Restaurant review: Grill Faro – Costa Meloneras, Spain

25 01 2015

Grill Faro in Costa Meloneras

Grill Faro is the first restaurant in the “restaurant alley” in Costa Meloneras, if you come from north/west. Part of the restaurant is at upper level and the crowdiest area at the same level as all other “alley” restaurants.

Restaurants praises to serve over 200 dishes, is it really good? Anyhow, Grill Faro serves many different meat and fish dishes, which are actually quite delicious.

Dined at Grill Faro twice and this review concerns 2nd visit.

Dinner started with salad and delicous Pulpo, octopus. Actually I ordered Chipirones, tiny fried squid. Maybe restaurant did not had those and thought that any octopus is good enough? All the same, Pulpo is really delicous and not so greasy as chipirones. With some olive oil had to eat all 5 pieces.

Grill Faro Pulpo

For main courses we had Fresh fish prepared with Canarian style and Braised Lamb.

Fish was prepared on a pan with vegetables. It was delicious but quite small after skin and fish bones were removed. Lamb was over cooked as braised lamb should be. Some salt, please, and perfect meat dish.

Grill Faro Canarian Fish

Grill Faro Lamb

With dessert cheeses had glass of Malaga Virgen sweet wine which is produced from 100% Pedro Ximenez grapes. Excellent wine at least with cheeses because it was not too sweet.

Grill Faro Malaga Sweet wine

Grill Faro is one of the two most popular restaurants in the “alley”. You have to wait for the table, if you arrive late. Also you might need to wait for the food because of popularity. Restaurant is a safe choice for first restaurant to visit in Costa Meloneras.

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

http://www.restaurantegrillfaro.com/index.php/en/





Restaurant review: Fishmarket – only fish available

12 10 2014
Fishmarket menu. - reijosfood.com

Fishmarket menu

Restaurant Fishmarket was re-opened in May 2013. It serves wide selection of sea and fresh water cuicine 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). Decor is modern and luminous after change in ownership and property renowation. Visited Fishmarket last year, review also can be found at reijosfood.com.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

You could choose from different kind of seafood platters and even eat those at seafood bar, if you do not like standard dinner tables. We decided to choose “basic” fish portions, which meant again long waiting times.

Last time restaurant served kitchen greetings in glass jar but not anymore. Menu had changed also; sorry for the Finnish menu in the first picture. Menu is not so ambmitious anymore, even Fish and Chips are available.

Excellent Sweet archipelago bread and home made yeast bread with salted butter were brought to the table first. No changes for these goodies.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

For starters ordered Snacks and Pan fried scallop with mini octopus. Snacks was new on the menu, maybe tapas type of dishes are becomming more common?

For snacks chose Smoked pike mousse with root vegetable chips, Light soy marinated salmon with baby gem.

All three snacks were enjoyable. Hoped that mousse would incude some pieces of pike, but it was pure mousse with taste of pike. Salmon is always delicious but could not find any taste of soy in this case, maybe forgotten. Combination of small scallops and crayfish on cockleshell tasted good.

Unfortunately pan fried scallops were already cold when they were brought to the table.

Snacks at Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

Scallops and octopus at Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

Main course dishes were Grilled turbot with carrot sauce and Pan fried salmon with deep fried fennel and spinach-pesto.

Turbot included some fish bones and scales, which was odd for this restaurant. Fish was also a little bit overcooked.

Salmon was perfectly fried, some rose still inside of fish. As salmon is quite greasy itself, maybe oily pesto is not perfect partner for it.

Tunnot at Fishmarket - reijosfood.comSalmon at Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

For desserts had Dark chocolate fondant with black currant sorbet and Sorbet.

Actually asked to replace sorbet with vanilla ice-cream but is was first forgotten. Got vanilla ice-cream in separate cup after reminding it. Replaced the sorbet with vanilla ice-cream, therefore plate seems a little bit messy. Maybe new portion would have been better idea.

If you like black currant, then you like home made sorbet, which was the choise for another dessert.

Chocolate fondant at Fishmarket - 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 Sepp Moser Riesling von den Terrassen from Austria, which was excellent. Definately right balance of acidity, minerals, fruits and taste of petrol. Not too much, but enough. The color of wine is more yellow than rieslings usually are.

Riesling at Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

Fishmarket had all prerequisites to be the best seafood restaurant in Helsinki. Food is good but maybe again one waiter was missing because service was quite slow. Therefore it might make sense to order platters for starter or main course because you can pass the time by opening crabs.

Had to drop points for food and overall grade from last visit. The change in menu impacted to portions, which were on the other hand also more affordable.

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

Front | Restaurant Fishmarket.





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





Restaurant review: Valo (Savonlinna)

22 07 2013

Restaurant Valo

Dined at restaurant Valo the third year in a row, is it becoming a habit?  Because one has to dine outside in order to be able observe opera guests walking to Savonlinna castle 200 meters from Valo restaurant, it would be important to have a good weather. In Valo one can also just have a drink at the forefront bar and do the same. Restaurant serves local Finnish food, evidence for it are names of local producers on the a la carte list.

Started the dinner with Saimaa duo Perch terrine, pike perch tartar and fennel salad. Really fresh, tartar was best part of the portion. Terrine was a little bit dry. Remembering last visits, think the portions were now smaller…

Saimaa duo

For main courses had Wild boar and pork cheek Overnight braised wild boar belly and pork cheek, pomme anna with sautéed chorizo and white cabbage and bbq sauce. Wild board was perfectly tender as it has been cooked enough long. Portion had been changed as there was no chorizo in potatoes neither bbq sauce. The name of portion was the same as last year but it was then better. Also had Pike perch from Saimaa Pan fried pike perch with salmon raviolis and creamed leek which was pimped by request and side dishes replaced by vegetables and olive oil. Fish was a little bit over fried and therefore dry.

Meat in ValoPike perch in Valo

For desserts had Chocolate cake Chocolate cake with strawberry filling and vanilla ice- cream but shared the portion. Again quite small dish but delicious.

Because of excellent location and athmosphere overall grade would have exceed food and service grades. But unfortunately this year weather did not favor us; therefore same grade. Without heaters it would have been too cold to eat outside.

Wine list is short and includes only one rose wine, shiraz from JACOB´S CREEK. Wineyard was well presented as there was red, white and sparkling wines available.

Rose wine

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

http://www.savonmafia.fi/products/product/82/

Restaurant Valo





Restaurant review: Saari

7 07 2013

Restaurant Saari

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

Restaurant Saari

Restaurant Saari

 

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

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

Restaurant Saari

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

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

Whitefish at SaariLamb at Saari

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

CheesesIce cream

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

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

DSC04052

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

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





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: Valo

3 08 2012

After 3,5 hour opera (The Magic Flute) in Savonlinna Opera Festival and 4 hour joyful Crayfish dinner and cruise on the Saimaa lake, it was relaxing to dine next day at restaurant Valo. Savonlinna Opera Festival celebrates 100 years history in 2012 and it gathers friends of opera each year. Maybe one can feel similar athmosphere in Verona but Savonlinna continues to live after opera as people dine and share opera experiences in nearby restaurants.

Dined at Valo second time and food was now better. Last year Whitefish was so over roasted it almost fractured. Because one has to dine outside in order to be able observe opera guests walking to Savonlinna castle 200 meters from Valo restaurant, it is important to have good weather. In Valo one can also just have a drink at the forefront bar and do the same. Restaurant serves local Finnish food, evidence for it was mentioning local producers in the a la carte list.

In Savonlinna one MUST eat vendaces! As they were only available for main course asked to get Vendaces from Pielavesi for starter without side dishes. Succeeded and they were simple but excellent, salty and partly crispy but not too creasy. From check noticed that price and name for starter was the same as in childrens menu. Another choice was Cold smoked salmon salad, cold smoked salmon with salad, marinated red onion, deep fried capers, sun dried tomatoes, marinated olives, lemon compote and bread. Add-on’s were not so Finnish and neither this starter beat vendaces.

For main courses had Rib from the Koivunotko wild board, barbeque sauce with potato and chorizo bake. Wild board was perfectly tender as it has been cooked 48 hours. Chorizo harmonized with potatoes well and gave some stroger savor to portion. Arctic Char with new potatoes from Kulennois and dill and whitewine sauce was enjoyable but as usual a little bit over fried. Restaurant mentioned producer or place of catching in both portions.

Almost forgot to take photos of desserts! Grand Marnier Parfait and strawberries was fresh and fruity. Home made chocolate cake and lingonberry ice cream tasted delicious. Soft and moist cake as it should be and rough ice cream with luscious lingonberry taste, almost whole berries.

Restaurant forgot to invoice bottle of Riesling wine as it was ordered from another waitress. Told that and got 20% discount for it.

Because of excellent location and athmosphere overall grade exceeds food and service grades. Restaurant is full before and after opera, therefore table reservation at those times is needed. During opera there are free tables available without need to make reservation.

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

http://www.savonmafia.fi/cms/media/32/VALO_ALA_CARTE.pdf

http://www.operafestival.fi/In_English/Front_page.iw3








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