Restaurant review: PureBistro

30 08 2013

PureBistro - reijosfood.com

Huge improvement compared to first visit a year ago! Guess, if the food in the picture above is fish or meat? You will only know it by reading on.

PureBistro is a modern bistro and bar with two terraces next to the Market Square in Torikorttelit buildings. Restaurant serves uncomplicated but well prepared bistro food. PureBistro is owned by Michelin star restaurant Luomo chef”s Jouni Toivanen and Mika Mattila. Luomo operates in 2nd floor.

Dining room is quite small but this evening it did not bother as restaurant was not full. Ask for window table and you can enjoy sea view and observe what happens at Market Square.

PureBistro - reijosfood.com

Our group ordered for starters one HOT FOREST MUSHROOMS WITH ORGANIC EGG 65 Metsäsieniä, tattitoffeeta ja luomukananmuna and several portions of TOAST SKAGEN Briossia, katkarapuja, siianmätiä, chilimajoneesia.

Had tasted at Taste of Helsinki 2013 boletus toffee and organic egg 65 but must repeat did not like combination. 65 means egg has been cooked up to 65C degrees, so it is was loose. Boletus toffee is really exotic “sauce”; it is too sweet for starter looking like grey brownish tepid liquid, almost like the wash water of the mushrooms. Big chanterelles saved a bit but again whole experience was too exotic to say it in nice words.

Toast Skagen was delicious and quite spicy due to chili. Whitefish roe crowned this otherwise simple looking portion.

PureBistro - reijosfood.comPureBistro - reijosfood.com

For main courses we had GRILLED ROOTVEGGIES, FETA CHEESE AND OAT Grillattuja juureksia, fetaa ja paahdettu ohraa, MISO-CURED SALMON AND VEGE TEMPURA JAPONESE Miso marinoitua lohta, tempuravihanneksia ja soijaa, GUINEA FOWL WITH TAPIOCA AND CURRY Helmikanaa, tapiokahelmiä ja currya and from daily menu STEAK ENTRECOTE JAPONESE STYLE.

Because of different cravings, all four main course were tasted and all of them were great.

Feta cheese paired well with rootveggies from which beetroot was welcomed choice. Salmon was a little bit raw from the middle which suited perfectly to Japonese style. Would have liked a little bit more tempura vegetables (chili, egg plant and lotus root), which were served in separate small bowl. Entrecote was tender and included also chili, which seemed to be unifying spice to most of the portions.

Now answer for the question: Meat and more specific, guinea fowl. Most of us first thought there was fish on the plate. How cleverly and skillfully set!

PureBistro - reijosfood.comPureBistro - reijosfood.comPureBistro - reijosfood.comPureBistro - reijosfood.com

For desserts one LE MARQUISE AU CHOCOLAT Suklaamarkiisia ja pistaasisorbet and from daily menu most of us chose CHOCO AND BANANA Banaanijäätelöä ja suklaakastiketta. One dessert without milk succeeded also well.

All desserts were scrumptious. Sorbet did not differ from ice-cream as it was so “creamy”. However, taste of pistachio was pushy.

PureBistro - reijosfood.comPureBistro - reijosfood.comPureBistro - reijosfood.com

Food was excellent. We had eaten at PureBistro in July (no review available), so we already expected great experience. Service was also in good shape, well explained what portions included and good knowledge of wines.

One weakness was the wine list, it was short, only about 5-6 white and red wines available. You could of course choose from separate wine list but prices for quality wines would be the same (expensive) as in restaurant Luomo. We had Max Ferdinand Richter Mûlheimer Sonnelay Riesling Zeppelin as white wine. Had to taste it before ordering as it was close to semi-dry, but suspicion vanished after tasting as wine was not too sweet at all. For red wine we enjoyed Dourthe Clos de los Siete which paired well also with salmon.

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

http://purebistro.fi/

First visit PureBistro review can be found by using search on reijosfood.com





Restaurant review: Pirate Helsinki

21 04 2013

PiratePirate

Restaurant Pirate Helsinki is located in Southern Helsinki, Lauttasaari. First Pirate restaurant was established in Hanko and it serves also pizzas which Helsinki restaurant does not. You have to order food from the bar because there is no table service.  Pirate is a summer restaurant but it is open in December providing ambitious Christmas lunch with famous chefs.

Visited Pirate just when it has just opened also for weekends for the summer time.

For starters ordered Tomato Mozzarella and Parma Ham Rucola Bruschettas with Country French fries. Both bruschettas were nice and french fries really well made. Portion were quite big so they might even be enough for lunch but as we were having early dinner had decided to eat also main courses.

BruschettaMozarella bruschettaParma ham bruschetta

For main courses ordered Grilled king prawns, octopus with french fries, marinated vegetables and hollandaise sauce and Pirate smoked salmon with morel mushroom sauce and warm potato-vegetables salad. Prawns were OK but octopus was chewy; would also have prefered sauce in separate scoop. We had asked that for morel mushroom sauce…. Fish was well prepared as it was not smoked too long. Both portions included same looking side dishes; only difference was potatoes with salmon. Maybe too much oil used in vegetables.

Shrimps and octopusSmoked salmon

Restaurant Pirate is laid-back bistro and especially in the summer terrace is pleasant place to have a beer or two. Because restaurant was just opened we were the only diners at 0530PM. Because spring is so late all boats were still on the ground and surrounded restaurant.

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

If you visit Hanko some day, try Pirate because it is quite popular in the summer.

http://www.pirate.fi/?pinc=1&lng=helsinki

Pirate





Special restaurant review: Strindberg

10 01 2013

This review is special because we had the honour to dine at restaurant Strindberg at the same time with our President Sauli Niinistö and his spouse Jenni. When the presidential couple left, changed light nods with the president.

Also this is special review due to 1st anniversary of reijosfood.com. Strindberg was one of the first reviewed restaurants in 2012.

Restaurant Strindberg, cafe’s and bar are located in Gallery Esplanade (ex Kämp Gallery) at North Esplanade. At street level is internationally fashioned café, very popular among tourists as well as Helsinki citizens. Just sit down, if you find a table and wait to be served, there is table service available. Mari cafe is behind main cafe, you can use Marimekko dishes and see Marimekko textiles.

On the second floor there is Strindberg à la carte, where we had dinner which also was the first restaurant reviewed in Helsinki 2013. The atmosphere at this restaurant is urban, but at the same time pleasantly peaceful. Sometimes loud discussion might make hearing difficult. Remember to ask for window table when making reservation! On the 5th January Christmas lights were still on the trees at Park Esplanade.

Park Esplanad

Library bar has become a popular rendez-vous spot for many. Worth a visit too although you would not dine, because you can observe diners through glass window. For us most visited bar, if having glass of wine after shopping.

THE DINNER

For starters had Toast Skagen and Chargrilled Arctic char tartare with horseradish crème fraîche, both very Scandinavian and Finnish dishes. At Strindberg you can always count on quality of Toast Skagen. Chargrill tasted suitably in Arctic char, really nice combination.

Toast SkagenArctic Char tartar

For main courses ordered Pan-fried lavaret, Puy lentils and beurre blanc with dill seeds and Braised veal cheeks with garlic and potato purée and thyme sauce. Instead of lentils asked for vegetables which was extremely succesful side dish for white fish. Cheek of veal was delicious because of long cooking time, really soft and crisp at the same time.

Cheek of vealWhitefhis

Desserts were French toast (Köyhät Ritarit) and Chokolate cake La Nègre and cardamom ice cream. French toast is traditional dish and sometimes it is still made at homes, actually quite easy. With add-on’s it makes your mouth drool, worth to try! Chokolate cake was served with fresh berries because we asked to leave ice-cream out.

Poor knightsCake

Food was excellent and overall grade gets good points because of location, decor and window view. Unfortunately this time service was not at the normal level either due to lack of personnel or tension due to visit of presidential couple. However, we got espresso, green tea and glass of grappa for free without whining. Proof of service attitude anyway.

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

http://www.strindberg.fi/en/restaurant





Restaurant review: Pirate Helsinki

6 07 2012

Restaurant Pirate Helsinki operates in Southern Helsinki. First Pirate restaurant was established in Hanko and it serves also pizzas. Helsinki restaurant tries to be more sophisticated as it is part of Sinbad boat club. You have to order food from the bar because there is no table service. Therefore restaurant is also more affordable than some others. Pirate is a summer restaurant but it is open in December providing ambitious Christmas lunch with famous chefs like Hans Välimäki.

For starters ordered Prawns roasted with garlic and lime-aioli and  Toast Skagen with roe. Prawns were excellent, roasted perfectly and almost sweet.  Roe was whitefish roe which is much better than rainbow trout roe which you might get, if type of roe is not mentioned in the menu. In overall, starters were best part of the dinner and close to fine dining although Pirate is quite rough boat club restaurant.

For main course ordered Fried pike-perch with horsedarish crinkle potatoes and morel mushroom sauce and Pirate hamburger. Fish was like home made but sauce was delicious. Meat of hamburger was disappoitment, close to frozen tv dinner beef. French fries were crisp and enough salty. In overall quite simple hamburger portion.

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

If you visit Hanko some day, try Pirate because it is quite popular in the summer.

http://www.pirate.fi/?pinc=1&lng=helsinki





Restaurant review: Havis

23 06 2012

Restaurant Havis specializes in seasonal Finnish and Scandinavian seafood. It consists of three different dining room styles. Dining room Havis looks as historic as building restaurant is located. Decided to reserve window table from this room. One can see old Market Hall from the windows http://www.wanhakauppahalli.com/. Dining room Kitchen is by open-plan kitchen and dining room Terrace is more relaxed sheltered patio restaurant which might be cold sometimes.

Dinner started with kitchen’s greeting which was marvelous. Whitefish roe, smoked fish mousse and red onion; could have eaten dozens of those “glasses”.

For starters ordered Toast Skagen a la Havis and Terrine of cockerel from Viskilä farm with apple and parsnip. Toast Skagen was real fine dining, maybe best ever.  Terrine was tender and best parts were sweet sauces and pyres which complemented flavours.

For main coursed had  Pan-fried perch, spring vegetables and browned butter and Grilled fresh-water pike-perch with beetroot risotto and false morel.
Both fishes were great. Also ordered new potatoes because one might survive only with those during Midsummer. Maybe peas and pine seeds could have been left out from Perch but otherwise well done. Kitchen also was flexible as they were ready to modify portions.

Dessert this time was as many other times before Assorted cheeses  (piece / selection). Chose one French Livarotti and one Finnish Peltola Blue (blue cheese).
Both were tasty and recommend to purchase Peltola Blue to home instead of often too salty rivals if you like blue cheese.

     
     

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

http://www.ravintolahavis.fi/en

FYI: If you visit Helsinki in Midsummer, notice that almost all restaurants are closed on Friday and Saturday. Finn’s can be found from their cottages, boats and festivals, not from the city.





Restaurant review: Blue Peter

27 01 2012

Blue Peter, established in 1976, is situated on the island of Lauttasaari in Helsinki, in the Helsingfors Segelklubb HSK yacht club area. The complete renovation of the restaurant was finished by the beginning of 2007.  Today, Blue Peter is more spacious than before, and it feels as if the sea has come closer to the premises. Vertti Kivi has designed the decor which makes Blue Peter one ot the most modern restaurants in Finland.
You’ll find the popular terraces of Blue Peter a wonderful place to enjoy the sun and the sea atmosphere, only a short hop from the city centre. Sun shines almost the whole day to terrace as it is in three sides of the building. You can get with bus number 21v close to restaurant; only 400 meters to walk down by the sea.

Regular visitors in the summer but now had dinner in the winter as Blue Peter is also open around the year.

For starters we had Garlic snails 9.5 € and Toast Skagen 10.5 € in the pictures above. Both were excellent; enough garlic with snails and on top of toast skagen whitefish roe which made the portion more or less gourmet. For main course we had Warm goat cheese salad 18 € and Fried perch with leek-butter sauce 24 € (in the picture). Salad was generous with two slices of grilled goat cheese. Fried perch was ok, but there was too much leek-butter sauce. For dessert we had our all time favourite Crepe, old time vanilla ice cream and jam in the picture.  If you have not ever tasted crepes taste it in Blue Peter. Wine list is enough wide for the food alternatives.

Blue Peter is quite quiet in the winter if there are no private parties like weddings, but in the summer it is one of the most sophisticated restaurants with luxorious terrace.

REVIEW: Food 4/5 – Service 4/5 – Overall grade 4/5

http://www.bluepeter.fi/articles/891/





Restaurant review: Kaarna

9 01 2012

Restaurant Kaarna is located in shopping center Forum and serves Finnish traditional food. Ask for window table and you can the follow passers-by. If they say that restaurant is fully booked (phone or email) you might anyway get the table on the spot.

Helsinki is one of the design capitals 2012. To celebrate this restaurant chain including Kaarna offers bottle of champagne (Piper-Heidsieck) at affordable price 39€, if you have customer loalty card.

The food itself:

From the Nordic “tapas” list we chose Toast Skagen which is traditional shrimp on the white bread combination. This time too much onion and quite dry. Could recommend though Kaarna fish plate from previous visit.

Main course was roast salmon with false morel sauce and dill-potato bake. First of all salmon was much too salty and potatoes were more or less just fried without taste of dill. Waitress claimed that sauce has always been in separate jar as it was this time which was not true as we had asked for sauce jar when we visited restaurant last time.

We were requested an order several times quite right we arrived although we had not been read the menu. But we also had to ask for water three times before we got carafe. Obviously we were even 😦

Grades below represent the visit this time. Earlier visit would have been generated better grades due to professional chef and waitresses.

REVIEW: Food 2/5 – Service 2/5Overall grade 3/5

http://www.ravintolakaarna.fi/fileadmin/toimipaikka/Toimipaikan_kuvat/PDF-tiedostot/kaarna_menu_english_2011.pdf








%d bloggers like this: