Posts Tagged ‘Reijosfood’

Ristorante e Taverna Vaelsa, Pohjoisesplanadi 9, Helsinki, Finland by guest author, Reijosfood

Pohjoisesplanadi, Helsinki, Finland

This article was first published on Reijosfood.com on 18, June 2017 and can be found at Ristorante e Taverna Vaelsa,https://reijosfood.com/2017/06/18/restaurant-review-taverna-vaelsa/.


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 VeganaZucchini, 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

Noa – Tallinn, Estonia by guest author Reijosfood

This article was first published on 22.04.17 on https://reijosfood.com/2017/04/22/restaurant-review-noa-tallinn-estonia/


NOA is a seaside restaurant on the border of Tallinn and Viimsi, Estonia, seating 80 people. The NOA dining room has been built on three different levels allowing guests to see the view of the Old Town silhouette across the bay. When putting together the menu, restaurant has not committed to any specific ingredients, countries or locations, but rather focused on creating an equal experience to all vege, seafood and meat eaters.

For aperitives decided to order NV Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne AOC, France and Gin tonic made from worlds best gin, Napue, Finland. With sea view, perfect drinks to start the dinner.


Before starters restaurant offers fresh bread and spreading, which both tasted excellent. Big box instead of plate, at least kept the pieces of bread warm.

For starters ordered Crispy seafood and chips with cuttlefish sauce, coriander, lime and potatoes and Grill “Caesar” with romaine lettuce, asparagus (& cheese).

Seafood included pieces of mussel, octopus and some white meated fish, which I can not remember any more. Anyhow all pieces (finger food) were perfectly prepared. Chips were one of the best ever tasted; there was some spice on them, which made them scrumptious. And sauce paired well both with crispy fish and potatoes.

It was not your ordinary Caesar salad.  Warm, but fresh served with seasonal veggie, in this case asparagus.  A simple, but tasty starter.

For main courses had Octopus pasta Homemade pasta, wine and butter sauce, tomato garlic, pepper, grispy panko and Eggplant “burnt end” (Goat’s cheese curd), crispy vegetables, smoked tomato

Pasta was cooked as it should be, al dente, and it was still hot. That is difficult combination! Octopus was crispy and fresh, very tasty on top of all. Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb, but as the amount was small, it just completed the dish.

The eggplant dish was served with cranberry sauce which gave the dish a bit of a sour taste.  The crispy vegetables made for a nice addition.

For wine ordered 2011 Chateauneuf-du-Pape AOC, Chateau Mont Redon, Rhone, France. Full-bodied and round. It paired perfectly with the dishes eaten.

Restaurant Noa (a la carte) serves excellent food, dining room is cozy and athmosphere relaxed. One could also choose 11 course menu on separate dining room with white table clothes.

Service was professional and polite. Kitchen had just changed menu, which meant that had to wait for main courses quite a long time. Due to delay, restaurant offered Limoncello’s for digestive for free. Must say that they were better than ever had, even better than in Italy! But delay had a small impact on service rating.

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

Lemon Tree Garden – Rethymnon, Crete by guest author Reijosfood

First published by Reijosfood on 5th August 2016 at https://reijosfood.com/2016/08/05/restaurant-review-lemon-tree-garden-rethymnon-crete/.

Summer vacation in Crete, Rethymnon meant also visits to several restaurants and tavernas. Tried about 10 places and always tested starters and main courses. Better avoid dining spots with most aggressive “in throwers”, best ones are those counting on menu,location and athmosphere.

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Mostly ate in Old Town where you can find many good and not so good dining spots. When it comes to taverna type of restaurants serving traditional greek food, Lemon Tree Garden is the choice. Judgement is based on two visits, which both were above average in “tavernas category”.

Restaurant has good service, fresh ingredients and well prepared dishes not forgetting vegan choises.

During second visit had for starters Spinach Pies, Vine Leaves Rolls and Feta Cheese.Usually spinach pies include cheese, but restaurant had vegetarian version available. Two types rolls, vine leaves (dolmades) and zuccini flower rolls. Both were prepared at restaurant, too often you get canned rolls. Greek style feta cheese was delicious, right mixture of herbs and tomato.image

For main courses had Gyros, which in this case were perfect. Best part of this was just outdoor terrace, grilled pork. In one taverna get meat which had been grilled earlier and was warmed before serving.

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….and Stuffed VegetablesSweet pepper and tomato stuffed with deliciously spiced rice. A perfect vegan dish accompanied by sliced potatoes.  Olive oil is always part of the dishes, and combined with the proper spices, makes for the perfect sauce.

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In previous post you can find some information about Greek wines, which are part of dining. In Lemon Tree Garden had Melios and Chateau Julia, both Merlots.

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Chateau Julia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Tree Garden has nice outdoor terrace inside old walls. The name comes from the trees above tables, lemon and orange trees are the roof of restaurant.

After dinner restaurant serves fresh water melon, lemon cake and raki depending on what you have eaten. Nice way of ending dinner, but as you know what to expect, do not order dessert.

 

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

Sunn by guest author Reijosfood

This article was first published on 05.05.2016 by reijosfood.com at https://reijosfood.com/2016/05/05/restaurant-review-sunn/

Restaurant Sunn

Restaurant Sunn is located at the edge of the Senate Square, directly opposite to the Helsinki Cathedral. The name of old building is also called Sunn, which has inspired the naming of restaurant. The view from the second floor, where restaurant is, is one of the best in Helsinki.

Sunn is open every day of the week serving brunch on Weekends, lunch and dinner. This gives the traveler a chance to see all the festive seasons with the locals including Christmas, May Day and Midsummer.

Actual idea was to try dishes from dinner a la carte menu, as there was also some interesting vegan options. But instead of a la carte, restaurant served May Day Eve buffet “Let’s party”. Should have guessed that because of the special day.

Starter buffet included many goodies, but as vegan choises were limited, restaurant served special starter edition to the table. Duck breast, curry chicken, salads and cheeseshad main roles.

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The vegan starters were: Cabbage and broccoli, beet root and spinach, asparagus, cherry tomatoes and strawberries, and tofu and potatoes.  The tastier was the one with strawberries. This mixture worked well together.  The tofu and potatoes was missing something; some salt would’ve added enough flavor to this dish.

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Main courses, 3 options, were served to the table. Chose Whitefish ”Monte” with asparagus, cauliflower and spring onion sauce and pimped version of Asparagus, fried mushrooms and truffle-boletus foam.

As it is asparagus time, all main courses included that vegetable.

“Monte” might mean hill or mountain as dish was placed in layers on the plate, or not? However, fish was excellent, cooked as it should. Sauce tasted delicious and paired nicely with whitefish.

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Tofu can be paired with about anything, but in this case the combination was a bit bland.

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Dinner included also dessert buffet which included different type of cakes. As it did not offer so many vegan choises, also got one portion to the table.

Remember to ask window table and you can enjoy of one of the best views in Helsinki. Part of the windows open to narrow side street, so try to get table by window which opens to the Senate Square.

Senate Square

Buffet was average although the name was fancy, “Let’s party”. If you compare it to many other buffet’s available during May Day time, you could eat similarly everywhere.

Would be interested in to try a la carte, which was the original intention and still is in the plans.

Service was good and especially serving one starter and dessert to the table made it even better.

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

Reijosfood

 

Pjazza – Italian cuisine at its best by guest author Reijosfood

 Pjazza - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Pjazza was opened in Autumn 2014 providing Italian cuisine in quite impressive facilities. Restaurant area consists of several dining spaces like main dining room, loft above dining room, so called boulevard right after main entrance and small round table.

New Bepop Bar & Lounge was just opened on Ascension Day Eve providing better use for separate space. There is also VIP Lounge available and if you need Ballroom or seminar room, G18 is rented by Pjazza. And new terrace when ever the weather allows dining outside.

First visited the newly opened bar and tried Aperol Spritz. It is the best drink to review bar drinks and Pjazza did good job.

One interesting detail is that bar offers some snacks on Friday between 17-19. Typical for Italian bars, but not before in Finland.

Aperol Spritz at Pjazza

Pjazza personnel - reijosfood.com

On Sunday you can enjoy brunch buffet and what is definitely welcomed speciality, live jazz three times a week! Even during brunch you can listen live jazz, which makes event lively and distinguish Pjazza from other brunch spots.

Pjazza bar - reijosfood.com

Menu consists naturally of Italian dishes. You can start the dinner with Antipasti, continue with Primi Piatti (pasta), enjoy Secondi (traditional Italian meat or fish) for main course and finalize ensamble with Dolci (dessert). But what differs Pjazza from other Italian cuisine restaurants in Helsinki?

Pjazza dining room - reijosfood.com

If you like to eat pizzas then you must try Pjazza. Dough used is left to rise for a minimum of 72 hours, and even up to 96 hours. And you can order all pizzas glutein-free. Nowadays quite necessary option. Tried neighbours pizza and it was one of the best in Helsinki.

First you are served some just baked bread with olive oil. One good example of Pjazza’s commitment to Italian cuisine. And when it comes to red wine you can buy a bottle of it with the price of 29€. And this time I mean wine is not basic carrafe wine, it is definitely better than basic red wines you might drink.

Bread. olive oil and wine - reijosfood.com

For starter had Affetati Italian Misti Cold cuts including ham and salami. Especially liked procioutto cotto, which was delicious and fresh without any ham fat. Perfect starter as also olives were small and tasty with stones.

Antipasti at Pjazza - reijosfood.com

For main course decided to taste pasta, as it is best proof of capability of providing Italian kitchen for customers. Chose FETTUCINE GAMBERI E ZUCCHINI Fettucine with prawns, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and garlic.

What were pleasant surprises?

First of all pasta was al dente, which is not the case typically in Finland. People prefer unfortunately over cooked pasta. Then there was big king prawn included in the portion, which made the dish perfect. One of the best pastas available in Helsinki.

Pasta at Pjazza - reijosfood.com

Had to try Tiramisu for dessert. It is the only Italian dessert I can really compare. And Pjazza survived perfectly!

Excellent serving bowl, which completed enjoyment.

Tiramisu at Pjazza - reijosfood.com

Food at Pjazza is excellent. If you are friend of Italian kitchen, then you go to this restaurant.

Maybe it is due to personnel working at Pjazza enabling Italian flavors really to carry the country on to your table.

And take a look at wine list. One of the best red wines is really under 30€ per bottle. Tasted also pinot grigio with pasta and it had enough character. Grappa selection is also reasonable. Without that digestive restaurant would not be Italian.

Grappa at Pjazza - reijosfood.com

When summer comes the terrace will be the spot for next dining experience. Improvement from previous a little bit “cold” restaurant is significant. Different spots for different moods. Please prepare to book table in advance.

Pjazza terrace - reijosfood.com

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

This article first appeared at http://reijosfood.com/2015/05/16/restaurant-review-pjazza-italian-cuisine-at-its-best/.

REIJOSFOOD

Restaurant Minos, Helsinki, Finland by guest author Reijosfood

Restaurant Minos is over 25 years old restaurant, which serves traditional Greek food. Clear proof of authenticity is the language used by waiters and waitresses; they talk to each other in Greek. Minos has pleasant covered terrace, which can be used also in the winter time, as it is heated.

Always choose to dine at the terrace, because you can observe by-passers at the same time. In the summer Minos has its own spot in popular Kamppi shopping center terrace area serving Greek wines and for instance Mythos beer.

Minos - reijosfood.com

Minos

For starters chose of course again Tzatziki yoghurt and cucumber salad and Dolmades vine leaves stuffed with rise and herbs.

Greek starters are always delicious, still miss taramosalata from holidays, but unfortunately it is not available at Minos. Tzatziki was made from genuine Greek yoghurt, not from Finnish or German and therefore really enjoyable. You can purchase similar dolmades from supermarkets in tins but so what, they were excellent.

Dolmades at Minos - reijosfood.com

Dolmades

Tzatziki at Minos - reijosfood.com

Tzatziki

For main courses we had Grilled chicken breast and halloumi cheese salad and Seafood salad with prawns, octopus, tuna and artichokes.

Chicken salad was excellent. Chicken itself was grilled as well as halloumi which makes the taste always better than fried or cooked. Seafood salad was slight dissappointment because there was only one artichoke (look the plural in the name) and somehow portion was a little bit wet. Maybe too much water from tuna fish can?

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Salad of Chicken Breast and Halloumi Cheese

Seafood salad at Minos - reijosfood.com

Salad of Seafood

For wine had glasses of Greek white and red wine. OK with food, but not so enjoyable without it.

Minos is one of my favourite restaurants in Helsinki, Finland, for many reasons. I like Greek food and Minos prepares it well. And dining at the terrace, either under glass roof our outside is always pleasure. Therefore overall grade is high.

Note that this restaurant is not open on Sundays.

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

Reijosfood

Barcelona Princess Hotel, Barcelona, Spain guest review by Reijosfood

Hotel Barcelona Princess

Reijosfood  writes about the hotel Barcelona Princess boasts 363 fully-equipped rooms, a sun terrace with pool on the 23rd floor with a nice view of the city of Barcelona in Spain and also has a small pool with gym on the 3rd floor.

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Located on the ’Avenida Diagonal’ just in front of the shopping center Fórum, this 4-star hotel is located less than 20 minutes from the centre of Barcelona with decent public transport alternatives available.

Interesting detail is Desigual Loft on the 23rd floor with decor, which takes care of every detail, patchwork rugs, lamps, wicker armchairs and low tables puff type created by artisans of different peoples of the Mediterranean.

Desigual loft - reijosfood.com

ROOM

Spent few nights in the double room on the 19th floor with sea view. Room was well equipped, bath robe and slippers waiting to be used. Free mini bar with soft drinks and bottle of beer per day and free wi-fi.

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Bath room was behind the glass wall, but it can be hided with automated screen, if you are shy. However, toilet and shower are behind doors, some relief?

Hotel Barcelona Princess room - reijosfood

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PUBLIC SPACES

Breakfast was generous compared to many other hotels in Barcelona. Something for everyone. Tried also room service once. Service was quick and actually room service price list is affordable.

On the first floor there is small bar and lobby but hotel is not actually place for dinners. Prepare to reserve table from “real” restaurants in the city or by the sea.

Two pools and new and well designed rooms are best part of the hotel.

Location from Plaza Catalunya is quite far, but walking by the sea to Port Olympico does not take too much time. Then it is up to you, if you want to continue to Maremagnum and then to Ramblas by foot. I actually walked that route, but with one pit stop in Tapa Tapa tapas bar or restaurant.

Hotel Barcelona Princess is for business travellers and for those, who do not want to pay higher prices in the city for lower standard.

Reijosfood