Restaurant review: Grotesk Winebar – but not grotesque at all

11 10 2013

Foie gras - reijosfood.com

Name Grotesk for restaurant may sound odd especially in Swedish, but regarding reader’s votes in local wine magazine, Viinilehti, it has the best wine bar in Helsinki and 2nd best in Finland.
After this review we also have new reijosfood.com leader in Helsinki, rankings can be found on page “Restaurant reviews – rankings”.

Restaurant Grotesk is fine dining restaurant with affordable prices and relaxed athmosphere located in Ludviginkatu 10. Guide Michelin has granted Bib Gourmand -rating to Grotesk Meatbar as a proof of good value for money and it is partly owned by same the chef’s as Michelin star restaurant Demo.

Instead of Meatbar we visited Grotesk Winebar, which has 3 small dining rooms and enjoyed 8 tapas dishes with wines chosen by sommelier Pekka Koiranen. And what a fireworks; you seldom see so many rare prestige delights one after the other.

Grotesk Winebar - reijosfood.com

First two portions were served with semi-dry Chenin Blanc 2007 from Loire. Was a little bit skeptic about semi-dry white wine but it did not differ much from dry. Perfect choice for both two first portions.

Dinner started with Oyster with tapioca and pomegranate. Oyster was easy to eat and had enough citrus acidity. Then we were served Foie gras with briosse, beetroot pyre and mustard ice cream. If you happen to like foie gras (it is not everyones favourite for many reasons) you would like this combination. Mustard ice cream was excellent realization.

Oyster - reijosfood.comFoie gras - reijosfood.com

Next two portions were served with dry Riesling from Austria. Totally different sense of taste due to minerals and acidity but well chosen white wine for next dishes.

Smoked scallop with quinoa plate was brought in covered by smoking glass vase which was upside down. When the vase was lifted enjoyable smell of smoke surrounded plate. Pity that I was not prepared to take a photo. Whitefish with red pepper crumb smelted in mouth, it was like mince as it was so soft. Both portions were superb!

Scallop - reijosfood.comWhitefish - reijosfood.com

First red wine served was Pinot Noir; medium-bodied with light red color.

Next delicacy with Pinot Noir was Sweetbread with black trumpet mushroom and shiitake. Sweetbread was perfectly cooked and fungus paired nicely with it. After that came Pork belly with cabbage. Some at the restaurant really did eat the pork lard but we did not, otherwise portion was excellent.

Sweetbread - reijosfood.comPork belly - reijosfood.com

Forth wine and second red wine was full-bodied andwell balanced Garnache from Spain. Again perfect choise to complement the taste of pleasure.

Quail legs were eaten with fingers. It would have been impossible to remove delicious and crisp meat with fork and knife. Tapas dinner was ended with Chicken liver which was yammy and well prepared. 8 tapas is not too much and they cost 44 €, affordable compared to quality and layout of portions.

Quail - reijosfood.comChicken liver - reijosfood.com

Grotesk Winebar earns 5- for overall grade because of ambitious set of voluptuous portions with affordable prices. Portions are really small but give you a chance to taste eats which usually are available in Michelin star restaurants but at much more higher prices. Our dinner took 3,5 hours, so restaurant is not fast food place. You really have time to enjoy the food and the wines or the wines and the food depending how you want to stress your dinner.

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

http://www.grotesk.fi/en/winebar-2/





Restaurant review: Brasserie Kämp

1 05 2013

Vappu at Brasserie Kämp

Hotel Kämp is a historical hotel in Helsinki. The hotel was originally built in 1887 by Carl Kämp. The building was demolished and the facade was rebuilt in 1965. The headquarters of the bank KOP were situated in the building for almost three decades, until 1995. A major restoration project, started in 1996, culminated in the reopening of Hotel Kämp in 1999. A shopping centre, Galleria Esplanad, was also opened within the same city block.

Brasserie Kämp offers a wide range of European food brasserie style and Kämp Bar offers you the unique cocktails; in fact mainly champagne, wine and beer which customers usually order. Bar is also very popular on Friday and Saturday evenings. You can also enjoy Sunday brunch at Brasserie Kämp. After building heated terrace two years ago you can dine “outside” all year around like in many brasseries in Paris.

May Day (1st of May) is typical day for enjoying lunch buffets. Had May Day lunch served to the tables at Brasserie Kämp. A la carte list was short which made ordering easy; two starters, two main courses and two desserts. Foccacia and bread were grea compliments to start lunch.

Starter

Starters were QUAIL & SPRING CABBAGE & APPLE Quail terrine, poached egg of quail, poached spring cabbage, apple compote, apple purée, apple “ donut “ and ASPARAGUS & SHRIMP & KUMQUAT Sitrus- marinated white asparagus, green asparagus, kumquat, smoked shrimps, shrimp crème and cress

Both dishes were ok, but dissapointment for taste was obvious. Quil was tender and tasty, BRAVO! Shrimp starter was difficult to understand, what was the clue? Small portions but tasty….Unfortunately we did not understand all flavours of dishes, especially aspargus was not as we expected.

DSC03843

Main courses were LAVARET & NEW POTATO & PARMESAN Roasted lavaret , new potatoes, peas, radish, spring onion, zucchini, caper, parmesan veloute and DUCK & MOREL & POMEGRANATE Duck confit,, baked potato filled with morels, potato, shallot and chives, shallot crème, pomegranate and pomegranate-duck stock.

Cooking of lavaret was excellent; basic fish flavours. Duck confit was delicious, really well cooked. Could have eaten much more…..

LavaretDSC03845

Tried both desserts CHOCOLATE & DRIP BREAD Araguan- chocolate mousse, drip bread ice-cream and RHUBARB & STRAWBERRY & MEAD Marinated rhubarb, strawberries and mead sorbet.
Both desserts were great; Sauli Kemppainen and his team had really made their best. But using of milk was not so clear,,,,

StrawberryChocolate

Brasserie Kämp is perfect location to observe passers-by on Esplanadi promenade. You can also watch swanky cars parked front of Hotel Kämp or driving to the hotel garage. Latest celebrity visitor at Hotel Kämp was Justin Bieber on 25th April!

BUT; May Day is a little bit difficult occasion to compare restaurants and dishes. Because of 1st of May we decided to be modest. Unfortunately we would give only 3+ for food if this would be normal lunch. Anyway, were were able to listen nice male choir singing for us.

Choir

DSC03857DSC03874

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

Normal lunch, only 3+ for food! But we like international athmosphere…..

http://www.hotelkamp.com/brasseriekampbareng








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