Home cuisine: Asian style whitefish

23 02 2014

Asian style whitefish - reijosfoo.com

Whitefish, one of the best Finnish fishes, can be prepared in a myriad of ways. This time made whitefish with asian style, one of our favourite cuisines.

First of all you need fresh whitefish. If you want to take a shortcut, purchase scaled and fish bones removed ones. Less messy and it saves time.

Whitefish - reijosfood.com

Recipe:

1 whitefish fillet for each diner

Rice (used whole grain instead of white)

Sauce: water, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, cane sugar, red chilli, ginger, fresh mint and coriander

Salad: carrot, cucumber, sweet pepper, fresh mint and coriander, balsamic vinegar

Riesling - reijosfood.com

Instructions (30 minutes preparing time, step 1 not included)

1. Take whitefish out of the fridge 1 hour earlier, add salt and pepper for both sides

2. Prepare sauce by mixing all ingredients depending how spicy you want to make it. You might want to add more sugar but tasting is important.

3. Prepare salad in separate bowls by using peeler in order to get thin chips and add sweet pepper and herbs

4. Boil water and add rice according to instructions on package (boiling time 10-12 minutes)

5. Put whitefish in the oven for about 15 minutes, 220C degrees (depending on the size of fillets)

6. Serve immediately; first rice on the warmed plate, then fish fillet and herbs. Pour sauce on top of the portions at the table.

Whitefish and rice - reijosfood.com

This dish is healthy and palatable. It is your choice how spicy food you like. This can be really spicy if you add plenty of chilli, ginger and herbs. It also can be dilute without those spices.

Suitable wine for this dish is white wine from riesling grapes. Tried Cono Sur Single Vineyard Block 23 Riesling 2012, which has enough acidity and character; therefore it paired perfectly. Wine review will follow later.





Restaurant review: Blue Peter – all year round open yacht club

2 02 2014

Blue Peter - reijosfood.com

Blue Peter, covered by snow and ice, is a restaurant in Lappland…….Not exactly, but snowfall during the past 24 hours made me imagine so.

Blue Peter - reijosfood.com

Actually Blue Peter is situated on Lauttasaari island by Gulf of Finland 4 km from Helsinki city centre. In the summer time it is really popular due to large terraces and HSK sailing club members. Restaurant is open all year around hosting private events also in the winter time. On the evening we dined, there was a private party for 140 people. Not bad at all for summer restaurant.

For starters decided to order Smoked salmon mousse with malt bread and Thai-salmon soup from Soup and Salad menu, which ended the same day we dined.

Smoked salmon was more like hash than mousse because it was quite dry. Otherwise tasty starter. To add asian style spices to salmon soup is brilliant idea and must try also at home.

Smoked salmon mousse - reijosfood.comThai-salmon soup - reijosfood.com

Main courses were Reindeer fillet with game sauce and potato gratin and Whitefish, soy-ginger sauce and jasmin rice.

Reindeer was soft and tender and perfectly prepared. Potato gratin, I think, might have been more or less convenience food or not. Whitefish could have been fresher than it felt and sauce seemed to be more soy than ginger based. But whitefish is always delicious, choose it always if it is available in restaurant you eat.

Reindeer at Blue Peter - reijosfood.comWhitefish at Blue Peter - reijosfood.com

For desserts had to order the favourite one; Crepe with strawbarry jam and vanilla ice-cream. As the only lactose free dessert was sorbet we asked if kitchen could prepare something else and they did; Chocolate muffin with vanilla ice-cream.

Crepes are best in Helsinki, as I have stated in previous reviews, and can confirm it again. But pimped dessert was bull’s-eye, just baked muffin with ice-cream was really a sweet. We even suggested that restaurant should add it to their a la carte list. Let’s see if that will happen.

Crepe at Blue Peter - reijosfood.comMuffin and ice-cream at Blue Peter - reijosfood.com

For wine we had Weingut Liebfrauenstift Riesling QbA Trocken which is guaranteed safe choice. Suitable amount of acidity and minerals.

As you will get Geisha and/or Fazerin Sininen chocolate with coffee and bill that might be enough for dessert. Or nice take away to pamper yourself later.

Wine at Blue Peter - reijosfood.comCeisha chocolate - reijosfood.com

Blue Peter is especially summer restaurant but it does not mean that in can be cozy also in the winter time. Evening we visited there were decorations from past DTM, German Touring Car Masters, race in Helsinki. Wonder if there was some kind of remembrance earlier on coming next weekend?

???????????????????????????????Fireplace at Blue Peter - reijosfood.com

Desserts earned 4+ for Food but unevennes in starters and main courses dropped points. Our waitress forgot one of our orders, but as we got espresso and green tea for free, it corrected the event.

But it is great that there is stylish dining place outside of Helsinki centre because it is not easy to survive all year round. Especially in the summer one of the restaurants you should visit.

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

http://www.bluepeter.fi/articles/632/





Restaurant review: Grotesk Winebar – but not grotesque at all

11 10 2013

Foie gras - reijosfood.com

Name Grotesk for restaurant may sound odd especially in Swedish, but regarding reader’s votes in local wine magazine, Viinilehti, it has the best wine bar in Helsinki and 2nd best in Finland.
After this review we also have new reijosfood.com leader in Helsinki, rankings can be found on page “Restaurant reviews – rankings”.

Restaurant Grotesk is fine dining restaurant with affordable prices and relaxed athmosphere located in Ludviginkatu 10. Guide Michelin has granted Bib Gourmand -rating to Grotesk Meatbar as a proof of good value for money and it is partly owned by same the chef’s as Michelin star restaurant Demo.

Instead of Meatbar we visited Grotesk Winebar, which has 3 small dining rooms and enjoyed 8 tapas dishes with wines chosen by sommelier Pekka Koiranen. And what a fireworks; you seldom see so many rare prestige delights one after the other.

Grotesk Winebar - reijosfood.com

First two portions were served with semi-dry Chenin Blanc 2007 from Loire. Was a little bit skeptic about semi-dry white wine but it did not differ much from dry. Perfect choice for both two first portions.

Dinner started with Oyster with tapioca and pomegranate. Oyster was easy to eat and had enough citrus acidity. Then we were served Foie gras with briosse, beetroot pyre and mustard ice cream. If you happen to like foie gras (it is not everyones favourite for many reasons) you would like this combination. Mustard ice cream was excellent realization.

Oyster - reijosfood.comFoie gras - reijosfood.com

Next two portions were served with dry Riesling from Austria. Totally different sense of taste due to minerals and acidity but well chosen white wine for next dishes.

Smoked scallop with quinoa plate was brought in covered by smoking glass vase which was upside down. When the vase was lifted enjoyable smell of smoke surrounded plate. Pity that I was not prepared to take a photo. Whitefish with red pepper crumb smelted in mouth, it was like mince as it was so soft. Both portions were superb!

Scallop - reijosfood.comWhitefish - reijosfood.com

First red wine served was Pinot Noir; medium-bodied with light red color.

Next delicacy with Pinot Noir was Sweetbread with black trumpet mushroom and shiitake. Sweetbread was perfectly cooked and fungus paired nicely with it. After that came Pork belly with cabbage. Some at the restaurant really did eat the pork lard but we did not, otherwise portion was excellent.

Sweetbread - reijosfood.comPork belly - reijosfood.com

Forth wine and second red wine was full-bodied andwell balanced Garnache from Spain. Again perfect choise to complement the taste of pleasure.

Quail legs were eaten with fingers. It would have been impossible to remove delicious and crisp meat with fork and knife. Tapas dinner was ended with Chicken liver which was yammy and well prepared. 8 tapas is not too much and they cost 44 €, affordable compared to quality and layout of portions.

Quail - reijosfood.comChicken liver - reijosfood.com

Grotesk Winebar earns 5- for overall grade because of ambitious set of voluptuous portions with affordable prices. Portions are really small but give you a chance to taste eats which usually are available in Michelin star restaurants but at much more higher prices. Our dinner took 3,5 hours, so restaurant is not fast food place. You really have time to enjoy the food and the wines or the wines and the food depending how you want to stress your dinner.

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

http://www.grotesk.fi/en/winebar-2/





Restaurant review: Muru

26 07 2013

Restaurant Muru

Muru, most popular fine dining bistro in Helsinki and Finland?

Restaurant Muru is a small bistro style restaurant located at Fredrikinkatu 41, Helsinki. Muru’s idea is to offer fresh food from the ingredients available daily without stiffness. Therefore menu is written only on blackboard on the wall and you just let the waiters and waitresses guide you.

You have to choose from 4 available starting times for dinner, first one at 5PM. Means that you have to be ready in 2 1/2 hours but if you take menu of the day, period of time is almost too short.

Muru menu

Since opening restaurant Muru has had tables reserved 2-3 months beforehand especially on Fridays and Saturdays. Also on Tuesday when we dined restaurant was full. Muru was chosen restaurant of the year 2011 which of course added popularity and in addition, chef’s and sommeliers are celebrities in Finland hosting food programs in TV. When we dined Henri Alen was in the kitchen and Samuil Angelov served in the dining room.

Decided to order menu of the day with wine pairings.  First we were served fresh bread with olive-artichoke tapenade which had a little bit too much citrus flavor.

Muru bread

For starter restaurant served Salmon-Roach ceviche with avocado creme which was tasty but maybe again a little bit too much flavor of citrus and acidity. Roach is Finnish white meated small fish which you seldom get in restaurants; 5 points for using it. Avocado creme softened acidity and was brilliant idea to combine with ceviche.

Salmon-roach chevice

For main courses we had Veal entrecote with vegetables, chanterelles and hollandaise sauce and Roasted whitefish with globe artichoke, scalded tomatoes and fish broth.

Veal was tender and did not include fat as entrecote usually does. Sauce suited well with meat and fresh vegetables completed portion, no need for some potato serving.

Whitefish was roasted perfectly and broth suited well creating the impression of bouillabaisse.

veal entrecoteWhitefish

18 months old Gouda cheese was served before dessert with Cherry compote. As cheese was not so salty compote did not need to be so sweet. Quite simple but worked well.

Cheese in Muru

For dessert menu included Cake made from almond flour, berry sauce and ice-cream or sorbet. Delicious ensamble which melted in your mouth, could have eaten at least three of these portions. You could find the taste of almond which of course was a big plus.

Cake

Can tell only briefly about the wines because did not write down the names except one.

Ciclope Rosso Toscano 2008 was served with the veal and it comes from Italy, Candialle winery owned by Finnish Jaakko Peränen. Paired well with meat and actually with gouda but because of amount of Merlot grape 50% would not recommend for aperitif. Unfotunately not available in Alko’s.

For ceviche, Italian white wine. For fish the choise was Savignon Blanc which is not our favourite grape. With dessert had glass of sweet wine, which paired perfectly with cake.

WinesRed wine

No wonder Muru is popular. Excellent food and service plus cozy and relaxed athmosphere. If wines would be more affordable overall grade would be 5 and exceed food and service grades also partly because of unique business idea.

However, with these points, Muru goes directly to shared first place 2013. Rankings can be found on page Restaurant Reviews.

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

http://www.murudining.fi/ravintola/in-english

http://www.candialle.com/english/winery.html

PS. Name Muru means Sugar or Crumb in English.

MuruMuru





Restaurant review: Saari

7 07 2013

Restaurant Saari

Restaurant Saari is located on the island Sirpalesaari about 1 km from the centre of Helsinki. Saari provides Finnish delicacies of the season from land and sea as well as stunning views and genuine maritime atmosphere.  A boat serves the island every hour and half from the Saari pier located on the shore of Merisatama close to Cafe Carusel. The crossing takes only a couple of minutes. Also a few berths are available for guests arriving at the restaurant aboard with their own boats. You can dine either in the dining room inside, in the “Captain’s Cabin” of the private room Sampo or on the outdoor terrace.

Restaurant Saari

Restaurant Saari

 

Because have enjoyed restaurant starter speciality couple of times before decided to compare portion to previous visits. Starter is called The secrets of Sirpalesaari island An assortment of Saari’s best appetizers (served 2 or more person).

Quite expensive starter but you do not necessarily need to eat main course if you are not starving. 4 person portion included this time spiced salmon, two herrings, pork loin, elk sausage, duck breast, new potatoes, salad, cheese, marinated onion and mushroom salad. Again cheerful assortment which did not let down. Whole serving was tasty and well prapared.

Restaurant Saari

For main courses ordered Fish catch of the day and Entrecôte of Åland lamb braised in rosemary stock warm salad of summer vegetables and marjoram sauce.

Fish was whitefish with barley risotto and mushroom sauce. Fish was a little bit over cooked and risotto included too much leek. Lamb was better than entrecote because there was almost none grease. Meat was really tender and side dishes matched well with the lamb.

Whitefish at SaariLamb at Saari

For desserts had An assortment of cheeses from small Finnish cheese producers with Åby manor’s crisp bread and season’s fruit or berry compot and Saari’s traditional pine tar ice cream home-made blueberry and raspberry jam, oat bisquit (classic dish since 2000). Peltola Blue cheese (similar to roquefort) was the best piece of cheeses which also included goat cheese and gryerere with buckthorn compot. Ice cream was pimped by request and jam was replaced with fresh strawberries, really tasty.

CheesesIce cream

Be sure not to anger connection boat driver, if you come with your own boat. Because of variable weather restaurant had decided not to serve outside which was a little bit dissappointment. At least starter would have been nice to eat at the terrace, but rain would have interrupted dinner later. However choose Saari instead of Saaristo if you want to enjoy good food in a relaxed athmosphere. Especially starter we had is worth to try.

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

DSC04052

http://www.asrestaurants.com/EN/restaurants/saari/presentation.html

You can also find summary of island restaurants via https://reijosfood.com/2012/07/04/island-restaurants-in-helsinki/





Restaurant review: Saaristo

22 06 2013

Restaurant SaaristoKlippan

Restaurant Saaristo (Archipelago in English) is located on the Klippan island. You can see the Empire-Helsinki skyline in the North and walls and bastions of King Gustav style Suomenlinna in the South. Jugend style villa that was built in 1898 but you can still admire the crafty and romantic Jugend style wood cuts and wood-carved animals in the beams and balconies.

Restaurant SaaristoRestaurant Saaristo barShip

Saaristo’s menu offers delicacies of Scandinavian cuisine. A connection boat serves from the Saaristo’s pier located south of the Olympia terminal, next to the Peace Statue. Summer restaurant which is open from May to September, is one of the rare places open on Midsummer’s Eve. Other restaurants are closed because most of the Helsinki residents rush to their summer cottages. Maybe Saaristo should also be closed in Midsummer because there were few diners and head waiter was sort of displeased. We had to wait 10 minutes while he served customers it the bar.

Saaristo boat

For starters had fresh local fish which are always refreshing especially in the summer. Ordered Whitefish à la ice-cellar whitefish roe and cauliflower prepared in two ways and Slightly cooked salmon cured with sugar and salt herbs of the House and fennel seed marinated cucumber. Both portions were excellent! Whitefish was really crisp and cauliflowers suited well with it. Roe was maybe needless because it did not match so well to ensemble. Salmon was also really high quality fish and wholeness perfect.

Ice cellar whitefishSalmon at Saaristo

For main courses had Sirloin of reindeer roasted with herbs truffle potato and dark porcini sauce and Arctic char smoked with Pihlajavesi alder Jerusalem artichoke ravioli and lobster butter. Reindeer was maybe the weakest link although it was crisp. Meat was ordered as medium but it was almost raw. Arctic char was smoked with skill and kithen could take well into consideration wishes we had.

Reindeer at SaaristoArctic Char at Saaristo

For dessert ordered An assortment of Nordic cheeses nut bread and honey seasoned with Saaristo’s lavender and waiters recommendation with it RIVESALTES AMBRÉ 2000, Cazes, AOC Rivesaltes, France. Cheeses were from Finland, Denmark and Sweden; Nordic ensemble. All of them were really tasty and sweet wine paired perfectly with them.

Cheeses at SaaristoSweet wineSweet wine

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

Restaurant Saaristo is good choice of those about 5 other island restaurants in front of the Helsinki. It is expensive if we take into account sizes of portions and price of 1 minute water taxi trip. Service in the table would have been 4/5 but happenings from restaurant door to the table dropped points.

http://www.asrestaurants.com/EN/restaurants/saaristo/presentation.html

One nice thing to watch after dinner were the sea birds with their cubs. Seagulls and Barnacle gooses had just got addition to their families and were taking care of them.

Seagull





Asian style whitefish and whole-grain rice

3 03 2013

This ASIAN STYLE WHITEFISH WITH WHOLE-GRAIN RICE is propably easiest and quickest to prepare, least messy, really healthy and on top of all one of the most delicious fish foods ever! Two important things to succeed; tasty marinad and right baking time in oven. Whitefish (lavaret) is popular fish in Finland, fish meat looks like Sea bass but usually size of the fish is smaller. This time we were able to find quite nice pieces from Stockmann Helsinki department store.

WhitefishWhitefish and rice

Recipe (2 portions)

400 g whitefish (scaled and fish bones blucked out)

Thai basilica

1 Red chili

1 Lemon

Salt, sugar and pepper

Teriayki soy sauce

Vegetable oil

Instruction: Prepare marinade by mixing squeezed lemon juice, vegetable oil and teriayki soy sauce. Chop chili and thai basilica and add them to marinade. Add salt, pepper and enough sugar to marinade so that it is not too bitter due to fresh lemon. Pour 3/4 of marinade in baking dish, put fish slices on marinade skin side up and pour rest of the marinade on top of fish.

Bake fish in the oven for 15-20 minutes depending on the size of fish pieces. Remember not to over cook! If fish lays on marinade a littke bit longer it has begun to mature due acids in lemon.

Cook rice in a pot according cooking instructions on the package while fish is in the oven.

WhitefishCitron and chili

Preparing time for portion is less than 30 minutes if you can get whitefish, which is already scaled and even bones plucked out. No fat, not too much salt because of other spices.








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