Restaurant review: GOCE Bar & Kitchen – “gourmet” tapas in Helsinki

16 01 2014

Tapas at Goce - reijosfood.com

After vacation in Spain it was important to arrange smooth return to everyday life. Especially as winter arrived in Helsinki the same day. Therefore we decided to dine at new “gourmet” tapas place GOCE Bar & Kitchen.

Restaurant was re-opened in new premises in November 2013. We made reservation on 6th Jan and noticed couple of days later that a la carte list had shortened. Only two main courses and desserts. Reason why we decided to try a big bunch of tapas portions, which sounded delicious and were familiar from previous visits to Spain.

Chose 9 portions from the list. 10th, Grilled Secreto and Sofrito, was recommended by waitress. All portions looked well prepared when they arrived to the table.

Goce menu - reijosfood.com

First we got Pimientos de Padron, which were exactly as they should be. Warm, soft and not too salty.

Pimientos de Padron at Goce - reijosfood.com

Then arrived Gambas Plancha, see the burning flame in the middle of the plate! Delicious ones, but only three pieces.

Gambas Plancha at Goce - reijosfood.com

Annoying events started at this point.

As we were early diners, in fact the first ones, after restaurant had opened at 5PM, kitchen decided to prepare everything at once. That might be typical for affordable tapas bars, but at GOCE‘s price level, you expect to be able to enjoy warm dishes warm.

Our gambas were still uneaten when we got Patatas Bravas and Beetroot to the table. Both were delicious especially beetroot but we were now confused; which portions to eat next?

Potates and beetroot at Goce - reijosfood.com

We already had 4 dishes on the table and got 5th, PulpoOctopus. This one was not so successful as previous portions. It should have been more crisp or solid, but instead was too soft.

Pulpo at Goce - reijosfood.com

We managed to fill up our small plates in a hurry with mixed selection of 4 tapas portions but during we emptied plates came Boquerones, Chorizos, Iberico -pork and soon after that Green salad and Manchego cheese. It was easier to take a picture of all of them than to try photograph portions one by one.

Unfortunately we had to send back sausages and Iberico -pork because they were already cold when we started to focus to eat them. However, had tasted pork plate and did not want a replacement for that because meat pieces seemed to be mostly pigskin. Would not have done that, but waitress had encouraged us to order it.

Sausages were juicy as they should be and Manchego was ok. It could have been a little bit older compared to the price.

There was a pile of croutons on green salad which is odd, is it then green? As we were served fresh bread to start with, it would have been enough.

Goce tapas - reijosfood.com

Green salad at Goce - reijosfood.com

Restaurant and dining room are huge compared to any other bistros or tapas bars. Decoration is stylish, one of the most elegants in the city for concept GOCE has.

Goce Bar & Kitchen - reijosfood.comGoce - reijosfood.com

If we would have had enough time to enjoy tapas portions, GOCE Bar & Kitchen would have earned better scores for service. Waitress said that she tried to slow down the speed kitchen had. Therefore suggest to take couple of tapas to start with and then try main courses. Also would have appreciated if our plates would have been changed once or twice. We were asked if we want clean ones when we had only one piece of cheese left….

Would also hope that there would be more affordable choises for wines in the glass. At least found interesting basic tempranillo, Disco 2012, which paired well with all tapas portions.

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

http://goce.fi/





Restaurant review: Casa Mare

27 05 2012


Restaurant Casa Mare is most popular all year round bistro in the suburb. 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.

Restaurant is owned by Ravintolakolmio which owns also Tony’s deli where we dined few months ago. Review available.

For starters ordered Halloum cheese and tomato (grilled halloum, tomatoes, olives and rucola) and Salad buffet. Cheese with add on’s was tasty and not too salty. Salad buffet is simple; few basic salads and home made bread.

For main course ate Chorizo-Mozzarella pasta (spicy red pepper-tomato sauce, chorizo sausage, mozzarella de buffala, rucola and penne pasta) and Catch of the day (this time White fish with vegetables and potato mash). Pasta was great, too easy to over cook pennes, but now they were perfect. Sauce was enough spicy and mozzarella softened it suitably. But then started problems.

Catch of th day was ordered without potato mash, but it came with it. Kitchen decided to move pieces of fish to another plate and due to long waiting time, fish skin was already a little bit “soft” (see picture). For dessert ordered Crepes with strawberries; regarding to waiter there should have not been cream on it,  but there was. Had to ask to replace portion. On top of this, espresso had to be sent back because it was cold. Restaurant noticed these mistakes and we did not have to pay for dessert and coffees; well done!

Casa Mare has every summer special offer, two pizzas for price of one. Gonna utilize that in July as many other people will too.

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

http://www.ravintolacasamare.com/page.php?language=1





Restaurant review: Parrilla Espanola

4 02 2012

Bienvenidos a Parrilla Espanola.

If you are looking for native Spain restaurant (not only tapas and cava) you must visit Restaurant Parrilla Espanola with 30 years history in Helsinki restaurant life. You could even get Paella if you would prefer.

We visited restaurant during the weekend when there were lots of culture and sports events in Helsinki.  Helsinki is the capital city of desing and there was Restaurant Day on the 4th of  Feb. Same day there was also outdoor hockey game at olympic stadium.  Due to these events several passers-by noticed that restaurant was full reserved which was true as we were already seated. By 21.00 all tables were in use.

For starters we chose Tapas for two consisting of Manchego cheese, Jamon Serrano, melon, marinated mushrooms, olives, marinated red onions, chorizo, spanish meatballs,…..Tapas were fresh which is rare nowadays as canned food is too often on the plates.

Pike-Perch a la Vasca and Grilled fillet beef-steak “Parrilla Española” were main course choises we ordered. Portions were more typical to Spanish than Finnish. This is important to understant for Finnish visitors!  Taste of fish was hidden under fish-white wine sauce, sothe taste of was not easy to identify. Meat was ordered as medium but it was more or less raw and parts of side dishes were burned.

But, restaurant is the one of the best original Spanish restaurants in Helsinki. You can get several Spanish brandies including Torres and Lepanto. Decor is timeless like in restaurants in Madrid or any other city in Spain; but not the tourist ones. Worth of visiting if you want original Spanish food, but do not expect visual experience.

REVIEW: Food 3/5 – Service 4/5 – Overall grade 3/5

http://www.parrillaespanola.fi/








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