Restaurant review: Casa Mare – cozy bistro

9 03 2015

Zenato rose at Blue Peter - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Casa Mare is most popular all year round bistro in Lauttasaari. Especially families with small children come to eat pizza with salad buffet, which includes to all main courses. Sometimes place is close to kindergarten; actually there is also playgroud for children.

In the summer time terrace surrounds restaurant building, cozy place to dine if weather allows. There is also bar if you just want to have a beer or drink.

You do not actually need to order starters, if you settle for salad buffet. It is simple, few basic salads and home made bread, but always enjoyable. Also self made spread is a must with the bread.

Salad from Buffet at Blue Peter - reijosfood.com

For starters ordered Snacks Tiger shrimp marinated with garlic and chili, Pesto marinated shrimps and toasted bread as well as Parma ham and melon.

You get only one tiger shrimp, if you order that snack. A little bit difficult to share. On the other hand another snack included bunch of basic shrimps. Parma ham with melon is usually safe choice as it was at Casa Mare.

Snacks at Casa Mare - reijosfood.com

For main course had Chicken with goat cheese Chicken fillet, grilled goat cheese and Casa Mare pesto.

Basic portion with basic flavors but always enjoyable bistro dish.

With most of the main courses you have to choose side dish. Chose Honey seasoned root vegetables, which has always been delicious. Asked to leave onions from one portion away which succeeded easily.

Chicken and goat cheese at Blue Peter - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Casa Mare has one rose wine on their list and ordered that. Zenato Bardolino from Veneto, Italy is basic fruity rose wine and it pairs well with bistro type of food.

Service is always polite and quick although restaurant was full of customers. You can not make table reservation for small groups but usually you are able to get table. Have been lucky as we always dine by the window.

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

Restaurant Casa Mare lauttasaari, Helsinki – Place





Restaurant reviews in Helsinki 2014 – many new restaurants opened, many closed

13 01 2015

It is time to summarize restaurant year 2014 in Helsinki by reijosfood.com!

Many restaurants visited, not enough many, but below you can find reijosfood.com TOP “dozen” ranking of visited restaurants. All reviews are opinions of at least two diners. Bon appetit!

Lamb at Demo - reijosfood.com

Demo

Pil red wine at Demo - reijosfood.com

Demo

Demo 14+

Pastor, Rikhards Gastropub, PureBistro and Havis 13,5

Pirate, Copas y Tapas, Strindberg and Ragu 13,00

Gastrobar Emo, Yume and NJK  12,75

Whole list can be found at page “Restaurant reviews – rankings”

Demo proved to be real Michelin star restaurant and took the first place, food and service were perfect.

Pastor with Peruvian cuisine, Rikhards Gastropub and Italian restaurant Ragu were opened 2014, which means that there is still place for good restaurants in Helsinki. But Rikhards informed just recently that they are renewing concept and will reopen in February 2015.

Pekka Koiranen at Pastor - reijosfood.com

Pastor

Starters at Rikhards - reijosfood.com

Rikhards Gastropub

Vitello tonnato at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Ragu

Havis and Pirate offered excellent Christimas Dinner and Christmas Eve experiences and improved rankings a lot due to that. Visited Havis restaurant twice last year.

Salmon at Havis - reijosfood.com

Havis

Pirate

Pirate

PureBistro and Gastrobar Emo continue with right path like Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurants should be.

Perch at PureBistro - reijosfood.com

PureBistro

Rainbow trout at Emo - reijosfood.com

Gastrobar Emo

Copas y Tapas has Spanish touch and Yume serves delicious Asian cuisine.

Tapas plate at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Copas y Tapas

Salmon at Yume - reijosfood.com

Yume

NJK is summer island restaurant worth to visit due to building and location.

NJK - reijosfood.com

NJK

Lamb at NJK - reijosfood.com

NJK

 

From last year TOP list Spis, Muru and Farang were not visited but need to do that 2015! Already hungry?

————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

2013 rankings were (*restaurant has closed):

1. Spis 13,50

2. Gastrobar Emo and Grotesk Winebar* 13,25

3. Glogatan 4*,  Meche* and Muru 13,00

4. Farang  12,75

Year 2012 results can be found from blog page Restaurant reviews – rankings.

Thanks for following my blog, commenting posts and liking at least some of them!





Restaurant reviews in Helsinki 2013 – breakthrough of “gourmet” bistros

10 01 2014

SPIS - reijosfood.comRestaurant Muru - reijosfood.com

Year 2013 ended up too soon. Did not have time to visit all those restaurants had planned. Anyway, breakthrough of “gourmet” bistros highlighted the year.

Bistros are relaxed, unformal dining spots with decent service and food.

In Helsinki, there has been established during couple of last years “gourmet” bistros, which compete with unique decoration, good service and well designed, delicious dishes. They also have short a la carte list and one or to menu alternatives. We could call some of these bistros restaurants, but part of them do not use that naming.

Example of “gourmet” food can be found from picture below which is taken at Spis. Whole portion consists of fresh vegetables but also of fish, which is uniquely prepared.

Salmon at Spies - reijosfood.com

As we were not able to visit all “gourmet” bistros in Helsinki, results were as follows:

1. Spis 13,50

2. Gastrobar Emo and Grotesk Winebar 13,25

3. Glogatan 4,  Meche and Muru 13,00

4. Farang  12,75

From these restaurants I would say Spis, Gastrobar Emo, Grotesk Winebar, Meche and Muru are so called “gourmet” bistros. Add also PureBistro which got 12,50 points and we can really call year 2013 “year of bistros”. 4 of the restaurants above have link to Michelin star restaurants, can you guess how?

Glogatan 4 is more restaurant than bistro and Farang serves asian gourmet kitchen, which you can not miss.

How Spis differs from other “gourmet” bistros? It serves greetings from kitchen between courses which others do not. That is one reason why it took the first place this year. It also has longer menus than others (full review at reijosfood.com)

Snacks - reijosfood.com

Why Grotesk Winebar succeeded although it is quite new? It serves rare delicacies which you do not get in other bistros. It also provides professional wine pairings with dishes (full review at reijosfood.com)

Quail - reijosfood.com

Why Gastrobar Emo earned 2nd place although it is one of the newest restaurants in Helsinki? It is partly owned by Pekka Terävä who owns Michelin star restaurant Olo. Olo might be the next 2 Michelin star restaurant as Chez Dominique closed down it’ doors.  (full review of Emo at reijosfood.com)

Halibut at Emo - reijosfood.com

Year 2012 results can be found from blog page Restaurant reviews – rankings.

Year 2014 will continue with review of “gourmet” bistro or tapas bar Goce which was opened in November 2013. We also might visit some of the most prestigious restaurants although “gourmet” bistros have modified restaurant field a lot.

Thanks for following my blog, commenting posts and liking at least some of them!





Restaurant review: Muru

26 07 2013

Restaurant Muru

Muru, most popular fine dining bistro in Helsinki and Finland?

Restaurant Muru is a small bistro style restaurant located at Fredrikinkatu 41, Helsinki. Muru’s idea is to offer fresh food from the ingredients available daily without stiffness. Therefore menu is written only on blackboard on the wall and you just let the waiters and waitresses guide you.

You have to choose from 4 available starting times for dinner, first one at 5PM. Means that you have to be ready in 2 1/2 hours but if you take menu of the day, period of time is almost too short.

Muru menu

Since opening restaurant Muru has had tables reserved 2-3 months beforehand especially on Fridays and Saturdays. Also on Tuesday when we dined restaurant was full. Muru was chosen restaurant of the year 2011 which of course added popularity and in addition, chef’s and sommeliers are celebrities in Finland hosting food programs in TV. When we dined Henri Alen was in the kitchen and Samuil Angelov served in the dining room.

Decided to order menu of the day with wine pairings.  First we were served fresh bread with olive-artichoke tapenade which had a little bit too much citrus flavor.

Muru bread

For starter restaurant served Salmon-Roach ceviche with avocado creme which was tasty but maybe again a little bit too much flavor of citrus and acidity. Roach is Finnish white meated small fish which you seldom get in restaurants; 5 points for using it. Avocado creme softened acidity and was brilliant idea to combine with ceviche.

Salmon-roach chevice

For main courses we had Veal entrecote with vegetables, chanterelles and hollandaise sauce and Roasted whitefish with globe artichoke, scalded tomatoes and fish broth.

Veal was tender and did not include fat as entrecote usually does. Sauce suited well with meat and fresh vegetables completed portion, no need for some potato serving.

Whitefish was roasted perfectly and broth suited well creating the impression of bouillabaisse.

veal entrecoteWhitefish

18 months old Gouda cheese was served before dessert with Cherry compote. As cheese was not so salty compote did not need to be so sweet. Quite simple but worked well.

Cheese in Muru

For dessert menu included Cake made from almond flour, berry sauce and ice-cream or sorbet. Delicious ensamble which melted in your mouth, could have eaten at least three of these portions. You could find the taste of almond which of course was a big plus.

Cake

Can tell only briefly about the wines because did not write down the names except one.

Ciclope Rosso Toscano 2008 was served with the veal and it comes from Italy, Candialle winery owned by Finnish Jaakko Peränen. Paired well with meat and actually with gouda but because of amount of Merlot grape 50% would not recommend for aperitif. Unfotunately not available in Alko’s.

For ceviche, Italian white wine. For fish the choise was Savignon Blanc which is not our favourite grape. With dessert had glass of sweet wine, which paired perfectly with cake.

WinesRed wine

No wonder Muru is popular. Excellent food and service plus cozy and relaxed athmosphere. If wines would be more affordable overall grade would be 5 and exceed food and service grades also partly because of unique business idea.

However, with these points, Muru goes directly to shared first place 2013. Rankings can be found on page Restaurant Reviews.

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

http://www.murudining.fi/ravintola/in-english

http://www.candialle.com/english/winery.html

PS. Name Muru means Sugar or Crumb in English.

MuruMuru





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/





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: Pirate Helsinki

6 07 2012

Restaurant Pirate Helsinki operates in Southern Helsinki. First Pirate restaurant was established in Hanko and it serves also pizzas. Helsinki restaurant tries to be more sophisticated as it is part of Sinbad boat club. You have to order food from the bar because there is no table service. Therefore restaurant is also more affordable than some others. Pirate is a summer restaurant but it is open in December providing ambitious Christmas lunch with famous chefs like Hans Välimäki.

For starters ordered Prawns roasted with garlic and lime-aioli and  Toast Skagen with roe. Prawns were excellent, roasted perfectly and almost sweet.  Roe was whitefish roe which is much better than rainbow trout roe which you might get, if type of roe is not mentioned in the menu. In overall, starters were best part of the dinner and close to fine dining although Pirate is quite rough boat club restaurant.

For main course ordered Fried pike-perch with horsedarish crinkle potatoes and morel mushroom sauce and Pirate hamburger. Fish was like home made but sauce was delicious. Meat of hamburger was disappoitment, close to frozen tv dinner beef. French fries were crisp and enough salty. In overall quite simple hamburger portion.

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








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