Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Dining and w(h)ining in Helsinki: brunch at Treffipub

You might not fully comprehend it, but these last weeks have induced a bit of a culture shock in the small world this food blogger inhabits. First I had to (again) come face to face with the fact that Turku (an old rival city of Helsinki, my home town) is actually a damn fine place for a foodie.

But nothing could have prepared me for this. Turns out there's life in the Eastern suburbs of Helsinki too. I can't imagine anything more out of my comfort zone which is the cosy bubble of city centre.

But what wouldn't one do for a good brunch? 





I ahd been hearing rumours that Treffipub do good food. But their location towards the Eastern end of the metro line, right next to the station didn't leave me hoping for much. And sure enough, the clientele at the terrace was exactly what I've come to associate these parts of the city with: drunken loudmouths (11.45 am after all...) not shy to express their views on several ethnic minorities in Finland. 

But as we entered, we noticed that most of the tables had been reserved. So, the brunch has clearly found its audience.

The Boy Next Door said the place reminded him of Los Angeles. 





These lovely fellows are the masterminds behind the operation. They have extensive experience in the restaurants of Helsinki and brunch is something they feel very strongly about. Together they intend to make this the #1 brunch in the city!




For €25, the brunch is excellent value for money. During the brunch house wines (red, white and Prosecco) are available at discounted price of €25/ bottle as well. We went for Prosecco (Casa Gheller Brut) and it saw us through the brunch splendidly.

Oh, and since this is not just any old pub in the east, they also have extensive whiskey selection. And Italian craft beers. And Champagne (!). And not just any old fizz - Dom Perignon 2004. Though a bottle of that will set you back €298.




Theme changes weekly. The week before it had been Finnish, this time it was Asian, where the sous chef spends months each year sourcing inspiration and new recipes .

So, there were pineapple and coconut smoothie shots...




....and prawn crackers!!! (oh the small joys of small people...)




Salads were accompanied with a lovely coriander vinaigrette. Kimchi doesn't tickle my fancy but the date though highly of them. 

Soy marinated salmon with sushi ginger shavings was such a fresh take on salmon (which, in fact, I'm a bit bored with)




Thai-style larb gai came with stir-fried chicken. 




Crunchy and succulent pork tempura was the star of the cold buffet.




Asparagus tempura on the other hand was too limp for my liking.




Selection isn't mind-bogglingly wide, but then again, neither is the place. Everything they have is good, though. Very good, in fact. The staff kept steadily stocking everything, yet always had time to stop for a chat. It's impossible to not be on a good mood here!

The sides for the main course were steamed veggies and fried rice with shrimps (and 16 other components!)  - the recipe for which the sous chef brought back from Cambodia.





And the main course? Get-out-of-town-gorgeousness. Bulgogi was insane. We also learnt the secret behind the outrageous tenderness of these morsels of melt-in-your-mouth magnificence, but I'm not going to tell until I've had the chance to try it first.

Ok, I will.

No... wait...  I'd better not.

Uhh... here goes. Kiwi. 

The meat is left to tenderize in a marinade that consists of Kiwi fruit among other things  for 48 hours. The meat was flying off the shelves quicker that knock-off Prada bags in Thailand. 

The meat came with Gochujang dressing that was so bloody yummy I want to have it with everything from now on. 




Lime leaf posset with cape gooseberry gelée was the perfectly zingly and sweet finish for the meal. Though I might have gone back for seconds with the chilli-infused brownies as well...





Lo and behold. Can't wait what they'll get up to next weekend!


___________________


ANYONE FOR SECONDS?



      



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