Restaurant review: Oficina – Latin Grill and Bar

8 01 2017

Oficina – Restaurante and Club Social – locates at Kaivopiha plaza in Helsinki, offering Latin food. Inside the restaurant, which is one floor down from street level, you’ll find the dining area, open kitchen and bar. Oficina is owned and operated by S-Group/Raflaamo, which has several restaurant chains in Helsinki area.

Oficina menu comes from Latin America, but not from some particular country. The Argentinean asado culture and their charcoal grills are used to prepare steaks, fish and vegetables. From Peru,  restaurant has selected the sharp pisco sour, salsa verde from Costa Rica and from Brazil, grilled chicken marinated in coconut. If salsa verde would be from Mexico, the taste of chilli jalopenos would have been stronger.

For starters (entradas) chose Ceviche Salmon ceviche, avocado mole salsa and corn chips and Nachos con salsa Oficina’s own corn chips and fresh salsas.

Ceviche was fresh and included many pieces of salmon. Typically dominant ingredients are vegetables and herbs but this time there was enough fish. However, lack of lemon or lime and acidity disturbed a little bit, but otherwise salmon paired well with chips.

Nachos included 3 salsas and part of them were spiced with red chilli powder. That gave extra taste to so common Latin American starter or snack. The guacamole and pico degallo added were nice, but as mentioned ealier green salsa could have been hotter, not lemony taste dominated.

For vegan main course ordered from Latin Grill list Tofu Asado Tofu on a skewer, pineapple salsa, beans and ginger daikon radish and Ribs de Cerdo Pork ribs glazed with chipotle chilli and served with fennel and apple.

Tofu was grilled to a firm crispy consistency. On the plate there was also edam and black beans seasoned with chilli/mango sauce, which really complemented the tofu

Ribs had delicous sauce but I think that fennel had been replaced with Pimientos de Padron. At least I could not find it, and apple was also difficult to find.

When you order main course from Latin Grill you need also to choose side dishes for them. Ordered Ensalada de quinoa Quinoa, red rice, lemon almonds and apple and Patatas fritas House made chips ja tomato aioli.

You might think that patatas fritas are like french fries, but english version tells already something else. First thought that they really were chips, but actually they were little bit thicker and softer. Excellent match with ribs, and would be also good option for starter.

Wine list is short but includes enough choises for Latin American food. Decided to enjoy bottle of Marques de Casa Concha 2013, made from Merlot grapes. Enough full-bodied and spicy to pair with herbs, salsas and slightly spiced food.

Restaurant has used material for decoration from different South American countries as well as Caribbean Island cultures. One example is Pinata hanging in the roof presenting Mexican plays.

Music comes also from the same direction as food and decoration. Welcomed genre, because you mostly hear same rythms from USA and UK in other restaurants and bars.

Food at Oficina is scrumptious and suits for many tastes. A little bit more spicies (read chilli) and herbs, then resataurant would be perfect small Latin America kitchen in Helsinki.

Service was polite and professional.

Overall grade is 4+ because this restaurant concept has been well designed. Everything around food complements it nicely.

Must come back some day later in the evening to check if Club Social continues with same music and athmosphere.


Taste of Mexico

14 01 2013

Nachos and Fajitas, basic Mexican dishes, taste always delicious (if you like strong spices).

Basic elemens for perfect Nachos are Salsa sauce, Jalopenos, Creme Fraiche and Grated Cheese. More heavy you get if you add minced meat, chicken or peas. Mozzarella, although it is far from Mexican, suits perfectly for Nachos. 5 minutes in oven and you are ready to eat everything what is on baking tray. Therefore it is important not to make too big portion!

Of course you must sip Mexican beer like Corona or Sol with slice of lime.


Best Fajitas you make by using Chicken breast, red Onion, sweet Pepper, fresh Avocado, Salsa sauce, Creme Fraiche, Jalopenos and Tortillas. Have found really tasty Fajitas powder which quarantees our Fajitas are better than in restaurants. Guacamole is best to make yourself, it does not need anything else than avocado and some lemon juice in order to avoid darkening.


In Helsinki there are not actually really good Mexican restaurants. You can try Cantina West, so far best Fajitas eaten or Santa Fe, popular summer terrace now owned by S-Group as well as Amarillo’s. Hard Rock Cafe serves pretty good Nacho’s but without being too arrogant, think our home made Mexican Nacho’s and Fajita’s beat the ones in nearby restaurants.

Restaurant review: Hard Rock Cafe Helsinki

3 11 2012

Visited Hard Rock Cafe Helsinki 3 weeks after opening. At 3PM not so crowded but after 7PM you had to wait in the bar. Decided to analyze quite deeply HRC Helsinki which meant that 6 hours was worth of it. First dining and then at the bar.

Had to taste colourful drinks because they tell a lot. Compare picture on the drink menu and real life, Cosmpolitan and Margarita. Well done!

For starter had huge portion of Hard Rock Nachos Fresh corn tortilla chips piled high with Jack and Cheddar cheeses and seasoned pinto beans. Served with sour cream, chopped green onions, pico de gallo, jalapeños and a side of fresh Hard Rock Grilled Salsa. Big enough to share which was true. Cheese sauce was excellent and nachos still crisp.

For main courses had of course Hamburger; The Big Cheese Topped with three thick slices of your choice of cheeses. Choose from American, Monterey Jack, Cheddar or Swiss. Chose Cheddar and asked steak to be prepared medium. In Finland you can easily order steak as medium because of the high qualitys standards. Burger was great, one of the best have eaten at Hard Rock Cafe’s.  Also ordered Honey-Citrus Grilled Chicken Salad Fresh cut greens tossed with sweet red onions, grilled Cajun chicken and tossed with our Honey-Citrus dressing. Topped with fresh orange segments, spiced pecans, red pepper strips, sweetened dried cranberries and blue cheese crumbles. Salad was the weakest link because chicken was almost missing. Also lay out differed from salads at other Hard Rock Cafe’s.

Would have liked to taste Hot Fudge Brownie Vanilla ice cream and hot fudge on a fresh brownie, topped with chopped walnuts, chocolate sprinkles, fresh whipped cream and a cherry but was already so full. Had to do it someother time and update this blog.

Service was excellent, also at the bar area. Be careful if you pay with credit card and want to tip, pushing numbers on the machine increase amout of tip easily. Recommend to give tip in cash. Salad dropped food grade, otherwise it would have been 4. However, one of the best experiences at Hard Rock Cafe’s. If you have sometime been disappointed to some HRC, try this one.


Like especially Elton John’s outfit….

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