Restaurant reviews in Helsinki 2014 – many new restaurants opened, many closed

13 01 2015

It is time to summarize restaurant year 2014 in Helsinki by reijosfood.com!

Many restaurants visited, not enough many, but below you can find reijosfood.com TOP “dozen” ranking of visited restaurants. All reviews are opinions of at least two diners. Bon appetit!

Lamb at Demo - reijosfood.com

Demo

Pil red wine at Demo - reijosfood.com

Demo

Demo 14+

Pastor, Rikhards Gastropub, PureBistro and Havis 13,5

Pirate, Copas y Tapas, Strindberg and Ragu 13,00

Gastrobar Emo, Yume and NJK  12,75

Whole list can be found at page “Restaurant reviews – rankings”

Demo proved to be real Michelin star restaurant and took the first place, food and service were perfect.

Pastor with Peruvian cuisine, Rikhards Gastropub and Italian restaurant Ragu were opened 2014, which means that there is still place for good restaurants in Helsinki. But Rikhards informed just recently that they are renewing concept and will reopen in February 2015.

Pekka Koiranen at Pastor - reijosfood.com

Pastor

Starters at Rikhards - reijosfood.com

Rikhards Gastropub

Vitello tonnato at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Ragu

Havis and Pirate offered excellent Christimas Dinner and Christmas Eve experiences and improved rankings a lot due to that. Visited Havis restaurant twice last year.

Salmon at Havis - reijosfood.com

Havis

Pirate

Pirate

PureBistro and Gastrobar Emo continue with right path like Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurants should be.

Perch at PureBistro - reijosfood.com

PureBistro

Rainbow trout at Emo - reijosfood.com

Gastrobar Emo

Copas y Tapas has Spanish touch and Yume serves delicious Asian cuisine.

Tapas plate at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Copas y Tapas

Salmon at Yume - reijosfood.com

Yume

NJK is summer island restaurant worth to visit due to building and location.

NJK - reijosfood.com

NJK

Lamb at NJK - reijosfood.com

NJK

 

From last year TOP list Spis, Muru and Farang were not visited but need to do that 2015! Already hungry?

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2013 rankings were (*restaurant has closed):

1. Spis 13,50

2. Gastrobar Emo and Grotesk Winebar* 13,25

3. Glogatan 4*,  Meche* and Muru 13,00

4. Farang  12,75

Year 2012 results can be found from blog page Restaurant reviews – rankings.

Thanks for following my blog, commenting posts and liking at least some of them!





Restaurant review: Pastis – French bistro

26 01 2014

Mussels at Pastis - reijosfood.com

Pastis is an anis-flavored liqueur and aperitif from France, but it is also French style “fine dining” bistro in Helsinki.

Pastis was opened in April 2013 by restaurant Muru celebrity chef owners. Similar concept but focus in French kitchen. Always available a la carte dishes in changing list are mussels, snails, sausages, fish and meat from France. On Fridays and Saturdays you can also enjoy fresh oysters for 5€ each or 12€, if you take 3.

Tables are located on two levels in small dining rooms but you could also try to pop in for a look if there is room by the bar counter. Reservations are for 2 1/2 hours which is just enough to eat three couse dinner. This is nowadays typical custome for popular “gourmet” bistros.

Started the dinner with Pastis, of course, Ricard. First hesitated a little bit to order ice cold aperitif, because if was freezing outside, around -13C degrees.

Ricard at Pastis - reijosfood.com

For starters we ordered Roquefort gratinated Bourgogne snails in pastis butter and Smoked mackerel, cucumber and fennel salad, marinated red onion.

Usually you get snails in snail pan where all snails are in small cups but Pastis served them in small open pan. Taste of Roquefort was perfect because if it would had dominated, starter would have been to salty. Mackarel was served with toast instead of brioche, as we asked it too be without lactose.

Snails at Pastis - reijosfood.comMackarel at Pastis - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered only available fish portion Catch of the day Antiboise. Fish, “Cliff sole” was accompanied by tomato-based sauce/stew and by one of the 3 side dishes, Mixed salad with sherry vinegar, which had to be ordered separately. Also ordered large portion of Mussels á la Pastis with curry and Truffle salted french fries for side dish.

Fish was fried in oil and the level of maturity was perfect. It was a pity that it was over-salted. Mussels were smaller than you usually see, which was good as the big ones are chewy. About 10 had already came loose from the shells. Salt in fish and mussels under the broth were minor grievances, but took one quarter point out of the Food scores.

Fish at Pastis - reijosfood.comMussels and fries at Pastis - reijosfood.com

Dinner had to be ended with Calvados Domfrontains which is mix of apple and at least 30% pear. Had only tasted apple Calvados earlier and noticed that pear makes the flavor softer. Also ordered one House chocolate, which was truffle.

Calvados at Pastis - reijosfood.com

Restaurant or bistro Pastis is refreshing piece of French kitchen in Helsinki. Concept, which might by expanded to another locations, is French from decor to music. Chansons sang by Edith Piaf and check in a nice tin were the frosting for the French dinner.

Wines come mainly from France, of course, but it would be convenient to list also those which are available in glasses. Asked recommendations for wines for dishes ordered. Pinot Noir for snails was good choice but white wine for salty macarel not so felicitous. Riesling Vignoble d’E, Domaine Ostertag  from Alsace for both main courses was excellent choice.

Extra + for overall grade comes from the well planned and implemented French concept.

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

Pastis - reijosfood.comCheck at Pastis - reijosfood.com

http://www.pastis.fi/

https://fi-fi.facebook.com/pages/Ravintola-Pastis/249978811804861





Restaurant review: GOCE Bar & Kitchen – “gourmet” tapas in Helsinki

16 01 2014

Tapas at Goce - reijosfood.com

After vacation in Spain it was important to arrange smooth return to everyday life. Especially as winter arrived in Helsinki the same day. Therefore we decided to dine at new “gourmet” tapas place GOCE Bar & Kitchen.

Restaurant was re-opened in new premises in November 2013. We made reservation on 6th Jan and noticed couple of days later that a la carte list had shortened. Only two main courses and desserts. Reason why we decided to try a big bunch of tapas portions, which sounded delicious and were familiar from previous visits to Spain.

Chose 9 portions from the list. 10th, Grilled Secreto and Sofrito, was recommended by waitress. All portions looked well prepared when they arrived to the table.

Goce menu - reijosfood.com

First we got Pimientos de Padron, which were exactly as they should be. Warm, soft and not too salty.

Pimientos de Padron at Goce - reijosfood.com

Then arrived Gambas Plancha, see the burning flame in the middle of the plate! Delicious ones, but only three pieces.

Gambas Plancha at Goce - reijosfood.com

Annoying events started at this point.

As we were early diners, in fact the first ones, after restaurant had opened at 5PM, kitchen decided to prepare everything at once. That might be typical for affordable tapas bars, but at GOCE‘s price level, you expect to be able to enjoy warm dishes warm.

Our gambas were still uneaten when we got Patatas Bravas and Beetroot to the table. Both were delicious especially beetroot but we were now confused; which portions to eat next?

Potates and beetroot at Goce - reijosfood.com

We already had 4 dishes on the table and got 5th, PulpoOctopus. This one was not so successful as previous portions. It should have been more crisp or solid, but instead was too soft.

Pulpo at Goce - reijosfood.com

We managed to fill up our small plates in a hurry with mixed selection of 4 tapas portions but during we emptied plates came Boquerones, Chorizos, Iberico -pork and soon after that Green salad and Manchego cheese. It was easier to take a picture of all of them than to try photograph portions one by one.

Unfortunately we had to send back sausages and Iberico -pork because they were already cold when we started to focus to eat them. However, had tasted pork plate and did not want a replacement for that because meat pieces seemed to be mostly pigskin. Would not have done that, but waitress had encouraged us to order it.

Sausages were juicy as they should be and Manchego was ok. It could have been a little bit older compared to the price.

There was a pile of croutons on green salad which is odd, is it then green? As we were served fresh bread to start with, it would have been enough.

Goce tapas - reijosfood.com

Green salad at Goce - reijosfood.com

Restaurant and dining room are huge compared to any other bistros or tapas bars. Decoration is stylish, one of the most elegants in the city for concept GOCE has.

Goce Bar & Kitchen - reijosfood.comGoce - reijosfood.com

If we would have had enough time to enjoy tapas portions, GOCE Bar & Kitchen would have earned better scores for service. Waitress said that she tried to slow down the speed kitchen had. Therefore suggest to take couple of tapas to start with and then try main courses. Also would have appreciated if our plates would have been changed once or twice. We were asked if we want clean ones when we had only one piece of cheese left….

Would also hope that there would be more affordable choises for wines in the glass. At least found interesting basic tempranillo, Disco 2012, which paired well with all tapas portions.

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

http://goce.fi/





Two climates – Helsinki, Finland and Costa Meloneras, Spain

11 01 2014

I have not sent posts just consisting of pictures of traveling photos, but after leaving today’s dining place, sort of lived de javu. Not because of Spanish type of restaurant we just dined (which was not de javu), but because of Christmas lights.

Christmas unite nations all over the world. Sometimes it seems exaggerated, but it is always familiar for almost all nations.

First picture is from Costa Meloneras, Gran Canaria, Spain one week ago.

CostaMeloneras_evening - reijosfood.com

Second picture is from Park Esplanade, Helsinki, Finland today.

Esplanade park evening - reijosfood.com

Because of first snow which landed today, yes today on the 11th January 2014, we shaked from the cold.

Cold equals -1C degrees, which is the first time when temperature is below zero in Helsinki this winter. Odd?

Although we are Finns, we are never accustomed for winter. But when it arrives we kind of like it….., or have already started planning next trip to avoid it.





Restaurant reviews in Helsinki 2013 – breakthrough of “gourmet” bistros

10 01 2014

SPIS - reijosfood.comRestaurant Muru - reijosfood.com

Year 2013 ended up too soon. Did not have time to visit all those restaurants had planned. Anyway, breakthrough of “gourmet” bistros highlighted the year.

Bistros are relaxed, unformal dining spots with decent service and food.

In Helsinki, there has been established during couple of last years “gourmet” bistros, which compete with unique decoration, good service and well designed, delicious dishes. They also have short a la carte list and one or to menu alternatives. We could call some of these bistros restaurants, but part of them do not use that naming.

Example of “gourmet” food can be found from picture below which is taken at Spis. Whole portion consists of fresh vegetables but also of fish, which is uniquely prepared.

Salmon at Spies - reijosfood.com

As we were not able to visit all “gourmet” bistros in Helsinki, results were as follows:

1. Spis 13,50

2. Gastrobar Emo and Grotesk Winebar 13,25

3. Glogatan 4,  Meche and Muru 13,00

4. Farang  12,75

From these restaurants I would say Spis, Gastrobar Emo, Grotesk Winebar, Meche and Muru are so called “gourmet” bistros. Add also PureBistro which got 12,50 points and we can really call year 2013 “year of bistros”. 4 of the restaurants above have link to Michelin star restaurants, can you guess how?

Glogatan 4 is more restaurant than bistro and Farang serves asian gourmet kitchen, which you can not miss.

How Spis differs from other “gourmet” bistros? It serves greetings from kitchen between courses which others do not. That is one reason why it took the first place this year. It also has longer menus than others (full review at reijosfood.com)

Snacks - reijosfood.com

Why Grotesk Winebar succeeded although it is quite new? It serves rare delicacies which you do not get in other bistros. It also provides professional wine pairings with dishes (full review at reijosfood.com)

Quail - reijosfood.com

Why Gastrobar Emo earned 2nd place although it is one of the newest restaurants in Helsinki? It is partly owned by Pekka Terävä who owns Michelin star restaurant Olo. Olo might be the next 2 Michelin star restaurant as Chez Dominique closed down it’ doors.  (full review of Emo at reijosfood.com)

Halibut at Emo - reijosfood.com

Year 2012 results can be found from blog page Restaurant reviews – rankings.

Year 2014 will continue with review of “gourmet” bistro or tapas bar Goce which was opened in November 2013. We also might visit some of the most prestigious restaurants although “gourmet” bistros have modified restaurant field a lot.

Thanks for following my blog, commenting posts and liking at least some of them!





Review: Finnair leisure flight warm breakfast

25 12 2013

Finnair still serves some warm food during leisure flights. You can also order some special food depending on your food allergy.

However, experience few days ago was a little bit odd. Best of all was Finnish yogurt but potato crockets, scrambled eggs and spinach stew were….

Let the review points tell the whole story. I wonder how tastes can be so unbalanced and structure of food so interesting? And what about tricolor?

REVIEW: FOOD 1/5 – SERVICE N/A – OVERALL GRADE 0,5/5

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Helsinki, most honest city in the world

26 09 2013

Farang - photo by reijosfood.comRestaurant Muru - reijosfood.com

Welcome to Helsinki, Finland!

Regarding to CNN, Helsinki is the most honest capital city in the world. Reader’s Digest (Valitut Palat) dropped wallets in 16 cities and in Helsinki, Finland, 11 out 12 wallets were returned.

Read the whole story behind link below:

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/24/travel/least-honest-cities/index.html?hpt=travel_hp_row1left

So, it is also safe to dine at excellent restaurants we have in our city.

Lasipalatsi - reijosfood.comStefans steakhouse - reijosfood.comSPIS - reijosfood.comHavis - reijosfood.comSalutorget - reijosfood.comDemo - reijosfood.comFishmarket - reijosfood.com








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