Michelin star restaurants in Helsinki 2016 – 4 restaurants with 1 star

24 02 2016

Lamb at Demo - reijosfood.comDessert at Demo - reijosfood.comPil red wine at Demo - reijosfood.com

Michelin Guide announced new list of Michelin starred restaurants in Finland today, 24th of February. Four restaurants got 1 Michelin star, all in Helsinki. Actually all 4 restaurants maintained rating but unfortunately no new stars.


Restaurants with 1 Michelin star in Helsinki are:

Ask, Vironkatu 8, Helsinki – Restaurant Ask.

Chef & Sommelier, Huvilakatu 28, Helsinki – Restaurant Chef & Sommelier, Helsinki / Chef & Sommelier – Organic restaurant in Eira.

Demo, Uudenmaankatu 9-11, Helsinki – Restaurant Demo | ”Share a laugh in the middle of culinary excellence”

Olo, Pohjoisesplanadi 5, Helsinki – OlO Restaurant treats you to a Gastronomic journey of Nordic influence

Demo bar - reijosfood.com

Pictures are from restaurant Demo, which has maintained Michelin star since 2007 being oldest Michelin star restaurant in Helsinki.





Wine review: Best mulled wines 2015

12 12 2015

Glögi - reijosfood.com

Mulled wines (Glögi or Hehkuviini in Finnish) are really popular in Finland during Christmas time. They can be purchased at Alko’s already at the end of October. As the assortment of mulled wines is quite wide it is important to select right ones. Many of the mulled wines at Alko are too sweet, too strong or strangely flavored.

So,  here is a selection of TOP3 best mulled wines available at Alko: Perinteinen Punaviiniglögi, Hehkuviini and Rauschgoldengel Organic Glühwein (1 litre bottle!)

Gluhwein - reijosfood.com

What is odd that first two come from Denmark, which seems to be THE country of mulled wines, if conclusion is based on Alko selection. So, most of the mulled wines are not made in Finland. As a matter in fact, most of them are imported or specially manufactured for Alko and bottled in Finland.

Gluhwein comes from Germany, of course. Very popular drink with several producers in Central Europe, but only one brand to be chosen in Finland.

THE LOOK

The labels of Danish mulled wine bottles look similar, same red ground and golden decorations. Organic gluhwein label is not so flashy, nice winter picture on it.

Hehkuviini is a little bit darker red than Perinteinen Punaviiniglögi. Gluhwine is even more lighter than Punaviiniglögi.

However, the difference of the look of mulled wines is usually negligible.

THE NOSE

The aroma of Perinteinen Punaviiniglögi is softer due to amount of less alcohol. Clove dominates but not disturbingly.

Hehkuviini smells like raisin and Christmas spices but alcohol tries to come up. The scent of both wines is christmassy, which is most important savor of mulled wines.

Gluhwein bouquet is nice, not too much alcohol which makes sniffing more pleasant.

THE TASTE

You can find cardamon form Perinteinen Punaviiniglögi. Taste is well balanced and spices are in harmony.

In Hehkuviini mostly you can taste almond and gingerbread. As it has more alcohol that can also be noticed. Quite a lot calories too…..

Gluhwein tasted much better than last years version. Balanced spiced taste and tempranillo grapes made this drink winner of the year. And most of all, it is not too sweet.

Gluhwein - reijosfood.com

Facts:

……………Gluhwein………….Punaviiniglögi……………..Hehkuviini
Alcohol:   10.00 %                       13.00%                           22.00% (be careful!)
Extract:   105 g/l                          120 g/l                           170 g/l
Acidity:    4.9 g/l                           5.7 g/l                            4.7 g/l
Sugar:     85 g/l                             95 g/l                             150 g/l
Energy:   100 kcal / 100 ml  120 kcal / 100 ml  190 kcal / 100 ml

Mulled wines are part of Christmas time, at least in Finland. It is a pity that Alko does not provide wider selection of Gluhweins, only one choice available but fortunately excellent. Gluhweins are quite close to mulled wines, but not so sweet.

One option is to buy low-alcohol mulled wines from super markets, but then you also to need to know which ones to pick. Most of them are actually juices.

REVIEWS:

Perinteinen Punaviini: OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK +++/+++

Hehkuviini: OVERALL GRADE 4/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++ (little bit too strong)

Gluhwein: OVERALL GRADE 5-/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK +++/+++ 





Wine review: Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau and Doudet-Naudin Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau (2015)

20 11 2015

Beaujolais Nouveau 2015

Beaujolais Nouveau is a red wine made from Gamay grapes produced in the Beaujolais region of France. Wine is released for sale on the third Thursday of November. “Beaujolais Nouveau Day” used to see heavy marketing, with races to get the first bottles to different markets around the globe.

The current release practice is to ship the wine ahead of the third Thursday of November, and release it to the local markets at 00.01 AM local time. In Finland Alko, monopoly company selling wines and alcohol, starts selling these wines at 09.00 on Thursday 19th November.

Luckily 2015 we are able to taste 2 different wines, both cost to consumers less than 10€ in Alko.

These wines are Doudet-Naudin Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau and Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau. Georges Duboeuf wine was for also for sale last year, but Doudet-Naudin is new. One specific feature differentiates these wines from the previous vintages, amount of alcohol >13%!!!

BN2015

THE LOOK

Bottle: Label of Georges Duboeuf follows colorful and joyful trend but Doudet-Naudin does not look traditional Beaujolais Nouveau style with black background.

Wine: Both wines are almost violet, blue-reddish as young wines always are.

THE NOSE

Fruity, even sweet aroma especially when using tasting glass. Cherry, rasberry and fruit candy scent came in to the nose from both wines.

It seems that Doudet-Naidin has more deep bouquet.

THE TASTE

Medium-bodied, young, light fruity wines. Berries (cherry, cranberry) dominate, but on the other hand taste is light. Aroma is more convenient than taste, but with unspiced food and pizzas, both wines pair well.

Doudet-Naudin felt softer because less acidity, but extra 0,5% in strongness made this wine my favourite.

Facts:

                      Georges Duboeuf                                                  Doudet-Naidin
Alcohol:        13,00 %                                                           13,50 %
Extract:        30 g/l                                                               27 g/l
Acidity:         6,1 g/l                                                              5,7 g/l
Energy:         80 kcal / 100 ml (320 kJ / 100 ml)          90 kcal / 100 ml (360 kJ / 100 ml)

Alko has imported 50.000 bottles alltogether of these wines. Let’s see is they are finished before Christmas.

REVIEW:

Georges Duboeuf  OVERALL GRADE 4-/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++

Doudet-Naidin OVERALL GRADE 4/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++





Restaurant review: Bistro Telakka

23 05 2015

Telakka bistro replaced bistro Pirate Helsinki in May 2015. Same building and decor but new touch and enthusiasm.

Official opening was on the 22nd of May afternoon when Telakka served some delicious snacks, wine and beer for free. Snacks were actually bites from a la carte list. For instance mini Smoked salmon burger was excellent. Will definately try it later as big version.

Telakka bistro opening party

Highlight of Telakka burger is beef between roll’s. It is big and you are asked how minced meat is fried. Ordered it as medium which was also the end-result. Unfortunately french fries were too salty but bet it will be fixed later.

Telakka burger - reijosfood.com

Tasted also Goat cheese salad with beetroots. Excellent match especially with D’Vine Cabernet-Merlot red wine.

Goatcheese salad at Telakka - reijosfood.com

Avarage price of wine bottle on short list is about 35€, which is really affordable concerning wine prices in Helsinki restaurants in general.

Telakka bistro - reijosfood.com

Bistro Telakka - reijosfood.com

Telakka bistro is excellent supplementary dining place in Lauttasaari. One fish portion to main courses and place have promising future.

It is a little bit difficult to review service as you have to order from the bar inside. When it gets warmer, there will be hungry queuers waiting for possibility to place order.

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

http://www.bistrotelakka.fi/

 

 





Restaurant review: Tony’s deli

9 05 2015

Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Tony’s deli was re-opened in April 2015 after an extensive renovation. Italian cuisine continues to be the main attraction, but restaurant includes now more space due to the new spot at street level.

Main restaurant, Tony’s deli, serves more sophisticated portions like it did in the past.

Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

Lounge diVino with shop has a antipasti buffet and new in restaurant concept, Italian Street bar, is most relaxed, when it comes to athmosphere. There you can order antipasti trays and even listen modern music.

Lounge diVino - reijosfood.com

Antipasti Buffet - reijosfood.com

Tony’s deli (restaurant name) was founded already in 2005, but after some changes in restaurant location and ownership, Ravintolakolmio http://www.ravintolakolmio.fi/ operates it.

First hiccup came when asked recommendation for aperitif and if restaurant has Aperol Spritz. Waitress had to go ask if they have it….. Decided to order Campari soda and glass of house champagne, which was Mumm.

Campari soda - reijosfood.com

Started dinner with Antipasti as in Italian restaurant you should do. Depending on the amount and size of these small Italian snacks, you soon know if you have to skip Primi Piatti, pastas, which are also on menu.

For antipasti had Tony’s delis beef carpaccio with raspberry vinegar, Olives with basil and rocket and Grilled gem lettuce with parmesan and pine nuts.

Beef was tender but taste was covered under sweet vinegar, salt and parmesan. With less of those, this dish would have been excellent. Olives are good example of basic Italian antipasti and Tony’s deli managed well. Gem lettuce could have been more grilled, but it must be difficult to avoid burning of soft lettuce leave.

With starters restaurant serves delicious foccaccia and even gluten-free bread if needed.

Beef Carpaccio - reijosfood.com

Olives at Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

Salad at Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Braised entrecote of beef with thyme and red wine sauce and Pan-fried white fish with white wine sauce. For main courses you have to choose side dish from 8 different alternatives. Part of them are the same as starters.

Entrecote was braised well so that grease had almost gone. Only problem was that lettuce was softening in sauce. Suggest to serve it in separate bowl as potatoes for whitefish. Fish was well prepared but maybe side dish suggestion, potatoes, is not the perfect match.

Braised entrecote - reijosfood.com

Whitefish at Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

Wine list is modest consisting mainly from Italian wines. Chose for red wine Chianti which paired well with meat starter and main course. Montiggl riesling instead was dissappointment. Tasted almost like sauvignon blanc and it was served too early. Had to ask ice for it.

Noticed that restaurant offers wine tastings, but if 4 glasses are filled with 16cl at once, what happens to temperature of white wines?

Chianti at Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

Tony’s deli antipasti buffet is the one you must choose, if you visit restaurant. It is most popular among diners. Main courses are of course most difficult to prepare.

As restaurant has been opened month ago, waitering needs still some guidance.

Italian pizzeria music in the background might attract most and main dining room is quite impressive due to glass roof. There are many paintings on the wall’s and Sophia Loren is still on men’s room wall.

Sophia Loren - reijosfood.com

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

Restaurant Tony’s Deli – Italian restaurant, Helsinki

 





First of May (Vappu) lunch at Vanha

1 05 2015

Vanha - reijosfood.com

Historic restaurant Vanha ylioppilastalo, Vanha in short, has been serving customers for more than 140 years. It is the classic venue for hosting celebrations and events in Helsinki. Located at the heart of the city, Vanha is not only an impressive building but an integral part of Finnish cultural history. Vanha’s spacious Great Hall provides a luxurious venue for dazzling concerts, dinners and corporate events.

Vanha - reijosfood.com

Nowadays restaurant business is run by Royal Restaurants, which owns most of the fine dining restaurants in Helsinki.

Vappu lunch table - reijosfood.com

First of May (Labour Day) is a day for lunch or brunch depending which time you choose for eating. Usually first setting is already at 11.30 and that is OK, if you have not had chance to eat breakfast. Prefered latter setting, which was at 15.00 at Vanha.

People were crowded in small hallway because setting was late. Doors to Great Hall were opened 15.20, which meant that earlier setting ended too late.

Vappu is also day for bubbling drinks. Instead of sponsor champagne Lanson, ordered Moet & Chandon. Wine list was all along short, so short that there was only one red and one white wine alternative for glass. Tried white wine and it was barely drinkable with whitefish.

Menu at Vanha - reijosfood.com

Menu consisted of starter, main course and dessert buffets. Kind of was expecting that main courses would have been served to the tables but it would have been impossible.

Food available can be seen from the menu above but as it is only in Finnish, some highlights from it in English.

Starter buffet included herrings, gravlax, warm smoked salmon, lamb meatballs, caesar salad, breads and some other stuff.

For main course there was two alternatives, whitefish or beef fillet with root vegetables.

And for dessert chocolate cake, sweets and cheeses.

Starter Buffet at Vanha - reijosfood.com

Dessert Buffet at Vanha - reijosfood.com

Food itself was excellent. All dishes were fresh and well prepared. Even whitefish was delicious although it was in thermal container. Of course it was a little bit over cooked due to that, but otherwise good.

Restaurant advertised with live music. Well, 20 minutes playing by 6 ladies, which you could hardly hear. Our table was close to the stage for shows, which allowed to see and listen but I think that at other end of hall they could not hear anything. Ladies played well, that was not the problem, but you expect to hear music at least half of the time dining lasts, which was 2,5 hours.

Live music at Vanha - reijosfood.com

As mentioned before, food was excellent.

You can not review service because you had to pick up the food by yourself. Drink serving was polite and special thanks to effort made for bringing us Moet & Chandon instead of Lanson.

Vanha and Great Hall are glorious and therefore overall points could be better. But for vappu lunch system does not work. First you waited to get in because earlier setting was late. Then you queued for starters. And then next event was already starting when you paid the bill. Space was used too effectively on the First of May.

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

Vanha Ylioppilastalo





Restaurant review: Brasserie Kämp – Kämp burger

26 04 2015

Brasserie Kämp - reijosfood.com

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.

Restaurant Brasserie Kämp offers a wide range of European food brasserie style. After building heated terrace four years ago you can dine “outside” all year around like in many brasseries in Paris. That is the place for enjoying Kämp burger.

Kämp burger consists of Black Angus beef patty, chipotle and bacon dressing, pickled red onion, cheddar, little gem lettuce between roll and pommes frites.

You can can choose the degree of maturity of the meat. Medium means that you get patty which is red inside. And patty is thick, thicker than you usually have seen and juicy. It is one reason for the price, 24€, but of course the milieu adds some value add. Fries are crispy as they should be and served with elegance.

With red wine, usually pinot noir, Kämp burger is perfect hunger killer for lunch!

Kämp burger - reijosfood.com

Brasserie Kämp is perfect location to observe passers-by on Esplanadi promenade and eat that famous Kämp burger. You can also watch swanky cars parked front of Hotel Kämp or driving to the hotel garage.

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

Ravintola Brasserie Kämp.





Restaurant review: Pastor – revisit

12 04 2015

Pastor was opened in August 2014 adding new cuisine in Helsinki restaurant scene. Inspiration comes from the Peruvian kitchen with add on’s from east Asian ingredients. Really fusion cuisine as there are some hints from sushi culture and Spanish kitchen. The portions can be eaten alone or they can be shared, of course nowadays.

Decor is simple, maybe even rugged. But as Pastor is also open until 3AM on Friday’s and Saturday’s and transforms even more laid-back socializing place, it does not matter.

Visited Pastor second time, previous review can be found be using search.

Pastor kitchen - reijosfood.com

Pastor dining room - reijosfood.com

Menu consists of Ceviche bar snacks, starters, main courses, side dishes and desserts. Ceviche dishes are popular in the coastal regions of the South and Central Americas. The dish is typically made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with chili. One proof of Peruvian kitchen!

Decided to order for aperitives again glass of house champagne, Lassaigne Les Vignes de Montgueuz and glass of excellent riesling, Brauneberger Juffer, which was chosen by Pekka Koiranen, head of restaurant and propably the best sommelier in Finland. Wine included some residual sugar making it semi-dry.

Wine world is the best part of Pastor. Recommend to ask sommelier to choose wines, that is the most easiest way to get right wines for complicated flavors. We even got two wines for starters and main courses in order to compare them with food.

With starters we were served Schlumberger Riesling Saering and Montinore Borealist, half glasses of both wines. With ribs Greenhough Pinot Noir and Tommasi Amarone Valpolicella Classico. And with seabass Comte Lafond Sancerre and Gewurztraminer J. Höfstätter.

With this selection you can call Pastor also as wine restaurant.

imageimageSancerre - reijosfood.comimageimageimage

 

You have 2 1/2 hours time enough for eating. Last time we had to finish wines at the bar but as we did not have any dessert, time was enough.

Restaurant is popular in the evenings, so prepare to book table well in advance. It is possible to dine at the bar but dining is more convenient in real dining room where you can see the kitchen.

Pastor is fresh and welcomed dining experience with new flavors. Service is quick and polite.

Overall grade is high because of the focus in wines. And it is needed, because wines are maybe not the most common beverage in Peruvian cuisine, are they?

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

http://www.pastorrestaurant.fi/

 





Wine review: Leindl Irrbling Riesling Reserve 2013

29 03 2015

What, again riesling….?! Yes, because at the moment think it is THE best white wine grape.

The Austrian winery Leindl is a young company from Zöbing in Kamptal. The main focus is on grapes Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, Muscat, Burgundy and Zweigelt and Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and St. Laurent.

Tasted wine, Leindl Irrbling Riesling Reserve 2013, has been maturated 9 months in stainless steel tanks, and on top of that 3 months in bottles. Most of riesling wines get some flavor from oak barrels, which usually improves the taste. I have tasted really “hard” steel tank rieslings like Gun Metal, which was not so pleasant experience. However, Leindl’s Irrbling, at least the reserve one, exceeded expectations.

Leindl riesling reserve - reijosfood.com

THE LOOK

Pale yellow with some light green apple, no visible acidity.

THE NOSE

Pleasant balanced aroma, nothing disturbed sniffing, not even possible steel metal tank bouquet

THE TASTE

Dry, some minerals but not so much as usually in Austian rieslings. No metal flavor, not too much petrol or acidity. Some might thing, that this is too light for riesling, but I do not.

Riesling - reijosfood.com

Facts:

Alcohol: 13,5 by volume
Extract: 25 g/l
Acidity: 6,6 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (360 kJ/100 ml)
Sugar: 5 g/l

This wine is suitable with white fishes and white meats but also good choice for aperitif.

Tasted the wine first as aperitif and then with spicy salad thai style and grilled giant shrimps. For main course had blue halibut with noodles again asian style. Leindl Irrbling Riesling Reserve 2013 paired nicely with both dishes.

Bang for the buck is two plus because wine costs a little bit over 20€ in Alko. Cut few euros and this wine would be bull’s eye.

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++ / +++

Weingut Leindl | Wir verbinden Tradition & Innovation.





Restaurant review: Copas y Tapas – revisit

24 03 2015
Cava at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Cupatge d’honor from Pere Ventura

Copas y Tapas is an independent family-owned business which serves Spanish food and wines with Finnish flavor. Restaurant is located at Fabianinkatu, close to Senate Square. Dining rooms are on two levels and both areas were booked-up on Saturday evening.
Copas y Tapas downstairs

Copas y Tapas downstairs

Copas y Tapas upper dining room

Copas y Tapas upper dining room

 

Have visited Copas y Tapas several times before; earlier reviews can be found by using search. Previous visits have been successful, therefore expectations were again high.

Three course dinner costs 46€ including “tapas” plate as starter, main course which can be chosen from 4 alternatives and dessert. 5€ additional payment for meat dishes.

Recommend to choose Menu of the Day because if you choose dishes separately, you pay as much for starter and main course.

But of course you might need some time to make a decision and best way to speed up decision process is to taste some cava for aperitif. Chose Cupatge d’Honor from Pere Ventura. Wine is produced from xarel.lo and chardonnay (30%) grapes. Chardonnay gives some smoothnes and balance to this cava, which I can recommend, if you have chance to taste it.

This time restaurant served for starters Soup, Filled capsicum and Smoked pork.

Soup was warm and tasty, enjoyed it first. Then finished capsicum, which had some delicious shrimp filling. And last smoked pork, which was with add-on’s great experience.

Tapas plate at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

You can choose from four different main courses, which differ almost every day depending on fresh ingredients available. Today alternatives were Duck, Marbled beef (5€ extra), Whitefish and Vegetarian. Chose meat, which was cooked on charcoal grill and whitefish.

With meat was served grilled scrumptious portobello mushrooms and some other enjoyable side dishes. And as you can see from the picture below, ripeness is perfect.

Whitefish was also superb with roots and swamps. And fish was enough big, which is not the fact in all restaurants.

Beef at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Whitefish at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Decided to share 5 pieces of cheese instead of sweet dessert. Only way to remember all tasted cheeses was to ask waiter to write the names down, which he did really quickly, see the list below. Best one was blue cheese type of piece on the right side of plate.

Delicious home-made crispbread should be available in supermarkets, because it was so tasty.

Cheese plate at Copas y Tapas

Cheese list at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

For wine ordered bottle of Torres Vina Sol, which is neutral and easy to drink.

But of course wine lovers must enjoy wines, which pair with food eaten and therefore had glass of Propiedad from Palacios Remondo with the meat. Excellent wine produced from garnacha grapes in the Rioja region.

And with cheeses waiter, or could even say sommelier, chose Nectaria riesling wine from Torres. Not too sweet wine is produced in Chile at Valle de Curico.

Torres Vina Sol - reijosfood.com

Red wine at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.comorres sweet wines at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Copas y Tapas is excellent affordable fine dining bistro in Helsinki restaurant scene, especially if you want to have serious discussion about Spanish wines. Bottles are always brought to the table and usually you can choose from two alternatives, which waiter have pre-selected for you matching to the food.

Fusion cuisine blends brilliantly best parts of Spanish and Finnish food cultures. Michelin guys should check it for Bib Gourmand label.

Service, really important part of experience, was excellent again. Owner of the restaurant came to shake hands with us after recognizing us, which added extra feeling of being welcomed.

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

Ruoka | Ravintola Copas y Tapas





Restaurant review: Teatterin Grilli – what has happened?

19 03 2015

Teatterin Grilli - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Teatterin Grilli is situated in Esplanade Park (Espa) behind Swedish theatre. It has been the front runner in compaining dining and social interaction with bar, which once was popular. Same concept has been operative at least for 10 years, which is a long life-cycle for restaurant/bar.

This time ordered from downgraded a la carte list Lime marinated whitefish, avocado and grilled gem lettuce and Grilled king prawns and country bread. Why downgraded? You could buy bread with tomato for 4,50€ as a starter.

Small portion of small whitefish pieces was tasty. If starter pays close to 14€, the size should be bigger. Whitefish is not the cheapest fish but would call this dish as snack.

Starter at Teatterin Grilli - reijosfood.com

For main courses had Grilled salmon, roasted eggplant, spinach and bell pepper sauce and TG Burger with chili flavoured shrimp mayonnaise and pommes frites.

Asked one salmon portion without spinach and waiter wrote that down. However, original portion included it and restaurant offered to change it. Now the fish was bigger and cooking was better, first salmon was overcooked and therefore dry.

TG burger was what it should have been. Delicious and spicy shrimp sauce makes this burger worth of over 20€. Unfortunately french fries were already softened, maybe to portion stayed too long under heat lamp.

Salmon 1 at Teatterin Grilli - reijosfood.com

Salmon 2 at Teatterin Grilli - reijosfood.com

TG burger - reijosfood.com

First ordered for wine also as aperitif Peter Lehman Art & Soul riesling. Due to taste of petrol and acidity, ordered glasses of Arthur Metz riesling, which is more suitable for pre-dinner wine. Art & Soul paired well with fish dishes, but with burger red wine, of course.

Riesling at Teatterin Grilli - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Teatterin Grilli is not any more what it used to be. Customers have dissappeared, only about 16 diners at 8PM. Although head waitress said that dining room was full before we arrived. Did we scare all other customer away?

Small starters and re-prepared salmon did not convice. Compared to food served last time and several other times, something had happened in the kitchen.

And serving, it went wrong from the start. We asked for another table in empty dining room, as we were first seated close to the kitchen and service door, which was open all the time. We got another table from not so convenient space where serving was difficult due to pillar. And we really felt, that we were not welcomed by main waitress after asking new table.

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

http://www.teatteri.fi/teatterin-grilli





Restaurant review: Ragu – revisit

15 03 2015

Restaurant Ragu opened its doors April 15, 2014, respecting the history of renovated Neo-Renaissance house in the 1890s. Restaurant has dining rooms and all year-round open terrace, where we dined this time. Chefs Antti Antti Asujamaa and Erno Kemi have created a menu from Italian food traditions and Scandinavian ingredients.

Ragu used to have wine bar when we visited first time, but success in restaurant side required more space and bar was partly changed to dining room.

Started the dinner with Aperol Spritz and bland de blanc Champagne. Ragu makes the best Spritzs in Helsinki, because the amount of Aperol is just the right, so that you can identify the flavor.

Aperol Spritz at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Champagne at Ragu - reijosfood.com

You can choose separate portions from a la carte list or pick, for instance, one of the menus. We chose again menu Ludari with 4 courses, which partly are surprises. The name of the menu comes from the street restaurant is located, Ludviginkatu.

Kitchen is skilled to take into account customers constraints of some food ingredients and other wishes especially with this menu. Menu should change on weekly basis.

After placing the order freshly baked 4 different breads and 4 different spreads were brought to the table. Restaurant also served self made glutein-free bread (in the picture) and must say that the baker really can her job. You can also order home that bread, if you ask it day before.

Glutein-free bread at Ragu - reijosfood.com

For starters we were served Broiled trout, which was delicious. You really enjoy the taste of fish when it is broiled, but not too much because part of the trout was medium cooked.

Quail egg and pecorino cheese on salad leaves complemented the enjoyment of eating first course.

Broiled trout at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Second course was Crab soup which was served with style.

Pieces of crab were in glass jar, which was poured half full with crab stock.

You could also order this dish from a la carte list, which I can warmly recommend. That tasty and mouth-watering crab soup was!

Crab soup at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Crab soup in Ragu - reijosfood.com

For 3rd and main courses restaurant served Braised Iberico pork with risotto and Halibut with dark fish soup.

Pork was crisp due to long cooking time. Dish itself was prepared with professional way. Cauliflower lightened otherwise quite luscious dish.

Propably halibut was meant to be second dish as it was so small. Also salinity disturbed a little bit. Maybe the weakest link of all dishes.

Iberico pork at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Halibut at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Before dessert restaurant served Blue cheese in a glass jar. Jars are typical for Ragu as I was served veal similar way when visited first time restaurant.

Blue cheese at Ragu - reijosfood.com

And for desserts we got two different portions due to special requests concerning some of the food ingredients.

Pannacotta cake, Ice-cream and other goodies made the dessert like heaven.

Special dessert was prepared from Meringue and Sorbet, again tour de force from the kitchen.

Great way to end the dinner.

Dessert and wine at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Dessert at Ragu - reijosfood.com

For wines we trusted restaurant’s recommendations for each portion. All served wines came from Italy, of course.

Maybe the best of all 4 different wines was the only red wine with pork. From barbera grapes produced Giulia Negri from Piemonte paired brilliantly with meat.

Sweet white wine with dessert was not too sweet and matched with dish nicely.

Red wine at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Ragu has also Italian vintage wines from Angelo Baja, Piemonte. So, you can spend almost 500€ for white wine bottle of vintage 1999, if you like to.

Restaurant, as it is in elegantly renovated building and it’s dining rooms are classic yet chic, enjoys still of success. You can eat in privacy as tables are not too close to each other. Music is not too loud, again more customer-centric approach. As you can see from the glasses on the tables, every detail has been taken into account.

There are many paintings on the walls. We were sitting at the covered terrace where picture below was taken. Remember seeing at least 6 art works in that space.

Ragu dining room - reijosfood.com

Painting at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Food at Ragu is well prepared, elegantly set and delicious. Finnish-Italian fusion cuisine works well by combining best parts of both. If fish main course would not have been so salty, Ragu would have earned close to 5 points for food.

Waitresses take orders and serve drinks but you can meet chef’s, bakers and confectioners as they bring most of the portions to the tables. The contents of each portion was explained well and it is needed, if you choose surprise menu as we did.

Our revisit was successfull and can thefore recommend Ragu, if you are looking for sophisticated and modern dinner setting with excellent food.

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





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 review: Santa Fe – Mexican style

4 03 2015

Red wine at Santa Fe - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Santa Fe serves Mexican food in the central of Helsinki city. Texmex, Cajun and international foods are in main role in the restaurants relaxed atmosphere. During summertime a decked court yard terrace is popular for dining and it also offers live music from Monday to Thursday starting at 21.00.

Santa Fe is located at Aleksin Piha where there are two other restaurants. All three dining spots are owned by same company and share terrace area. But at the end of February you definately want to dine inside.

Always start the dinner with Nachos, this time with Chips and Dips hot chili tomato and avocado dips and nachos.

Portion is small compared to, for instance Hard Rock Cafe but it costs half of it. So, is you are really hungry you might want to order also something else. Unless you fill your stomach with beer…..

Nachos at Santa Fe

For main course, of course, Chicken Fajitas!

Basic portion includes pieces of chicken breast, sweet pepper, onion, guacamole, hot chili tomato sauce, creme fraiche, jalopenos and two tortillas.

You can ask to replace onion with pepper, if you do not like onions. You also can ask for more sauces and extra tortillas if you like. Sauces you might want to ask, but 2 big tortillas are enough to be filled with chicken and other stuff.

Chicken Fajitss at Santa Fe - reijosfood.com

Fajitas at Santa Fe - reijosfood.com

Restaurant has wine offers, you can get either bottle of red or white wine at a price of 19.90€.

Wine offer at Santa Fe - reijosfood.com

Propably most of the diners order beer, but wine lovers choose wine even in Mexican restaurant. Utilized offer and ordered bottle of Canapi Shiraz, which was chosen as “cheap wine” of the year 2013 and costs only 6.99€ in Alko. So restaurant takes nice margin anyway….

Tried also rose wine Barefoot Rose which is too sweet even for Mexican food.

Aleksin Piha - reijosfood.com

Santa Fe is most popular Mexican food restaurant in Helsinki. In the summer time it is more thatn restaurant because of the terrace. Dining room is dark, therefore pictures are quite “dizzy”.

If you visit Helsinki in the summer time, you might want to stop by Aleksin Piha and eat something at oneof the 3 restaurants. Santa Fe is obvious choise, if you like spicy and especially Mexican food.

REVIEW: FOOD 3/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 3,5/5 (winter time)

Santa Fé front page | In English | Santa Fe | Rafla.fi.





Restaurant review: Minos – Greek cuisine

1 03 2015

Restaurant Minos is over 25 years old restaurant, which serves traditional Greek food.  Clear proof of authenticity is language used by waiters/waiteresses; they talk to each other in Greek. Minos has pleasant covered terrace, which can be used also in the winter time, as it is heated.

Always choose to dine at the terrace, because you can observe by-passers at the same time. In the summer Minos has it’s own spot in popular Kamppi shopping center terrace area serving Greek wines and for instance Mythos beer.

Minos - reijosfood.com

Minos

For starters chose of course again Tzatziki yoghurt and cucumber salad and Dolmades vine leaves stuffed with rise and herbs.

Greek starters are always delicious, still miss taramosalata from holidays, but unfortunately it is not available at Minos. Tzatziki was made from genuine Greek yoghurt, not from Finnish or German and therefore really enjoyable. You can purchase similar dolmades from supermarkets in tins but so what, they were excellent.

Dolmades at Minos - reijosfood.com

Dolmades

Tzatziki at Minos - reijosfood.com

Tzatziki

For main courses we had Grilled chicken breast and halloumi cheese salad and Seafood salad with prawns, octopus, tuna and artichokes.

Chicken salad was excellent. Chicken itself was grilled as well as halloumi which makes the taste always better than fried or cooked. Seafood salad was slight dissappointment because there was only one artichoke (look the plural in the name) and somehow portion was a little bit wet. Maybe too much water from tuna fish can?

image

Salad of Chicken Breast and Halloumi Cheese

Seafood salad at Minos - reijosfood.com

Salad of Seafood

For wine had glasses of Greek white and red wine. OK with food, but not so enjoyable without it.

Minos is one of my favourite restaurants in Helsinki for meny reasons. I like Greek food and Minos prepares it well. And dining at the terrace, either under glass roof our outside is always pleasure. Therefore overall grade is high.

Note that restaurant is not open on Sundays.

Another, a little bit more sophisticated Greek restaurant El Greco, is also worth to visit. Review can be found by using search.

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

Restaurant Minos.








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