Restaurant review: Noa – Tallinn, Estonia

22 04 2017

NOA is a seaside restaurant on the border of Tallinn and Viimsi, Estonia, seating 80 people. The NOA dining room has been built on three different levels allowing guests to see the view of the Old Town silhouette across the bay. When putting together the menu, restaurant has not committed to any specific ingredients, countries or locations, but rather focused on creating an equal experience to all vege, seafood and meat eaters.

For aperitives decided to order NV Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne AOC, France and Gin tonic made from worlds best gin, Napue, Finland. With sea view, perfect drinks to start the dinner.

Before starters restaurant offers fresh bread and spreading, which both tasted excellent. Big box instead of plate, at least kept the pieces of bread warm.

For starters ordered Crispy seafood and chips with cuttlefish sauce, coriander, lime and potatoes and Grill “Caesar” with romaine lettuce, asparagus (& cheese).

Seafood included pieces of mussel, octopus and some white meated fish, which I can not remember any more. Anyhow all pieces (finger food) were perfectly prepared. Chips were one of the best ever tasted; there was some spice on them, which made them scrumptious. And sauce paired well both with crispy fish and potatoes.

It was not your ordinary Caesar salad.  Warm, but fresh served with seasonal veggie, in this case asparagus.  A simple, but tasty starter.

For main courses had Octopus pasta Homemade pasta, wine and butter sauce, tomato garlic, pepper, grispy panko and Eggplant “burnt end” (Goat’s cheese curd), crispy vegetables, smoked tomato

Pasta was cooked as it should be, al dente, and it was still hot. That is difficult combination! Octopus was crispy and fresh, very tasty on top of all. Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb, but as the amount was small, it just completed the dish.

The eggplant dish was served with cranberry sauce which gave the dish a bit of a sour taste.  The crispy vegetables made for a nice addition.

For wine ordered 2011 Chateauneuf-du-Pape AOC, Chateau Mont Redon, Rhone, France. Full-bodied and round. It paired perfectly with the dishes eaten.

Restaurant Noa (a la carte) serves excellent food, dining room is cozy and athmosphere relaxed. One could also choose 11 course menu on separate dining room with white table clothes.

Service was professional and polite. Kitchen had just changed menu, which meant that had to wait for main courses quite a long time. Due to delay, restaurant offered Limoncello’s for digestive for free. Must say that they were better than ever had, even better than in Italy! But delay had a small impact on service rating.

For Finnish readers; if you want to taste Noa kitchen, you can find them at Taste of Helsinki in June. Must check their goodies again.



Taittinger Champagne tasting at Taste of Helsinki

18 06 2014

Taittiger champagnes at Taste of Helsinki -

If you like football and watch FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil, you should drink champagnes from Taittinger because it is official sponsor.

During Taste of Helsinki there was opportunity to participate in Taittinger champagne tasting. You must purchase tickets in advance because tasting events are so popular that they are always sold out. We almost missed opportunity becase had tickets for Friday but due to work obligation could not been able to participate. Luckily Taste of Helsinki founder Barry MacNamara personally helped us to change tickets.

We arrived early because of cold weather. Tasting pavilion was warmest place at picnic area.

Taittinger tasting at Taste of Helsinki -

Six different champagnes were already poured into the glasses before event opening.

Champagne glasses at Taste of Helsinki -

Tasting started from right to the left. Luckily we had our own bottle of San Pellegrino with us, because there was no water available. And without “cleaning” mouth between sipping different wines it makes it quite difficult task to recognize characters.

Taittinger Brut Reserve

Basic Taittinger, should be similar since 1980. 40% Chardonnay, 30 % Pinot Noir, 30 % Pinot Meunier. Amount of Chardonnay makes this wine balanced and enjoyable. Golden yellow in color. Taste is crisp and harmonious.

Taittinger Brut Millesime 2006

Strong and with lots of acidity and minerals. 50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir. Color is golden yellow. Taste is balanced but a little bit contradictory. This wine is suitable even with meats, said sommelier. Maybe have to try…..

Taittinger Prestige rose

Champagnes are classified as white wines but this wine is rarity because producer adds 15% red wine (Pinot Noir grapes). 30% Chardonnay. Vibrant pink color. Taste is fruity and fresh.

Taittinger Nocturne rose

Champagne for celebrants and after dinner. Idea for bottle design comes disco balls. 17,5 g/l dosage of sugar makes this wine sec, not brut. 30% Chadonnay, 70% Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. This wine is actually really enjoyable, can recommend.

Taittinger les Folies de la  Marquetterie

Classic wine, 45% Chardonnay, 55% Pinot Noir. This wine was not our favourite; would say price/quality ratio is suffering.

Taittinger Comptes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2004

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne at Taste of Helsinki -

Nobel blanc de blancs champagne, 100% Chardonnay. Unfortunately this was already too warm because it was tasted last. However, wine was introduced with enthusiasm.

Taittinger champagnes are elegant and suit for any occasion. It would have been nice to be able to taste enough cold drinks but as they were poured beforehand, of course they were a little bit too warm. But as the weather was so cold, it did not bother too much. And champagne tastes always as good.

Taste of Helsinki 2014 – review of tasted portions

15 06 2014

First of all big thanks to Taste of Helsinki founder Barry MacNamara for organizing ticket change from Friday to Saturday and inviting us to opening ceremony for invited guests. Due to work obligations outside Finland we had to suspend the participation by one day and therefore could not either join the opening ceremony on Thursday.

Taste of Helsinki is a culinary festival, which takes you on a journey through the gourmet flavours of some of the best restaurants in Helsinki and Finland. It is also unique chance to get familiar with fine dining restaurants at the same time without paying high prices for gourmet food. We participated third time, the same number of times the event has been organized. This year the weather has been typical Finnish summer, rainy and cold. Challenging for outdoor events.

Below you can find pictures with comments of some of the best small dishes restaurants served.

Bertha: Cod, bean, scallops 5-/5

Excellent combination, cod and scallops was served as a crispy croquette by Tampere restaurant

Bistro o Mat Anise spiced salmon at Taste of Helsinki -

Juuri: Terrine of cured perch 5/5

Perch is one of the best Finnish fishes and served like this on of the best portions

Juuri Terrine of cured perch at Taste of Helsinki -

Bistro o Mat: Anise spiced salmon with prawns and avocado 4+/5

Fresh spiced salmon and shrimps are always tasty but anise flavor was hidden somewhere. Kirkkonummi is home town of this restaurant

Bistro o Mat Salmon at Taste of Helsinki -

Smakbyn Åland: Fish tartar from the Baltic, crayfish and white fish roe  4,5/5

Excellent ensemble from restaurant in Åland owned by celebrity chef

Smakbyn Åland Fish tartar at Taste of Helsinki -

Emo: Crab cake with fennel  5/5

Bull’s eye, maybe the best of the best, croquette tasted of crab and fennel accomppanied perfectly

Emo Crabcake at Taste of Helsinki -

Postres: New potatoes and anchovy butter 4/5

New potatoes belong to Finnish summer and butter was tasty but too simple compared to any other portion

Postres potaoes at Taste of Helsinki -

Emo: Spring chicken with spring cabbage 4,5/5

Chicken skewer was grilled in front of you, with some more spices would have been unbeatable

Emo Chicken at Taste of Helsinki -

Postres: Smoked salmon in Can and Postres archipelago bread 5/5

Makes you drooling, Finnish summer hit and should be available from supermarkets for Mid Summer fiesta

Postres Smoked salmon at Taste of Helsinki -

Farang: Coconat caramel pork 4,5/5

Farang knows how to use spices, long queues all the time proved time, pork maybe too much kassler (pork loin) type


Bertha: Chocolate, banana, Brazil nuts 5/5

Happy endings! Lucky we did not miss this one. Unfortunately so many starters did not allow more dessert portions

Bertha Dessert at Taste of Helsinki -

Plan was also to taste Oscar Hot Dog with veal, asparagus, and giant prawn from Kaartin Hodari & Hummeri, but the queue was so long all time. In the cold wind it was more convenient to stay sheltered from it.

To summarize, all tasted portions were impressive which can be seen from the points. I really hope that there will be 4th Taste of Helsinki because plan is to visit there twice. Quite difficult to try all portions at the same day. Also have to taste olive oils which were available at the fair. And wines, Kung Fu Girl Riesling and Miss Harry, paired well with dishes tasted. Vindirekt, the importer of these wines, made also best offers for glass of wine.

Event itself gets 5-/5 points and only cold weather was the reason for not giving 5. With sun shine it would have been 5+/5.

There will be separate post about champagne Taittinger tasting later.

Taste of Helsinki 2014 – Picnic with a difference

22 05 2014

Taste of Helsinki will be arranged 3rd time on 12-15.06.2014 in Helsinki. This will also be the 3rd time we shall visit the event.

Taste of Helsinki is a culinary festival, which takes you on a journey through the gourmet flavours of the city. It is also unique chance to get familiar with fine dining restaurants at the same time without paying high prices for gourmet food. But after you have tasted portions available, you might want to visit one or two of them.

Last year our favorite portions were:

SALMON from Rørvik with spring potatoes from Merimasku (restaurant Olo)

Taste of Helsinki (Olo) -

NECK OF WILD BOAR with false morel pie and sauce of raspberry leaves (restaurant Juuri)

Taste of Helsinki (Juuri) -

This year following restaurants will participate Taste of Helsinki:

Ask (1 Michelin star and restaurant of the year 2014)

Bertha (fine dining at Tampere)

Demo (1 Michelin star)

Emo (Michelin Bib Gourmand)

Farang (Michelin Bib Gourmand)

Juuri (Finnish restaurant, restaurant of the year 2010)

Kaartin Hodari & Hummeri (gourmet hot dogs)

Bistro o Mat (fine dining at Kirkkonummi)

Postres (1 Michelin star)

Sami Tallberg (herb specialist chef)

Smakbyn Åland (fine dining at Åland)

Yes, you see exactly right. 3 out of 5 (no, the amount is 6) Michelin star restaurants in Helsinki will participate!

If you do not yet have tickets, you better purchase them soon. You do not want to miss this picnic! Anyway, post will follow after event.



Taste of Helsinki – Part I

16 06 2012

Part I includes vibes of Taste of Helsinki. Take a look at the pictures and make a conclusion how event succeeded on 16th June at lunch time. Some struggling with tickets but hopefully we shall meet again next year. Pictures are from Saturday lunch.

Tomi Björk from Farang, Teemu Aura from Demo and Samuil Angelov from restaurant Muru and their teams did their best as you can see inthe pictures below.

Jyrki Sukula presented interesting Finnish food history. Because of health program Finns accepted to use herbs instead of salt and butter which are used in French kitchen.

Second last picture shows queue for evening event. Lot’s of Markka’s spent 🙂

Review and pictures of foods tasted in part II.

Taste of Helsinki on 14 – 17 June, 2012

26 02 2012


Taste Festifals in Helsinki, Finland!

Taste Festivals are unique events where the host city’s most acclaimed restaurants and chefs gather in a stunning venue to present their signature dishes to thousands of ‘foodie’ visitors.   Taste Festivals have now set a new benchmark for food and drinks worldwide with many Taste Festivals being hosted around the world, now also in Helsinki.

At each event, hundreds of thousands of visitors enjoy signature dishes from the world’s finest restaurants, purchase top quality food and drink from our exhibitors and meet the most loved celebrity chefs.  For Taste of Helsinki already following chefs have indicated participations:  Tomi Björck, Kari Aihinen and Sami Tallberg.

Several restaurants will be there too: (site will be opened on 14.3.2012)

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