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





Special restaurant review: Strindberg

10 01 2013

This review is special because we had the honour to dine at restaurant Strindberg at the same time with our President Sauli Niinistö and his spouse Jenni. When the presidential couple left, changed light nods with the president.

Also this is special review due to 1st anniversary of reijosfood.com. Strindberg was one of the first reviewed restaurants in 2012.

Restaurant Strindberg, cafe’s and bar are located in Gallery Esplanade (ex Kämp Gallery) at North Esplanade. At street level is internationally fashioned café, very popular among tourists as well as Helsinki citizens. Just sit down, if you find a table and wait to be served, there is table service available. Mari cafe is behind main cafe, you can use Marimekko dishes and see Marimekko textiles.

On the second floor there is Strindberg à la carte, where we had dinner which also was the first restaurant reviewed in Helsinki 2013. The atmosphere at this restaurant is urban, but at the same time pleasantly peaceful. Sometimes loud discussion might make hearing difficult. Remember to ask for window table when making reservation! On the 5th January Christmas lights were still on the trees at Park Esplanade.

Park Esplanad

Library bar has become a popular rendez-vous spot for many. Worth a visit too although you would not dine, because you can observe diners through glass window. For us most visited bar, if having glass of wine after shopping.

THE DINNER

For starters had Toast Skagen and Chargrilled Arctic char tartare with horseradish crème fraîche, both very Scandinavian and Finnish dishes. At Strindberg you can always count on quality of Toast Skagen. Chargrill tasted suitably in Arctic char, really nice combination.

Toast SkagenArctic Char tartar

For main courses ordered Pan-fried lavaret, Puy lentils and beurre blanc with dill seeds and Braised veal cheeks with garlic and potato purée and thyme sauce. Instead of lentils asked for vegetables which was extremely succesful side dish for white fish. Cheek of veal was delicious because of long cooking time, really soft and crisp at the same time.

Cheek of vealWhitefhis

Desserts were French toast (Köyhät Ritarit) and Chokolate cake La Nègre and cardamom ice cream. French toast is traditional dish and sometimes it is still made at homes, actually quite easy. With add-on’s it makes your mouth drool, worth to try! Chokolate cake was served with fresh berries because we asked to leave ice-cream out.

Poor knightsCake

Food was excellent and overall grade gets good points because of location, decor and window view. Unfortunately this time service was not at the normal level either due to lack of personnel or tension due to visit of presidential couple. However, we got espresso, green tea and glass of grappa for free without whining. Proof of service attitude anyway.

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

http://www.strindberg.fi/en/restaurant





Restaurant review: Kiila Food and Bar

9 12 2012

Food and Bar 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.

Visited second time Kiila Food and bar just before Christmas. Major change had been made concerning a la carte list because serious affordable fine dining was not anymore main target. It does not mean that food would be worse but portions were not so ambitious they seemed to be in the beginning. More Finnish dishes than earlier, like fried vendace.

For starter ordered “Carnival plate by Kiila” for two including fried mozzarella sticks, chicken skewer, cherry tomatoes, carrot-, cucumber- and sweet pepper sticks, fried halloumi, mini bratwurst, bbq-, chili-mayonnese- and dill-sour cream- sauces. Tomatoes were missing but not so huge dissappointment. Chicken with bbq sauce was great as well as mozzarella. Otherwise quite simple portion because of ordinar vegetable sticks. But all sauces were delicious.

Starter

For main courses had Grilled Chicken Breast with roasted vegetables and sweet chili sauce and Giant Shrimps Pasta with chili-coriander sauce. Chicken was OK. Pasta was raw or it had dried after cooking. Seemed that base of the sauce was similar for both dishes. Have to say that pasta sauce was one of the most spicy in Finland.

ChickenPasta

For desserts ordered one sorbet because no other choise for lactose free dish and chocolate cake with mascarpone foam and blackberry syrup. Sorbet was OK and cake really delicious, maybe best part of dinner. Some black currant and red currant berries, very typical Finnish berries.

SorbetChocklate cake

Kiila seemed to be quite popular, no wonder. Prices are affordable and location perfect, you can watch Stockmann Christmas lights just opposite. Laid-back athmosphere makes it easy to come to the restaurant.

Stockmann

Some trouble with service again. White wine was warm when it was brought to the table, big tablespoons for dessert and had to pay at the cash desk, because no waiter/waitress was available.

REVIEW II: FOOD 3/5 – SERVICE 3-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 3/5

Kiila

https://reijosfood.com/2012/04/08/restaurant-review-food-and-bar-kiila/

http://www.ravintolakiila.fi/





Restaurant review: Piccolo Mondo

19 08 2012

Restaurant Piccolo Mondo, located at Aleksi’s coutyard, is a family owned restaurant which has been operating in the same place since 1991. Inside dining hall has room for about 80 people and during the summer season terrace holds about 100 additional seating. Piccolo’s kitchen combines Mediterranean influences with Finnish traditional cuisine. You can order pasta, risotto, pizza, salad and seafood dishes as well as desserts. Restaurant has had same tables at the terrace quite long, suggest to replace them.

There are also two other restaurants at Aleksi’s coutyard (Aleksin Piha), Santa Fe and Grande Grill. Santa Fe serves tex mex food like fajitas and from June to August from Monday to Thursday you can enjoy live music performed by local artists. Piccolo Mondo customers can also hear and watch music. Grande Grill serves meat and sandwiches nad have same tables at the terrace as Santa Fe. Would say that Santa Fe is most popular restaurant of the three at Aleksi’s coutyard.

Started dinner with large Antipasto (8 pieces) including Mozzarella, gorgonzola, cold smoked salmon, prosciutto, marinated champignon mushrooms, olives, marinated artichoke and melon. Mozzarella was Buffala which was bonus, mushrooms tasted best, artichokes shoud have been grilled but now tasted too much for vinegar. In overall appearance of antipasto plate looked too much tinned food. Also ordered Bread Basket fresh bread and tapenade spread, maybe the most expensive bread in the restaurants but good.

Restaurant suggested to order Pike perch in August which we did. Fish came with steamed vegetables, potato cakes and shrimp remoulade. Wondered if chef had used white pepper instead of salt. Had to also add salt which is really rare for us. Also ordered Surf & Turf  Fried chicken breast fillet, jumbo shrimp skewer, coconut-citrus sauce and creamy white wine risotto. Chicken and shrimps were ok but risotto was more or less like porridge. For side dish ordered Mixed salad which balanced main courses well.

The terrace of Piccolo Mondo is casual and perfect place to eat pizza in the summer. It is more quiet (no own music and less noise) than other two restaurants at the Aleksi’s coutyard which makes conversation easier. If you decide to dine at coutyard and all tables are occupied, wait for a while close to the tables and run to released table right away because you are not the only one trying to do the same.

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

http://www.piccolomondo.fi/piccolomondo/english





Hard Rock Cafe Helsinki – opening comes closer

12 08 2012

Legendary music restaurant chain Hard Rock Cafe should have opened in Helsinki this Summer. There were rumours about coming opening already last Autumn but lets see if it will happen now. Hard Rock Cafe Helsinki will locate in the centre of Helsinki, in Aleksanterinkatu 21. Or was this a joke because of 1st of April; company had recruitment ad in main newspaper on that day?

Nearest restaurants are the moment in Stockholm and Copenhagen. Maybe we see shot glass with Helsinki name before Christmas.

Update on the 11th August: opening is postponed to late Autumn, maybe October. Lets see when the opening actually is?

Update on the 28th August, see FB link below

http://www.facebook.com/HardRock.Helsinki

http://www.hardrockcafe.fi/





Restaurant review: Brasserie Kämp

7 08 2012

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 as a Luxury Collection property of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. A shopping centre, Kämp Galleria, was also opened within the same city block. All rock and pop stars spend their nights in Hotel Kämp. Last week Bruce Springsteen, the Boss, was there.

Dining at Hotel Kämp gives a possibility on a culinary journey from East to West. Eastern food is offered in restaurant YUME , where you can enjoy modern Asian hawkers- and finger food with a Modern Asian Temptations -concept. 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 a year ago you can dine “outside” all year around like in many brasseries in Paris. In the 2nd floor there used to be a la carte restaurant Signe for almost one year but it did not seem to exist anymore.

A la carte list is short which makes ordering easy, if you find suitable dish. Recommend to order gourmet “fast food” like salad or hamburger which is really luxorious. Especially French fries are maybe the best in the city.

Wanted to challenge kitchen and decided to order for starters ARTICHOKE RISOTTO Goat Gryere flavoured artichoke risotto rucola and SALMON CARPACCIO AND SCALLOPS Red Grapefruit vinegrette flavoured Salmon Carpaccio and fried Scallops with Asparagus salad and Le Grûyère AOC cheese. Taste of risotto was ok but quite mild. Main problem was wetness, it was like soup which risotto’s usually are not. Smelt cheese or lots of olive oil; difficult to taste. Scallops were perfectly fried as they were not like gum ball’s. Unfortunately not any more hot as they shoud be.  Salmon carpaccio is always delicious.

For main courses ordered CATCH OF THE DAY Fresh Fish of the Day which was Whitefish and season vegetables and Cord-fed Chicken Grilled Corn-Fed chicken served with Pumpkin puree and Barley, Madeira Sauce. Whitefish was roasted with professional way which enabled to eat also skin of the fish. Almost half of the season vegetables included lentils, maybe not so seasonal. Chicken was great, not too dry and pumpkin puree was delicious. Barley should be used more often in dishes as it was used in Wanha Makasiini few days earlier.

You could order cakes from the cake trolley but was too full. Green tea and coffee served from luxorious set of dishes ended dinner with glamour.

Brasserie and Cafe 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.

REVIEW: FOOD 3+/5 – SERVICE 4/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4/5

http://www.hotelkamp.com/brasseriekampbareng





Restaurant review: Valo

3 08 2012

After 3,5 hour opera (The Magic Flute) in Savonlinna Opera Festival and 4 hour joyful Crayfish dinner and cruise on the Saimaa lake, it was relaxing to dine next day at restaurant Valo. Savonlinna Opera Festival celebrates 100 years history in 2012 and it gathers friends of opera each year. Maybe one can feel similar athmosphere in Verona but Savonlinna continues to live after opera as people dine and share opera experiences in nearby restaurants.

Dined at Valo second time and food was now better. Last year Whitefish was so over roasted it almost fractured. Because one has to dine outside in order to be able observe opera guests walking to Savonlinna castle 200 meters from Valo restaurant, it is important to have 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 was mentioning local producers in the a la carte list.

In Savonlinna one MUST eat vendaces! As they were only available for main course asked to get Vendaces from Pielavesi for starter without side dishes. Succeeded and they were simple but excellent, salty and partly crispy but not too creasy. From check noticed that price and name for starter was the same as in childrens menu. Another choice was Cold smoked salmon salad, cold smoked salmon with salad, marinated red onion, deep fried capers, sun dried tomatoes, marinated olives, lemon compote and bread. Add-on’s were not so Finnish and neither this starter beat vendaces.

For main courses had Rib from the Koivunotko wild board, barbeque sauce with potato and chorizo bake. Wild board was perfectly tender as it has been cooked 48 hours. Chorizo harmonized with potatoes well and gave some stroger savor to portion. Arctic Char with new potatoes from Kulennois and dill and whitewine sauce was enjoyable but as usual a little bit over fried. Restaurant mentioned producer or place of catching in both portions.

Almost forgot to take photos of desserts! Grand Marnier Parfait and strawberries was fresh and fruity. Home made chocolate cake and lingonberry ice cream tasted delicious. Soft and moist cake as it should be and rough ice cream with luscious lingonberry taste, almost whole berries.

Restaurant forgot to invoice bottle of Riesling wine as it was ordered from another waitress. Told that and got 20% discount for it.

Because of excellent location and athmosphere overall grade exceeds food and service grades. Restaurant is full before and after opera, therefore table reservation at those times is needed. During opera there are free tables available without need to make reservation.

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

Click to access VALO_ALA_CARTE.pdf

http://www.operafestival.fi/In_English/Front_page.iw3





Restaurant review: Toscanini

24 07 2012

Restaurant Toscanini has received its cheerful and relaxed atmosphere from Tuscany, Italy. There they offer  modern country style kitchen under the Tuscan lilies. Menu is based on the most essential elements of Italian kitchen, such as olive oil, herbs, tomatoes and Tuscan cheeses and cold cuts. In addition, bread is baked daily by restaurants own baker. Means that one gets fresh bread with olive oil and balsamico in the table quite after ordering food.

Location is perfect, almost opposite of Svenska Teatern and Stockmann. Being part of Klaus K hotel means that many of the dining customers also enjoy luxorious hotel premises. Recommend to spend at least one night there. Design hotel with white decoration in the lobby. In the same building there are Finnish gourmet restaurant Ilmatar and Ahjo night club.

Italian a la carte includes familiar italian goodies. Meant that in the nearby table language was italian. Wau, one of the waitresses spoke italian!

For starters enjoyed Lemon and herb flavoured salmon pastrami, poached fennel and Buffalo mozzarella, caramelized tomato, mangold beet and barrel aged balsamico. Salmon pastrami was delicious, coud have eaten double portion. Some problems with poached  fennel as asked it without lactose, got first portion with zucchini. After pointing out, got fresh fennel but not poached, unfortunately. Buffalo mozzarella is always delicious but tomatoes were a little bit difficult to eat. Mangold was chevy, but interesting experience anyway.

Olive oils and balsamico are favourites of Toscanini, can admire their dedication because we are talking about vintage oils.

For main courses ordered Homemade rigatoni with spicy italian sausage and chili flavoured tomato sauce and A whole fried sea bream served with caramelized tomatoes, green beans and spinach. Too few pieces of sausage, otherwise extremely delicious pasta dish. Portion sizes were more close to entrees. Fish was perfect, but little bit over fried, but delicious and enjoyable. Some more please!

For dessert Dolce della casa: Black currant and milk chocolate truffle, espresso and 4 cl Vecchia Romagna and  Lemon sorbet mixed with Prosecco. Italian brandy is as enjoyable as Spanish brandy. Espresso and chocolate are always nice way to end dinner. Lemon sorbet with vodka is our favourite, prosecco served with sorbet was maybe too mild combination.

Toscanini is one of the best Italian restaurants in Helsinki. Visited already Sasso, Tony’s deli and Gastone, some genuine Italian restaurants to visit still…..any suggestions?

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

http://www.toscanini.fi/en/frontpage

http://www.klauskhotel.com/en

Klaus K sponsored Taste of Helsinki and Toscanini was one of the 10 restaurants in the event.





Restaurant review: Kaarna

22 07 2012

Visited restaurant Kaarna second time this year. Last visit was not so succesfull for many reasons, but location and athmosphere attracted again.

https://reijosfood.com/2012/01/

Kaarna Bar & Kitchen is a laid-back Finnish restaurant with a Scandinavian twist. The restaurant opened in April 2009 offers simple and distinct flavours and wide selection of beers of microbreweries. Because of its central location, Forum shopping center, restaurant is easy to find. Its two floors (street bar in ground floor and dining room and “living room” in 2nd floor) offer an atmospheric setting for a longer get-together as well. Restaurant has two entrances, one is by the Mannerheim street and one is in the Forum shopping center on the 2nd floor. This entrance is closed when the shopping center is not open.

From Nordic Tapas (Snapas) list ordered our favourite Kaarna fish plate and Potato waffle, white fish roe and sour cream. Fish plate includes smoked vendace from Kitka, fresh salted salmon, old-fashioned pickled gherkin and sweet and sour rye bread. Always enjoyable and provides good example of traditional Finnish fish foods. White fish roe was delicious as always and especially suited well with potato waffle. Usually roe is served with blinis or toast bread.

For main courses Roasted salmon with false morel sauce and dill-potato bake and Fried white wish with horse radish and melted butter, asparagus and mashed potatoes. Had to send back false morel sauce because of sand/stones. It is very important to wash false morels well, otherwise might be dangerous for teeths. Both fishes were over roasted and fried, however smashed potato was tasty.

Interesting that kitchen uses same red sweet sauce as decoration for every dish.

Restaurant had improved a lot from last visit. Starters earned 4- but main courses downgraded points for food. Because of window table, view and affordable food pricing, overall grade increases.

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

http://www.ravintolakaarna.fi/








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