I felt like sushi today. But I was aware of that the best favorite sushi restaurant in the town, Wagocoro, was closed this week. I wondered where I could have decent, not necessarily the best sushi in Helsinki city center. It didn’t have to be sushi but I wanted to have raw fish (sashimi) and rice since I had had heavy meals recently.
There are many many sushi restaurants in Helsinki now but most of them, for me, is not quite right. Often, those chefs never had decent sushi. There was only one place I could think of going today. It was Koto. They have decent variety and decent taste as Japanese restaurant.
I had no idea about the location when I saw the address. It meant it wasn’t in the city centre of Helsinki. But but but, somewhat the article in the online news made me think I must go there despite the article was in Finnish which I don’t understand as much as English.
Though it’s reached easily by metro from Helsinki city centre, we had a car on the day and drove to Rastila camping site. Yes, it’s located in the camping site, unexpected location for gourmet restaurant. There were many camping cars at the site.
For lunch, our choice was grilled salmon. We knew what to order when we saw the day’s lunch menu online before coming here 🙂 And it was the right choice! I think other dishes are equally good though. Well, we like salmon 🙂
More than salmon, however, I was super impressed by the potatoes under the salmon (Hope you can see them!). I am not a big fan of potatoes. I usually skip to eat it. Often, I even ask the chef not to put any potatoes on the plate. But I, of course, tasted it at this gourmet restaurant.
The potatoes were so delicious that I couldn’t leave any bit on the plate. I was really full but couldn’t stop! It was one of the best potatoes I had ever eaten. (I’ve never imagined I would write about potatoes with this much passion 😉 )
If I remember correctly, it was July when we first planned to go to Olipa Kerran and booked a table for a Sunday morning. A friend sent me a link to a blog which wrote about the lovely brunch at the hotel which is located only 5 min walk from my home. The pictures looked irresistible. I immediately agreed with the brunch friends to go there. But that morning, I had a severe headache and couldn’t leave the bed. Sweets friends decided not to go there without me as they knew how much I had been looking forward to going there.
Some of us were away from the city during summer and we finally got there today! I had been excited about it for a couple of weeks since we booked a table (once again).
The interior decoration, especially colors, was super lovely. One of us said, “even on a cold and snowy day, if you came here, you would feel warm and happy.” And everyone agreed. There was atmosphere which makes us happy.
Of course, it wasn’t only decoration and atmosphere. Selection of food was one of the best I’ve ever had in Helsinki 🙂 Most importantly, they had lovely lovely LOVELY pancakes with maple syrup! (I admit that pancake was one of the most decisive reason why I so wanted to go there 😉 I am crazy for pancakes as much as I wonder if I would choose pancakes or sushi as my last supper 😉 and as much as I eat it everyday when I visit Honolulu, Hawaii or any other cities in the US 😉 Though there are salad, cheese and other salty dishes, I started my brunch with the lovely pancakes.
I also loved berry smoothies in tiny glasses. It is very sensible to serve it in a small portion as we could try more variety of dishes when each portion is small 🙂 Bacon, cheese, salad, etc. etc. were also very good. All of us overate with overwhelming joy. (I don’t think I am exaggerating!) It was a perfect Sunday brunch with great friends.
“Olipa Kerran” means “once upon a time” in Finnish. Theme of the decoration is something old. There were some old items in the restaurant.
I had known about the shop but hadn’t known that they were serving such lovely lunch. When we were talking about going for lunch, I remembered that the friend had mentioned she had been to eat Vietnamese rolls before. So, I said I would like to try it and we went to Rulla today. Their food was fresh and healthy. I liked that we could eat a lot of vegetable, beans and nuts.
At 9.30€, we could choose three different Vietnamese rolls and salad. There were two different kinds of salad you could choose. Both of us chose sweet potato salad. (I chose it as I like it and it is one of the super foods :)) My choices of Vietnamese rolls were salmon+avocado, duck, and spicy shrimp+mango. As soon as we ordered, we said we wouldn’t be able to finish the dishes. Salad was plenty and spring rolls were not that small.
We didn’t find knives and we concluded we had to eat rolls with fingers. I actually had tried to use two folks to cut the rolls in edible size at first but it didn’t work.The filling came out from the wrap and it didn’t stay as a roll. (would have been the same if I used knife!). Also the wet wipe convinced us it is finger food 🙂
Rulla is small part of an organic shop which not only sells lovely organic cosmetics but also nicely designed clothes and the other cool stuff. We looked at the stuff after having lunch, of course 🙂
Blue sky and sunshine! Weather was gorgeous today in Helsinki. I decided to walk to the restaurant where I planned to have lunch with a friend who told me the restaurant seems to have nice bread. (we love bread!!!) When I went out, I realized it wasn’t such a good idea to walk there. It was cold with strong wind. When I opened the door of Qulma, however, I thought it was a great idea to come there welcomed by the super-friendly owner 🙂
As I felt very cold after walking in the cold weather, I chose soup buffet without the second thought. Especially borsch was appealing originated from the other cold country, Russia and I started with a bowl of borsch out of three different kinds of soup at the buffet.
I tried the other two different soup, mushroom soup and vegetable soup. Both of them were nice but I so loved the borsch and had another bowl at the end! Four bowls of soup! Even though size of a bowl was small, it was much more than I usually eat. (I have such small tummy! and you would agree with me if you had dined with me 🙂 ) I was really full but I couldn’t help trying over my limit 😉
When we talked with the owner, he told us how passionate he was about food and I could see his passion manifesting through their food and how the restaurant serves the customers. Recently, I feel importance of doing what one is passionate about more and more. It was absolute joy to witness sincere passion at such a lovely restaurant 🙂
Turkish yogurt with sweet mint pesto, fried cinnamon & sugar seeds and chili apricot is one of the outcomes of his culinary exploration. Marc, the owner, told us he tried a lot to find perfect taste in the mint pesto and indeed it was yummy! Not only the pesto but also all of them tasted great! (He also told us the pesto goes with many other food, such as berries!)
Qulma seems to have a lot of fans and I am one of the newest fans 🙂 Many celebrities have enjoyed their joyful food. You would find pictures of them on the wall if you visited Qulma. Marc told us those pictures are also his passion : ) Also you find some of them in their Facebook page.(I l already “like”d the page :))
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 🙂
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.)
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.
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!
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 🙂
“Could Helsinki be one of the best places for brunch in the world?”, I wondered this morning while I was having brunch at Mille Mozzarelle in my neighborhood. Mille Mozzarelle used to be a small Italian grocery shop on the other street in Punavuori, Helsinki. They moved to the street in the same neighborhood and opened a restaurant+shop next to my favorite German bakery.
The brunch started with a glass of juice (either mango orange juice or mango pineapple juice) followed by beautiful bruschette (picture at the top)! At least two different kinds of hams and different kinds of paste on the crispy bread. It made us all smiley!!! Two of us (five in total) usually choose vegetarian, but today, both chose non-veggie (i.e. original) brunch. When we saw such gorgeous-looking Italian hams at the show window (fridge), it looked absolutely right thing to do not to choose vegetarian! When we had bruschette generously topped with tasty hams, we all agreed the choice was right 🙂
The main dish brought us further joy! Hams, mozzarella cheese (a big piece behind salad!), and another three pieces of cheese, a slice of melon, grapes, sausage with salad and focaccia. Yogurt was served together with the main dish.
The finale of the brunch was lovely dessert! Dolce (dessert) is very very important when it comes to Italian. I have a firm belief, “I have to eat dolce if I eat Italian! Italian meal. Without dolce, I can’t say I ate Italian”. 😉 (Hope Italian friends agree with me 🙂 ) After main dish, my tummy was totally full. But!, when I saw such lovely dolce, suddenly my tummy made good enough space for it 🙂 Balance of sweetness of the cream and sourness of the blueberries of dolce gave us great satisfaction!
I felt like eating pasta for lunch. I thought about great pasta dishes I had in Italy a month ago. I thought about where I could have the best pasta in the town (i.e. Helsinki). Then I remembered two Italian restaurants an Italian classmate at Finnish language course recommended some time ago. Both of them are in my neighborhood, Punavuori 🙂 And I hadn’t been either of them. So, I went to one of them, Ravintola Nerone today.
I had passed in front of the restaurant many times before but, honestly, never had thought it was such a great restaurant but thought it was a Finnish pub with Italian name. (and there is a pub next to the restaurant…) But when I opened the door, it was packed with people enjoying pizza, pasta and other lunch plates! It looked absolutely promising 🙂
Looking at the menu carefully, I chose penne with gamberi (shrimps) and gorgonzola cheese sauce. Plenty of penne served with bread… It tasted great! I don’t know how to describe the taste but it was balanced well. It tasted “comfortable” (I know “comfortable” is usually not a word to describe the taste but I would like to express the taste with it) . I also appreciated bread with penne. I always crave bread when I eat pasta.
A friend enjoyed yummy pizza Napoletana . “We are proud to serve one of the best pizza in Helsinki”, Nerone says in the web page. I will try their pizza next time. (I will most likely have Margerita had a belief Pizza Margerita could tell quality of pizza at each restaurant 😉 )
一緒に行った友達はピザナポレターナをおいしく食す。 “We are proud to serve one of the best pizza in Helsinki” (ヘルシンキで一番おいしいピザを出しています) と、お店のweb pageに書いてあるこの店。今日は行く前からパスタ気分であったのだが、次回は私もピザを食べたい(そしてピザなら絶対マルゲリータ。店のピザの味を確かめるならマルゲリータとなぜか思っている私。;-))
By the way, I liked Nerone for the inexpensive prices as well as the tasty food. As to lunch, It’s only slightly more expensive than canteen of the company I used to work 😉 Even dinner menu is inexpensive.