Coffee & Pastry from Karelia – “Konditoria Hopia” @ Helsinki

How many more cafes do I need to go to get to know all good cafes in Helsinki? It seems endless! And that is good news as I am not going to be bored here 😉



I knew almost nothing about this cafe when I went there first time except I’d heard it has the best Karelian pie (karjalanpiirakka, if you know Finnish) in Helsinki. The first time I went there with a friend, the tables were fully occupied and I did take away some pastries including Karelian pie. At that time, what got my eyes was the sign at the entrance. It said, “kahvila (coffee shop), konditoria (confectionery). I wondered if I had seen sign of “konditoria” anywhere else in Finland. The word “konditoria” made me think the cafe & confectionery “Hopia” must be a promising place for coffee break. (In my mind, the word “confectionery” is always the sign of excellent sweet food producers but I don’t know why.) The pastries I took away were pretty nice but I wasn’t sure if the Karelian pie was the best in Helsinki. I really wanted to try to have coffee and pastry at the cafe.

カレリア・パイ(日本では紀伊国屋でも売っているお米がのっているパイ)がヘルシンキで一番おいしいと聞いたこのお店、初めて行ったときは満席で仕方なくその有名なカレリ・アパイと何個かほかのペーストリーを買って帰ってきたのだった。この店に行ったといに一番印象に残ったのはその看板。”kahvila (コーヒーショップ), konditoria (コンフェクショナリー・菓子製造業)” と書かれているのをみてなんだかいい予感がしたのだ。 (私の中ではコンフェクショナリーという言葉がその道のプロっぽいいうイメージなのだが、どうしてそう思うのかは自分でも定かではない・・・) まあ そんなこんなでテイクアウトしたペーストリーの味がどうだったのかというとおいしかったのだが、カレリアパイがヘルシンキで一番おいしいのかどうかは確信できなかった。でも あのお店で食べてみたいのだ・・・


Yesterday, noticing sun was shining nicely outside, I wanted to go for photo-shooting. So, I went out with a camera and ended up with a place I didn’t know where I was. Luckily, I found a bus stop where I could take bus back to the city center. (And I always have a phone with GPS, of course! ) Since I felt cold after walking a lot outside, I felt like coffee and pulla. (maybe, pulla is the best food when it is cold 😉  When the bus was going through Töölö area, I suddenly thought about “Hopia“and got off at the nearest bus stop to the cafe.

雪か曇りの日ばかりの冬ではあるが、今週は日の光が降り注ぐ日もあって、そんな日は外に出ていたい、と誰もが思う。昨日もとてもよいお天気。太陽の光が雪に反射してまぶしいのでサングラスが必要なほど。こんな日は写真を撮りたい・・・とカメラを持って出かけた私。美しい景色を求めて見知らぬ場所を歩き続けて、たどり着いたのはいったいどこなのか、いまひとつ分からず・・・が、しばらく撮影をした後、無事ヘルシンキに戻るバスのバス停を発見。しかしだいぶ歩き回ったので体が冷えた感じ。そんなときはやっぱりカフェに行きたい、と思うのが人情である(って私だけかしらん?) どこのカフェに行こうかしらと考えながら乗っていたバスの中でTöölöを通過中に思いついたのがHopia。今日は座れるかも・・・。そんなわけで近くのバス停で下車。



There were tables available and I had really nice korvapuusti (the one in the photo just above this paragraph) and coffee. (I somewhat didn’t feel like Karelian pie but something sweet 😉

今回はテーブルも空いていたので プッラとコーヒーを頼んでゆっくり味わう。(カレリアパイをお店で食べて見たいと思ったけど、今日は甘いものの気分だった・・・)

According to their webpage, The cafe has been there since 1949 started by Emma Hopia evacuated from Sortavala (I had to look at wikipedia to find out where it is and what was there to evacuate from and you can follow the link  to find it out). Emma founded the cafe to bring Karelian cafe and pastry culture to Helsinki. (Sortavala is part of Karelian area) And the tradition continues till now.

後でこのお店のウェブページを見たところ、操業は1949年。ソルタヴァラという場所からヘルシンキに非難してきた Emma Hopia が始めたお店。(なぜ非難してきたかということについてはこちらで。私もその歴史については知らなかったのでwikipediaで調べた次第。) 彼女の出身地であるカレリア地方(ソルタヴァラはカレリア地方にある)のカフェとペーストリーのカルチャーをヘルシンキに紹介するというのがカフェのテーマだったらしい。Hopiaはその伝統を今も守り続けている。

What I observed at this cafe… It’s really popular among locals. Customers were coming in all the times. Most of customers having coffee in the shop were on their own including myself. They (or we) just had coffee and pulla quietly reading newspapers. It felt awkward to take pictures but I knew they wouldn’t mind as I have heard the cafe was in Japanese magazine. It seems customers simply love to have coffee and pulla at Hopia. I also liked to be in such a local cafe with nice coffee and pulla. It’s very Finnish cafe not only from what they serve but also from their opening-hours-point of view. It’s open from 8am to 5pm from Monday to Friday and closed on Saturday and Sunday.





Which One Did You Like the BEST?/Laskiaispulla 2013


Cafe Akvamarine


Huvilan Kahvila


Kawa cafe
cafebar Luomus

In the Facebook,  I saw a lot of posts and discussions about laskiaispulla mostly by Japanese friends living in Finland recently. Somewhat, laskiaispulla seems to be popular among us, Japanese :) I had pulla at five different cafes this year.  Which was the best? I can’t really say. All of them were different and good. I often wish there were more choices for many things when I go shopping in Finland. When it comes to laskiaispulla, however, there are a lot of  choices. Nice, isn’t it? :) (BTW, cream in between buns are not that sweet. I think that is the reason why I like it so much and can eat it four days in a row 😉




Twisted Street Kitchen opened YESTERDAY!!!

 IMG_2857 IMG_2866

Ever since I’d heard about the plan to open Thai restaurant next to my favorite Kawa cafe, I have been waiting for the opening. A friend asked me we we could go for lunch today at the beginning of the week and I wondered if the Thai restaurant was going to open SOON. Just yesterday, I noticed the post by Kawa cafe that the Twisted Street Kitchen, the much waited Thai restaurant, was opened!!! Hurray 🙂

お気に入りの場所 Kawa cafeが隣にテイクアウトがメインのタイ料理屋を開くと聞いてからオープンの日を待ち望んでいた店。週の初めに友達からランチのお誘いがあり、どこにしようかと話していたのだが、もしやそのタイ料理屋がいいタイミングでオープンしないだろうか・・・と思っていた矢先 (願いは通じるもの ;-)), Facebookでオープンのお知らせが!昨日オープンしたばかりのTwisted Street Kitchen、今日早速友達とランチに行ってきた。


So, we went to the sister restaurant of Kawa cafe, “Twisted Street Kitchen,”  which serves Thai food mainly for take away but has three tables for the customers who want to eat at the restaurant. Both friends and I had their signature dish, Mussamam curry, which was not hot spicy though it was seasoned with different spices. It was creamy and mild and went very well with the spicy Thai salad,“som tam“(papaya salad), Carita, the chef, told us that she lived in Thailand having a Thai roommate. She liked food there and learnt how to cook them!



The Twisted Street Kitchen reminded me of Tokyo. To me, it looked like one of the popular Asian restaurants girls wold love to go in Tokyo. I liked to be eating at the restaurant which interior decoration is simple and nice in the same way as in Kawa cafe 🙂

お店の雰囲気は、なんだか東京を思い出す感じ。表参道とか下北沢とかにあって女子に人気が出そうなシンプルで素敵なインテリア。そしておしゃれに盛りつかられたタイ料理。Kawa cafe の姉妹店だけあっていつもKawa cafeで感じる心地のよさをこのレストランでも感じたのだった。

Morning Coffee & Laskiaispulla @ Kannistonleipomo

“Kannistonleipomo” is the best bakery in Finland, in my opinion. Their bread and pulla are the best! Luckily, again, I live only 5-min walk away from Kanniston in Punavuori and their bread is always on my table for breakfast.



This morning, I went to the bakery to buy a loaf of bread and have a coffee & laskiaispulla which I wrote about yesterday. I like their laskiaispulla the best among the ones I have eaten so far. (read my old post Laskiaispulla – It’s Shrove Tuesday for my research on laskiaispulla last year 🙂 Those pullas were lovely in their show windows!

今朝は、パンを買うだけじゃなくてシーズンもののlaskiaispullaとコーヒーをイートインコーナーでいただいた。モーニングコーヒータイム。laskiaispullaはこのシーズンどこのカフェでもパン屋でもスーパーでも売っているのだが私はカンニストのものが一番好き。何につけてもこの店、クオリティが高いのだ。それでいて値段は普通、というかほかの店より安いことが多い。本当に普通のパン屋なのだ。が、ほんとうにおいしいものを作っている。(ちなみに昨年どこのプッラがおいしのかということを書いているのでご参考に。Laskiaispulla – It’s Shrove Tuesday) ショーウィンドーに飾られたプッラもとてもキュート。


Kannistonleipomo is not exactly a cafe but a bakery with a couple of tables and some chairs for the customer who would liked to have coffee and pulla or sandwiches (or just a cup of coffee) in the shop. I like the time I spend there with coffee and pulla. Pulla is yummy (any pulla you choose at Kanniston!) and coffee is organic (no choice but only organic!) Customers are mostly from Punavuori neighborhood (according to my observation).  I like such a local bakery of mine 🙂 (They have two other branches in Helsinki city center.)





Cuppa with Laskiaispulla @ The Design Museum Helsinki on Shrove Sunday


It was very very relaxing Sunday without any big plans today. I had laid-back coffee time with a friend the cafebar Luomus at the Design Museum which is located only 5-minute walk from my flat.



It’s a season for laskiaispulla. This morning, I noticed I haven’t eaten the Finnish cardamon-spiced bun for Shrove days yet this year. Laskiaispulla is one of my most favorite food in Finland and every year, I try to eat it as much as possible during the season as they are available only during the season. (please read my old posts to get to know more about laskiaispulla. Links at the bottom)

今は laskiaispullaのシーズン。私の大好物のクリームが大量に挟まったプッラのシーズンなのだが、今年は実はまだ1つも食べてないことに気づいたのが今朝。シーズン中しか出回らないこのプッラ、例年、できるだけたくさん食べようと思っていたのに今年は出遅れ気味。(このプッラについては去年も食べ比べなどして書いているので一番下にあるリンクから過去の記事をご覧ください。)

I had hoped they would have it and they did 🙂 Their laskiaispulla was not that big and not that overwhelming creamy but it looked original. It tasted good but it wasn’t that special.

デザインミュージアムのカフェに laskiaispullaがありますように~と思いながら 行ってみるとやっぱりあった 🙂 シーズンものなのだ。このプッラは標準より少し小ぶり、かつクリームも少し控えめ・・・(というかこれがちょうどいいのかもしれないが 私はあの圧倒感のある大量のクリームが大好き(笑。) おいしくいただいたけれどこれといって特別感はない感じだった。


The cafe had pictures of different chair designs on the wall and each one of the chairs in the cafe was different. Yes, the cafe is in the Design Museum 😉 We could smell the wood the chairs were made of and it made me feel relaxed 🙂 Most of the table were occupied (before I took this picture ;-)) but people kept their voice low as they do in the museum and it was suited to my mood of snowy low key Sunday.

カフェの壁にはいすのデザインが・・・そしてカフェのいすは1つ1つが違うデザイン。(デザインミュージアムっぽい。) いすから木材の香りがしてとてもよい感じ。リラックス感満点。下の写真を見るとカフェには誰もいなかったかのように見えるが、写真を撮る前はほとんど埋まっていたのだ。でもみんな美術館にいる延長で静かに話していたのでなんだかそれが今日の私のムードにぴったりだった。今日もまた雪。なんかのんびり過ごしたい日曜日だった。


When we were leaving the museum building, we noticed the entrance hall was beautiful!



More posts about “laskiaispulla” in my blog

Laskiaispulla – It’s Shrove Tuesday
Laskiaispulla – Finnish seasonal cardamon-spiced bun

Fabulous Lunch @ Paris #1 – L’Ecailler du Bistrot

“Fabulous” is the best word I could possibly find in my vocabularies to describe the lunch we had last weekend in Paris. I think it was the best meal I’d ever had in France and one of the best meals I had ever had in my life.

具合が悪くなるちょっと前、先週末はパリで過ごした。土曜日にはたまたまパリにいた日本の友達と合流しておいしいものを食べに行こうという計画。事前のリサーチでピンと来たお店での素敵ランチ、それはもう”Fabulous” (素晴らしい!)っていう言葉が世界で一番ぴったりする感じだった。


We chose oysters as starter. Oyster was the reason why we chose L’Ecailler du Bistrot. We had Brittney oysters and Normandy oysters to compare them following the very kind waiter’s recommendation. We definitely liked Normandy ones better than Brittney though both were pretty good.

フランスにこの時期行くなら牡蠣を食べたい。選んだお店はシーフードレストラン、 L’Ecailler du Bistrot。前菜はもちろん牡蠣。お店の人にお薦めを聞いてノルマンディーとブリタにーの牡蠣の味比べをすることに。軽めでちょっと塩味の強いブリタにーよりも、身がしっかりしているノルマンディーのほうが私たちの好み。


A friend had scallops and I had robuster as main dish. The scallops looked amazing! It was beautifully presented and tasted gorgeous! We were speechless (I, of course, got one piece from her!!!) At the first glance, I wasn’t really impressed by my robuster as it was served with creamy sauce. My ideal robuster dish had been the one simply cooked only with butter, salt and pepper. BUT!!! I was wrong. The sauce was delicious and combination of firm fresh robuster meat was super 🙂

私のメインはロブスター、友達のメインは帆立貝。帆立貝のグリルはなんともビューティフル。こんな美しいホタテは見たことない。そしてお味も最高!(もちろん味見させてもらった ;-)) ロブスターのお皿をみたときは実はちょっとがっかりした。私の好みのロブスター料理はバターと塩・こしょうだけでシンプルに調理したものなのだが、ここのロブスターはクリーミーなソースと一緒に出てきたのだ。が・・・ 食べてみるとそのソースも身の引き締まったどちらもとても美味。というかコンビネーションが最高。がっかりした自分を反省である(笑。


While we were waiting for dessert to be served, I went to the bathroom. When I was coming back to the table, I saw the super-gorgeous dessert!!! WoW!!! What is it? Of course, I knew I ordered apple dessert with caramel and vanilla ice-cream. But I didn’t imagine anything like that. Thin slices of apple compote were arranged in a circle, decorated with yummy caramel, topped with vanilla ice cream. I loved the apple slices which still had crunchiness of raw apple. It looked a big dish but I easily and joyfully finished it 🙂

デザートを待つ間に化粧室に行って席に戻ってくると・・・というか 遠めにテーブルの上に置かれたデザートを見てびっくり!!! なにこれ~?すごい! 確かりんごのデザートでキャラメルソースとバニラアイスクリームののったものを注文したのだが。席についてじっくり見てみると。それはもちろんりんごとキャラメルソースとバニラアイス。軽くコンポートにしてまだシャキシャキ感の残ったりんごのスライスが美しく円形に敷き詰められてその上をこれまた美しいキャラメルの波が・・・そして中央にアイスクリーム。一見、こんなに食べられるの?と思ったけど甘すぎず新鮮なりんごはとても軽く、すっかり完食。



Fabulous, indeed! We loved our lunch time at L’Ecailler du Bistrot. By the way, I was impressed by their menu. There is no meat as it is a seafood restaurant!!! (I don’t know if it’s nothing special in France not to have meat in the menu at seafood restaurants but I don’t remember if I had been to restaurants which don’t serve meat dish at all unless they were veggie restaurants.)

The restaurant doesn’t have own web page but I read about it in Timeout Paris, checked more information at the Google Plus page and asked the hotel reception to book a table for us.


このレストランは独自のWebページがないのだが Timeout Paris で読んでピンと来た。さらにGoogle Plus pageで情報を調べて泊まったホテルに頼んで予約してもらったとう次第。私たちが行ったランチタイムは特に予約しなくても席は空いていたのだが、やっぱり念のため予約はしたほうがよいかと思われる。おいしいからきっと人気。

Italian for Joy? Absolutely! – Il Bucatino @ Helsinki


I had been really sick since the beginning of the week. I hadn’t been able to eat very much or I didn’t have any appetite. Neither cuppa nor food had been for joy anymore…. UNTIL.. .TODAY!!! I felt much better last evening and agreed to go for lunch with a friend today. I suggested to go to one of the two Italian restaurants an Italian friend recommended me . (Another one was Nerone I have written about.)

週の初めから体調を崩してまったく食欲が出なかった・・・というか 食べられなかったというか・・・グルメな私の楽しみ、おいしいものを食べることも、素敵なカフェでお茶することも、まったくできない日が数日・・・。でも!今日から復活。以前書いNeroneを薦めてくれたイタリア人の友達のもう1つのお薦め、Il Bucatinoで素敵なランチを堪能!

Il Bucatino looked quite sophisticated. Yet lunch menu was quite affordable. I had Pizza Genovese (tomato, mozzarella, basilica pesto, 10€) and a friend had Bucatini alla Amatriciana (bucatini pasta, bacon, onion, tomato sauce 10€). There was the third choice, beef dish.

なんだかとても洗練されたレストラン、というのがお店に着いたときの第一印象。でもランチのお値段はお手ごろ。行く前からピザと決めていった私はピザ・ジェノヴェーゼ (トマト、モッツァレーラチーズ、バジルソー ス 10€)、友達はブカチーニ アッラ アマトリチャーナ(ブカチーニパスタ、ベーコン、オニオン、トマトソース10€)を選択。ランチメニューのチョイスは日替わりで3つ。今日のもう1つのメニューはビーフだった。


When dishes were served, they look so promising! They were beautiful and looked really delicious! We quickly did photo-shoot and started enjoying the lovely food!!! Mozzarella on the pizza was awesome (so fresh!!!) and I really liked that the pizza was quite light. With my small tummy, I usually can’t finish a whole pizza but I easily finished it with smile 🙂 The bucatini pasta was cooked al dente perfectly and yummy!

テーブルに運ばれてきた料理を見て、超盛り上がるわれわれ。どう見てもおいしそう!!!見た目も美しい。恒例の写真撮影は手早く済ませてさっそく味見。ピザにのったモッツァレーラはとてもフレッシュで美味。薄い生地のピザ、食感も軽く、胃にもたれない感じがさらによい。いつもだったらピザ1枚完食できない胃の小さい私だが、本日は軽くこなす 🙂 ブカチーニパスタも味見させてもらったがアルデンテでソースもデリシャス。

We also tasted dessert. But for me, Torta Il Bucatino, which I choose from ala carte menu, was too sweet. I think I will try geleto next time 😉

せっかくだからデザートもいただいたのだが最近甘すぎるものが苦手な私の頼んだTorta Il Bucatinoはちょっと甘すぎ(これは個人の好みによるのだが)。次回はジェラートにしてみようとすでに決めたのだった(笑。


It was another day of heavy snow.But, luckily, this restaurant is, again, in my neighborhood, Punavuori, Helsinki, I could easily walk in the snow. On the way home, I wondered if I would call Punavuori “Little Little Italy” of Helsinki (you know there is Little Italy in NY ;-)) from my wonderful dining experience at Nerone, Mille Mozzarelle and Il Bucatino 🙂 Well, probably it’s not that great idea.  Punavuori has much more than Italian 🙂

本日もまたまた大雪。あまり外出したくない天気ではあったが、このレストラン、またまた家のすごく近所、Punavuori内。というわけで悪天候でも軽く歩いて行ってきた。帰り道に Punavuori を ヘルシンキのリトル・リトル・イタリーと呼んでみようかと思ったりした(ニューヨークのリトルイタリーの真似である)。以前書いた Nerone, Mille Mozzarelle と本日のIl Bucatino、いずれも Punavuori にあって 超おいしいイタリアンの店なのだ。が・・・Punavuori の魅力はイタリアンだけではない。もっともっといろんな種類のお店や、レストラン、そしてカフェがあるのだ。もっと素敵なニックネームが必要かもね。