Thursday, 16 April 2015

Foodies in Turku

Local markets are always a must-see in my books - no matter where one is in the world. And so it was the first stop of our foodie day out in Turku.

We started our tour at La Victoria, which serves the best tacos in town. We went for pork and beef tongue and can't honestly say which were the best. 

Everything here (and I mean everything - including their chorizo!) is made from scratch and you can also buy all sorts of Mexican necessities to go!

The market hall also hosts a tiny Alko, where you can pick up a chilled bottle of Champagne to go with an impromptu picnic by the river.

We picked some delicacies from the Vietnamese food stall though the peanut sauce for the summer rolls was strangely band and ketchup-like so do go for fish sauce! Oh, and S.Wallin's fish shop is an absolute must-see when sourcing picnic goodies. They make the most delicious marinated king prawns. Lemon is superb, but try garlic, my friend. That's where it's at!

Riverbank is also full of picturesque little cafes - definitely make time for them as well. Tiirikkala has a wonderful decor, the baristas at Cafe Art are the among the best in Finland and Gaggui Kaffela is famous for their luscious cakes. 

In the evening you should make your way to the riverbank because of its many, cosy wine bars. E.Ekblom and Tintå are worth a visit.

And should you find yourself in throes of an ice cream graving, I've got just the place for you: Italian gelateria Nuvole. Both yogurt (always my favourite!) and panna cotta are heavenly, but salty pistacchio is another treat definitely worth a try.

The absolute highlight of my day though? This. Restaurant Mami.

Already as I was planning our day I was in agony. See, most of the finer places in Turku do not do lunch on Saturdays at all and so my first 5  choices flew out the window. 

I know, I know. I am ashamed to be one of those people who are convinced the whole day's going to be a bust if you can't secure a reservation to The One Restaurant Everyone Is Flocking To (the one in Turku right now should you be interested? Kaskis.) Luckily Turku and Mami taught me a lesson in this and man, am I glad we went.

On Saturdays there's a more casual and cheaper option called the market lunch (torilounas in Finnish) which today featured fish soup. Impressed with the cosy, yet stylish decor we went for à la carte.

The bread? Divine. That pale coloured one? Foccaccia that they make themselves. Unbelievably moreish. 

Lime marinated white fish with pickled cucumber mayo (12€) sounded so fresh and delicious we just had to have it. And I'm glad we did. Just look at that dish! So beautiful, so balanced.

Even after having eaten our way through Turku all morning (and after all the lamb we've been feasting on of late!) we still couldn't say no to pressed lamb shanks (13€). A fine, harmoniously earthy dish where all the components worked so well with each other. And easy on the eye, too!

For main we shared incredibly tender veal entrecôte (€27) served with parsley and potato puré and veggies that got fantastic depth from Porcini.

We simply could not stomach a dessert (something I still regret!) but this place will definitely be on the menu on the next trip, too. And we're already busy making plans for that!

Quietly confident execution, beautifully presented food with balanced combination of different components. Textures, saltiness and acidity - all so spot on. But don't just take my word for it: Tzatziki Champion, whose recreational use of fleur de sel has slowly slipped onto the side of addiction did not ask for salt once.

Oh, Turku. Oh, Mami. You were good to us. Can't wait for the next time!




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