Traditional Finnish crayfish party – re-post

21 07 2015

Crayfish - reijosfood.com

As Crayfish season starts again on the 21st of July, 2015, reminder for those who participate crayfish party first time.

Crayfish season in Finland is always from 21st of July until 31st of October. There are two species available, crayfish and signal crayfish. Origins of crayfish are in Finland but signal crayfish was imported from U.S.A in 1960’s. Crayfish is less common than signal crayfish and therefore more expensive. You can of course dine at restaurants offering crayfish menu’s, but more convenient is to enjoy them at home and hopefully outdoors.

1) DRINKS (most important after crayfish itselves)

First thing; make sure there is sufficient amount of drinks for the whole meal. You must have schnapps available, which can be Finnish vodka or Swedish aquavit. Then you must decide if champagne, white wine (recommend riesling) or beer suits best depending on your taste. And of course mineral or mountain spring waters must be available. But remember that all bottles on the table and in the fridge are not meant to be drank in a hurry. As crayfish dinner takes about 3-5 hours, be careful!

Drinks - reijosfood.comDrinks - reijosfood.com

2) TABLE-SETTING AND OTHER CRAYFISH TAT

Pictures of crayfish must be everywhere; in serviettes, tablecloth, plates, crayfish bib…etc . Even lanterns must include crayfish figures.

Eating crayfish requires specific knife in order to deal with claws. Otherwise they are eaten with the hands/fingers.

Crayfish tat - reijosfood.com

Crayfish - reijosfood.com

3) PROTECTION FROM SPLASHES

Crayfish bibs are usually made from disposable material, but you can of course make long-term investment or get them as a gift. And make sure bib is enough long to extend up to the knees. If it is too short, you will notice it afterwards.

Essu - reijosfood.com

4) AMOUNT OF CRAYFISH

To eat only crayfish the entire course of the meal is rare. It takes so long time to eat them, that you become hungry again during the dinner, so it is usual to eat crayfish as a starter. Thefore reserve about 7-10 crayfish for each diner and you are ready to float in the atmosphere. But if you decide to eat only crayfish, 20 is the minimum amount.

Crayfish - reijosfood.com

5) CRAYFISH SONGS

If you do not like to sing, after couple of vodka’s you might anyway be the loudest singer. Songs are short but funny, most famous is Swedish song: “Helan går”

If you are not sure how to eat crayfish, just google “How to eat crayfish” and you find several videos.

Then, it is crayfish party time!

Crayfish with Finlandia vodka - reijosfood.com





Restaurant review: Blue Peter

18 10 2013

Restaurant Blue Peter is situated on Lauttasaari island 4 km from Helsinki city centre. In the summer time it is really popular due to large terraces and HSK sailing club members. Restaurant is open all year around hosting private events also in the winter time. Suggest to try it instead of hotel meeting rooms.

We had dinner outside of busy season.

For starter had Crayfish Skagen, which has always been excellent. Thick and juicy crayfish tails are better than basic shrimps and combined with well prepared topping, it is really mouth-watering delicacy. And the massive heap of crayfish is really prestige.

Blue Peter - reijosfood.com

For main course we ordered Salmon with dill-potato smash and herb oil. Fish was perfectly roasted but sweet potato (correction: it must have been pumpkin) did not match as well as carrots which the portion usually included. Balancing sweetnes for salty fish was missing.

Blue Peter - reijosfood.com

For dessert, of course, Crepe with Old fashioned ice-cream and strawberry jam. It would be convenient to have at least one choice of lactose-free or low-lactose ice-cream because suggested sorbet does not pair with delicious crepe. We also paid normal price for the portion although decided to order it without ice-cream. Crepe is propably best in Helsinki as mentioned in earlier post, but would also value if both of us could really enjoy it with all side dishes.

Blue Peter - reijosfood.com

Blue Peter is THE summer restaurant and therefore after busy season it might feel a little bit quiet. After combining bistro and a la carte menus, selection of portions have decreased. Sometimes it is good to focus on fewer choises, but now only warm fish available in seaside restaurant are vendaces. This may be partly because of game season as you can enjoy of elk and rabbit.

Waiting already for the next summer, sunshine, cold drinks and cheeese burger at the terraces and maybe surface renovation of the chairs at the dining area.

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

http://www.bluepeter.fi/articles/632/





Wine review: Louis Roederer Brut Premier

28 09 2013

Champagne - reijosfood.com

Louis Roederer Champagnes were established 1776 in Reims and they still are a independent family owned company. Wineyard produces also one of the most precious champagnes in the world, Cristal.

Tasted champagne with crayfish was Louis Roederer Brut Premier. Grapes in this champagne are 40% Pinot noir – 40% Chardonnay – 20% Pinot Meunier. Amount of chardonny raises the value of this champagne.

THE LOOK

Bottle box is elegant with simple patterns.

Wine looks pale yellow with some greenish shade. It is lighter than champagnes usually are.

Champagne - reijosfood.com

THE NOSE

You can distinguish scent of fruits like apple and pear. Bouquet is elegant without yeast which unfortunately can be smelled out in too many champagnes.

THE TASTE

First taste feels a little bit sticky with big bubbles. Second taste brings out pleasant flavor without savors.

Fact and figures:

Alcohol: 12.00 %
Extract : 29 g/l
Acidity: 7.7 g/l
Sugar: 11 g/l
Energy : 80 kcal / 100 ml (330 kJ / 100 ml)
Closure: natural cork

Louis Roederer Brut Premier pairs with white fish and white meats and escecially with crayfish. For aperitif it is also perfect choice. You could choose this champagne to be enjoyed from starter to dessert.

Crayfishandchampagne - reijosfood.com

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 4-/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK (you can not value the price of a present)

http://www.champagne-roederer.com/

Champagne - reijosfood.com





Restaurant review: Fishmarket

22 09 2013

Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

Fishmarket, restaurant for seafood lovers! Could be the best of the best fish restaurants in Helsinki, if………

Restaurant Fishmarket was re-opened in May 2013. It serves wide selection of sea and fresh water cucine like fish, roe, lobster, craysfish, oysters and shellfish. If you like to eat meat choose some other restaurant because there is no single meat food on the a la carte list.

Fishmarket is located in Torikorttelit next to the Market Square (Kauppatori) on the ground floor of the same building as restaurant Sasso (see Sasso review by using search). New decor is modern and luminous after change in ownership and property renowation.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.comFishmarket - reijosfood.com

You could choose from different kind of seafood platters and even eat those at seafood bar and kind of recommend to do that.

We decided to choose “basic” fish portions which meant this time long waiting times. We chose one Helsinki Menu consisting of Finnish fish goodies; for starter Baltic herring, cheese from sour milk and whitefish roe, for main course Grilled pike perch from Inkoo, pumpkin, sage dressing and for dessert Chocolate fondant, black currant with vanilla ice cream. Another menu included for starter Finnish vendace roe with brioche, sour cream and onion, for main course Catch of the day with a price of the day which was Smoked trout with carrot and salvia sauce and for dessert mixed combination of milkless products which was not so easy task for the restaurant.

Dinner started with kitchens greetings Whitefish tartar which was excellent and served in small glass jar. Unfortunately starters were served right away after we got the jars. So we had to keep them in our hands while plates were put on the table. Timing mistake from the restaurant.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

Sweet archipelago bread and home made yeast bread with salted butter were awesome.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

Both starters were perfect. Baltic herring was not too salty and side dishes complemented the flavor well. Same but odd way to set the food on the edge of the plate as was in Sasso. Finnish roes always require black pepper which now had to be asked as it was not served with portion.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.comFishmarket - reijosfood.com

Main course dishes were prepared with skill, not overcooked and hot. Pumpkins with pike perch matched well, in the future must use pumpkin more ofter when cooking at home. Think waiter said that with trout there should be carrot pyre but maybe it included milk and was left out.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.comFishmarket - reijosfood.com

Helsinki Menu chocolate fondant was scrumptious. Double the size and you are there! Waiters were not exactly up to date which kind of milk was used; therefore mixed dessert for one of us. Again food was set on the edge of the plate.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.comFishmarket - reijosfood.com

One extremely positive thing is the wide selection of riesling wines. Too often you have to choose from few alternatives because chardonnays and savignon blancs dominate wine lists, but at Fishmarket you really can celebrate with rieslings. Chose Gun Metal Riesling Eden valley 2009 from Hewitson because of two reasons. First reason was the name Gun Metal which describes the grey-coloured stone amongst the vineyard, nothing to do with guns. Second reason was that Hewitson is more known of it’s red wines, not whites. But think Hewitson should stay in red wines because this riesling was too “soft” lacking acidity.

Fishmarket has all prerequisites to be the best seafood restaurant in Helsinki. Food was excellent but maybe one waiter was missing because waitering took so long time. Therefore it might make sense to order platters for starter or main course because you can pass the time by opening crabs.

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

http://www.fishmarket.fi/en





Traditional Finnish crayfish party

6 09 2013

Crayfish - reijosfood.com

Short introduction to traditional Finnish crayfish party secrets especially for nonresidents.

Crayfish season in Finland is always between 21st of July and 31st of October. There are two species available, crayfish and signal crayfish. Origins of crayfish are in Finland but signal crayfish was imported from U.S.A in 1960’s. Crayfish is less common than signal crayfish and therefore more expensive. You can of course dine at restaurants offering crayfish menu’s but more convenient is to enjoy them at home and hopefully outdoors.

1) DRINKS

First thing; make sure there is sufficient amount of drinks for the whole meal. You must have schnapps available which can be Finnish vodka or Swedish aquavit. Then you must decide if champagne, white wine (recommend riesling) or beer suits best depending on your taste. And of course mineral or mountain spring waters must be available. But remember that all bottles on the table and in the fridge are not meant to drink in hurry. As crayfish dnner takes about 3-5 hours, be careful!

Drinks - reijosfood.comDrinks - reijosfood.com

2) TABLE-SETTING AND OTHER CRAYFISH TAT

Pictures of crayfish must be everywhere; in serviettes, tablecloth, plates, crayfis bib…etc . Even lanterns must include crayfish figures.

Eating crayfish requires specific knife in order to deal with claws. Otherwise they are eaten with the hands.

Crayfish tat - reijosfood.com

Crayfish - reijosfood.com

3) PROTECTION FROM SPLASHES

Crayfish bibs are usually made from disposable material but you can of course make long-term investment or get them as a gift. And make sure bib is enough long to extend up to the knees. If it is too short, you will notice it afterwards.

Essu - reijosfood.com

4) AMOUNT OF CRAYFISH

To eat only crayfish the entire course of the meal is rare. It takes so long time to eat them that you become hungry again during the dinner, so it is usual to eat crayfish as a starter. Thefore reserve about 7-10 crayfish for each diner and you are ready to float in the atmosphere. But if you decide to eat only crayfish, 20 is the minimum amount.

Crayfish - reijosfood.com

5) CRAYFISH SONGS

If you do not like to sing, after couple of vodka’s you might be the loudest singer. Songs are short but funny, most famous is Swedish song: “Helan går”

If you are not sure how to eat crayfish, just google How to eat crayfish and you find several videos. Then, it is crayfish party time!

Crayfish with Finlandia vodka - reijosfood.com





Pocket guide: Order right fish in Helsinki restaurants

7 06 2013

Pike perchFishSmoked whitefishFishFishLavaret

This is an updated copy of post from July 2012 with some new pictures. As holiday season comes closer, hopefully you find this useful if you dine at restaurants in Helsinki.

Sometimes it might be difficult to order local dishes if you have not tried them before. Meat dishes are easier because chicken, pork and red meat arequite similar in each country. When it comes to fish there are more differences, therefore below is short guide for ordering right fish in restaurants.

1. Whitefish or Lavaret (Siika)

Whitefish or sometimes Lavaret is number one favourite. If it is available in the restaurant, order it. For starter marinated or spiced whitefish is excellent choice, better than salmon. For main course either roasted or fried, this non greasy white colored fish is delicious if properly prepared. It might be over roasted but fish restaurants know what they do. Whitefish roe is also tasty and again better than rainbow trout’s. First picture (Glogatan 4) below is smoked and second (Copas y Tapas) fried whitefish. Third one is home made oven baked fish, see the white fish meat.

Smoked whitefish2012-09-07-637Whitefish

2. Pike perch (Kuha)

Pike perch is one of the most expensive Finnish fishes. Meat is white and soft and tastes best when it is roasted or fried. Pike perch even suits for preparing sushi because it can be quite big fish. Pike perch will be familiar to you if you have eaten Mediterranean white meat fisheses, like sea bass. First picture from Meche, second from Havis and third from Copas y Tapas.

Pike perchPerch

3. Perch (Ahven)

Perch is maybe most common fish in Finland and also our national fish. Meat is white and tasty. Main issue are small fishbones, if not properlyremoved. But if you are in a better restaurant which has perch in their menu, it is worth to order. Meat of perch looks like meat of small sea bass. First picture is from Havis and second from Nuevo.

026

DSC02709

4. Arctic char (Nieriä or Rautu)

Arctic char is close to rainbow trout or even salmon. Meat is very lightly reddish and a little bit greasy. It is very popular and affordable fish and very often available in most restaurants. Main issue is over roasting but again good restaurants know how to prepare it. It is popular to combine morel sauce with this fish as well as with salmon. First picture is from Nuevo and second picture from Le Havre.

DSC02706Arctic char

5. Crayfish and Signal crayfish (Jokirapu and Täplärapu)

If you visit Helsinki, Finland between 21st July and end of October, you must try Crayfish (crawfish, spiny lobster), most popular shellfish in Finland. Many restaurants have crayfish menu’s. Although they are expensive, escpecially signal crayfishes, which have been imported from North America to Finland in 1960’s, you can also order them as a starter (usually 5-6) and enjoy hilarious athmosphere. If crayfish is really cheap make sure it is Finnish, it might have been imported as frozen from China.

Bon Appetit!





Restaurant review: Virgin Oil Co.

2 09 2012

From nice dining to stage diving!

This is how restaurant Virgin Oil Co. describes briefly itself – http://www.virginoil.fi/

In real life Virgin Oil Co. is american italian restaurant which serves maybe the best pizzas in Helsinki. Have several times ordered delicious pizzas which are prepared in wood oven and they have always been excellent. Restaurant and bar are in the first floor and terrace in the summer front of the entrance. In the 2nd floor there is a popular Club where you can enjoy live music and performances. Decor tries to imitate taverna or trattoria style with few peculiarities like painting/picture on the wall and roof lamps.

Imagine that at the end of August restaurant already sells Christmas Party events!

At 5PM on Friday evening restaurant is still quite empty, but could not make table reservation two days earlier. Usually you get table right away or in half a hour if they said it is full. At 7PM it actually was full.

For Primi Piatti or Antipasti ordered this time Gamberetti con Barbaforte Crayfish tails marinated with horseradish, Carciofi Marinated and grilled artichokes and Salsiccia Piccante Hot and spicy salsiccia-type sausage, grilled. Crayfish was OK but one could not taste horseradish. Artichokes were also OK but should have been longer in the grill. Salsiciccia sausage was as it should have been, salty and greasy.

For Primi Secondi had Chevre Chicken Grilled breast of chicken, potatoes à la Virgin, grilled goat cheese, blackcurrant sauce and vegetables and Chicken Fulmini
Grilled breast of chicken, linguine (pasta) in a creamy sauce with chilli, oil with herbs, parmesan and pine kernels. Grilled chicken breast
was a little bit dry but chevre well grilled and smooth. Linguine was also a little bit over cooked but chili sauce tasted perfect. Sauce reminded carbonara but without egg.

For wine ordered wines from barrels which usually are simple but drinkable. Maybe wine had stayed too long in the barrel because it was a little bit stale. All bottle wines come from Italy and USA; for american italian restaurant an obvious choice!

Virgin Oil Co. is perfect place to eat pizza with friends because of central location (near Stockmann on the Mannerheim Street) and relaxed athmosphere. For pizza would have given at least 4 for food, if comparing to many other pizzerias.

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

http://www.virginoil.fi/in-english/menu/








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