Restaurant review: The Souk

12 10 2019

Restaurant The Souk was opened in October 2019 in Kortteli at 5th floor in Kamppi Shopping Center. Before The Souk restaurant Jord was at the same location, but it moved to Kruunuhaka. Restaurant still had empty tables on Friday afternoon although almost all other restaurants in Kortteli were already very busy. The Souk does not yet have web pages either it is listed on Kamppi pages when writing this blog. One reason for not yet being that busy as the other restaurants.

Menu as well as wine list are short. The name of the restaurant reflects the cuisine, hints from Middle East and Mediterranean. First you get small tasty bruchetta’s with tapenade.

For starters ordered Cauliflower wings and Warm goat cheese & beetroot carpaccio. Cauliflower portion was huge for starter, could have been shared. Goat cheese on top of beetroots was as it should be. Difficult to fail when warming up cheese on grill.

Main courses were Spinach Arancini and Roasted Chicken Supreme. With main courses one has to choose one side dish, in our case they were Potatoes and Souk salad.

On the menu it is written risotto as one of the main courses, so it was a little surprise to get filled rice balls. Forgot to ask, if this was vegan version of risotto. Arancinis were big enough to fill up really hungry stomachs. But after wings a little bit too much.

Chicken was nicely cut into two pieces. Sauce was tasty and paired well with roasted meat. Side dish was modest consisting of some canned veggies on top of basic green salad.

For wine had Italian Conti Serristori from Sangiovese grapes. Light but paired nicely with low-spicy dishes.

The Souk will be busy in the coming evenings and lunch hours due to location. Kortteli restaurant area is popular especially in the cold and rainy season which has started already in Finland. Restaurant will definately develop during the first months after opening.



Restaurant review: Pobre – Filipino kitchen with a twist

1 02 2019

Pobre opened in January 2018 and it serves New Filipino food. Background for Pobre can be found from the times Restaurant Day still officially existed. Restaurant delivers dishes that vibrate the flavors of the Philippines. In Filipino culture, food is always a centerpiece of any gathering. Cooking is a way to bring a family together and the value of a memorable dining experience is at the very core of our identity.

Pobre is located in Kamppi Shopping Center at 5th floor where there is “Block” (Kortteli) consisting of about 10 different kind and style of restaurants.

Menu is short but all the dishes sound tempting. Difficult to choose what to order when visiting first time.

Started the dinner with SISIG Sizzling, braised pork neck, red onion, spring onion, chili, egg and dumplings QUASH & COCONUT Coconut chips, chives, soy-calamansi sauce, xo sauce.

Sisig was eaten with fingers, stew was placed on baby gem salad leaves and spiced with chili and garlic oils, which were made in the restaurant. Spices were in the small jars and you can make this dish as spice as you want. Brilliant idea to serve different tastes.

Manila dumplings were vegan as all the side dishes available. Again spicing from jars made this dish delicious.


For main courses ordered SEAFOOD SINIGANG Salmon, tiger prawns, seasonal vegetables, taro, tamarind broth and PANSIT CANTON Handmade noodles, seasonal vegetables, ©Jalotofu, soy-sesame sauce.

Also ordered for side dishes SPINACH LAING Spinach, coconut sauce and BERDE SALAD Baby gem lettuce, shaved cucumber, carrots, pickled mangoes, kohlrabi, sesame vinaigrette.

Sinigang was served in a hot bowl which kept also the food really warm for long time. Salmon was still soft as it was in the broth and prawns crispy.

Pansit Canton was tasty vegan dish. You could order the same dish with other ingredients, tofu is one option.

And both side dishes were excellent due to dressings and spices. Vegetables are Finnish but when you add the Filipino twist, even they can be really yummy.


You have to walk to the end of dining area at 5th floor and you find Pobre behind the glass wall’s. Restaurant has only about 25 seats, so it is important to make table reservation beforehand.

Must say that Pobre is one of the best newcomers in Helsinki restaurant scene.

Food is excellent, fresh and served with impressive way. Prices are affordable compared to many casual fine dining restaurants.

Service is professional although the small space does not help the work. On the other hand it makes Pobre more intimate and cozy.

Can recommend restaurant if you like Asian food! That’s why overall grade is almost 5.




Restaurant review: Sandro Kortteli

24 09 2017

Restaurant Sandro Kortteli is the third Sandro restaurant in Helsinki. It was opened on the 3rd of December 2016, when all other restaurants in the “block” were opened in Kamppi shopping center 5th floor. In August 2017 4th Sandro restaurant was opened in Tapiola, Espoo. The first Sandro in Kallio suburb was established in 2013 and it started the triumphal leading to more openings. All Sandro’s serve African style, mostly Moroccan, food.

Brunches and buffet’s are most popular. In Kortteli, Marrakech Madness Feast, seemed to be mostly chosen portion from the menu. It included starters, main courses and desserts at the price of 33,90€. Recommend to order that instead of dishes from a la carte list. Reason for this is, that there are not actually starters on menu and main courses are quite expensive.

Anyway started the dinner with aperitives called Flower Mule. Very refreshing and tasty drink, which included cucumber, chili and ginger.

For main courses, as there were no starters, ordered Tajines. African Sweet Potato Curry coconut, organic tofu, chili and coriander as vegan dish and Slow Cooked Lamb Shank ginger, cinnamon, chili, prunes, sesame and almonds. All Tajines come with baby gems, tzatziki, harissa pesto, hummus, cinnamon pumpkin, cauliflower tabbouleh, couscus and saffron bread.

The curry was the only vegan option on the menu. It was spicy, but the serving size is quite big, so after a while the taste is overwhelming to the taste buds.

Must say that Lamb Tajine was dissappointment. The sauce sounded tempting when reading what it consisted. But could not find any of listed spices from the taste. Luckily lamb was well prepared and crisp, which compensated a lot.

With many side dishes one can taste different flavors from Morocco. However, value more strong and deeper savors.

Wine list is short and quite expensive for casual restaurant. One wine under 40€ and most cost 60€ or more. Ordered French-Moroccan Tandem Syrah 2014.

Alain Graillot, a highly respected grower in Crozes-Hermitage in the Rhône, met the owners of this North African domaine while on a cycling holiday in Morocco and now they make this wine in tandem. That is how the name was invented. Wine paired quite nicely with food enjoyed.

Sandro restaurants have been popular since opening. Chain is part of Royal Ravintolat group which has changed it’s profile from traditional fine dining chain to co-owner of restaurants serving more diversified and casual dining experiences.

Food in Sandro Kortteli could have been more spicy when it comes to Lamb Tajine. On the other hand curry had enough kick.

Service was professional, but is seemed that waiters were quite busy.

Ask for window table and you can see Narinkkatori and buildings around Kamppi. Location and view restaurant can offer, is one of the draws Sandro Kortteli has.



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 -


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 -


Tzatziki at Minos -


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?


Salad of Chicken Breast and Halloumi Cheese

Seafood salad at Minos -

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.


Restaurant Minos.

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 -

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 -

Curry dishes at Orchid -

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 -

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


Restaurant review: Gluto – the taste of wellness

30 12 2014

Gluto -

Gluto Street Food was opened in Kamppi Shopping Centre in August 2014. Street Food bar prepares gluten-free fresh pasta to be eaten at small dining area or as take-away. The range includes gluten-free pasta of the day with changing sauce options like bolognese and basil. “Restaurant” also offers gluten-free and milk-free stuffed sandwiches and focaccias.

Gluto -

There was some delay in the opening as some authorities were not sure, if Gluto was restaurant or street food bar

We decided to try pastas of the day which were Lasagne Bolognese and Vegetarian pasta.

Portions were quite small, which might be the case, if you choose pasta of the day.

Lasagne was delicious and could have eaten double portion. There was lot’s of smelted cheese on pasta which added some flavour to dish.

Vegetarian pasta included olives, zucchini and tomato. Would have preferred some more vegetables, because of the name of the pasta. However, nice portion and what is most important, gluten-free.

Lasagne at Gluto -

Vege pasta at Gluto -

Gluto is perfect place for people, who like pasta, but can not eat wheat. Location is perfect, which means that tables are occupied almost all the time.

With a little bit larger portions and more spiced portions, grade for food would be over 4. As you order dishes from the counter, service is not reviewed.

Because there is demand for gluten-free dining spot, overall grade is over 4.


Restaurant review – Minos, piece of Greece in Helsinki

21 11 2013

Minos -

Restaurant Minos is over 25 years old restaurant which serves traditional Greek food. For example you can get Tzatziki, Pita bread, Moussaka and of course Ouzo for aperitif. You can also here Greek spoken as waiters speak it to each other.

Minos has pleasant covered terrace which can be used also in winter time, as it is heated. We always choose to dine there 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. Note that restaurant is not open on Sundays.

Starters usually are the best part of the dinner which was true also this time. We ordered tsatsiki, marinated olives and dolmades (vine leaves stuffed with rice and herbs). But of course ouzo Plomari for aperitif; with ice it is perfect appetite initiator; Jamas!

Tsatsiki was excellent, be careful you do not eat a full stomach with fresh bread because it is just so delicious. Dolmades were warm as they should be and again with tsatsiki, perfect. Olives as starter may sound simple but the marinade made them juicy and appropriately salty.

Starters at Minos -

For main courses ordered Catch of the day, grilled fresh fish which was Dorada and Tiger shrimps on skewer with garlic and lemon sauce. You can choose from 4 side dishes to supplement the main course. Alternatives are Baked potato wedges, potato gratin, rice or seasons braised vegetables. Also ordered Grilled pita bread which came after second request.

Gilt perch (Dorada) was palatable as it tasted like just caught from Mediterranean sea. Just a little bit over grilled but not too much as it did not bother. Tiger shrimp skewer was the weakest part of the dinner, a little bit too salty and vegetables were in fact the same as you could order separately as a side dish. Luckily chose potato gratin which was ok.

Dorada - reijosfood.comGiant shrimps -

Then for desserts Halva and Tiramisu with Metaxa brandy + Metaxa brandy.

Halva for dessert is interesting delicacy but as there are not so many options without lactose, tasted it. And if you like Halva, you would have liked this one also. Tiramisu is Italian dessert but Minos moistened it with brandy, that transforms it Greek dessert. But of course had to make sure that there would be enough moisture and therefore ordered just in case glass of Metaxa brandy.

Halva - reijosfood.comTiramisu -

Restaurant Minos really is the piece of Greece in Helsinki! Even wine list consists of Greek wines which is partly good and partly not so good thing. Enjoyed white wine; 2009 Petra, Kir-Yanni. As you can see in the picture vintage is 2012, not 2009. Greek white wines pair perfeclty with Greek starters but for fish they are challenge due to lacking character. However, if you want to enjoy complete Greek package, it must include local wines.

Service was quick and polite. You might want to check menu before hand because waiters start asking for order soon after your arrival.


Petra wine -

The Culinary Team of Finland at Kamppi 10th of September

3 09 2012

The new National Chef Team of Finland has been appointed after a long and demanding process. The team consists of 13 members and is led by Mr Tapio Laine. Next Olympics are in October in Germany but the Team aims to win gold at the Olympics in 2016

The Team will be better known at the latest when they have presented their “cold table” at Kamppi shopping center on the 10th of September 2012.


Note: picture below is not “cold table” created by the Team. It is home made Cold Table.

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