Last weekend was one of my favourite weekends during the whole summer here in Helsinki. It was again the time to sample, what some of the best restaurants in Finland have to offer on this marvelous culinary festival, Taste of Helsinki. It’s like a huge quality picnic in the heart of the city, where you can go with a bunch of friends to enjoy a nice dinner with great drinks, or with your family and kids to have a wee bit better lunch you would normally have.
This was now the fourth time the festival was held, and it was the best by far: food was excellent and also the weather, which hasn’t been really flattering during the event for the past couple of years, was a m a z i n g ! On Saturday it rained a bit, but it didn’t even get cold, so it felt like a small tropical rainfall.
10 different restaurants had planned mouthwatering menu’s for the food festival, and all of them had four different courses. This makes altogether 40 wonderful dishes that you can taste on the festival! The dishes cost anything between 5-12 euros, but are actually paid with marks you can buy from the “festival bank” with you credit card. This made paying at the cashier super quick and one didn’t have to queue almost at all.
Besides great food, there were also many Finnish distilleries and one brewery representing their brands and mixing the best cocktails. In addition to that, an André Clouet Champagne Bar was also available, of course.
Our favorites this year were:
Ludu‘s Bream Wallenberg, new potatoes from Rymättylä, bouillabaisse mayonnaise and pea shoot sauce (6mk);
Grön‘s PLANT- roasted buckwheat bread with sorrel flavoured potato salad, grated wild sorrel butter and wild herbs (v) (6mk) and WILD- parfait flavoured with spruce shoot vinegar, sunflower seeds, lactic acid and spruce shoot caramel (5mk);
Passio‘s Gaspacho sorbet and little bit of vege (v) (5mk). (This was so freaking good I want to learn to make it myself);
Bistro O Mat‘s Smoked beetroot with crispy rye and goat cheese créme (v) (5mk);
Savoy‘s Lime and basil posset, white chocolate crystals and strawberry and lemon balm sherbet (5mk) and
Shelter‘s RHUBARB- Marinated rhubarb, elderflower sherbet & roasted white chocolate (5mk). Picture is missing below from the last dish, I guess the plate looked so delicious I didn’t even remember to take a pic!
All of the restaurants above are great places to eat when visiting Finland. Ludu is in Turku and Bistro O Mat in Kirkkonummi, but all the others are in Helsinki. The restaurant scene here in Finland is really just great at the moment, and it only gets better. The usage of fresh, seasonal and local products and wild herbs are a big (and wonderful!) trend now.
So If you plan on coming to Helsinki this summer, make sure to eat at the local restaurants! And if your trip takes place next year, keep in mind the Taste of Helsinki food festival, and come experience the culinary carnival yourself!