Restaurant review: Saari – revisit and reunion

31 05 2015

 

Sirpalesaari - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Saari is located on the island Sirpalesaari about 1 km from the centre of Helsinki. Saari provides Finnish delicacies of the season from land and sea as well as stunning views and genuine maritime atmosphere.  A boat serves the island every hour and half from the Saari pier located on the shore of Merisatama close to Cafe Carusel. The crossing takes only a couple of minutes. Also a few berths are available for guests arriving at the restaurant aboard with their own boats. You can dine either in the dining room inside, in the “Captain’s Cabin” of the private room Sampo or on the outdoor terrace.

Have visited restaurant several times and review from 2013 can be found by using search. This time Saari was the place for reunion of old college students.

Restaurant Saari

Started dinner with Elk rillettes flavored with birch syrup, beetroot and blackcurrant.

Delicious starter with many tastes. Green salad lightened dish but it would not have been necessary.

BraIsed eli at Saari - reijosfood.com

For main course ordered fish which was Salmon smoked with alder and juniper berries, summer potatoes and creamed wild forest mushrooms flavoured with Koskenlaskija cheese.

Long name for dish but kitchen continued with same level as with starter. Salmon was not overcooked which is always proof of chef’s competence. Spring potatoes could not yet be Finnish but this is the time when they become available in supermarkets too.

Salmon at Saari - reijosfood.com

Almost skipped dessert but luckily we got one extra portion which I took.

Saari’s traditional pine tar ice-cream with home-made blueberry and rasberry jam and oat biscuit by Rönttösrouva was really scrumptious. I am not sure about the lady behind biscuit but the name is difficult to translate.

Ice-cream at Saari - reijosfood.com

Food at Saari is always excellent and the athmosphere in old fisherman type of dining room hilarious.

Service is polite and professional as it has used to be.

But of course the company of college friends and discussion about funny events in the past made the dinner immemorial.

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

Saari – Ravintola Saari.

 

 





Seafront hot spot terraces in Kaivopuisto, Helsinki

14 08 2014

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Kaivopuisto (Kaivari), is one of the oldest and best known parks in South Helsinki. The park is on the seafront and in the vicinity operates several cafes and restaurants. Another name for this post could be “Kaivopuisto terrace guide”, but as only 3 terraces have been chosen, more specific name was needed.

It takes only 25 minutes to walk to the first hot spot from Market Square. And if you arrive for one day visit to Helsinki with Tallink Cruise ship from Stockholm, only 20 minutes. But if you get tired before first pit stop, you can drop by at Cafe Ursula, which is the oldest seafront terrace in Kaivopuisto area.

 

Mattolaituri

The first hot spot is Mattolaituri. Mattolaituri (Carpet Pier) name comes from the pier which was, and sometimes still is, used for washing carpets. Otherwise nothing in common, as cafe building is most modern in Helsinki, as well as the terrace.

Mattolaituri is located across from island Uunisaari, in Eastern part of South Kaivopuisto.

Place is one of the few “Moet Ice Imperial hot spots” in Helsinki (link to find all hot spots Discover), which you can also see from the pictures. In the evenings also dancing and once a week movies.

There are several areas for relaxation; roof terrace, table area and deck chairs. Less queues in busiest times due to 2 serving desks.

Drinks: champagnes, especially Moet & Chandon and wines

Food: snacks or salad, not the main focus

Opening hours: 09.00AM – 02.00AM, open from MayDay to about end of September

Moet Ice Imperial at Mattolaituri - reijosfood.comMattolaituri - reijosfood.comMattolaituri in Kaivopuisto - reijosfood.comMattolaituri in Kaivopuisto - reijosfood.comMattolaituri_II - reijosfood.comMoet at Mattolaituri - reijosfood.com

Mattolaituri – Helsinki, Finland – Ravintola | Facebook

 

Cafe Carusel

Cafe Carusel is next hot spot locating across from islands Sirpalesaari, Liuskaluoto and Liuskasaari. It was opened already in mid 90’s and was at that time phenomenom.

Cafe/restaurant is open all-year-round as it has spacious interior. You can relax inside, if it rains or on sun beds or at table area. And if it happens to rain, choose Cafe Carusel. Also widest menu.

Drinks: beer, cider, wines, special coffees

Food: pizzas, salads, burgers, sandwiches, widest menu of the 3 hot spots

Opening hours: 09.00AM – 22.00PM every day, all year round

Cava at Carusel - reijosfood.comCafe Carusel - reijosfood.comSun beds at Carusel - reijosfood.comCafe Carusel - reijosfood.com

Cafe Carusel – Helsinki, Finland – Kahvila | Facebook

 

Birgitta

Birgitta Hernesaari, the newcomer, which was opened this summer, is third hot spot. This cafe is most rough-looking as exterior-walls seem to be burned.

Cafe is located almost in Hernesaari, which is the westernmost area in Kaivopuisto and near the new beach. You will see lot’s of cruise passengers from ship’s stopping for the day in Hernesaari port. Last time 1/3 of the customers were from the United States.

During busiest time the longest waiting time for order submission. Birgitta is also smallest from these 3 terraces.

Drinks: soft drinks, beer, video, wines

Food: speciality is burger grilled in charcoal grill, salads and sandwiches

Opening hours: 09.00AM – 22.00PM every day, not yet sure if cafe is open all year round

Refreshments at Birgitta - reijosfood.comBirgitta Hernesaari - reijosfood.comBirgitta - reijosfood.comBrunch at Birgitta - reijosfood.com

Birgitta Hernesaari – Kahvila | Facebook

So, if you visit Helsinki and like to relax on terraces, not just settle for hanging in downtown cafes and terraces. Walk or take a tram number 2 from Market Square to Kaivopuisto.





Restaurant review: Saari

7 07 2013

Restaurant Saari

Restaurant Saari is located on the island Sirpalesaari about 1 km from the centre of Helsinki. Saari provides Finnish delicacies of the season from land and sea as well as stunning views and genuine maritime atmosphere.  A boat serves the island every hour and half from the Saari pier located on the shore of Merisatama close to Cafe Carusel. The crossing takes only a couple of minutes. Also a few berths are available for guests arriving at the restaurant aboard with their own boats. You can dine either in the dining room inside, in the “Captain’s Cabin” of the private room Sampo or on the outdoor terrace.

Restaurant Saari

Restaurant Saari

 

Because have enjoyed restaurant starter speciality couple of times before decided to compare portion to previous visits. Starter is called The secrets of Sirpalesaari island An assortment of Saari’s best appetizers (served 2 or more person).

Quite expensive starter but you do not necessarily need to eat main course if you are not starving. 4 person portion included this time spiced salmon, two herrings, pork loin, elk sausage, duck breast, new potatoes, salad, cheese, marinated onion and mushroom salad. Again cheerful assortment which did not let down. Whole serving was tasty and well prapared.

Restaurant Saari

For main courses ordered Fish catch of the day and Entrecôte of Åland lamb braised in rosemary stock warm salad of summer vegetables and marjoram sauce.

Fish was whitefish with barley risotto and mushroom sauce. Fish was a little bit over cooked and risotto included too much leek. Lamb was better than entrecote because there was almost none grease. Meat was really tender and side dishes matched well with the lamb.

Whitefish at SaariLamb at Saari

For desserts had An assortment of cheeses from small Finnish cheese producers with Åby manor’s crisp bread and season’s fruit or berry compot and Saari’s traditional pine tar ice cream home-made blueberry and raspberry jam, oat bisquit (classic dish since 2000). Peltola Blue cheese (similar to roquefort) was the best piece of cheeses which also included goat cheese and gryerere with buckthorn compot. Ice cream was pimped by request and jam was replaced with fresh strawberries, really tasty.

CheesesIce cream

Be sure not to anger connection boat driver, if you come with your own boat. Because of variable weather restaurant had decided not to serve outside which was a little bit dissappointment. At least starter would have been nice to eat at the terrace, but rain would have interrupted dinner later. However choose Saari instead of Saaristo if you want to enjoy good food in a relaxed athmosphere. Especially starter we had is worth to try.

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

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http://www.asrestaurants.com/EN/restaurants/saari/presentation.html

You can also find summary of island restaurants via https://reijosfood.com/2012/07/04/island-restaurants-in-helsinki/








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