Restaurant review: Hoku

12 03 2017



HOKU was opened on the 3rd of December 2016, when new restaurant concept was launched in Kamppi shopping center 5th floor. Area is called Kortteli (Block), which includes 11 restaurants with different cuisines, HOKU being one of them.

Restaurant HOKU is a Hawaiian restaurant started by Ryan Shibuya. It is located by the windows opening to Narinkkatori offering great view if you get window table. So ask for it, but enough early. Some of the tables are on the other side behind glass walls after Beijing8 restaurant.

For starters ordered EDAMAME Lightly boiled and seasoned soybeans with a sesame-soy chili dressing and SOFT SHELL CRAB Deep fried and served on mixed salad with a creamy sriracha vinaigrette

Edamame, which is common in Hawaii,  was a very simple dish, and a bit lacking imagination.  As tasty as the sauce is, at the end they are just soy beans. Suitable for snack to be shared but maybe not for starter.

Crab was delicious and actuallu quite big for starter. Crispy shells with tasty salad made this crab starter maybe the best of all dishes eaten.

 



From several main courses ordered STEAMED SEABASS WITH BLACKBEANS Seabass steamed in cabbage leaf, salty black beans, shimeji mushrooms, ginger pesto and TOFU TERIYAKI Pan seared with teriyaki sauce.  Served with rice, green or potato salad, pickles.

Seabass was wrapped in cabbage leaves, 3 pieces, which make portion generous. Sauce or soup was quite salty but rice lightened it. Fish itself was perfectly cooked, soft and tasty.

The tofu was silken, and pair well with teriyaki sauce. In menu dish is with salmon but can be replaced with tofu.  In the plate there are 3 different flavors, sweet with the red cabbage, sour with the pickles  and chilli with cabbage.  The green salad is simple, usually served with a mayo dressing, but as it was served as vegan, the dressing was a vinagrette.



Wines are affordable when it comes to restaurant prices. If you get bottle of decent wine under 40€ in Finland, then you are on right track. Had South-African The Innocent Syrah 2015 from wineyard Lammershoek. The palate was soft and round upfront mouth feel. Quite light for Syrah but paired well with Hawaiian style food.

Restaurant has it’s own beer as you can see from the picture below. One of the Hawaiian islands, Kona, can be seen on the sign behind bar desk.

Restaurant Hoku will be success for sure. Excellent location in Kamppi shopping center by the windows with great view help it also.

But of course food is most important part and it was tasty. Especially not too strong Hawaiian flavors should melt Finnish mouths.

Service was professional being not too formal.

Saw many customers trying to step in without table reservation. On Saturday evening restaurant was fully booked.

 

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

http://hoku.fi/index.html

http://kampinkortteli.fi/en

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Restaurant review: Bar Con

19 02 2017


Bar Con was opened on the 3rd of December 2016, when new restaurant concept was launched in Kamppi shopping center 5th floor. Owners of Bar Con were also behind the new concept, Kortteli (Block), which includes 11 restaurants with different cuisines.

Bar Con is, however, located in its area above other restaurants and cafes. You climb the stairs to the “6th” floor where is the dining area and bar behind the desk.

Restaurant Bar Con is relaxed and casual spot serving similar food as you would get in Barcelona tapas bars. Menu includes pintxos, which are served on a crunchy slice of bread, tapas and main courses. Also few desserts are included.

Started the dinner with 2 pintxos and 2 tapas. Pintxo is snack, one piece costs 4€. Tapas portion can be shared. Ordered QUESO AZUL Y NUECES Asturian La Peral blue cheese with walnuts and SETAS AL AJILLO Seasonal mushrooms sauteed with parsley, garlic and pine nuts.

Amount of cheese was overwhelming but could not find walnuts. Would prefer blue cheese as slightly melted but this pintxo was delicious.

The garlic taste was a bit overwhelming, but overall it was a nice little snack.


Next came tapas portions, had ordered PIMIENTOS DEL PADRÓN Green Padrón peppers fried in olive oil and seasoned with coarse salt from Ibiza and PATATAS BRAVAS DE BARCELONA Crispy potatoes, spicy sauce made of smoked pepper and aioli.

One tapas plate is enough for two person for starter, if you order first pintxos.

Spiced potatoes were excellent, but missed a little bit taste of chili, which is used in some tapas bar in Barcelona.

Also salted green sweet peppers were as they should be.

For main courses decided to ordered MAR Y MONTAÑA Chickpeas, Spanish butifarra sausage and baby squid and POCHAS A LA NAVARRA White bean and vegetable stew from Navarra.

Mar was now shrimps instead of squid as restaurant was not able to get fresh octopus. Better this way than to serve frozen food, which can be quite stewy when it comes to squids. Butifarra sausage was as good as expected and stew very tasty as a whole.

The white bean stew was the only vegan choice.  This dish was a bit too salty, but must wonder if the combination of tapas on top of this main would have made a difference on the taste.  Overall a nice warm dish.

Wine list consist of Spanish wines, of course, and most of the wines are from small producers and imported by the company owning Bar Con. List also tells that wines are vegan, which means that animal-derived products has not been used during production.

Ordered Seis de Azul y Garanza, which has its origin in six vineyards placed next to the Desert of Bardenas Reales which produce small grapes. Waiter suggested this wine for all dishes we had ordered and pairing was perfect. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were perfect combination.

 

Restaurant Bar Con will be success, no doubt about it. Perfect location and you can even watch out from the narrow bar.

Food is tasty and ingredients used fresh and original, imported from Spain. Must say that so far most authentic when it comes to real Spanish food.

Service was professional and seemed natural. Information about food and wines were available with professional way.

 

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

http://www.bar-con.fi/

http://kampinkortteli.fi/en





Restaurant review: BBQ House in Kamppi shopping center

5 04 2015

BBQ House - reijosfood.com

Restaurant BBQ House is situated in Kamppi shopping center. Restaurant has heated outdoor terrace, where we dined, which expands in the summer to a large bar and terrace area. BBQ House is specialised in steaks and meats, name should also tell it. If you decide to dine inside or terrace is full, you can watch how chefs manage to do they work in open kitchen.

The Argentinian touch, which restaurant used to have, has almost disappeared during the past years. Portuguese language is menu is still there.

Started the dinner with restaurant offer wine, only 15€ for bottle of French sparkling wine. Excellent price/quality ratio in Finnish restaurants.

Henrideblanc at BBQ House - reijosfood.com

For starters we chose Tapas dishes. From alternatives we decided to taste Marinated vegetables and artichoke, Shrimp toast and Kangaroo meat with sweet potato chips. 

All three tapas starter were basically ok. No surprises, enough tasty and enjoyable. Wonder why restaurant has kangaroo meat on list, it does not suit with other dishes.

Tapas in Bbq House - reijosfood.com

Tapas at Bbq House - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Chicken and Reef perch (scope fish). For these dishes you have to choose sauce from different alternatives and side dish from 5alternatives.

With chicken tried rum-pepper sauce and sweet potato fries. Excellent combination and when chicken breast still has some skin on it, taste improves.

Never have seen Finnish restaurants serving Reef perch. Is this the way BBQ House tries to tease customers like with kangaroo meat.

With fish had BBQ salad and chimichurri as sauce. Paired nicely with fish, but price for quite small portion is high.

Chicken at BBQ House - reijosfood.com

Fish at BBQ House - reijosfood.com

Sitting at the heated terrace is convenient although outside temperature is close to 0C degrees still in April. You can watch what happens at Kamppi Square and front of Tennispalatsi, biggest cinema complex in Finland.

Terrace dining raises overall grade.

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

BBQ House: pihviravintola – helsinki – kamppi – narinkkatori

Kamppi Square

previous review available https://reijosfood.com/2012/03/10/latino-flavours-at-restaurant-bbq-house/





Restaurant review: Gluto – the taste of wellness

30 12 2014

Gluto - reijosfood.com

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 - reijosfood.com

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 - reijosfood.com

Vege pasta at Gluto - reijosfood.com

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.

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

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gluto-Street-Food/692387817506674





Restaurant review: Ristorante Como

13 09 2013

Como - reijosfood.com

Ristorante Como, spacious promising Italian restaurant located on the 2nd floor between shopping centers Forum and Kamppi.

Ristorante Como was established 9 months ago in the same location where there used to be theater restaurant which did not gain on popularity. Therefore dining room is spacious, maybe even too big in order to achieve Italian type athmosphere. On the other hand it is sometimes convenient to be able dine in privacy because in most cases you have to listen what other diners shout because of background noise. Como is owned by same the Tampere based company as Stefan’s Steakhouse (review can be found at reijosfood.com by using search). First Como restaurant was also established in Tampere.

Ordered for starters 6 Antipasti from 9 different alternatives which were grouped in Verdura, Carni and Pesce. Our choises were Pan fried zuccini rolls, Artichoke and mascarpone, Pan fried scallops and water cress, Lemon marinated white fish, fennel, peas and carrots, Prawn tails and endive salad and Prosciutto with melon. 

All antipasti were delicious except artichoke stuff because articchoke did not taste at all, main flavor was mascarpone. Each starter costs 7€ each which would be too much but as you get volume discount by ordering 2 or 3, it makes sense to try them.

Bread basket was brought after antipasti plate which was a mistake. If basket includes Grissinis which should be eaten with aperitif not with starter, it is served too late. In this case waiter forgot to bring bread basket in time. Foccacia was great and olive oil complemented wholeness.

Starter in Como - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.com

Main courses were Pike-Perch pan fried in olive oil, lemon and rocket and Como’s raw sausage and tomato salad. For side dishes (one included in the price) we chose Green salad with olive oil and Potatoes.

Fish was well prepared but too salty. Otherwise it would have earned high scores. Sausage was perfect and even better end result would have been achieved if one side dish would have been Potato, zucchini and spring onion which was on the restaurant web site. Boiled potato did not match so well as for instance potato salad would have.

Como - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.com

Because portions were not so huge there was room for desserts. Tried Rhubarb with sorbet and Limoncello pie. Desserts should be prepared at the restaurant, but think they were not in this case.

Sorbet was icy, full of “hailstones”. Limoncelle pie was tasty and dessert was well placed on the plate. Something seemed missing, maybe flavor of limoncello should have been stronger.

Como - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Como competes toe to toe with best Italian restaurants in Helsinki, would say mostly with Sasso and Gastone. With some improvements in portions Como might be leading restaurant when it comes to Italian food.

When paying the bill we were given gift card which offered one main course for free when purchasing two by end of 2013. Lack of customers or attempt to grow loyal customer base? We might go again to try pizzas because they seemed to be polular and looked promising.

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

Como - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.com

You can not find this restaurant on English pages http://www.ravintola.fi/en

http://www.ravintola.fi/como_helsinki





Restaurant review: BBQ House

11 04 2013

Restaurant BBQ House is situated in Kamppi shopping center. Restaurant has heated outdoor terrace, where we dined, which expands in the summer to a large bar and terrace area. BBQ House is specialised in steaks and meats, name should also tell it. When we visited restaurant there was Argentine weeks with special menus. If you decide to dine inside or terrace is full, you can watch how chefs manage to do they work in open kitchen.

As a S-Group co-op member you can get discount for some portions. This year you can enjoy bottle of champagne Nicolas Feuillatte at the the price of 39€. However this champagne can not be ranked in top ten, but if you can get bottle of champagne in restaurant for the price of mediocre wine, go for it! And this time it was colder compared to experience in Casa Largo.

ChampagneNicolas Feuillatte

For “Entrades – Appetizers” we chose Tapas dishes. From 5 alternatives we decided to taste Marinated vegetables and artichoke and Shrimp mousse and crostini. Both portions were quite OK. Combination of shrimps, mousse and crostini was clever, enough juicy and tasty.

VegetablesShrimps

From “Prato principal à sua escolha da nossa grelha de pedra vulcânica – Main course of your choice from our lava rock grill” ordered Corn-fed chicken. For these dishes you have to choose sauce from 6 alternatives and side dish from 4 alternatives. Decided to choose Portwine-balsamic sauce and BBQ House salad. Big salad portion compensated a little bit the small size of chicken. Otherwise quite delicious.

Corn-fed chickenBBQ House salad

From “Pratos à maneira de bbq house – Meals à la BBQ House”  ordered Entrecosto de porco bem cozido ao molho glacé BBQ Slow-cooked pork belly with BBQ glaze served with escabeche marinated vegetables and sweet potato fries. Pork was prepared well because meat came off easily. Sweet potato is welcomed ingredient for french fries. Easy to prepare at home also.

Slow-cooked pork

Sitting at the heated terrace is convenient although outside temperature is close to 0C degrees still in April. You can watch what happens at Kamppi Square and front of Tennispalatsi, biggest cinema complex in Finland. Terrace dining raises overall grade. Might have given 4- for service but one waiter poured champagne classes almost full and served main course first for male. Other waitresses were polite and helpful.

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

http://www.bbqhouse.fi/

Kamppi Square

Last year 2012 visited two times at the same restaurant, previous review available https://reijosfood.com/2012/03/10/latino-flavours-at-restaurant-bbq-house/





Restaurant review: Sevilla

21 04 2012

Had late lunch at restaurant Sevilla which serves also Sokos hotel Presidentti customers. One can find Sevilla also in St. Petersburg where there are Sokos hotels. Sevilla tries to be Spanish restaurant with wide tapas selection, Spanish name and menu which is also in Spanish.  Having dined there couple of times tapas portions have been quite well prepared and tasty as there were this time. Location; 50 meters from shopping center Kamppi.

Ordered 4 tapas portions which we shared.  CHILI MARINATED SHRIMPS AND AIOLI Gambas peladas y macerados en salsa picante con alioli,  SELECTION OF SPANISH CHEESES Selección de quesos españoles i.e.  Cabrales blue cheese Mahón and Manchego cheese, figs and fig balsami,  LAMB MEATBALLS AND CHORIZO Albóndigas de cordero y chorizo  GARLIC BREAD Pan de ajo. Shrimps were good but aioli needed more taste. Would have ordered something else instead of cheeses as they were quite modest. One meatball with chorizo was OK and garlic bread with whole cloves of garlic was almost better than in Spain.

For main course 2x PEPPER CHICKEN Pollo a la pimienta i.e. Succulent wing-boned chicken breast, creamy brandy pepper sauce, Spanish-style baked vegetables and French fries. Chicken was OK but pepper sauce could have included more pepper in order to be enough spicy.

Restaurant Sevilla is easy place to go and have something to eat if one likes Spanish flavours.

REVIEW: FOOD 3-/5 – SERVICE 3+/5 – Overall grade 3+/5

http://www.sevilla.fi/

http://www.sevilla.fi/helsinki/sokos-hotel-presidentti/ruokalistat/restaurant-sevillas-a-la-carte-menu/

http://www.sokosrestaurants.ru/

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By the way, when visiting Sevilla about year ago, ordered speciality of the house. Had to send it back to the kitchen because chicken was so dry and chewy. Better luck next time 🙂








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