brunch on Sundays and public holidays, lunch, dinner and bar services.

Location for restaurant is one the the best in Helsinki, just opposite of department store Stockmann. And views to two directions give diners opportunity to watch shoppers and by-passers. The restaurant serves breakfast, Sunday brunch, lunch and dinners.

Visited third time Kiila Food and bar. Recent change was that bar after entrance was also for diners. That part of restaurant is called KiilaBurger and a la carte area has name Kiila A’la Carte. In the summer time terrace attract thirsty customers with drink offers, usually sparkling.

For starter ordered Salmon Cheviche Lime and citrus marinated salmon, coriander, mango and parsnip chips.

I had not eaten earlier combination which included salmon and mango. These two paired well and maybe alos partly because of herbs and rye bread. Really promising start for the dinner.

Kiila_starter - reijosfood.com

 

For main courses had Ribs and potato wedges with coleslaw and bbq sauce.

Ribs were excellent and there was plenty of them. Almost no grease at all which meant that you could easily eat them without chewing fat. Potatoes were not exactly wedges but taste and crispness were ok.

Kiila_main course - reijosfood.com

The prices of wines are affordable. Almost all wine bottles are under 40€, which is not the fact in most restaurants in Helsinki.

Had glass (or two…) of Zonnebloem Shiraz from South Africa. Wine paired perfectly with ribs.

 

The food at Kiila has improved from previous visits which quarentees that it does not have to wait me 3 years for re-visit. And remember always ask for window table.

 

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

Ravintola Kiila

 





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: Garum (Marbella, Spain)

23 08 2013

Garum - reijosfood.com

Finnish chef in Marbella at restaurant Garum on the Paseo Maritimo!

Pleasant surprise which we did not know in advance when making table reservation. One of the waiters recognized our pronunciation and asked if we are from Finland. He mentioned it sounds the same as their chef’s.

Restaurante Garum is decorated with modern style and therefore differs quite a lot from other restaurants on the Paseo Maritimo. It has cross-kitchen with some flavours from Scandinavia and Finland. On lunch time you can order tapas and traditional Spanish food but in the evenings kitchen is more international. There is a small bar terrace in front of the restaurant if you just want to observe by-passers especially during the evening rush-hour.

Dinner started with Greetings from the kitchen. Simple snack but not bad at all.

Garum - reijosfood.com

For starters chose Japanese beef spring roll with japanese flavours served with pickled ginger and wasabi ice cream and Scandinavian style marinated herring served with wheat beer sorbet, lemon aquavit jelly and lingonberry cream.

Spring rolls were excellent and you could really find japanese flavours when diping them in wasabi and soya. If restaurant serves sour or rye bread, herring and lingonberries then there must be Finnish chef behind it. Only questiomark was the sorbet as it was smelted or should it have been frozen?

japanese beef spring roll with japanese flavours served with pickled ginger
and wasabi ice cream – See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/night/#sthash.5hPHnyIa.dpuf
japanese beef spring roll with japanese flavours served with pickled ginger
and wasabi ice cream – See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/night/#sthash.5hPHnyIa.dpuf
japanese beef spring roll with japanese flavours served with pickled ginger
and wasabi ice cream – See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/night/#sthash.5hPHnyIa.dpuf

Garum - reijosfood.comGarum - reijosfood.com

Kitchen served next food melter which was sorbet. The smaller class on the left….right one is Spanish rose.

Garum - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Grilled prawns served with risotto of sun dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese and sauvignon blanc with deep fried leak and Grilled sea bass served with truffle oiled green asparagus, jerusalem artichoke purée and salad of seedlings, herbs and pine seeds

You seldom find grilled that big prawns in Finnish restaurants, they are fried or prepared in oil if available at all. Therefore taste of prawns was scrumptious. Risotto was OK but maybe too much porridge type. Huge portion of sea bass, usually you get two that size of pieces. In overall, portions were generous.

Garum - reijosfood.comGarum - reijosfood.com

For dessert Swan lake Raspberry and cucumber gazpacho with melon relish and limoncello granite.

Brilliant idea to serve gazpacho as a dessert but of course from sweeter ingredients. Cucumber pieces were next to gazpacho class and added interesting flavour. Healthy, well-being dessert.

Garum - reijosfood.com

If you find restaurant with Finnish chef during your holiday outside of Finland, then you are in safe hands. The terrace of Garum was almost full around 10PM, we came as early as 830PM. Of course location is one of the best, but restaurant can not survive long without good food and service. Restaurante Garum has them both.

REVIEW: FOOD 3,5/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4-/5

http://garummarbella.com/

Garum - reijosfood.com

Garum offers discerning diners the dual attraction of being one of Marbella’s hippest establishments while also providing a versatile culinary experience.

Centrally located in a vibrant and picturesque setting on the Paseo Marítimo, the restaurant is one of those rare gastronomic gems with an “all-day concept” of breakfast, lunch, dinner, tapas and late-night cocktails and soft chill out sounds − the kitchen remaining open non-stop from 11.00 am to midnight, seven days a week.

– See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/restaurant/#sthash.oBcw0rHU.dpuf

Garum offers discerning diners the dual attraction of being one of Marbella’s hippest establishments while also providing a versatile culinary experience.

Centrally located in a vibrant and picturesque setting on the Paseo Marítimo, the restaurant is one of those rare gastronomic gems with an “all-day concept” of breakfast, lunch, dinner, tapas and late-night cocktails and soft chill out sounds − the kitchen remaining open non-stop from 11.00 am to midnight, seven days a week.

– See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/restaurant/#sthash.oBcw0rHU.dpuf

Garum offers discerning diners the dual attraction of being one of Marbella’s hippest establishments while also providing a versatile culinary experience.

Centrally located in a vibrant and picturesque setting on the Paseo Marítimo, the restaurant is one of those rare gastronomic gems with an “all-day concept” of breakfast, lunch, dinner, tapas and late-night cocktails and soft chill out sounds − the kitchen remaining open non-stop from 11.00 am to midnight, seven days a week.

– See more at: http://garummarbella.com/en/restaurant/#sthash.oBcw0rHU.dpuf





Restaurant review: Valo (Savonlinna)

22 07 2013

Restaurant Valo

Dined at restaurant Valo the third year in a row, is it becoming a habit?  Because one has to dine outside in order to be able observe opera guests walking to Savonlinna castle 200 meters from Valo restaurant, it would be important to have a good weather. In Valo one can also just have a drink at the forefront bar and do the same. Restaurant serves local Finnish food, evidence for it are names of local producers on the a la carte list.

Started the dinner with Saimaa duo Perch terrine, pike perch tartar and fennel salad. Really fresh, tartar was best part of the portion. Terrine was a little bit dry. Remembering last visits, think the portions were now smaller…

Saimaa duo

For main courses had Wild boar and pork cheek Overnight braised wild boar belly and pork cheek, pomme anna with sautéed chorizo and white cabbage and bbq sauce. Wild board was perfectly tender as it has been cooked enough long. Portion had been changed as there was no chorizo in potatoes neither bbq sauce. The name of portion was the same as last year but it was then better. Also had Pike perch from Saimaa Pan fried pike perch with salmon raviolis and creamed leek which was pimped by request and side dishes replaced by vegetables and olive oil. Fish was a little bit over fried and therefore dry.

Meat in ValoPike perch in Valo

For desserts had Chocolate cake Chocolate cake with strawberry filling and vanilla ice- cream but shared the portion. Again quite small dish but delicious.

Because of excellent location and athmosphere overall grade would have exceed food and service grades. But unfortunately this year weather did not favor us; therefore same grade. Without heaters it would have been too cold to eat outside.

Wine list is short and includes only one rose wine, shiraz from JACOB´S CREEK. Wineyard was well presented as there was red, white and sparkling wines available.

Rose wine

REVIEW: FOOD 3,5/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4-/5

http://www.savonmafia.fi/products/product/82/

Restaurant Valo





Champagne with ice – Moet Ice Imperial

9 06 2013

Moet Ice Imperial

One Tiny Champagne Bar is located in the corner of Stockmann opposite the Svenska Teatern. It has cozy terrace which serves breakfast and as name says champagnes. Do not try to order other sparkling wines because they do not have them. Excellent place to observe passers-by.

One discovery during Helsinki Samba Carneval was Champagne Moet Ice Imperial from Moet & Chandon. This champagne breaks tradition you are not allowed to drink champagne without ice. You must also flavor the drink with fresh mint and lime or orange zest.

Champagne is served in white class which again breaks traditions. Ice cubes are in specially designed white bowl as well as “spices” in separate pigeonhole. Also bottle is white, carefully styled ensemble.

Ice bowl

First impression was that this might be hit in the summer but it takes time to balance the taste. Maybe two citrus fruits are too much, lime seemed to suit better than orange. You also have to crunch mint because unbroken small leaf does not give enough flavour. Bar could add another mint leaf on pigeonhole which might also help. If you like lots of bubbles you may not like this champange because ice cubes naturally reduce them.

http://www.fazer.fi/Palvelut/Kahvilat-ja-Ravintolat/One-Tiny-Champagne-Bar/





Restaurant review: Brasserie Kämp

1 05 2013

Vappu at Brasserie Kämp

Hotel Kämp is a historical hotel in Helsinki. The hotel was originally built in 1887 by Carl Kämp. The building was demolished and the facade was rebuilt in 1965. The headquarters of the bank KOP were situated in the building for almost three decades, until 1995. A major restoration project, started in 1996, culminated in the reopening of Hotel Kämp in 1999. A shopping centre, Galleria Esplanad, was also opened within the same city block.

Brasserie Kämp offers a wide range of European food brasserie style and Kämp Bar offers you the unique cocktails; in fact mainly champagne, wine and beer which customers usually order. Bar is also very popular on Friday and Saturday evenings. You can also enjoy Sunday brunch at Brasserie Kämp. After building heated terrace two years ago you can dine “outside” all year around like in many brasseries in Paris.

May Day (1st of May) is typical day for enjoying lunch buffets. Had May Day lunch served to the tables at Brasserie Kämp. A la carte list was short which made ordering easy; two starters, two main courses and two desserts. Foccacia and bread were grea compliments to start lunch.

Starter

Starters were QUAIL & SPRING CABBAGE & APPLE Quail terrine, poached egg of quail, poached spring cabbage, apple compote, apple purée, apple “ donut “ and ASPARAGUS & SHRIMP & KUMQUAT Sitrus- marinated white asparagus, green asparagus, kumquat, smoked shrimps, shrimp crème and cress

Both dishes were ok, but dissapointment for taste was obvious. Quil was tender and tasty, BRAVO! Shrimp starter was difficult to understand, what was the clue? Small portions but tasty….Unfortunately we did not understand all flavours of dishes, especially aspargus was not as we expected.

DSC03843

Main courses were LAVARET & NEW POTATO & PARMESAN Roasted lavaret , new potatoes, peas, radish, spring onion, zucchini, caper, parmesan veloute and DUCK & MOREL & POMEGRANATE Duck confit,, baked potato filled with morels, potato, shallot and chives, shallot crème, pomegranate and pomegranate-duck stock.

Cooking of lavaret was excellent; basic fish flavours. Duck confit was delicious, really well cooked. Could have eaten much more…..

LavaretDSC03845

Tried both desserts CHOCOLATE & DRIP BREAD Araguan- chocolate mousse, drip bread ice-cream and RHUBARB & STRAWBERRY & MEAD Marinated rhubarb, strawberries and mead sorbet.
Both desserts were great; Sauli Kemppainen and his team had really made their best. But using of milk was not so clear,,,,

StrawberryChocolate

Brasserie Kämp is perfect location to observe passers-by on Esplanadi promenade. You can also watch swanky cars parked front of Hotel Kämp or driving to the hotel garage. Latest celebrity visitor at Hotel Kämp was Justin Bieber on 25th April!

BUT; May Day is a little bit difficult occasion to compare restaurants and dishes. Because of 1st of May we decided to be modest. Unfortunately we would give only 3+ for food if this would be normal lunch. Anyway, were were able to listen nice male choir singing for us.

Choir

DSC03857DSC03874

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

Normal lunch, only 3+ for food! But we like international athmosphere…..

http://www.hotelkamp.com/brasseriekampbareng





Restaurant review: Pirate Helsinki

21 04 2013

PiratePirate

Restaurant Pirate Helsinki is located in Southern Helsinki, Lauttasaari. First Pirate restaurant was established in Hanko and it serves also pizzas which Helsinki restaurant does not. You have to order food from the bar because there is no table service.  Pirate is a summer restaurant but it is open in December providing ambitious Christmas lunch with famous chefs.

Visited Pirate just when it has just opened also for weekends for the summer time.

For starters ordered Tomato Mozzarella and Parma Ham Rucola Bruschettas with Country French fries. Both bruschettas were nice and french fries really well made. Portion were quite big so they might even be enough for lunch but as we were having early dinner had decided to eat also main courses.

BruschettaMozarella bruschettaParma ham bruschetta

For main courses ordered Grilled king prawns, octopus with french fries, marinated vegetables and hollandaise sauce and Pirate smoked salmon with morel mushroom sauce and warm potato-vegetables salad. Prawns were OK but octopus was chewy; would also have prefered sauce in separate scoop. We had asked that for morel mushroom sauce…. Fish was well prepared as it was not smoked too long. Both portions included same looking side dishes; only difference was potatoes with salmon. Maybe too much oil used in vegetables.

Shrimps and octopusSmoked salmon

Restaurant Pirate is laid-back bistro and especially in the summer terrace is pleasant place to have a beer or two. Because restaurant was just opened we were the only diners at 0530PM. Because spring is so late all boats were still on the ground and surrounded restaurant.

REVIEW: FOOD 3/5 – SERVICE 3,5/5 – OVERALL GRADE 3+/5

If you visit Hanko some day, try Pirate because it is quite popular in the summer.

http://www.pirate.fi/?pinc=1&lng=helsinki

Pirate








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