Restaurant review: Rikhards Gastropub – Second visit 2014

1 11 2014
Rikhard's Gastropub - reijosfood.com

Rikhard’s Gastropub

Our second visit was 6 months after opening. This review focuses on Menu of the day, which two of us tasted. The price for menu is 49€, which might open up door for Michelin Bib Gourmand label.

If you want to read more about restaurant and last visit please click Rikhards | Search Results | Restaurant and wine epicure

Rikhards Gastropub - reijosfood.com

A la carte menu included most of the portions, which were on it 6 months ago. From starter or snacks section Chicken wings and New potatoes with Haugesund herring had dissappeared. It is a pity, because can not remember better tasting wings anywhere.

Had to start the dinner again with POP CORN which last time was pleasant surprise. The consistent excellent quality of this delicious apetizer was still there. Seaweed and chicken skin served with sesame, soy and truffle sour cream is a perfect combination.

Pop Corns - reijosfood.com

Menu of the day included for starter Mussels, for main course Beef tenderloin and for dessert sweet dish.

Moules in white wine sauce with thyme, garlic, cream, bacon and butter were scrumptious because of sauce and add-ons. Mussels are enjoyable anyway, but when they are cooked in a stock or more like a soup, they really make your mouth drooling. You can buy this portion also as main course, which is one option to enjoy shell fish.

Starter was served with ”friend fries”, garlic mayonnaise, spicy peanut butter sauce, and toasted rustic bread.

Mussels - reijosfood.comDinner table at Rikhards

Main course Beef tenderloin was served with French fries, green beans seasoned with bacon, Béarnaise sauce and fresh green salad. Amount of meat was extravagant. I can not remember that would have ever got so huge amount of beef tenderloin or any other meat anywhere.

After eating that pile of meat with delicious bearnaise sauce and glass of red wine, dinner could have ended there. Therefore no pictures about dessert although had to, of course, eat it.

Beef tenderloin at Rikhards - reijosfood.com

 

For wine we chose WIN WIN from German weingut von Winning. Elegant bouquet and balanced taste paired well with mussels and codfish.

Waiter at Rikhard's - reijosfood.com

Riesling at Rikhards - reijosfood.com

Two of us had Torskrygg for main course. Picture on the left is from last visit and on the right from this visit. Excellent dish again, maybe the sauce included now some lactose, as it was left away.

Torskrygg at Rikhards - reijosfood.comTorskrygg at Rikhards - reijosfood.com

 

Food at Rikhards Gastropub was again excellent. You get with only 49€ excellent gourmet dinner, if you choose Menu of the day.

Service was again professional and polite. Gentlemen serving us did great job and get special points for outfit.

Had to improve grade even though scores were high already last time.

It seems that Restamax is actual owner as restaurant webpage is now located on their pages.

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

Rikhards | Ravintola.fi

 





Restaurant review: El Meson de Cervantes – Malaga; Spain

17 09 2014

Cava at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

El Meson de Cervantes  is located at the backyards of old town at Calle Alamos. It was established by the same chef, who owns El Tapeo de Cervantes just 50 meters away from Meson. The main difference with the restaurants is the dining room with normal tables and chairs, which Meson has but Tapeo does not have.

Visited El Meson de Cervantes 2nd time this year. Previous review can be found by using search.

El Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

Main allurement are tapas which you can order in three different sizes; tapas, 1/2 raciones or full raciones. You could also choose from restaurant menu different type of starters, main courses and desserts but menu is quite short. If you want to eat tapas at the dining room, you need to ask them in a polite way, although waiter might say that they are meant to eat at the bar.

Started the dinner with glass of cavas and tasty, salty green olives.

This time we ordered all dishes from restaurant menu. Actually most of the dishes are the same. Our dinner started with Warm salad of tuna, roasted peppers and green leaves and Pan seared small squids with spinach.

Tuna was perfectly fried as you can see in the picture below, not too well-done; therefore not too dry. This portion is not so typical for tapas restaurant, it is an example of the high quality level of el Meson de Cervantes.

Squids were best part of the dinner, perfect cooking on the pan and olive oil complemented nicely the flavor of two different squids. Recommend to order this starter, if you visit the restaurant.

Tuna salad - reijosfood.com

Squids at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

First main courses were fishes, 1/2 portions of Salmon with herb butter, black rice and a chick pea pyre and Sea bream wrapped in aubergine, carrot pyre and juniper sauce.

Well prepared portions both of them. Salmon was maybe a little bit over cooked but side dish delicious. Sea bream paired nicely with aubergine and carrot pyre was scrumptious. If I would have to choose, would take Sea bream as big main course only.

Salmon at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

Sea bream at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

For 2nd main courses we had 1/2 portions of Argentinian entrecote with fried potatoes, salad and chimichurri and Wild boar stew with sweet Malaga wine sauce and crispy rosti. 

Entrecote was well-done as requested.

But stew was not the same at all as last time. Found no wine in the sauce and taste was more like standard brown sauce. See the difference, picture on the left was from May and on the right taken few days ago. If we would have been served similar stew, grade for food would have been 0,25 points more.

Entrecote at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

Wild board stew at el Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.comLamb stew at Meson de Cervantes - reijosfood.com

Dinner ended with Apple tart and vanilla ice-cream which was bull’s eye again. Difficult to beat warm, sweet and soft apple pie with cold ice-cream….

Also Fig flan of sweet Malaga wine was tasty, but maybe a little bit too sweet.

Apple pie - reijosfood.com

Fig dessert - reijosfood.com

For wine we asked waitress to recommend some rose wine. There were actually three rose wines on wine list from which to choose, but after looking us, she brought us a bottle which was not on the list.

And good that she brought, because it was more full-bodied and darker than rose wines usually are. Wine was Barbazul from Huerta de Albalá, which is a recently created winery located in the province of Cadiz. As it is produced from Syrah grapes, quite dark red color is easily to be explained.

Barbazul rose - reijosfood.com

El Meson de Cervantes serves premium tapas and Spanish food in a relaxed athmosphere. If you decide to dine at restaurant, you can watch chef’s preparing portions in the open kitchen. You can also eat in more restful environment and enjoy to be served by professional waiters.

Tapas bar provides opportunity for close social interaction and eating at higher bar tables.

Restaurant is the place to visit out of hundreds of tapas bars and restaurants in Malaga, if you travel there. Hope the menu will be changed, because it was exactly the same as 4 months ago, as far as I remember. There are not so many dishes to choose from the menu.

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

http://www.elmesondecervantes.com/eng/index.html

 





Restaurant review: Faro – Channelside Bar & Restaurant

2 08 2014

Restaurant Faro - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Faro was re-opened in the spring after renovation by new owners. The interior has been designed by the most known Finnish interior designer Vertti Kivi. Faro locates in Ruoholahti by channel which is buzzing with boats on warm summer days.

Terrace around restaurant building is large providing opportunity for quick drinks or dining. Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and in the afternoon short Bistro menu is available. On Sundays brunch is also served.

For starters we ordered from Bistro menu Cucumber soup with mint and Cold-smoked salmon and crab.

On hot summer day cold cucumber soup was bull’s eye. Frozen soup knobs and cold soup which was poured on top of other ingredients from carafe by the waitress was really delicious. Few pieces of cauliflower paired well with the soup. Maybe the best cold soup ever eaten!

Salmon and crab portion was also scrumptious. Nicely laid out on the edge of the dish.

Cucumber soup at Faro - reijosfood.comSmoked Salmon at Faro - reijosfood.com

Main courses were Whole grilled fish, pickling cucumber and carrot beurre blanc and Fish’n’chips and tartar sauce.

We got last striped bass, next diners would have been served pike-perch. Fish was really delicious and perfectly grilled, not over-cooked at all. For most of the main courses you have to choose and pay extra for side dishes, for striped bass we chose new potatoes with dill-butter. If something could be asked to change, would be be bigger plate which would ease eating. Now you have to eat vegetabels first in order to be able to eat fish.

You seldom get Fish & Chips at a restaurant, therefore had to try them. Breading was crisp as it should be and fish soft as it also should be. With sauce tasty finger food supplemented with country potatoes.

Fish of the Day at Faro - reijosfood.comFish and chips at Faro - reijosfood.com

For wine we chose Dopff & Irion Riesling from Alsace, France. Wine was dry, fruity and included some green apple and citrus. Typical young riesling and tasty one.

Riesling at Faro - reijosfood.com

Portions we chose were excellent. It is difficult to compare Fish&Chips to other main courses but so what, open kitchen has professional chef’s. Service was polite and we were congratulated for the choises we made.

In the summer time dining at the terrace is enjoyable experience, either in the sun or under the sunshade. You can come with boat, bicycle or even with subway, because the stop is near.

Faro terrace - reijosfood.com Faro terrace - reijosfood.com

Have to try Sunday brunch someday because it seemed to be well organized. Noticed that when dropped by for glasses of wine a month earlier.

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

Faro Channelside Bar & Restaurant | Ravintola Ruoholahti





Restaurant review: HSF – Yacht Club restaurant in Hanko

31 07 2014

HSF in Hanko - reijosfood.com

Since 1938, HSF has been the venue for many to spend a happy summer`s day in Hanko, enjoying dinners and refreshing drinks. Restaurant HSF combines modern gastronomy and restaurant culture with Nordic traditions and the history of Finnish sailing. The roof, pier and sun deck terraces of HSF are great places to enjoy food, cocktails, wines and of course champagnes.

If you dine at the pier (terrace downstairs) as we did, you can enjoy of table service. Otherwise you need to order drinks from the bar between sun deck and pier.

HSF in Hanko - reijosfood.com

Menu is quite short, same at the terrace and at dining room inside consisting of 4 starters, 7 main courses and 4 desserts.

For starters we had HSF Tapas – 4 tastes of summer and Toast Skagen with archipelago bread.

Tapas included from right to the left prawn cake, mustard herring, potato salad and beef carpaccio. Excellent ensemble, on hot summer day herring tasted great and carpaccio was really tender. Toast Skagen was also delicious, the amount of roe was princely. Both portions included tasty avocado dressing.

Tapas at HSF - reijosfood.comToast Skagen at HSF - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Salad with roasted chicken and avocado dressing and HSF burger Full steak, gouda cheese, tomato slice, onion and BBQ mayonnaise with French fries.

Salad included pineapple, melon and grapefruit which made it juicy. Chicken was a little bit over roasted but otherwise ok. Burger bread was not white which was welcomed option. Steak was enough thick and medium and therefore succulent.

Salad at HSF - reijosfood.comBurger at HSF - reijosfood.com

And for desserts Ice-cream portion of course and Coconut brulee with pineapple compote.

For ice-cream chose licorice and mint ice-creams, both enjoyable. Licorice is Finnish speciality which you must try if it is available. Coconut brulee was also delicious but taste of coconut could have been stronger. Some berries made the portion more colorful.

Ice cream at HSF - reijosfood.comCreme Brulee at HSF - reijosfood.com

Wine chosen was Villa Huesgen by the glass which is modern and fresh german riesling. Paired extremely well with starters and with chicken salad but had glass of red wine (real glass not bottle) with HSF burger. Interesting name for wine, “by the glass”!

Riesling at HSF - reijosfood.com

You could also dine at round restaurant building but if weather allows, choose pier. We ate between lunch and dinner time and due to timiing there were some empty tables. During rush hours all tables are occupied and especially during weekends. Summer season starts from Mid Summer and ends about in mid August.

HSF - reijosfood.comHSF dining room - reijosfood.com

About 27C degrees at 6PM in Finland is marvelous and therefore each opportunity to eat outside raises overall grade. Food was great and service polite and customer-sensitive. If you decide to eat inside, ask for window tables opening to harbour.

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





Restaurant review: Töölönranta – city terrace surrounded by nature

27 07 2014

Töölönranta terrace - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Töölönranta combines the distinctively natural Helsinki landscape with a restaurant atmosphere. The contemporary Finnish architecture and design, surrounded by the unique landscape of Töölönlahti bay and park, makes restaurant an oasis almost in the center of city. Especially dining at the terrace is relaxing experience. Bar area has been developed to lounge type of port of call with soft lounge music.

Got the table under the awning which is more convenient place that sitting under the trees. For aperitives ordered glasses of Freixenet Mia Rose wine, which should have been more chilled as the wine is medium dry. You also get some foccacia bread to the table after you place the order.

Rose wine and foccacia at Töölönranta - reijosfood.com

For starters we had Seared king prawns with fennel and TASTES Sesame salmon with dill mayonnaise, King prawn with fennel and Cured beef with rocket lettuce and parmesan.

Prawns were really scrumptious and fennel paired with them perfectly. A little bit less salt and portion would have been bull’s eye.

You could pick three different tapas size of portions from six options if you choose TASTES as starter. When it says king prawn, there is really only one king prawn but prepared same way as first starter. Sesame salmon was also excellent as well as cured beef. Maybe the pieces of meat could have been thinner.

Shrimps at Töölönranta - reijosfood.comTastes starter at Töölönranta - reijosfood.com

In Finnish restaurant you must choose fishes if you have not already done so. For main courses we chose Lightly smoked salmon warm potato salad and creamed morels and Chargrilled lavaret with spring vegetables and new potatoes, Beurre blanc sauce.

Salmon was tasty with potato salad. Found some sand in morels which is not so nice when you bite them. Luckily only one time.

Lavaret or whitefish is propably most common fish in the summer time at Finnish restaurants and it always tastes good. Simple portion with potatoes is like Finnish summer.

Salmon at Töölönranta - reijosfood.comLavaret at Töölönranta - reijosfood.com

For desserts Fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream and Ice cream portion.

Finnish strawberries are delicious but these are the last days to get freshly picked ones. And when it is warm summer, what suits better than ice-cream? Chose tiger ice-cream which has hint of orange taste.

Strawberries at Töölönranta - reijosfood.comIce cream at Töölönranta - reijosfood.com

Wine list is fairly short and chose Printz von Hessen which has quite typical young riesling aromas and taste.

Riesling at Töölönranta - reijosfood.com

Portions are elegantly laid out and tasty. Several waitresses serve you, there does not seem to be named tables for them.

But best of Töölönranta is the terrace which has excellent location surrounded by nature but so close to the center of city. While walking to the restaurant you can admire cultural buildings like Helsinki Music Hall, Finlandia House and Opera House and at the same time observe birds enjoying of Töölönlahti bay.

Töölönlahti - reijosfood.comTöölönranta terrace - reijosfood.com

Töölönranta terrace - reijosfood.comTöölönranta - reijosfood.com

And at lounge bar you can enjoy aperitives, digestives or just cold drinks in order to relax and make your day perfect.

Töölönranta lounge - reijosfood.com

Good reasons to give high overall grade. Of course dining inside is also enjoyable because of large windows but prefer terrace in the summer.

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

 

 





Restaurant review: PureBistro – hidden terrace in Torikorttelit blocks

25 07 2014

Pol Roger Champagne at PureBistro - reijosfood.com

PureBistro is a modern bistro with hidden terrace next to the Market Square in Torikorttelit blocks.  Restaurant is owned by Michelin star restaurant Luomo (on the 2nd floor) chef”s Jouni Toivanen and Mika Mattila. That explains partly why PureBistro is one of the five Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurants in Helsinki.

PureBistro entrance - reijosfood.com

Dining room at PureBistro is quite small and therefore in the summer time you might decide to dine outside, which we did as temperature was close to 30C degrees. The entrance to the terrace is either through restaurant or gateway which is in Katariinankatu. There are only about 30 seats at the terrace, therefore better arrive early because restaurant does not take reservations there.

PureBistro terrace - reijosfood.com

If you dine inside, ask for window table and you can enjoy sea view and observe bustle at the Market Square.

PureBistro and Market Square - reijosfood.com

Restaurant used to have 3 course dinner at the price of 45€. But not this time! Maybe PureBistro wants to utilize high tourist season and not offer any special prices if you eat starter, main course and dessert. Many fine dining bistros are closed at the moment, that might be another reason to cash in. On the other hand prices are reasonable compared to food quality.

Because of excellent weather had to start the dinner with Champagne, Pol Roger Extra Brut. To be honest, too dry for us.

Pol Roger Extra Brut - reijosfood.com

After placing order you will get fresh bread paper bag on the table. I am sure that you will eat every piece of bread, they are so tasty.

For starters we ordered RAINBOWTROUT WITH TRADITIONAL FINNISH SALAD and BARBEQUE PORK “JAPANESE STYLE”

Trout confit was slightly cooked but so little that it made us wonder how it was prepared. One change was made; “scrambled eggs” replaced dill-potato salad because it included some milk. Pork was as it would have been prepared in qenuine Asian restaurant. It included miso, teriayaki sauce and mushrooms. PureBistro usualluy have one or two portions available with Asian flavors.

Rainbow trout at PureBistro - reijosfood.comPork at PureBistro - reijosfood.com

For main courses we had two times PAN FRIED PEARCH, CHANTERELLES AND CRAYFISH- POTATO TERRINE but two different versions of it.

First picture is portion without any changes. Perfectly fried small pearch pieces were delicious. No single fish bones although perch is one of the most difficult fishes to remove them. Sweet fennel supplemented the taste of chanterellers. Ingredients which included milk were replaced with turnips and oil dressing. Have not ever before tasted roasted turnips but will definately try them at home.

Perch at PureBistro - reijosfood.comPerch at PureBistro - reijosfood.com

For desserts we ordered STRAWBERRYMILK” and CHEESEs.

“Milk” in the first dessert was replaced with strawberry sorbet and sauce. Again excellent example of kitchen’s creativeness and competence to take account of food allergies. Cheeses were tasty as expected. Especially Comte paired well with jam.

Strawberry dessert at PureBistro - reijosfood.comCheeses at PureBistro - reijosfood.com

For wine we had Tesch 1 Liter Riesling, only riesling on wine list. Wine paired well with all dishes we had; well, maybe not with desserts. Dry, about 6 g/l sugar, balanced acidity and minerality. If you prefer vintage wines you could also order from restaurant Luomo’s wine list.  

With coffee and tea had to try “soft” Jacopo Poli Grappa di Sassicaia Elevata in Barili. Not basic grappa, more like real dessert “wine”.

Waiter left the bottle on our table so that we could study it more detailed. Label on the backside of the bottle told that Grappa had been matured in Sassicaia barrels and it was made mainly from Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Savignon grapes.

Grappa at PureBistro - reijosfood.com

PureBistro is genuine Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant and actually one of the first fine dining bistro type of restaurants in Helsinki. Chef’s at the kitchen create flexibly excellent portions and menu changes regularly.

If weather is suitable, you must try the terrace where you can dine in restful and relaxed athmosphere.

Previous PureBistro reviews can be found by using search.

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





Restaurant review: Valo (Savonlinna)

17 07 2014

Savonlinna is an active and vibrant summertime town in Finland. The town itself and its surroundings are one of the most popular holiday regions in Finland. Beside enjoying the opera, admire the breathtaking scenery in and around the town, have a giggle at some of the eccentric local events, and listen to the legends associated with the historical sites.

Savonlinna Castle - reijosfood.com

Dined at restaurant Valo (in English Light) the fourth year in a row, is it becoming a habit? No it will not, read futher…..Other 2 reviews can be found by using search and writing Valo.

Valo in Savonlinna - reijosfood.com

Because one has to dine outside in order to be able observe opera guests walking to Savonlinna castle 200 meters from Valo restaurant by Saimaa lake, it would be important to have a good weather. In Valo one can also just have a drink at the forefront bar and do the same.

Restaurant Valo - reijosfood.com

Restaurant serves local Finnish food, evidence for that used to be the names of local producers on the a la carte list. This year the names of local producers had almost vanished. Reason? Many local residents and summer vacationers had pizza which seems to be quite nice looking. We decided to keep up traditions and order form a la carte list. But in the future….

For starters we ordered Salmon & dill Sugar and salt-cured salmon, fennel salad, dill maynonnaise and potato crisps and Snails.

Nice looking small fish portion was a little bit too salty. It included two potato chips. I would not mention those in explanation of portion. Snails were soft with lot’s of smelted butter.

Salmon starter at Valo - reijosfood.com

Escargots at Valo - reijosfood.com

Main courses were this time Trout Pan fried trout fillet,warm new potato salad with crab sauce and Fish of the day from Saimaa with trimmings of the day.

Kitchen made some changes to trout portion as we requested them, which was  proofpoint of customer service. But amazing was that waiter said that fish of the day should be pike-perch but we got Arctic char! That kind of mistake we have not seen for a long time.

Unfortunately both fishes were over fried and therefore dry.

Fish at Valo - reijosfood.comFish at Valo - reijosfood.com

For desserts we had after long discussion with waitress Chocolate cake and Berries.

Berries were not on the list but as there were no lactose-free desserts, berries were only ones kitchen could serve. Delicious chocolate cake included same berries as well as vanilla ice-cream.

Chocolate dessert at Valo - reijosfood.comBerries at Valo - reijosfood.com

For wine we had rose because only riesling on the wine list was too light and without any riesling character.

Rose wine at Valo - reijosfood.com

Next time when or if we dine at Valo we try pizza. Small and therefore over priced portions (but it is opera month) do not earn more than 3. Location and terrace increase overall grade.

The problem with Savonlinna restaurant scene has, is the lack of small privately own Finnish restaurants. Most in the center of town are owned nowadays by S-Group co-operative company. But it is difficult to keep up restaurant business, if there are customers only during summer months.

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

http://www.savonmafia.fi/products/product/82/

 








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