Restaurant review: Saari – revisit and reunion

31 05 2015


Sirpalesaari -

Restaurant Saari is located on the island Sirpalesaari about 1 km from the centre of Helsinki. Saari provides Finnish delicacies of the season from land and sea as well as stunning views and genuine maritime atmosphere.  A boat serves the island every hour and half from the Saari pier located on the shore of Merisatama close to Cafe Carusel. The crossing takes only a couple of minutes. Also a few berths are available for guests arriving at the restaurant aboard with their own boats. You can dine either in the dining room inside, in the “Captain’s Cabin” of the private room Sampo or on the outdoor terrace.

Have visited restaurant several times and review from 2013 can be found by using search. This time Saari was the place for reunion of old college students.

Restaurant Saari

Started dinner with Elk rillettes flavored with birch syrup, beetroot and blackcurrant.

Delicious starter with many tastes. Green salad lightened dish but it would not have been necessary.

BraIsed eli at Saari -

For main course ordered fish which was Salmon smoked with alder and juniper berries, summer potatoes and creamed wild forest mushrooms flavoured with Koskenlaskija cheese.

Long name for dish but kitchen continued with same level as with starter. Salmon was not overcooked which is always proof of chef’s competence. Spring potatoes could not yet be Finnish but this is the time when they become available in supermarkets too.

Salmon at Saari -

Almost skipped dessert but luckily we got one extra portion which I took.

Saari’s traditional pine tar ice-cream with home-made blueberry and rasberry jam and oat biscuit by Rönttösrouva was really scrumptious. I am not sure about the lady behind biscuit but the name is difficult to translate.

Ice-cream at Saari -

Food at Saari is always excellent and the athmosphere in old fisherman type of dining room hilarious.

Service is polite and professional as it has used to be.

But of course the company of college friends and discussion about funny events in the past made the dinner immemorial.


Saari – Ravintola Saari.



Island restaurants in Helsinki

4 07 2012

Kaivopuisto  (Kaivari) is one of the best known parks in Southern Helsinki. There are several nice cafes to stop off by the sea if one walks on the promenade. Many ambassadors of foreign countries locate also in one part of Kaivopuisto quarter.

One should try in the summer one or two of the fine dining island restaurants in front of Kaivopuisto. They are usually open only in the summer time because one has to go there with connection boats or water taxis. Summer starts on 1st of May when residents of Helsinki meet in Kaivopuisto for a picnic and island restaurants open doors for May Day lunch. Most of the restaurant buildings are worth to see as such. Remember; when crayfish season starts on 21st of July, island restaurants are fully booked.

The kitchen of restaurant HSS Boathouse offers seasonal treats with flavours from the New World.  The round two-storey dining room is in the architecturally unique building, which was built in 1949. Restaurant’s own description: Casual and relaxed. Stylish and fun. Those would most likely be the words used to describe Restaurant HSS Boathouse, if it was situated in, for instance, Martha’s Vineyards, Massachusetts.

NJK, the villa-type restaurant, located on the small island of Valkosaari, was built in 1900. The tall, spacious Middle room is surrounded by a bright covered veranda with large windows and a view towars the Market Square and Katajanokka. You can catch ferry to NJK near Olympic terminal.

Restaurant Saari is located on the island Sirpalesaari. Saari provides Finnish delicacies of the season from land and sea as well as stunning views and genuine maritime atmosphere. You can catch connection boat to Sirpalesaari near cafe Carusel, but do not jump to water bus, it goes to Pihlajasaari. Visited Saari last summer and the experience was worth of 4+/5.

From Restaurant Saaristo in Klippan one can see the Empire-Helsinki skyline in the North, the ingenious walls and bastions of King Gustav style Suomenlinna in the South.  Atmospheric restaurant is over a hundred years old with crafty and romantic Jugend-style wood cuts and wood-carved animals in the beams and balconies. Previous name Klippan referred to name of the island. Connection boat serves from pier located near to Olympic terminal, next to the Peace Statue.

In the 18th century a fort was constructed on Särkkä island just off the coast of Helsinki to defend the city. Some wars later, in 1924, restaurant Särkänlinna was opened in that very fort. To this day it holds its place as one of the most unique summer restaurants in Helsinki. You can catch connection boat to restaurant near cafe Ursula.

Restaurant Uunisaari is only island restaurant open year around. In the winter time one can use bridge which will be built on the ice every year. Connection boat can be found near cafe Compass.

Hopefully you find this writing useful when choosing restaurant in the summer. Gonna dine in one of the above restaurants soon.

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