Michelin star restaurants in Helsinki 2015 – 5 restaurants awarded but 4 exists

26 02 2015

Lamb at Demo - reijosfood.com

Michelin Guide announced new list of Michelin starred restaurants in Finland today. Five restaurants got 1 Michelin star, all in Helsinki. Other cities are not yet included in Michelin reviews.

So five restaurant kept their stars, but as Luomo closed it’s doors in the beginning of this year, Helsinki actually has four Michelin star restaurants. Difficult business environment for fine dining restaurants. Postres changed name and concept, which meant that we have now 2 restaurant less carrying Michelin star.


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 had Michelin star since 2007.

Restaurant review: Boulevard Social

22 02 2015

Boulevard Social was third BW restaurant and it opened its doors in May 2012 on the Boulevard Street (guess where the name comes?). The kitchen and bar offer combination of traditional flavors from Greece, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco and other Mediterranean countries. The quite simple bistro decor used in the restaurant has been designed to enhance the restaurant’s flavors.

All BW restaurants share idea that dishes are to be shared. You can choose from two tasting menus with matching wines or order from a la carte list. We decided to order first few snacks, one starter to be shared and two main courses to be shared.

But before dinner we ordered for aperif Pumpkin el Greco, which was recommended by waitress. It included thyme, which suits well for many meat dishes, but with this drink end-result was not so successful at least when it comes to our taste.

Aperitif at Boulevard Social

We started the dinner with snacks 2x GRILLED GREEN MUSSELS `ON A STICK grilled green shell mussels, almond and chorizo salsa and 2x MINI CHICKEN KEBAB `SOUVLAKI´ grilled chicken kebeb marinated with herbs, coriander, dill yoghurt.

Mussels with salsa were extremely delicous, almond and chorizo paired well with grilled green mussels.

Grilled meat tastes usually better that fried. Chicken pieces were juicy but at the same time firm due to way of cooking. Sauces were again scrumptious and with them whole dish was bull’s eye.

Snacks at Boulevard Social

For starter we ordered GRILLED TIGER PRAWNS `CHERMOULA´ grilled tiger prawns and lemon, honey roasted sesame seeds, saffron mayonnaise to be shared.

Four tiger prawns for 28€ is quite much but of course they are also quite expensive comperad to basic prawns. Grilling made shellfish perfect and with sauce worth of 5 points.


For main courses enjoyed WHITE FISH, ROASTED RED PEPPER & SAFFRON fried white fish, roasted red pepper and saffron broth, merquez sausage, mussels, squid, turmeric aioli, chick peas and ROASTED SEA BASS & HERBS roasted sea bass, parsley, coriander, tomato, roasted almond butter, fennel labneh.

The degree of ripeness of both fishes was consumate. Fish skin of whitefish was easy to eat and of course no fish bones disturbed. Only disruptive thing was the salinity. When dish included lot’s of herbs, sauces and many flavors as you can see and read from the name of dishes, you do not actually need salt.

For side dish ordered Patatas Fritas which were great but actually you do not need them unless you are really hungry.

White fish at Boulevard Social

Sea bass at Boulevard Social

Fish at Boulevard Social

What makes Boulevard Social cuisine interesting and inviting are the various sauces, which are served with each dish. Actually sauces formed an important part of dining experience. You really get a chance to taste flavors from all Mediterranean countries.

Sauces at Boulevard Social

Wine list focuses on wines from southern France, Italy and Portugal regarding to restaurant web site. But there are lot’s of wines from other countries and regions.

We had bottle of Rudesheim riesling which has been created by Swedish cellar master Markus Lunden. Wine is produced at Weingut Georg Beuer. This riesling paired well with all dishes we had, enough crispy and dry.

Riesling at Boulevard Social

Usually it is difficult to get table from restaurant unless you make reservation at least week earlier. We made the reservation a day before and dined on early dining time (2,5 hours time to eat). Tables are close to each other but we had table for 4 person and therefore plenty of room.

Restaurant Boulevard Social

Snacks and starter were really enjoyable but contradictory tastes and saltiness in main courses affected food points.

Service was polite and professional. But as dishes came so quickly, had to ask to slow down the pace before sea bass.

Boulevard Social has unique cuisine in Helsinki and especially flavors from North Africa add exotic impression. Dining room is twilight, therefore pictures are a little bit dark, sorry for that.

If you want enjoy well prepaired portions and especially desire exotic not so common tastes in Helsinki, restaurant is for you.

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

Restaurant Boulevard Social


Restaurant review: Kaartin Hodari & Hummeri

15 02 2015

Kaartin Hodai & Hummeri - reijosfood.com

“Kaartin Hodari & Hummeri” is not actually restaurant, but as it serves mainly gourmet hot-dogs, it deserves to be reviewed. Direct translation for the name of the restaurant is “Hot dog & Lobster in Kaarti”.

Restaurant is owned by same chef’s and sommelier’s as Muru and Pastis. Hodari & Hummeri is located next to Pastis, which is in a way convenient.

Dining room is tiny, only 5 small tables. One option is to eat by window but the you have to sit on pillows.

You can not reserve table which is understandable.

Kaartin Hodari & Hummeri - reijosfood.com

Because of the name of the restaurant, had to order Shrimp & Lobster version of 7 alternative hot dogs.

Also tried French fries with salt although you could flavor the with truffle, parmesan, chili or herb-garlic.

And glass of pinot noir red wine pairs nicely with this stuff due to softer taste of grape.

Hot dog at Kaartin Hodari & Hummeri - reijosfood.com

Hot dog was fresh and tasty. It included of course sausage which first suprised me. Had to ask, if this really is shrimp and lobster version. Kind of was waiting to see visible pieces of lobster, like in the logo. Think I chewed one piece of lobster. Anyway with tomato, onion and other stuff inside the the roll made this hod dog really enjoyable.

Shrimp and Lobster hot dog - reijosfood.com

Hot dog was delicious, but overpriced compared to amount of lobster it included. Would you pay 20€ for hot dog? All other versions are under 10€, which makes more sense. Otherwise FOOD grade would have been higher.

Because you have to place the order at bar counter, service is not reviewed.

Overall grade is high because business idea is unique. If you like hot dogs, Kaartin Hodari & Hummeri is worth to try.


Kaartin Hodari & Hummeri.

Wine review: Aalto – Spanish winery and red wine have Finnish name!

13 02 2015


Famous Finnish architect and designer Alwar Aalto has desinged several buildings in Finland including Finlandia Hall. Buildings designed by him can be found also in USA, Germany, Italy, France, etc. One of his most known glassware works was Aalto (Savoy) vase.

Bodegas Aalto was founded in 1998 by Mariano Garcia, Vega Sicilia’s legendary winemaker of over 30 years, and Javier Zaccagini, former President of the Ribera del Duero AOC. Almost 20 years since it was founded, the winery is considered one of the best in the region. The name of the winery was inspired by famous Finnish designer Alwar Aalto. Aalto is main wine for this winery and also reviewed wine carried Aalto name.

Grape used in producing Aalto red wine is 100% TINTO FINO. Tempranillo, more known grape, is known under a number of local synonyms in different regions of Spain, Cencibel and Tinto Fino are used in several regions, and it is also known as Tinta del País in Ribera del Duoro where Aalto winery is located.

Aalto wine - reijosfood.com


Label itself is one of the most minimalist seen before. Different colors of black and silver gray letters and small bunch of grapes in the upper right corner of O letter.

Vintage 2010 was dark red like but not not brownish, which means that 2010 is still quite young.


Bouquet was rich and pleasant, could recognize tempranillo. Some black berries and hint of fennel. Aroma became even more elegant after 10 minutes.


Full-bodied, again elegant and soft. Filled mouth not just flowed down. Again tempranillo was easy to identify, one of the best Spanish wines ever tasted. And this was not the first time!

I am fan of tempranillo wines, which might affect, but not too much. Tasted wine first as such and then with fillet steak. Pairs perfectly with red meat and bet that also with strong cheeses.

Fillet steak and Aalto wine - reijosfood.com


Alcohol: 15% by volume
Extract: 28 g/l
Acidity: 5 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (380 kJ/100 ml)

Vintage 2010 is “stronger” than 2008, which had 14% alcohol by volume. To be honest, liked vintage 2008 a little more than 2010….but 2010 is also great and enjoyable!

Aalto wine is elegant but partly because of low production volume, it is not the most unexpensive. Although you have to pay a little bit more the quality really provides value for the money.



Restaurant review: SPIS – genuine Nordic cuisine

8 02 2015

What is Nordic cuisine? It is delicious fresh food with lots of vegetables in different forms. Food is not ruined with strong spices and therefore the original flavor of food ingredients is the main thing.

Spis - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Spis is cozy 18-seat Nordic, maybe the smallest, fine dining restaurant in Helsinki. It is open only in the evenings from Tuesday to Saturday. Because of the size and popularity, you have to choose to dine early at 0530PM/0600PM or to eat at later table setting at 0830PM. Spis serves two tasting menus, there is no separate a la carte list available.

Interesting detail are walls, which seem to be under renovation, but they are not. Walls just reflect the simplification of the decor.

Dinner started again with snacks; several of them, which really differentiate Spis from many “gourmet” bistros in Helsinki. We had 4 dish menu but got about 10 plates to be enjoyed during the dinner.

First we were served small tasty toast. With champagne perfect finger food.

Champagne at Spis - reijosfood.com

After toast we were served root fireworks! From right potato, yellow root, horseradish and lastly striperoot. Not sure, if striperoot is right translation for raitajuuri, but it is like beetroot. Each Finnish delicacy, which were eaten with fingers, included right seasoning or herb.

Forget potato chips and peanuts, offer this type of snacks also at home, if you can prepare them!


The came greetings from the kitchen, which was warm potato soup. Kitchen also prepared special edition of the greeting because of cream in the soup. Carrots in different forms were warmly welcomed surprise.

Potato soup at Spis - reijosfood.com


And only now actual dinner started!

For starter kitchen served portion, which was called Cabbage and Mustard. Sounds simple but combination of brioche flavored with mustard paired with cabbage perfectly.


First warm main course was salmon with root salad. Salmon was almost raw, but it was not at the same time. It had been cooked or steamed at 42C degrees, which made it soft. Spoon would have been enough to take care of it.


Between main courses we got sorbets, nice way to clean the mouth and prepare stomach for meat.

Spis served for second warm main course Pressed lamb which had been first cooked for 3 days and then roasted. Below lamb was vorschmack and some beetroots. Heavenly experience, must say!


Intermediate dessert consisted of Västerbotten cheese sorbet and Blackcurrant sorbet, which did not include milk products. Västerbotten cheese is famous Swedish cheese, which suits well for main courses but suits in this case for dessert as well.

Although it is a question of 4 dish dinner, Spis serves two desserts.



Sweet dessert consisted of cake, which melted in the mouth and ice-cream. More please!


Dinner ended up with tea and espresso. But as you are able to taste Ålvados, which is calvados from Åland, you have to try it. And with dessert drinks still some sweets served on huge Lego block. Great way to end the dinner.


Restaurant Spis earns full points for food. Service is professional; contents of portions were explained well and suggestions for wines were one of the most succesful so far.

With starter we were served white wine produced from chenin blanc grapes. With salmon wine menu included Chablis, of course made from chardonnay grapes by Chateau de Beru and with lamb red wine from cabernet franc grapes produced by small Italian winery marco sara.


To summarize, the food is excellent and probably one the healthiest you can eat at the restaurants. Spis also takes care of food allergies with skill although there is only tasting menu’s available.

If you are looking for great Finnish/Nordic food experience, try Spis.


SPIS | Nordic restaurant

500 followers – thank you all!

2 02 2015

500 Follows!

I recently received message that reijosfood.com has over 500 followers!

Moet Ice Imperial at Mattolaituri

95% of followers are outside of Finland, which is awesome.

Over 500 followers, big thanks to all of YOU!

Hope you enjoy restaurant and wine reviews mainly in Helsinki also in the future.

Cepas Viejas and lamb shank

Restaurant review: Orchid – thai-viet kitchen

30 01 2015

Orchid restaurants are specialized both in the classic and the modern kitchen of Thai food. Chain has three restaurants, the latest of which is in the Kamppi mall, was opened a year ago. First one was opened already in 2006.

Orchid in the Kamppi shopping center seems to be always busy, which tells something about the popularity. We had late Sunday lunch and restaurant was full almost all the time.

For starters we ordered Fried Rice Paper Roll with fresh tiger prawns, grilled chicken, carrots, cucumber, mint, spring onion, coriander, spring onions, rice, noodles, green salad and carrot-peanut-fish sauce -vinegar dipping sauce and Thai grilled chicken Satay with peanut sauce.

Both starters were excellent! Size of roll’s could have been smaller, because it was a little bit difficult to eat them whole with sticks. Yes, no fork and knife! Anyway, also the size of portion was enough big to be shared and dipping sauce was enough spicy to pair with the roll’s.

Peanut sauce was delicious with chicken skewers. Both portions were perfect combination of starters.

Starters at Orchid - reijosfood.com

Main courses “Red Curry” A spicy red curry made with dried chillies, green peppercorns, eggplant and Thai basil containing coconut milk with chicken and “Phanaeng Curry” Central Thailand inspired coconut curry, kaffir lime and basil with chicken came quickly after we had fineshed starters.

Curry foods are usually safe choice and at this time it worked again. But…..Red Curry had two chili’s on the menu, but it did not taste any stronger than one chili portion. Orchid serves portions which are enough big to fill the stomachs. So, if you are not really hungry main course are enough.

Carries at Orchid - reijosfood.com

Curry dishes at Orchid - reijosfood.com

As you can see in the picture below Gluto (glutein-free pasta restaurant or street food bar) is next to Orchid. If you want to know more about that restaurant read review from December last year.

Part of the tables of Orchid are “outside” but most of them are in small dining room. In the winter it is safest to dine in but in the summer time it might be fun to observe diners at Gluto or by-passers.

Orchid in Kamppi - reijosfood.com

Maybe prices are a little bit high compared to restaurant athmosphere, but food is worth to try.


Restaurant review: Kaarna – bar and kitchen

28 12 2014

Restaurant Kaarna is located in the Forum Shopping Center serving Finnish traditional food. Concept includes dining area and so called living room (bar) at the 2nd floor and small bar at the first floor.

Ask for window table and you can the follow passers-by at Mannerheim Street. If they say that restaurant is fully booked (phone or email) you might anyway get the table you requested.

Window table at Kaarna - reijosfood.com

Kaarna - reijosfood.com

The food itself:

From the Nordic Tapas plates we chose Kaarna fish plate Smoked vendace from Kitka, cold-smoked pike, pickled vegetables and rye malt breadcrumbs. This is THE starter you have to choose, if you like fish. Of course you can order same dishes as separate starters but one part of experience is setting of food pieces.

Tapas might mislead you, but word Nordic before it explains everything. They are small Finnish or Scandinavian dishes.

Nordic tapas at Kaarna - reijosfood.com

For main course we had Smoked salmon with pickled vegetables, shrimp mayonnaise and potato rösti and Fried whitefish with potato rösti, spinach and whitefish roe.

Unfortunately kitchen did not succeed with these portions. Salmon seemed to be smoked and fried, because it was so dry and even greasy. Pickled vegetables were the same as in starter.

Also whitefish was over-fried. We asked to replace spinach with someting else and best choise was salad. Also asked not to include onion but got plenty of it. Potato röstis in both portions were like fast food stuff.

Salmon at Kaarna - reijosfood.com

Whitefish at Kaarna - reijosfood.com

Wine list is is short, Kaarna focuses more on beers. Had bottle of Albet i Noya Xarel·lo Classic from Spain. All white wines were organic like this one. Light and fruity wine paired well with starters and fishes.

Wine at Kaarna - reijosfood.com

Main courses dropped points a lot. Service was customer friendly and as restaurant was not so crowded, waiter and waitress had time to serve us. Maybe Boxing Day affected the level of food. On the other hand last time was not either succesful when it came to main courses.

Kaarna library bar is worth to visit, cozy couches and so on. You should also taste Nordic tapas but choose main course carefully. Meat dishes might be best choise.


Ravintola Kaarna: Suomalaista ruokaa – suomalainen keittiö – forum.

Restaurant review: Havis – Christmas Eve buffet 2014 + MERRY CHRISTMAS!

25 12 2014

Havis window table - reijosfood.com

Helsinki closes on Christmas Eve afternoon. Only few restaurants are open and most of them are hotel restaurants like Havis, which serves hotel Haven guests.

Winter came suddenly although one week ago all weather forecasts knew that there would be “black” Christmas. Snow makes Christmas atmosphere more real (if you happen to like snow)

Aperitives at Havis - reijosfood.com

Havis Christmas Eve buffet menu includes traditional Finnish Christmas dishes, even Christmas ham is available. Turkey has taken some place from ham, but not much. Herrings, roes and salted salmon or salted whitefish are must on Finnish Christmas table.

Havis Christmas Eve buffet menu - reijosfood.com

Buffet was not as generous as at restaurant Pirate (see previous post). However, each dish was prepared carefully and they were tasty.

Even Christmas ham tasted better than usually. Ham was partly smoked which made the taste delicious. Roe and salted salmon with side dishes were as they should be.

Food is prepared at open kitchen which is located in dining room Kitchen (of course).

Christmas ham at Havis - reijosfood.com

Buffet at Havis - reijosfood.com

Havis kitchen - reijosfood.com

Main courses were served to the tables. You could choose from Smoked salmon or Braised lamb shoulder. We ordered salmon which was one of the best salmon dishes ever eaten. Cooking time for fish was perfect and side dishes, carrot puree, small roasted potatoes and Hollandaise sauce paired brilliantly with fish.

Salmon at Havis - reijosfood.com

And dessert Bundt cake with ice-cream was scrumptious. Cake was spiced with Christmas and it matched brilliantly with apple ice-cream.

Dessert at Havis - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Havis is one of our favourite restaurants. We usually prefer to dine at dining room Havis, because it mirrors best the origins of Havis as you can see in the picture on the wall.

Restaurant was almost full all the time and most diners were hotel guests.

Havis - reijosfood.com

And of course we always ask for window table, which allows us to observe bustle at Market Square and near Old Market Hall. But on Christmas Eve no one rushes anymore anywhere. It is time for relaxing and enjoying good food and company.

You should visit hotel Haven bar at the 2nd floor. It is worth of seeing not only because of wide selection of drinks. It is decorated as member of Small Luxury hotels of the World should be.

Hotel Haven - reijosfood.com

Food was excellent due to main course and dessert. Because Havis is open also on Christmas time it earns high grade.

We had Veuve Clicquot and Vodka Martinis for aperitif. Best way to start Christmas dinner as you had already had some mulled wine earlier.





Restaurant review: Pirate Helsinki – Christmas buffet 2014

20 12 2014

Santa Claus - reijosfood.com

Santa Claus at Pirate Helsinki

Traditional Finnish Christmas buffet usually includes freshly salted fishes, roes, Christmas ham, casseroles and rosolli (beetroot, pickled cucumber, apple, carrot and whipped cream). Restaurant Pirate Helsinki serves instead of “basic” christmas food many rare delicacy traditional dishes.

Pirate Helsinki served 6th time Christmas buffet in cozy and vivacious athmosphere. This was our second visit in a row. Decision to reserve table was made right after our first visit last year.

Again, one of the most famous Finnish chef’s Markus Maulavirta, was helping in the kitchen.

Markus Maulavirta - reijosfood.com

Menu is unfortunately only in Finnish but it includes for instance herrings, roes, smoked fishes, game dishes and different type of side dishes. For dessert you can choose Finnish cheeses and sweet desserts.

Pirate Christmas restaurant menu - reijosfood.com

Only dish served to the table, first on the menu, Mushroom-truffle soup, was delicious.

Soup at Pirate  - reijosfood.com

All other foods and dishes were on the buffet tables. Because of the wide selection of dishes available, I am not going to bore you by writing detailed description and review of each piece of food tasted. Instead, picture is worth of thousand words.

Pirate buffet - reijosfood.comPirate buffet - reijosfood.com

Smoked Salmon at Pirate - reijosfood.com

Main courses at Pirate - reijosfood.com

Dessert Buffet at Pirate - reijosfood.com

Buffets can be insidious, you can eat too much and you notice it only after you have finished dinner. But if you decide just to taste small pieces of each food, then you can survive.

Pirate manages well in serving Christmas buffet dinner. In the summer time going is more simple but as relaxed.

One + more for the overall grade, if wine list would have been as luxorious as buffet. Three white and red wines do not necessarily pair with all available savory foods. We had for white wine Petit Chablis, which is enough “neutral” for most of the dishes. Of course beer would be one option as it is quite common drink with christmas time.

Petit Chablis

See you next year again!


Merry Christmas - reijosfood.com

Pirate – Etusivu.

Wine review: Best mulled wines 2014

18 12 2014
Glögi - reijosfood.com

Mulled wines

First two important questions: Is mulled wine a wine at all? Are mulled wines available in your country or is there some other Christmas drink more popular?

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. Once we had to pour present down the drain because it was so awful.

So, we have picked three 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 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 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.


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


Alcohol:   10.00 %                 13.00%                  22.00%
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.


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

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

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

Wine review: Taittinger Nocturne – Champagne for Finnish Independence Day

6 12 2014
Taittinger Nocturne

Taittinger Nocturne

Taittinger Nocturne is a “sec” champagne composed of chardonnay (40%), Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (60%). Taittinger suggests that Nocturne should be enjoyed at the end of evening. That is partly because of amount of sugar, 17.5g/l dosage of sugar, which might be needed in the wee hours. Champagne for parties? Let’s taste!

However, we decided to taste Nocturne in the evening on Finnish Independence Day, but not at the end of the evening. Did it make any difference? Tasting from Riedel Vitis champagne glass.

Had enjoyed one tasting glass earlier in the afternoon, when we participated at Wine, food & good living fair in October and then it did not taste as good as we hoped. Wine was also a little bit warm at that time.

Taittinger Npcturen and Riedel glass - reijosfood.com


The design of the bottle is elegant and colorful purple. There is also standard bottle available but I would choose this special release.

The body of the wine is pale yellow in color. Rich amount of small bubbles makes you desire to taste before sniffing.


From delicate bouquet you can find peach but also the “sec” which means a little bit more sweetness than in brut champagne


Amount of sugar is noticeable, but when wine is enough cold, it does not bother too much. Taste is balanced and stylish.

Taittinger Nocturne - reijosfood.com


Alcohol: 12.50 %
Extract: 39 g/l
Acidity: 6.9 g/l
Sugar: 17,5 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal / 100 ml (340 kJ / 100 ml)

Taittinger Nocturne is champagne for special occasions especially if you do not like too dry (brut) champagnes. Cool it enough cold and you do not even notice the sweetness.

Happy 97th Independence Day!



Restaurant review: Pastor – Drink & Dine

29 11 2014

Aperitives at Pastor - reijosfood.com

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. Background music is played quite loud but does not disturb too much. Room height between dining room and bar hides part of it.

Pastor kitchen -reijosfood.comPastor 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 glass of champagne, Lassaigne Les Vignes de Montgueuz and drink, which was recommended by waiter, Twinkly. By ordering that you also support Movember movement with 1€ donation.

Wine world is the best part of Pastor. One of the most famous sommerliers in Finland, Pekka Koiranen, chose the wines for us. Recommend to let him to do so, that is the most easiest way to get right wines for complicated flavors.

With fish and shellfish we were suggested to try Von Winning riesling which paired extremely well with tart cheviche. Easy to continue with salmon. With ribs enjoyed glass of Serva azon Pinot Nero from J.Hofstätter, excellent match with spicy pork. And with dessert tasted Beerenauslese Cuvee from grapes 60 % Welschriesling and 40 % Chardonnay, from Weinlaubenhof Kracher. Again perfect match with partly sweet and partly pungent dish.

Pekka Koiranen at Pastor - reijosfood.comVon Winning riesling at Pastor - reijosfood.comPinot Nero red wine at Pastor - reijosfood.comBeerenauslese wine at Pastor - reijosfood.com

You have 2 1/2 hours time enough for eating. As we had starters, main courses, desserts and espressos and we arrived 15 minutes late, we had to finish wines at the bar. At that time restaurant and bar were already filled with hungry and thirsty customers. And it seems that this is a fact for most of the evenings. Therefore prepare to book table on time.

Pastor bar - reijosfood.com

Pastor is fresh and welcomed dining experience with new flavors. Service was enough quick, which seemed to be challenge during the first months after opening. Although restaurant was full booked our portions arrived in appropriate schedule.

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




Restaurant review: Gastrobar Emo – Michelin Bib Gourmand status

23 11 2014
Gastrobar Emo

Gastrobar Emo


Gastrobar Emo provides easygoing service and good food. Emo (Dam in english) was opened in August 2013 in the same place where Michelin star restaurant Olo used to be. Owners are also partly the same. Emo earned Michelin Bib Gourmand status quite soon after opening, which is a proof of quality food and reasonable prices.

Gastrobar Emo - reijosfood.com

Gastrobar Emo at Kasarimikatu


Emo - reijosfood.com

Gastrobar Emo dining room

There is also separate wine bar which provides opportunity to enjoy an aperitif or glass of wine. With drinks you can order snacks from bar menu.

Emo Wine bar - reijosfood.com

Emo wine bar

Quite soon after you arrive you will get fresh bread, but only one slice for each diner.

Bread bag at Emo - reijosfood.com

Paper bag for bread

We also ordered some Snacks with glasses of Taittinger. Unfortunately some bubbles had already dissapeared, because we got the last drops from the bottle.

Taittinger at Emo - reijosfood.com

Champagne Taittinger

For snacks we had Salami, which is actually basic salami slices and Dried tuna, which was delicious with mayonnaise. There are about 8 different alternatives to choose from, each cost you 4€. Good way to start the dinner.

Salami at Emo - reijosfood.com

Snacks – salami


Tuna at Emo - reijosfood.com

Snacks – dried tuna


You can choose your dinner from 13 different choises, each cost 10€. The sizes of portions are like starters, except new main courses, which could also be shared. Sharing food portions is THE TREND now, but we decided to order Salt baked Rainbow trout just for one.

Our dinner started with Potato pancake with whitefish roe and warm smoked salmon and Roasted saithe with vegetables.

Pancakes or blinis with roe are usually top class starters and so there were also at Emo. Excellent combination, really worth to try. Saithe was well roasted, but included a little bit too much salty ingredients like olives and capers. However, tomatoes softened the taste to a turn.

Blini ar Emo - reijosfood.com

Potato pancakes with whitefish roe and smoked salmon


Sei at Emo - reijosfood.com

Roasted saithe


Next came the fish! Preparing local Finnish fish under salt cover is really rare at restaurants in Helsinki. And this one was bull’s eye! Right cooking, not over or under, just perfect. Some add on’s like fried potatoes and green salad was there, but focus was on fish.

Second “starter” was Shellfish paella, excellent composite of small octopus, clam and rice.

Rainbow trout at Emo - reijosfood.com

Salt baked rainbow trout

Emon kirjolohi - reijosfood.com

Rainbow trout


Paella at Emo - reijosfood.com

Shellfish paella

Third “starter” was Piglet with sauerkraut and apple compote. Sauerkraut was hidden under three pieces of meat pieces. Nice and soft composite.

Hoped that this dish would have arrived a little bit earlier because rainbow trout was almost eaten while waiting piglet.

Pork at Emo- reijosfood.com


Fourth and last “starter” was Charcoal grilled horse skewer with mayonnaise. Meat was a little bit dry, but taste of charcoal is always attractive.

Horse at Emo - reijosfood.com

Horse skewer

We ordered wine, which was suggested on the blackboard. Dry and fruit riesling, Boeckel, from Alsace, France paired well with seafood. For meats ordered glass of suggested Merlot which paired well with piglet and horse.

Riesling at Emo - reijosfood.com

Boeckel riesling

Waitering by about 5 different waitresses/waiters was professional. Saithe had to be changed, because it was first served with one ingredient we were asked to leave away.

All seafoods are close to 5, especially salt baked fish earns special note. 4 dishes from the list is enough, 3 might leave you hungry.

Gastrobar Emo is Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant and it deserves to be such.


Home – Ravintola EMO

Wine review: Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau & Château des Loges Beaujolais Villages Nouveau

21 11 2014


Beaujolais Nouveau - reijosfood.com

Beaujolais Nouveau


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 20th November.

Luckily 2014 we are able to taste 2 different wines, both cost to consumers less than 10€.

These wines are Château des Loges Beaujolais Villages Nouveau and Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau.

BJ wines- reijosfood.com


Label of last year’s wine from Georges Duboeuf was much more colorful. Maybe it is time to slow down a bit? Did it scare consumers?

Both wines are almost violet, blue-reddish like young wines always are. The color in the first picture is a little too dark than wine is in natural.


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

It seems that Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau has more deep bouquet.


Young, light fruity wines. Berries dominate, but on the other hand taste is skinny. Aroma is better than taste, but with unspiced food and pizzas, both wines pair well.

Beaujolais Nouveau wines in Finland

Beaujolais Nouveau wines in Finland


                             Georges Duboeuf                                         Chateau des Loges
Alcohol:        12,00 %                                             12,50 %
Extract:        26 g/l                                                27 g/l
Acidity:         5,5 g/l                                               5,7 g/l
Energy:         80 kcal / 100 ml (320 kJ / 100 ml)   80 kcal / 100 ml (340 kJ / 100 ml)

Do not know exactly what has happened, but 2014 Beaujolais Nouveau wines taste better than 2013 wine. Maybe better vintage? Any other opinions?


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

Chateau des Loges OVERALL GRADE 3,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++/+++

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