Restaurant review: Rikhards Gastropub – Second visit 2014

1 11 2014
Rikhard's Gastropub - reijosfood.com

Rikhard’s Gastropub

Our second visit was 6 months after opening. This review focuses on Menu of the day, which two of us tasted. The price for menu is 49€, which might open up door for Michelin Bib Gourmand label.

If you want to read more about restaurant and last visit please click Rikhards | Search Results | Restaurant and wine epicure

Rikhards Gastropub - reijosfood.com

A la carte menu included most of the portions, which were on it 6 months ago. From starter or snacks section Chicken wings and New potatoes with Haugesund herring had dissappeared. It is a pity, because can not remember better tasting wings anywhere.

Had to start the dinner again with POP CORN which last time was pleasant surprise. The consistent excellent quality of this delicious apetizer was still there. Seaweed and chicken skin served with sesame, soy and truffle sour cream is a perfect combination.

Pop Corns - reijosfood.com

Menu of the day included for starter Mussels, for main course Beef tenderloin and for dessert sweet dish.

Moules in white wine sauce with thyme, garlic, cream, bacon and butter were scrumptious because of sauce and add-ons. Mussels are enjoyable anyway, but when they are cooked in a stock or more like a soup, they really make your mouth drooling. You can buy this portion also as main course, which is one option to enjoy shell fish.

Starter was served with ”friend fries”, garlic mayonnaise, spicy peanut butter sauce, and toasted rustic bread.

Mussels - reijosfood.comDinner table at Rikhards

Main course Beef tenderloin was served with French fries, green beans seasoned with bacon, Béarnaise sauce and fresh green salad. Amount of meat was extravagant. I can not remember that would have ever got so huge amount of beef tenderloin or any other meat anywhere.

After eating that pile of meat with delicious bearnaise sauce and glass of red wine, dinner could have ended there. Therefore no pictures about dessert although had to, of course, eat it.

Beef tenderloin at Rikhards - reijosfood.com

 

For wine we chose WIN WIN from German weingut von Winning. Elegant bouquet and balanced taste paired well with mussels and codfish.

Waiter at Rikhard's - reijosfood.com

Riesling at Rikhards - reijosfood.com

Two of us had Torskrygg for main course. Picture on the left is from last visit and on the right from this visit. Excellent dish again, maybe the sauce included now some lactose, as it was left away.

Torskrygg at Rikhards - reijosfood.comTorskrygg at Rikhards - reijosfood.com

 

Food at Rikhards Gastropub was again excellent. You get with only 49€ excellent gourmet dinner, if you choose Menu of the day.

Service was again professional and polite. Gentlemen serving us did great job and get special points for outfit.

Had to improve grade even though scores were high already last time.

It seems that Restamax is actual owner as restaurant webpage is now located on their pages.

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

Rikhards | Ravintola.fi

 





Restaurant review: El Greco – Greek cuisine in Helsinki

19 10 2014

 

El Greco - reijosfood.com

Restaurant El Greco

El Greco was opened in April 2014 in the same building as restaurant Ragu. Restaurant serves traditional Greek food and Greek wines. In the summer there has been some evenings with live music, which at least we have missed. Mandolin in the picture was just for our amusement.

Greek dinner must start with Ouzo accompanied by some ice cubes and water. Fresh bread with olive oil also is a must, small olive oil bottle hidden under bread slices made experience more personal.

Ouzo - reijosfood.com

Cheese pie at El Greco - reijosfood.com

Dolmades at El Greco - reijosfood.com

 

For main courses chose FISH OF THE DAY Fried zander or whitefish fillet, sauce from fresh tomatoes and SUVLAKI KOTOPULO Chicken and vegetables skewered on a spit, lemon & olive oil sauce.

Fish was zander or pike perch, which is rare in Greek kitchen, but we are in Finland. Fish was perfectly fried and tomato flavor in sauce matched well.

Chicken pieces in skewer were soft, not dry at all, which is too often typical for souvlakis. We shared fried potatoes but actually you did not need those. And without them main courses were extremely healthy.

Zander at El Greco- reijosfood.com

Souvlaki at El Greco - reijosfood.com

 

And for dessert to digest the food some Mango sorbet. Two sorbet balls are quite a lot to be eaten, but anyway excellent food melter.

Sorbet at El Greco - reijosfood.com

 

For wine restaurant owner suggested Kanenas white wine from Chardonnay grapes produced by Tsantali wineyards. The shape of the bottle is not typical, it is lower and more stylistic. Bouquet of wine was mild, you just recognized chardonnay. Also the taste was light but wine paired well with starters and main courses.

Greek wine - reijosfood.com

 

El Greco earns to be named best Greek restaurant in Helsinki when it comes to food. Dining area consists of three dining rooms; one with views to Ludviginkatu, one smaller in the middle and one under covered glass terrace. Only Greek music is played on the background, naturally.

But maybe we are used to a little bit more worn and more noisy tavernas, which we have visited during holidays in Greece. El Greco is located in the same building as Ragu with similar outlook (you can actually see Ragu terrace in the background). Building suits well for Ragu, but is it too solemn for Greek restaurant? Maybe not. If you dine there, share your thoughts. We are going to visit El Greco anyway again.

El Greco terrace - reijosfood.com

 

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

English — El Greco

Tsantali.





Restaurant review: Putte’s Bar & Pizza

28 09 2014
Salami pizza - reijosfood.com

Pizza Salami

Putte’s Bar & Pizza is located in the center of Helsinki city at Kalevankatu. It is easy to walk past, because there is only small signboard telling the existence of combination of bar and nightclub. Interior is also unpretentious, even rugged.

Putte's bar & pizza - reijosfood.com

We arrived between lunch and dinner time and for a while the bar was almost empty, more staffer than customers. I am not sure, if this affected the quality of pizzas, but have to say waited something else. Expectations were quite high because couple of local journals (for instance Nyt) had chosen pizza’s of this place the best ones in the city.

Pizza list is short and it should change regularly. Ingredients seemed to be creative and even some names like Silence of the Lambs (remember the movie….?). Positive thing is that mozzarella used comes from Italy. Story also tells that pizza base is unique and made from best flours after detailed studies in Italy and USA.

Pizza list on 26th September

Margherita
tomato, mozzarella, basil

Puttenesca
tomato, mozzarella, anchovies, olives, capers, garlic, chili, basil

Chevre-Aubergine
chevre, aubergine, tomato, mozzarella, rucola

Salami
tomato, mozzarella, salami

Funghi
mushrooms, mozzarella, rucola

Quattro Formaggi
Peltola Blue, Kolattu goat’s cheddar, Valio Emmental, ÅCA Kastelholm, tomato, rucola

Silence of the Lambs
lamb with north-african spices, tomato, mozzarella, rucola

We chose Salami and Funghi pizzas. Appearance of the pizza’s seemed to be delicious but….

Salami Napoli (was it, I am not sure?) pieces were quite thick and some parts tasted too much for pepper. Or was there too much pepper in some parts of pizza base? Anyway, on the pizza base there was too much salami, tomato sauce and cheese, which made the pizza quite pulp. I would rather use Salami Picante in this type of pizza in order to add some flavor.

Mushrooms were replaced by chanterelles which might sound sumptuous. But as all “funghi’s” were complete, even the big ones, chewing of them was not so pleasurable. Rucola was fresh and good-looking, sometimes this salad can be too thin and contains mostly rucola arms.

Salami pizza at Puttes bar - reijosfood.comFunghi pizza - reijosfood.com

Putte’s Bar & Pizza is primarly bar and hot spot. Pizza’s are add-on and actually only food you can get. Wide wine list raises overall grade. That is not typical for pizza places. Had excellent glass of Ripasso with salami pizza.

As you have to order pizza and drinks mainly from the bar counter, have not reviewed service. However, we were served by three different waitresses/waiters behind the bar and when pizza’s were brought to the table. These encounters were likeable.

REVIEW:  PIZZA 2/5 – SERVICE N/A – OVERALL GRADE 2,5/5





Restaurant review: Demo – Michelin star since 2007

31 08 2014

 

Demo logo. - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Demo is a about 40 -seat Michelin star restaurant that opened it’s doors January 2003. Demo serves high class food combined with personal and friendly service. Restaurant goal is to offer a chance to top quality dining, in a relaxed and cozy environment. Means that Demo is the most casual Michelin star restaurant in Helsinki.

Demo earned it’s first Michelin star in 2007 and has been able to keep it for 7 years in a row. Restaurant is open only in the evenings from Tuesday to Saturday. You have to choose from daily menu between 4, 5, 6 or 7 dishes menu, which is well-thought set of the best dishes restaurant cooks innovate daily. You can also order wine pairings instead of bottle or glass of wine chosen by sommelier.

We decided to enjoy six course dinner with suggested wines. Actual plan was five but luckily we chose six because otherwise we would have missed best course, king prawns. For aperitf we ordered glasses of house champagne, Gosset Grande Reserve Brut, which was excellent choice.

Before first dish of the menu, we were served Greetings from kitchen;  salmon, clam, roe and avocado creme. Perfect kick-off for the dinner. Also got some fresh, delicious sunflower seed bread and carrot brioche with ashed butter.

Demo kitchen greeting - reijosfood.comBreat at Demo - reijosfood.com

First course was masterpiece. Sherry flavored broth was poured at the table on top of foie gras, pork and apple. Taste of sherry was mild, but maybe it would have nominated too much, if flavor would have been stronger.

Wine for this course was French dry white wine, produced from chenin blanc grapes. Perfect pairing!

Demo starter - reijosfood.com

Second course consisted of reindeer and beetroot, combination of salty meat and partly sweet root. Pieces of reindeer carpaccio and cooked ones were delicious, carpaccio was soft as it should be. Also beetroot matched nicely with meat. Would say that best parts of Finnish food ingredients were combained in this dish.

Interesting, but successful wine choice with reindeer and beetroot was Château Miraval Côtes de Provence rosé. This “Brangelina” dry (not the driest) rose wine matched especially well because portion was partly salty and partly sweet. I was wondering, if red wine would have suited better, but maybe not because of sweetness of beetroot. Wine review in previous post.

Reindeer at Demo - reijosfood.comBrangelina rose  - reijosfood.com

Third course was the best of all dishes, grilled King Prawns with pork grease. You can get similar prawns in some restaurants by the Mediterranean Sea but only prawns. Demo kitchen adds flavors from pork, dill and garlic mayonnaise which supplements total enjoyment. You might be a little bit terrified, when you hear that there is some grease included in ingredients, but crispy leaf erases the feeling of fear.

Grand Cru Chablis, of course from chardonnay grapes served with prawns, matched extremely well with shellfish.

Demo - reijosfood.com

Fourth dish was actual main course. Lamb in two ways, fried and braised. Fried meat was crisp and almost tasted like reindeer. Braised meat was excellent with cauliflower and green asparagus. One example of Michelin star kitchen was the potato croquet and beetroot colored wrapping on top of it.

For wine sommelier had chosen Pli from Candialle wine yard, which is owned by Finnish wine producer Jaakko Peränen CANDIALLE – Panzano in Chianti. Perfect pairing, amount of Sangiovese (95%) and Petit Verdot (5%) made the wine soft but well balanced. Must buy it also to home.

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

For fifth dishes and first desserts we got two different versions. This was due to our request to avoid certain ingredients in another diners portions. Kitchen succeeded brilliantly in this, because all other portions looked similar.

Cheese ice-cream was at the same time salty and sweet, would say the sweetness dominated. Berry sorbet suited well after meat.

Sweet wine which was served with these desserts had only about 6% of alcoholicity. Similarities to apple cider came to my mind, but wine was not so bubbling as ciders are.

Dessert at Demo - reijosfood.comDessert at Demo - reijosfood.com

Sixth course and second dessert was Ice-Cream mousse with blackcurrant cake. Portion included blackcurrant with three ways, which made the dessert refreshing.

Dessert at Demo - reijosfood.com

With coffee and tea kitchen served small confections which were luscious. Marmalade, marshmallows and soft buscuits were perfect ending for fabulous dinner.

Dessert snacks at Demo - reijosfood.com

Interior was renewed about a year ago, which refreshed the look of dining room. Would say that decor has been successfully implemented, it is not too simple neither overkilled.

Demo bar - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Demo is entitled to Michelin star because of comprehensive culinary experience. Athmosphere is casual and informal, but not too much for Michelin restaurant. Service was of course professional, contents of each portion were told clearly as well as the background of wines.

And this time wines were perfect match for all dishes. Sommelier deserves special thanks for choises and therefore overall grade is almost the best restaurant can get from us. Why not 5 for food? You might complain a little bit about the price level but no more than worth of 0,25 points from the best points for food.

Review from previous visit can be found by using search.

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

Restaurant Demo | ”Share a laugh in the middle of culinary excellence”.

 

 

 





Restaurant review: Salutorget – Scandinavian bistro

19 08 2014

 

Riesling at Salutorget - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Salutorget includes  stylish dining room (not bistro type), bar/cafe  and terrace. Restaurant serves lunch and dinner but also brunch on Sundays. Salutorget is located close to Kauppatori (Salutorget in Swedish and  Market Square in English), which is the most known market or plaza in Helsinki.

You can see that there has been financial institutions operating in the same building earlier as rest rooms are in old bank vault. At least there you are in safe. Place has been renovated with craftmanship; 1800’s construction and pillars create a dignified athmosphere.

Menu consists of traditional Finnish and Scandinavian dishes, nothing fancy.  If you are keen on tasting them, like Baltic herrings, Whitefish, Reindeer or even Vendaces, then you are in the right place.

For starters we chose Salutorget’s small fishes (3pc): Shrimps á la Skagen, Cold smoked white fish with dill creme and Smoked salmon and creme fraiche with Dijon and Salad with broiled salmon; broiled salmon, egg, asparagus and mustard sauce

Taste and look of small fishes was ok but expected a little bit more from shrimps. Maybe they match with toast better than as separate dish. Belive that some ingredients had been forgotten from mustard sauce because it’s taste was so mild. Broiled salmon is always delicious.

Small fishes at Salutorget - reijosfood.comSalmon salad at Salutorget - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Roasted white fish with spring potatoes and egg sauce with chives and Salutorget´s pepper steak, garlic potato chips, grilled green asparagus and pepper hollandaise

Noticed afterwards that had forgotten take pictures from main courses for two reasons!

Firstly had to ask waiter to bring glass of red wine which I had ordered. Meat was already waiting to be eaten. Secondly had to ask for cutlerys which waiter forgot to bring after starters.

About main courses: Pepper steak should have been medium but it was almost almost well-done. Potato chips felt as they were old, would say the shape was more like slice not chip. Whitefish was luckily well prepared and basic new potatoes are always good.

So, you will see picture taken at the terrace instead of portions.

Salutorget terrace - reijosfood.com

For desserts we had Berry crumble and vanilla sauce with rosemary and Lime youghurt mousse with limoncello sorbet

Desserts were best part of dinner and saved evening. Crumble with vanilla sauce was delicious, mouth-watering combination. Mousse with sorbet was refreshing after salty fish.

Dessert 1 at Salutorget - reijosfood.comDessert 2 at Salutorget - reijosfood.com

Wine list is quite short; interesting to see that all wines are from European countries; mainly France, Italy and Spain.

For wine we chose Riesling Reservé Dopff au Moulin from Alsace, France. Nice, quite light riesling paired well with fishes we ate. As mentioned before, had glass of Les Vignerons Carignan Syrah from GCF, France with meat.

 

Dining room and bar were almost empty most of the time, which is unusual for Friday evening. One reason was the amount of happenings, like kick-off of Helsinki Festival.

Salutorget - reijosfood.comSalutorget bar - reijosfood.com

We have visited Salutorget couple of times (reviews can be found by using search), but this visit was a little bit dissappointing. Food used to be excellent as well as service.

Because of the cozy terrace and interior still believe that Salutorget can perform better. Therefore 4 for the overall grade.

On the same date was opening of Hotel Manta of Helsinki. Previous post was about this “hotel”.

Hotel Manta - reijosfood.com

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

http://www.salutorget.fi/en





Hotel Manta of Helsinki – built around the statue of Havis Amanda

16 08 2014

Hotel Manta - reijosfood.com

Hotel Manta of Helsinki is a hotel room built around the statue of Manta in Market Square. The space designed by Tatshu Nishi serves as a hotel room by night, and as an open exhibition space during the day. The work not only creates a new surrealist setting for the monument, it offers a new perspective on the statue. Manta can now be met at eye level; also privately during the nights, if you were able to book the room.

Statue of Havis Amanda - reijosfood.com

The project is produced by the Helsinki Art Museum and it is part of the Helsinki Festival programme. In cooperation with Museum of Finnish Architecture and Design Museum. The work is supported by The Cenetary Foundation of the Finnish Society of Crafts and Design.

As visiting times during Helsinki Festival are between 11.30 – 17.30, cleaning up must be made in hurry. The cost for visit is 3€.

Cleaning of Hotel Manta - reijosfood.com

Hotel Manta of Helsinki was opened on the 15th of August and waiting for the first customer must have been exciting.

Hotel room was sold out in a minute, which is not surprising. Being part of art work must be fascinating. And price for night is not expensive, 130€. But of course without breakfast, which you can enjoy after checking out for instance at Market Square cafes.

Hotel Manta - reijosfood.com

Because of daily visiting hours, check-in can not be before 18.00 and check-out has to be made before 11.00.

Windows without curtains ensure that statue of Manta is visible all the time.

Hotel Manta of Helsinki - reijosfood.comHotel Manta of Helsinki - reijosfood.com

The statue is in the middle of the hotel room and actually splits twin bed. It sort of stands between the pillows.

Let’s see what is the condition of statue of Manta after Helsinki Festival celebrations will end. They will take two months.

Behind the link is also web camera pictures from past days.

Hotel Manta of Helsinki.





Seafront hot spot terraces in Kaivopuisto, Helsinki

14 08 2014

image

Kaivopuisto (Kaivari), is one of the oldest and best known parks in South Helsinki. The park is on the seafront and in the vicinity operates several cafes and restaurants. Another name for this post could be “Kaivopuisto terrace guide”, but as only 3 terraces have been chosen, more specific name was needed.

It takes only 25 minutes to walk to the first hot spot from Market Square. And if you arrive for one day visit to Helsinki with Tallink Cruise ship from Stockholm, only 20 minutes. But if you get tired before first pit stop, you can drop by at Cafe Ursula, which is the oldest seafront terrace in Kaivopuisto area.

 

Mattolaituri

The first hot spot is Mattolaituri. Mattolaituri (Carpet Pier) name comes from the pier which was, and sometimes still is, used for washing carpets. Otherwise nothing in common, as cafe building is most modern in Helsinki, as well as the terrace.

Mattolaituri is located across from island Uunisaari, in Eastern part of South Kaivopuisto.

Place is one of the few “Moet Ice Imperial hot spots” in Helsinki (link to find all hot spots Discover), which you can also see from the pictures. In the evenings also dancing and once a week movies.

There are several areas for relaxation; roof terrace, table area and deck chairs. Less queues in busiest times due to 2 serving desks.

Drinks: champagnes, especially Moet & Chandon and wines

Food: snacks or salad, not the main focus

Opening hours: 09.00AM – 02.00AM, open from MayDay to about end of September

Moet Ice Imperial at Mattolaituri - reijosfood.comMattolaituri - reijosfood.comMattolaituri in Kaivopuisto - reijosfood.comMattolaituri in Kaivopuisto - reijosfood.comMattolaituri_II - reijosfood.comMoet at Mattolaituri - reijosfood.com

Mattolaituri – Helsinki, Finland – Ravintola | Facebook

 

Cafe Carusel

Cafe Carusel is next hot spot locating across from islands Sirpalesaari, Liuskaluoto and Liuskasaari. It was opened already in mid 90’s and was at that time phenomenom.

Cafe/restaurant is open all-year-round as it has spacious interior. You can relax inside, if it rains or on sun beds or at table area. And if it happens to rain, choose Cafe Carusel. Also widest menu.

Drinks: beer, cider, wines, special coffees

Food: pizzas, salads, burgers, sandwiches, widest menu of the 3 hot spots

Opening hours: 09.00AM – 22.00PM every day, all year round

Cava at Carusel - reijosfood.comCafe Carusel - reijosfood.comSun beds at Carusel - reijosfood.comCafe Carusel - reijosfood.com

Cafe Carusel – Helsinki, Finland – Kahvila | Facebook

 

Birgitta

Birgitta Hernesaari, the newcomer, which was opened this summer, is third hot spot. This cafe is most rough-looking as exterior-walls seem to be burned.

Cafe is located almost in Hernesaari, which is the westernmost area in Kaivopuisto and near the new beach. You will see lot’s of cruise passengers from ship’s stopping for the day in Hernesaari port. Last time 1/3 of the customers were from the United States.

During busiest time the longest waiting time for order submission. Birgitta is also smallest from these 3 terraces.

Drinks: soft drinks, beer, video, wines

Food: speciality is burger grilled in charcoal grill, salads and sandwiches

Opening hours: 09.00AM – 22.00PM every day, not yet sure if cafe is open all year round

Refreshments at Birgitta - reijosfood.comBirgitta Hernesaari - reijosfood.comBirgitta - reijosfood.comBrunch at Birgitta - reijosfood.com

Birgitta Hernesaari – Kahvila | Facebook

So, if you visit Helsinki and like to relax on terraces, not just settle for hanging in downtown cafes and terraces. Walk or take a tram number 2 from Market Square to Kaivopuisto.








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