Restaurant review: Bar Con

19 02 2017


Bar Con was opened on the 3rd of December 2016, when new restaurant concept was launched in Kamppi shopping center 5th floor. Owners of Bar Con were also behind the new concept, Kortteli (Block), which includes 11 restaurants with different cuisines.

Bar Con is, however, located in its area above other restaurants and cafes. You climb the stairs to the “6th” floor where is the dining area and bar behind the desk.

Restaurant Bar Con is relaxed and casual spot serving similar food as you would get in Barcelona tapas bars. Menu includes pintxos, which are served on a crunchy slice of bread, tapas and main courses. Also few desserts are included.

Started the dinner with 2 pintxos and 2 tapas. Pintxo is snack, one piece costs 4€. Tapas portion can be shared. Ordered QUESO AZUL Y NUECES Asturian La Peral blue cheese with walnuts and SETAS AL AJILLO Seasonal mushrooms sauteed with parsley, garlic and pine nuts.

Amount of cheese was overwhelming but could not find walnuts. Would prefer blue cheese as slightly melted but this pintxo was delicious.

The garlic taste was a bit overwhelming, but overall it was a nice little snack.


Next came tapas portions, had ordered PIMIENTOS DEL PADRÓN Green Padrón peppers fried in olive oil and seasoned with coarse salt from Ibiza and PATATAS BRAVAS DE BARCELONA Crispy potatoes, spicy sauce made of smoked pepper and aioli.

One tapas plate is enough for two person for starter, if you order first pintxos.

Spiced potatoes were excellent, but missed a little bit taste of chili, which is used in some tapas bar in Barcelona.

Also salted green sweet peppers were as they should be.

For main courses decided to ordered MAR Y MONTAÑA Chickpeas, Spanish butifarra sausage and baby squid and POCHAS A LA NAVARRA White bean and vegetable stew from Navarra.

Mar was now shrimps instead of squid as restaurant was not able to get fresh octopus. Better this way than to serve frozen food, which can be quite stewy when it comes to squids. Butifarra sausage was as good as expected and stew very tasty as a whole.

The white bean stew was the only vegan choice.  This dish was a bit too salty, but must wonder if the combination of tapas on top of this main would have made a difference on the taste.  Overall a nice warm dish.

Wine list consist of Spanish wines, of course, and most of the wines are from small producers and imported by the company owning Bar Con. List also tells that wines are vegan, which means that animal-derived products has not been used during production.

Ordered Seis de Azul y Garanza, which has its origin in six vineyards placed next to the Desert of Bardenas Reales which produce small grapes. Waiter suggested this wine for all dishes we had ordered and pairing was perfect. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were perfect combination.

 

Restaurant Bar Con will be success, no doubt about it. Perfect location and you can even watch out from the narrow bar.

Food is tasty and ingredients used fresh and original, imported from Spain. Must say that so far most authentic when it comes to real Spanish food.

Service was professional and seemed natural. Information about food and wines were available with professional way.

 

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

http://www.bar-con.fi/

http://kampinkortteli.fi/en





Restaurant review: Copas y Tapas – revisit 2016

5 01 2016
Copas y Tapas is an independent family-owned business which serves Spanish food and wines with Finnish flavor. Restaurant is located at Fabianinkatu, close to Senate Square. Dining rooms are at two levels and both areas are usually crowded.
Copas y Tapas downstairs

Copas y Tapas downstairs

Copas y Tapas upper dining room

Copas y Tapas upper dining room

 

Have visited Copas y Tapas several times before; earlier reviews can be found by using search. Previous visits have been successful, therefore expectations were again high. Usually it is difficult to get table in short notice but maybe 2nd January after New Year was not the most popular restaurant day.

Three course dinner costs 43-47 € including “tapas” plate as starter, main course which can be chosen from 4 alternatives and dessert. 5€ additional payment for meat dishes.

Of course you need some time to make a decision what to order and best way to speed up decision process is to order aperitif. Better to ask what waiters would serve. Asked for red wine and got L’Avi Arrufi from region Terra-Alta. Wine full of character and bouquet.

For tapas starters restaurant served  Soup, Filled capsicum and Smoked pork. Soup was warm and tasty, enjoyed it first. Then finished capsicum, which had some delicious tuna filling. And last smoked pork, which was with add-on’s great experience. Compared to previous visit starters looked similar, but soup was different and capsicum was filled with shrimps not with tuna.

Tapas at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

You can choose from four different main courses, which differ almost every day depending on fresh ingredients available. Today alternatives were Meat of the Day, Steak of the Day (5€ extra), Fish of the Day and Vegetarian.

Fish of the Day, Arctic char, was superb with roots and swamps. And fish was enough big, which is not the fact in all restaurants.

Arctic char at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Dessert was this time Pannacotta with sorbet. Extremely delicious, sweet bite.

Pannacotta at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

And with desserts, waiter or could even say sommelier, chose Gra a Gra Pinot Noir wine from Gramona. Not too sweet wine is produced as limited editions. So, recommend to taste it, if you have a chance.

gra a gra at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

For vegeterians Copas y Tapas is perfect place. Restaurant conjured 3 course vegeterian menu which was amazing. Main course was based on portobello mushrooms but tapas starter was masterpiece.

Copas y Tapas is excellent affordable fine dining bistro in Helsinki restaurant scene, especially if you want to have serious discussion about Spanish wines. Bottles are always brought to the table and usually you can choose from two alternatives, which waiter have pre-selected for you matching to the food.

Fusion cuisine blends brilliantly best parts of Spanish and Finnish food cultures. Food is more Finnish or Scandinavian but served like in Spanish restaurant.

Service, really important part of experience, was excellent again.

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

Ruoka | Ravintola Copas y Tapas





Restaurant review: Copas y Tapas – revisit

24 03 2015
Cava at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Cupatge d’honor from Pere Ventura

Copas y Tapas is an independent family-owned business which serves Spanish food and wines with Finnish flavor. Restaurant is located at Fabianinkatu, close to Senate Square. Dining rooms are on two levels and both areas were booked-up on Saturday evening.
Copas y Tapas downstairs

Copas y Tapas downstairs

Copas y Tapas upper dining room

Copas y Tapas upper dining room

 

Have visited Copas y Tapas several times before; earlier reviews can be found by using search. Previous visits have been successful, therefore expectations were again high.

Three course dinner costs 46€ including “tapas” plate as starter, main course which can be chosen from 4 alternatives and dessert. 5€ additional payment for meat dishes.

Recommend to choose Menu of the Day because if you choose dishes separately, you pay as much for starter and main course.

But of course you might need some time to make a decision and best way to speed up decision process is to taste some cava for aperitif. Chose Cupatge d’Honor from Pere Ventura. Wine is produced from xarel.lo and chardonnay (30%) grapes. Chardonnay gives some smoothnes and balance to this cava, which I can recommend, if you have chance to taste it.

This time restaurant served for starters Soup, Filled capsicum and Smoked pork.

Soup was warm and tasty, enjoyed it first. Then finished capsicum, which had some delicious shrimp filling. And last smoked pork, which was with add-on’s great experience.

Tapas plate at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

You can choose from four different main courses, which differ almost every day depending on fresh ingredients available. Today alternatives were Duck, Marbled beef (5€ extra), Whitefish and Vegetarian. Chose meat, which was cooked on charcoal grill and whitefish.

With meat was served grilled scrumptious portobello mushrooms and some other enjoyable side dishes. And as you can see from the picture below, ripeness is perfect.

Whitefish was also superb with roots and swamps. And fish was enough big, which is not the fact in all restaurants.

Beef at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Whitefish at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Decided to share 5 pieces of cheese instead of sweet dessert. Only way to remember all tasted cheeses was to ask waiter to write the names down, which he did really quickly, see the list below. Best one was blue cheese type of piece on the right side of plate.

Delicious home-made crispbread should be available in supermarkets, because it was so tasty.

Cheese plate at Copas y Tapas

Cheese list at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

For wine ordered bottle of Torres Vina Sol, which is neutral and easy to drink.

But of course wine lovers must enjoy wines, which pair with food eaten and therefore had glass of Propiedad from Palacios Remondo with the meat. Excellent wine produced from garnacha grapes in the Rioja region.

And with cheeses waiter, or could even say sommelier, chose Nectaria riesling wine from Torres. Not too sweet wine is produced in Chile at Valle de Curico.

Torres Vina Sol - reijosfood.com

Red wine at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.comorres sweet wines at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Copas y Tapas is excellent affordable fine dining bistro in Helsinki restaurant scene, especially if you want to have serious discussion about Spanish wines. Bottles are always brought to the table and usually you can choose from two alternatives, which waiter have pre-selected for you matching to the food.

Fusion cuisine blends brilliantly best parts of Spanish and Finnish food cultures. Michelin guys should check it for Bib Gourmand label.

Service, really important part of experience, was excellent again. Owner of the restaurant came to shake hands with us after recognizing us, which added extra feeling of being welcomed.

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

Ruoka | Ravintola Copas y Tapas





Restaurant review: Kaarna – bar and kitchen

28 12 2014

Restaurant Kaarna is located in the Forum Shopping Center serving Finnish traditional food. Concept includes dining area and so called living room (bar) at the 2nd floor and small bar at the first floor.

Ask for window table and you can the follow passers-by at Mannerheim Street. If they say that restaurant is fully booked (phone or email) you might anyway get the table you requested.

Window table at Kaarna - reijosfood.com

Kaarna - reijosfood.com

The food itself:

From the Nordic Tapas plates we chose Kaarna fish plate Smoked vendace from Kitka, cold-smoked pike, pickled vegetables and rye malt breadcrumbs. This is THE starter you have to choose, if you like fish. Of course you can order same dishes as separate starters but one part of experience is setting of food pieces.

Tapas might mislead you, but word Nordic before it explains everything. They are small Finnish or Scandinavian dishes.

Nordic tapas at Kaarna - reijosfood.com

For main course we had Smoked salmon with pickled vegetables, shrimp mayonnaise and potato rösti and Fried whitefish with potato rösti, spinach and whitefish roe.

Unfortunately kitchen did not succeed with these portions. Salmon seemed to be smoked and fried, because it was so dry and even greasy. Pickled vegetables were the same as in starter.

Also whitefish was over-fried. We asked to replace spinach with someting else and best choise was salad. Also asked not to include onion but got plenty of it. Potato röstis in both portions were like fast food stuff.

Salmon at Kaarna - reijosfood.com

Whitefish at Kaarna - reijosfood.com

Wine list is is short, Kaarna focuses more on beers. Had bottle of Albet i Noya Xarel·lo Classic from Spain. All white wines were organic like this one. Light and fruity wine paired well with starters and fishes.

Wine at Kaarna - reijosfood.com

Main courses dropped points a lot. Service was customer friendly and as restaurant was not so crowded, waiter and waitress had time to serve us. Maybe Boxing Day affected the level of food. On the other hand last time was not either succesful when it came to main courses.

Kaarna library bar is worth to visit, cozy couches and so on. You should also taste Nordic tapas but choose main course carefully. Meat dishes might be best choise.

REVIEW: FOOD 2+/5 – SERVICE 3,5/5OVERALL GRADE 3+/5

Ravintola Kaarna: Suomalaista ruokaa – suomalainen keittiö – forum.





Restaurant review: Copas y Tapas – Spanish cuisine by Finnish chef’s

5 10 2014
Copas y Tapas

Copas y Tapas

 

Copas y Tapas is an independent family-owned business which serves Spanish food and wines with Finnish flavor. Restaurant or actually Tapas Bar is located at Fabianinkatu, close to Senate Square. Dining rooms are on two levels and both areas were booked-up on Saturday evening.

Have visited Copas y Tapas couple of times before; earlier reviews can be found by using search. Previous visits have been successful, therefore expectations were again high.

Actually our experience started 5 minutes after reservation, which was made via TableOnline one week before dinner. We have requested to avoid some ingredients and restaurant chef sent email asking some additional info. That was quick and definately customer friendly.

Three course dinner costs 46€ (not bad) including tapas as starters, main course which can be chosen from 4 alternatives and dessert. 4€ additional payment for one of the meat dishes. Dinner starts with assortment of three tapas. You do not know what you get because restaurant chooses what to offer. But of course you can influence a little bit on it.

This time restaurant served for starters Carrot soup, Filled capsicum and Smoked pork.

First we enjoyed soup which was flavoured with saffron. Very tasty! Next we ate capsicum filled with cream cheese and crayfish, excellent. Pork was accompanied with kohlrabi to lighten up greasiness.

Tapas plate at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

You can choose from four different main courses, which differ almost every day depending on fresh ingredients available. Today alternatives were Duck, Rabbit (4€ extra), Pike- Perch and Vegetarian.

Both enjoyed portions were delicious and healthy, not ruined with potatoes. Rabbit was prepared with two ways, you get fillet and pressed meat. Two sauces, chioggia beet and tomatoes paired well with both meats.

With roasted pike-perch was also chioggia beet, small chanterelles and pear pieces. Correct degree of ripeness made the gusto perfect.

 

Rabbit at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.comFish at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Decided to share 3 pieces of cheese before dessert. Delicious home-made crispbread should be available in supermarkets, because it was so tasty. Cava paired especially well with smelted cheese, no need for port or red wine or other “cheese drinks”. These cheeses were chosen to match with white wines.

Cheese plate at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

For dessert restaurant served Pannacotta with black currant pyre.

Sweet, but not too sweet, dessert ended the dinner nicely. One portion included chocolate pieces and one pistache due to milk in chocolate.

Pannacotta at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

For wine ordered bottle of cava Gramona III Lustros Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2006, which is produced from Xarel-lo (70%) and Macabeo (30%) grapes. Wine is also really dry as it includes only 2 g/l sugar. Must be one of the driest cavas.

Was going to order III Lustros in Malaga in May, but it was finished from the restaurant we visited. Had instead Gramona Imperial Gran Reserva Brut, which includes Chardonnay grapes. In Finland these wines cost at restaurant 40€ more than at restaurant in Malaga, believe or not, because of VAT.

Cava at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Copas y Tapas is one of the most promising affordable fine dining bistros in Helsinki restaurant scene, especially if you want to have serious discussion about Spanish wines. Fusion cuisine blends brilliantly best parts of Spanish and Finnish food cultures. Michelin guys should check it for Bib Gourmand label.

And selection of Spanish brandies is wide. Tried Torres 20 which tastes more like cognac.

Service, really important part of experience, was excellent again.

Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

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

http://www.copasytapas.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: Vino Mio – Flamenco in Malaga, Spain

11 09 2014

Restaurante Vino Mío is famous for its Flamenco shows since 2003. The shows are performed by Andalucian Flamenco artists and can include audience participation.

Restaurant is located at a small plaza across from Teatro Cervantes and near pedestrian district.

Restaurante Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

Menu is not traditional Spanish, which you might expect from Flamenco restaurant. Asian flavors, wok’s and pasta come from other countries but mainly not from Spain.

There is Tapas menu available which has more Spanish type of apetizers, if you do not count humus and cous cous to them. However, tapas menu was not served during the show, but we managed to order one starter from it.

Aqua con gas was Perrier, not Spanish. Bread with olive tapenade was delicious, best part of the kitchen.

Perrier at Vino Mio - reijosfood.comBread at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

While watching flamenco with 4€ extra charge per person, we had for starters Bolsitas Crujientes (2) King prawns and vegetables wrapped up in a crispy filo parcel accompanied by tomato and oregano jam and from Tapas menu Surtido Cervantes Queso manchego, salchichon iberico y chorizo iberico.

As menu explained, ingredients were inside of filo parcel. Basically ok portion but required a little bit more flavor for instance by adding some chili.

Starter at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

Assortment of Spanish apetizers consisted of manchego cheese and two types of sausages. Basic and delicious pieces of Spanish cuisine. Chorizo pieces were soft which was pleasant surprise, because they can usually be quite thick and difficult to chew.

Tapas at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Wok Bangok Chicken chunks stir fried with fresh vegetables and finished with Thai sweet & sour sauce served with rice and Sate Bali Indonesian marinated chicken breast served with rice, prawn crackers and a peanut sauce.

Not so typical names for portions at flamenco restaurant in Spain?

Chicken skewer in sate sauce was excellent, simple but tasty. Wok Bangok unfortunately did not meet expectations, vegetables dominated too much.

Wok Bangok - reijosfood.com

Sate Bali - reijosfood.com

Flamenco show is presented at 20.00 – 21.30, which is quite early for locals. Most of the customers were tourists but Wednesday did not seemed to be busiest evening.

At the end of the show dancer picked few customers to join flamenco dance which was the funniest part of the show. Imagine yourself repeating the same steps and moves as professional dancer….

Flamenco at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

Flamenco dancer at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

For wine we had L’Hereu cava from Raventos i Blanc in Penedes region. Main grape is Macabeu 45%, but also Xarel.lo and Parellada are used in production. Wineyard has produced wines since 1497, which is also mentioned on the label of the bottle.

Cava at Vino Mio - reijosfood.com

If you would like to see Flamenco for the first time, Vino Mio is the right place. Athmosphere is relaxed, guitar is played well and flamenco shouts and screaming are creditable.

Main think is not the food, but anyone can find something from the menu.

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

Restaurant Vino Mio Malaga, Vino Mio Malaga, Malaga Restaurant, Flamenco Restaurant Malaga, Vino Mio Flamenco Restaurant Malaga, Bino Mio Malaga, Vino Mio Restaurant in Malaga Centre,

 

 








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