Friday, 15 May 2015

Sneak preview of Taste of Helsinki 2015

Everywhere you look in Helsinki, restaurants are busy "going back to basics" and converting restaurants to street food-serving bars. People, please. Gourmet food should be celebrated. It will always have a special place in my heart, as the restaurant choices of our recent trip to Latvia go to show. 

I understand that especially with Helsinki prices the threshold to choose the little bit finer place over the comfy chain restaurant can be high... but seriously, the value for money ratio couldn't be more off.

Luckily there are powerhouses like Mira & Barry MacNamara. And luckily there is Taste of Helsinki, the highlight of my foodie year. 

The festival makes gourmet dining accessible to everyone, enabling people to get a taste of gourmet restaurants for just a couple of euros.

My Taste of Helsinki got off to an early start as I took part in a Taste of Helsinki safari showcasing the menus of three of the restaurant taking part this year.

Based on the safari and the menus sampled by my blogging colleagues, I can tell you some seriously good food is coming your way...! For teasers, just go on Instagram and check out  #tasteofhelsinki and #toh2015

Crème Ninon is not your average pea soup here (as can be expected at Emo) but contains baby squid, crunchy cauliflower and fennel. A great combo!

The exceptional conditions along with the sheer volume of dishes being pushed out of those tent kitchens set their own challenges to the operation. 

In addition to those this dish also takes into consideration the fact there are no guarantees what mood the gods of weather are going to be on and can be served either hot or cold.

Next up was Bröd, a newcomer in Helsinki restaurant scene and at Taste of Helsinki.

The line-up has gone through some serious changes since last year and many of the hotspots of recent years' are not taking part this year.

Bröd tells their menu's looking for a homely atmosphere, reminiscent of grandparents' place. The execution involves for instance anti-grill, courtesy of liquid nitrogen (staple at anyone's grandparents, right?)

At Bröd we tried this tartare beauty, which, at least to my taste, could have used a bit more salt. Meat in itself was so rich, it would have benefited from contrast lent by acidic components. I would have also liked a bit more of those bread shavings and their crunch.

For dessert we moved on to Sinne, which is one of the restaurants I am looking forward to the most. In addition to Kaskis.

The restaurant I will be rang first would have to be Matti Jämsen pop-up. The man's record performance at Bocuse d*or gives plenty of reasons to expect plenty from this venture, too.

And Ragu - I couldn't possibly miss them after the fantastic impression they've made on us

Sinne's profiteroles hid a white chocolate paste filling with a lovely liquoricey twist. More of this, please!

The wine menu, too, is looking better than ever. The focus is on quality wines from interesting small producers and finding great food and wine pairings has been made extremely convenient, too: each dish has its own wine recommendation. 

In total the list comprises of 90 wines, the selection changing daily.

Here's the whole menu. The tickets are already available - make sure to grab yours here!

Taste of Helsinki if part of the Taste of- festival family that connects 10 gourmet metropoles of the world. Next week will see Paris celebrating theirs. I hear that the average visitor there goes through three dishes. I tried to tally up my dishes from last year but gave up after the first fifteen...




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