Monday, 10 March 2014

Dining and wining in Helsinki: brunch at Qulma

Saturday is hands down my favourite day of the week. But more often than it should it just flies by as you're busy getting stuff done. Running errands. Doing laundry. Making plans and drafting lists. Getting the food in for the week to come. Queuing. Running from one place to another. Hunting for truffle butter. Cursing the limited selection at the fishmongers. Writing. Editing. 

Sometimes it's good to just kick back. Relax. Chill, even. And focus on enjoying life and the company. And if breakfast is the most important meal of the day, surely brunch is the most important meal of the entire week!

"Sopat!", the book I received a little while ago from its publisher for a review was accompanied with an invite for a brunch at Qulma, the author's newest restaurant. Opened in 2010 this small and cosy restaurant is famous for its lunches - particularly their soups that come with all sorts of trimmings and home-made foccaccia. And yes, you can go as giddy as you want and eat as much as you can possibly stomach!

Brunch is served on Saturdays; first sitting at 10 and another at noon. I decided to take the relaxing part seriously from the start and booked us for the later one. We were joined by Tzatziki Champion, the real estate agent to the stars and sure enough the day that had started in such stress-free bliss, ended with an open house...

But back to the brunch! Qulma is such a delight: tiny, charming and laid back. As is the staff: they're all smiles. Customers are truly looked after here. One of the little gestures that make one feel all warm and fuzzy inside is the chocolate greeting at the table for those who've made a reservation. 

Regular coffee is included in the price (€19), speciality coffees and bubbly cost extra, but even a glass of fizz to really get you in the right mood only sets you back €4. In addition to fresh juices there are 100% natural health shots.

The selection isn't too extensive, but then again, neither is the price. And there is something unique about it. There's bread from the nearby bakery along with home-made tapenade and rosemary roasted jacket potatos with variety of toppings (today's included sour cream, chevre and feta filling and "smoked reindeer mush"). The names continue the fun and fuss-free style of the book.

We especially liked the smoked reindeer and even fromage phobe yours truly got over the initial shock of discovering Parmesan shavings in the filling so successfully I finished the plate like a good girl!

Then there was Caesar salad. First sitting had prawns in it, ours had cold-smoked salmon. Parmesan was those vacuum-packed shop-bought shards, but croutons (made of some wonderful sour dough bread?) were second to none. As was the dressing.

As a whole the brunch has a nice, fresh feel to it which continues with the sweet treats. First sitting featured apple crumble which by the later one had been switched to a blueberry variety. And with it some deliciously thick custard.

There's also fruit salad, seeds and nuts and Greek yogurt you can jazz up with different coulises, cinnamon apple compote or their own specialty: wildly popular sweet mint pesto.

We liked. And recommend. Their breakfast (served on weekdays) has been awarded as the third best in the city so there is a good reason to visit this place any day of the week. And students  - you're in for a discount!

*The brunch was courtesy of the publishing house Gummerus and restaurant Qulma*





  1. Hi. Thank you for the kind words! Do you mind if we use you're photots in the Qulma brunch thing? Nice pics! You asked about nice brunch places. LOVE Sandros!!!! Marc from Qulma