Restaurant review: Taverna Vaelsa

18 06 2017


Ristorante e Taverna Vaelsa opened spring 2015 at the Market Square, at Pohjoisesplanadi 9 in the historic Govinius building. At the 2nd floor there is restaurant serving with wider menu and downstairs is taverna, which serves pizzas and some salads. Vaelsan’s kitchen combines local food and classic Italian cuisine with a modern touch.

Visited taverna at late lunch time on Saturday and tried pizzas. Ordered them from the menu under Pizze Speciali headline.

Chose Bresaola Mozzarella, Rucola, Bresaola, Parmigiano, Lemon Vinaigrette and Vegana Zucchini, Paprika, Eggplant, Parsley, Vegan Cheese.

Pizza Bresaola was delicious, but quite dry as there was not tomato sauce. Pizza base was quite thick and had to cut quite hard pieces. There was enough fresh rucola, which is not always the case when pizza includes rocket salad.


Pizza Vegana was also tasty and it was pleaseant surprise to see that taverna served also vegan version including cheese. That definately increases points.


Wines were a little bit problematic, only 3 red wines available and 2 out of them had run out and replaced with other brands. Of course pizzas do not necessarily require full-bodied wines but for instance the one we enoyed was quite light.

Location is excellent, just opposite to Market Square. And if you get window table like us, it is nice to watch the crowds outside.

Service was a little bit limping, maybe due to busy lunch hour, which was ending. If you want to visit ristorante, better make table reservation, to taverna you can just walk in and check if there are free tables.

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

http://vaelsa.fi/taverna/





Restaurant review: Sundmans Krog – revisit after 2 years

8 04 2015
Sundmans Krog - reijosfood.com

Sundmans krog

 

Opposite of the Old Market Hall used to be two restaurants with almost similar names, G.W.Sundmans and Sundmans Krog. However, difference was quite huge. In the past one Michelin star restaurant G.W. Sundmans in the second floor was closed from public last year; it is now private restaurant for special occasions.

Restaurant Sundmans Krog is more laid-back restaurant with one speciality, fish buffet, which you can order for starter or for main course. For main course it is maybe too modest and needs some additional dishes.

Dining rooms in the old building is refreshing as most new restaurants try to be trend setters or their decor is really simple.

We were seated in small side room at sofa table. A little bit echoing but otherwise nice to sit on soft couch compared to hard wooden chairs.

Sundmans Krog

Started the dinner with easy decision, Sundmans Krog’s traditional fish buffet with dill potatoes.

Potatoes were brought to the table with bread and unique butter scoop. Restaurant’s name on paper cover was a nice surprise.

Spiced salmon was unfortunately too salty and it disturbed because herrings at the buffet are salty of course.

This time salmon roe was missing although buffet table included sour cream and onion mince. Was it finished or did the restaurant save money?

Cold fish Buffet at Sundmans Krog - reijosfood.com

Butter at Sundmans Krog - reijosfood.com

For main course ordered Fish of the day with Stewed potato seasoned with mussel cream and dill- fennel sauce. 

The fish available is quite rare in Helsinki restaurants, haddock. It is close to cod but smaller and drier fish. White pepper do not match with white meated fish, at least not in this case.

 Haddock at Sundmans Krog - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Sundmans Krog was one of the few restaurants open on Eastern Sunday in Helsinki. However, it was not full at all. Maybe fish buffet should be a little bit more generous or extra ordinary in order to attract more customers.

We did not try special offer from separate Steak and red wine list, which is available until 5th May. Maybe that would have raised grade for food.

Service was professional and polite as expected.

Two years ago Sundmans Krog earned better points but maybe next time it will come back to the same level.

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

Sundmans krog | Services | G.W. Sundmans & Sundmans Krog.

If you get window table you can see Market Hall and Market Square, ask for it.

Sundmans Krog window table - reijosfood.com





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.





Restaurant review: Sundmans Krog

20 01 2013

Sundmans KrogSundmans Krog II

Opposite of the Old Market Hall are two restaurants with almost similar names, G.W.Sundmans and Sundmans Krog. However, difference is quite huge. Restaurant G.W. Sundmans used to have Michelin star but is still one of the most sophisticated restaurants in Finland.

Sundmans Krog is more laid-back restaurant with one speciality, fish buffet which you can order for starter or for main course. For main course it is maybe too modest, might need some additional dishes.

Fish buffet at Sundmans Krog

Because of a freezing weather (-15C degrees) had to get something warm to drink and were served rum and cassis toddies. No more mulled wines at this time of the year.

However started one menu with Sundmans Krog’s traditional fish buffet with dill potatoes. Potatoes were brought to the table and there were like just picked up but spiced salmon was too salty.

Fish plate

For main course ordered Salmon Wallenberg with Cauliflower and Remoulade sauce. Usually this traditional food is made from meat. Changed Cauliflower to vegetables which hopefully did not change ensemble. Delicious combination!

Salmon Wallenberg

For dessert some Sorbet with fruits because all other desserts included milk products. Simple but tasty.

Sorbet

One menu consisted of HELSINKI MENU with WINE MENU.

SAVUSTETTUA SILAKKAA, FENKOLIA JA KATAJANMARJALLA MAUSTETTUA LEIPÄÄ Smoked Baltic Herring, fennel and bread spiced with juniper berries. When waitress opened lid of the container, gray smoke rised from it with smoky smell, great experience!

Baltic herring

YLIKYPSÄÄ KARITSAN POTKAA, KUIVATTUA PUOLUKKAA JA “SÄRÄJUUREKSIA” Overcooked Lamb Shank with dried cowberries and roasted root vegetables. Really delicious, lamb melted in the mouth and you could have eaten it with spoon.

Lamb shank

“OMENAPIIRAKKAA”, VANILJAVAAHTOA JA VANILJAJÄÄTELÖÄ Apple Pie, Vanilla Foam and Vanilla Ice Cream. Too small portion for me! Could have eaten 4 of them because it was just so scrumptious

Apple pie

WINE MENU

Riesling `L´, Dr. Loosen, Mosel, Germany – matched well with starter

Chemins de Compostelle, Antoine Moueix, France – Merlot was too strong grape for mild flavors in main course

Moscato, Gatti piero, Italy – apple pie did not need wine, just more pie….

Restaurant Sundmans Krog was popular despite of the freezing weather even at late lunch. Stockmann has offer menu for its regular customers and this offer seemed to be popular. Would change backgroud music from Glenn Miller to more classical music because of the old building and decor. Waitering was partly professional and partly uncertain depending on the waitress.

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

English menu has not been updated when it changed 1st of January.

http://www.sundmans.fi/en/services/sundmans-krog

If you get window table you can see Market Hall and Market Square.

Sundmans Krog window





Restaurant review: PureBistro

17 09 2012

PureBistro is a modern bistro and bar at the Market Square in Torikorttelit area. Restaurant serves uncomplicated but handmade and modern bistro food. PureBistro is owned by Michelin star restaurant Luomo chef”s Jouni Toivanen and Mika Mattila. Dining room is quite small as well as tables. Ask for window table and you can enjoy sea view and watch what happens at Market Square. At 8PM restaurant was full and you could mostly hear english and swedish; well marketed to hotels or travel agencies.

As the core value is fresh materials, the menu is short, but there is changing daily specials available. There might be for example a whole bird, fish or shellfish to be shared. This time restaurant had lamb as daily speciality. If it would still be summer you could enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the terraces.

Fresh bread is served in paper bag with caramelized butter. Unfortunately butterscotch taste did not match so well with white bread served, maybe it would have with rye bread.

Three courses cost 44€, if you order dishes separately bill would be 50€. During this visit prices were a little bit high compared to the level of portions.

For starters ordered SKAGEN and DUCK IN JAPAN. Skagen included brioche, shrimps, whitefish roe and chili mayonnaise. Not so typical brioche and chili could have tasted more. Duck in Japan was duck leg and foie terrine, bacon dashi and miso mayonnaise. Terrine was really delicious but could not found the taste of Japan.

For main courses ordered daily speciality LAMB MOROCCO STYLE and SALMON CONFIT ‘APIACEAE’. Lamb was too greasy and without taste of Morocco. Salmon was stewed in olive oil and should include set of flowers.  Fish was stewed perfectly as it was still partly red inside but set of flowers remains mystery. As pyre was asked to left out oufit was close to soup but no spoon available.


For dessert had QUEEN rasperry and blueberry and BANANA SPLIT. “Queen” was fresh but more like a juice. Banana Split was daily speciality but quite ordinary dessert.

Suggest to order from a la carte list instead of daily speciality. Hope PureBistro uses more spices because oriental names of the dishes make believe they are well flavoured. However, the location is perfect and athmosphere casual for chatting groups.

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

Restaurant website may be a little bit shocking… http://www.purebistro.fi/

http://www.torikorttelit.fi/fi/cat/ruoka-ja-juoma/








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