Restaurant review: Taverna Vaelsa

18 06 2017


Ristorante e Taverna Vaelsa opened spring 2015 at the Market Square, at Pohjoisesplanadi 9 in the historic Govinius building. At the 2nd floor there is restaurant serving with wider menu and downstairs is taverna, which serves pizzas and some salads. Vaelsan’s kitchen combines local food and classic Italian cuisine with a modern touch.

Visited taverna at late lunch time on Saturday and tried pizzas. Ordered them from the menu under Pizze Speciali headline.

Chose Bresaola Mozzarella, Rucola, Bresaola, Parmigiano, Lemon Vinaigrette and Vegana Zucchini, Paprika, Eggplant, Parsley, Vegan Cheese.

Pizza Bresaola was delicious, but quite dry as there was not tomato sauce. Pizza base was quite thick and had to cut quite hard pieces. There was enough fresh rucola, which is not always the case when pizza includes rocket salad.


Pizza Vegana was also tasty and it was pleaseant surprise to see that taverna served also vegan version including cheese. That definately increases points.


Wines were a little bit problematic, only 3 red wines available and 2 out of them had run out and replaced with other brands. Of course pizzas do not necessarily require full-bodied wines but for instance the one we enoyed was quite light.

Location is excellent, just opposite to Market Square. And if you get window table like us, it is nice to watch the crowds outside.

Service was a little bit limping, maybe due to busy lunch hour, which was ending. If you want to visit ristorante, better make table reservation, to taverna you can just walk in and check if there are free tables.

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

http://vaelsa.fi/taverna/





Restaurant review: Fishmarket – only fish available

12 10 2014
Fishmarket menu. - reijosfood.com

Fishmarket menu

Restaurant Fishmarket was re-opened in May 2013. It serves wide selection of sea and fresh water cuicine like fish, roe, lobster, craysfish, oysters and shellfish. If you like to eat meat choose some other restaurant, because there is no single meat food on the a la carte list.

Fishmarket is located in Torikorttelit next to the Market Square (Kauppatori) on the ground floor of the same building as restaurant Sasso (see Sasso review by using search). Decor is modern and luminous after change in ownership and property renowation. Visited Fishmarket last year, review also can be found at reijosfood.com.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

You could choose from different kind of seafood platters and even eat those at seafood bar, if you do not like standard dinner tables. We decided to choose “basic” fish portions, which meant again long waiting times.

Last time restaurant served kitchen greetings in glass jar but not anymore. Menu had changed also; sorry for the Finnish menu in the first picture. Menu is not so ambmitious anymore, even Fish and Chips are available.

Excellent Sweet archipelago bread and home made yeast bread with salted butter were brought to the table first. No changes for these goodies.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

For starters ordered Snacks and Pan fried scallop with mini octopus. Snacks was new on the menu, maybe tapas type of dishes are becomming more common?

For snacks chose Smoked pike mousse with root vegetable chips, Light soy marinated salmon with baby gem.

All three snacks were enjoyable. Hoped that mousse would incude some pieces of pike, but it was pure mousse with taste of pike. Salmon is always delicious but could not find any taste of soy in this case, maybe forgotten. Combination of small scallops and crayfish on cockleshell tasted good.

Unfortunately pan fried scallops were already cold when they were brought to the table.

Snacks at Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

Scallops and octopus at Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

Main course dishes were Grilled turbot with carrot sauce and Pan fried salmon with deep fried fennel and spinach-pesto.

Turbot included some fish bones and scales, which was odd for this restaurant. Fish was also a little bit overcooked.

Salmon was perfectly fried, some rose still inside of fish. As salmon is quite greasy itself, maybe oily pesto is not perfect partner for it.

Tunnot at Fishmarket - reijosfood.comSalmon at Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

For desserts had Dark chocolate fondant with black currant sorbet and Sorbet.

Actually asked to replace sorbet with vanilla ice-cream but is was first forgotten. Got vanilla ice-cream in separate cup after reminding it. Replaced the sorbet with vanilla ice-cream, therefore plate seems a little bit messy. Maybe new portion would have been better idea.

If you like black currant, then you like home made sorbet, which was the choise for another dessert.

Chocolate fondant at Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

One extremely positive thing is the wide selection of riesling wines. Too often you have to choose from few alternatives because chardonnays and savignon blancs dominate wine lists, but at Fishmarket you really can celebrate with rieslings. Chose Sepp Moser Riesling von den Terrassen from Austria, which was excellent. Definately right balance of acidity, minerals, fruits and taste of petrol. Not too much, but enough. The color of wine is more yellow than rieslings usually are.

Riesling at Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

Fishmarket had all prerequisites to be the best seafood restaurant in Helsinki. Food is good but maybe again one waiter was missing because service was quite slow. Therefore it might make sense to order platters for starter or main course because you can pass the time by opening crabs.

Had to drop points for food and overall grade from last visit. The change in menu impacted to portions, which were on the other hand also more affordable.

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

Front | Restaurant Fishmarket.





Restaurant review: Fishmarket

22 09 2013

Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

Fishmarket, restaurant for seafood lovers! Could be the best of the best fish restaurants in Helsinki, if………

Restaurant Fishmarket was re-opened in May 2013. It serves wide selection of sea and fresh water cucine like fish, roe, lobster, craysfish, oysters and shellfish. If you like to eat meat choose some other restaurant because there is no single meat food on the a la carte list.

Fishmarket is located in Torikorttelit next to the Market Square (Kauppatori) on the ground floor of the same building as restaurant Sasso (see Sasso review by using search). New decor is modern and luminous after change in ownership and property renowation.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.comFishmarket - reijosfood.com

You could choose from different kind of seafood platters and even eat those at seafood bar and kind of recommend to do that.

We decided to choose “basic” fish portions which meant this time long waiting times. We chose one Helsinki Menu consisting of Finnish fish goodies; for starter Baltic herring, cheese from sour milk and whitefish roe, for main course Grilled pike perch from Inkoo, pumpkin, sage dressing and for dessert Chocolate fondant, black currant with vanilla ice cream. Another menu included for starter Finnish vendace roe with brioche, sour cream and onion, for main course Catch of the day with a price of the day which was Smoked trout with carrot and salvia sauce and for dessert mixed combination of milkless products which was not so easy task for the restaurant.

Dinner started with kitchens greetings Whitefish tartar which was excellent and served in small glass jar. Unfortunately starters were served right away after we got the jars. So we had to keep them in our hands while plates were put on the table. Timing mistake from the restaurant.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

Sweet archipelago bread and home made yeast bread with salted butter were awesome.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.com

Both starters were perfect. Baltic herring was not too salty and side dishes complemented the flavor well. Same but odd way to set the food on the edge of the plate as was in Sasso. Finnish roes always require black pepper which now had to be asked as it was not served with portion.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.comFishmarket - reijosfood.com

Main course dishes were prepared with skill, not overcooked and hot. Pumpkins with pike perch matched well, in the future must use pumpkin more ofter when cooking at home. Think waiter said that with trout there should be carrot pyre but maybe it included milk and was left out.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.comFishmarket - reijosfood.com

Helsinki Menu chocolate fondant was scrumptious. Double the size and you are there! Waiters were not exactly up to date which kind of milk was used; therefore mixed dessert for one of us. Again food was set on the edge of the plate.

Fishmarket - reijosfood.comFishmarket - reijosfood.com

One extremely positive thing is the wide selection of riesling wines. Too often you have to choose from few alternatives because chardonnays and savignon blancs dominate wine lists, but at Fishmarket you really can celebrate with rieslings. Chose Gun Metal Riesling Eden valley 2009 from Hewitson because of two reasons. First reason was the name Gun Metal which describes the grey-coloured stone amongst the vineyard, nothing to do with guns. Second reason was that Hewitson is more known of it’s red wines, not whites. But think Hewitson should stay in red wines because this riesling was too “soft” lacking acidity.

Fishmarket has all prerequisites to be the best seafood restaurant in Helsinki. Food was excellent but maybe one waiter was missing because waitering took so long time. Therefore it might make sense to order platters for starter or main course because you can pass the time by opening crabs.

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

http://www.fishmarket.fi/en





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: Sasso

25 05 2013

Sasso

Sasso, we have dined there before reform, but never have had so conflicting opinions as we had this time.

Royal Restaurants Ltd make up one of Finland’s largest private enterprise in the restaurant field with 27 restaurants in 21 locations. One of them is North Italian kitchen restaurant Sasso which Palace-Kamp Group sold to Royal Restaurants early 2013. After restoration Sasso was re-opened on 1st of May for May Day lunch.

Sasso chef Eero Vottonen, chef of the year 2012, was hired from Michelin restaurant Luomo. Ambitious objectives for the kitchen, obviously. Restaurant and its widened terrace are located in Pohjoisesplanadi 17 in Torikorttelit. Restaurant Fishmarket downstairs has same address.

Dinner started with Campari sodas and some bread. Butter or margarine had really salty olive groats on it.

Campari Soda

For starters ordered Mortadella di coniglio con ciliegie e pistacchio and Spigola marinata con olive verdi e basilico. Rabbit was confusing because of bitter cherries and salty olive paste, it did not taste at all. Seabass was great, it was ripe although waiter said it would be raw. This portion could also be main course if bigger with new crop potatoes.

For main courses had Salmone all’olio di oliva con carciofi e limone and Vitello ai ferri con asparaghi e pomodori. Again fish was well prepared and tasty. See the position of veal, is the new trend to place food on the other side of plate? Did something forgot from the plate? Veal was like entrecote, too greasy.

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Because of small portions we had plenty of space for desserts; Tiramisu and Rabarbero all’arancia con latte di mandorle. Tiramisu was a relief for meat course, delicious and sweet with soft biscuits. Again, see the new trend in placing the food on plate! Almond milk was replaced with sorbet because of milk. Remember that in Spain we got almond milk without cow’s milk.

???????????????????????????????Dessert

Because of totally different views we had to judge meals (meat and fish) separately. Overall grade is 4 because of location and window table we had; opportunity to watch Havis Amanda statue and  Market Square. WInes are mainly Italian but moderately priced. Got first too warm white wine which was replaced without asking, polite gesture.

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

REVIEW for MEAT: FOOD 2+/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4/5

http://www.sasso.fi/etusivu (website is still unfinished and only in Finnish)

MantaRestaurant SassoMarket Square





Restaurant review: PureBistro

17 09 2012

PureBistro is a modern bistro and bar at the Market Square in Torikorttelit area. Restaurant serves uncomplicated but handmade and modern bistro food. PureBistro is owned by Michelin star restaurant Luomo chef”s Jouni Toivanen and Mika Mattila. Dining room is quite small as well as tables. Ask for window table and you can enjoy sea view and watch what happens at Market Square. At 8PM restaurant was full and you could mostly hear english and swedish; well marketed to hotels or travel agencies.

As the core value is fresh materials, the menu is short, but there is changing daily specials available. There might be for example a whole bird, fish or shellfish to be shared. This time restaurant had lamb as daily speciality. If it would still be summer you could enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the terraces.

Fresh bread is served in paper bag with caramelized butter. Unfortunately butterscotch taste did not match so well with white bread served, maybe it would have with rye bread.

Three courses cost 44€, if you order dishes separately bill would be 50€. During this visit prices were a little bit high compared to the level of portions.

For starters ordered SKAGEN and DUCK IN JAPAN. Skagen included brioche, shrimps, whitefish roe and chili mayonnaise. Not so typical brioche and chili could have tasted more. Duck in Japan was duck leg and foie terrine, bacon dashi and miso mayonnaise. Terrine was really delicious but could not found the taste of Japan.

For main courses ordered daily speciality LAMB MOROCCO STYLE and SALMON CONFIT ‘APIACEAE’. Lamb was too greasy and without taste of Morocco. Salmon was stewed in olive oil and should include set of flowers.  Fish was stewed perfectly as it was still partly red inside but set of flowers remains mystery. As pyre was asked to left out oufit was close to soup but no spoon available.


For dessert had QUEEN rasperry and blueberry and BANANA SPLIT. “Queen” was fresh but more like a juice. Banana Split was daily speciality but quite ordinary dessert.

Suggest to order from a la carte list instead of daily speciality. Hope PureBistro uses more spices because oriental names of the dishes make believe they are well flavoured. However, the location is perfect and athmosphere casual for chatting groups.

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

Restaurant website may be a little bit shocking… http://www.purebistro.fi/

http://www.torikorttelit.fi/fi/cat/ruoka-ja-juoma/








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