Thursday, 2 June 2016

Turku Food Walk 2016 - what to eat, where to eat

Turku Food Walk is a concept that's generated international interest too and a tasty way to explore Turku, one of the leading foodie travel destinations in Finland. 

As has already been established,I have fallen head over heels in love with Turku. Its restaurants, vibe that echoes Stockholm... what's there not to love! 

Now the city, which has already branded itself as one of the leading foodie travel destinations in the country, has coe up with yet another genius idea: Food Walk. So, once again I made my way to Turku and walked the walk.

And walking is something one will do, you know: in 6 hours it took us to complete the marathon we clocked 10 dishes and 13,7 kilometres...

The concept has generated international interest, too, and this is how it works. For €44 you get a Food Walk card that covers 10 restaurants. Out of those 10  you pick 5 and feast on a special dish they've prepared for the event. The card is valid for 3 days from the first stamp and it can be conveniently purchased online. For more details and information on the participating restaurants, please see here.

This is not a gourmet tourné like, say, Turku Food and Fun or Kaartin Kutonen in Helsinki, for obvious logistical reasons. For small and chronically booked-out restaurant like Kaskis it would be impossible to accommodate a steadsy stream of walk-ins. The quality of the participating restaurants ranges greatly, so Food Walks shoudl really have something in store for everyone.

The card has become a popular gift item and why not - I can't think of a better way to explore this lovely city. Though we set out to eat our way through every single of one of the 10 restaurants so towards the end we weren't feeling overly lovely ourselves...

The only one we decided to skip was Cafe Brahe whose dish would have been coffee and cinnamo bun. Their cinnamon buns are rather legendary though, what with their frisbee-like size...

So, here's what you should remember:

- wear comfortable shoes
- start early
- remember the importance of siesta, regular breaks and making sure yu stay hydrated. The terraces along the river bank are perfect for this...!
- check the opening hours - some of the restaurants are not open for lunch for instance
- in case you're a bigger party (4+ individuals), it pays off to book a table

And here's what you should eat:

1. Ravintola Smör: starter of the day made using fresh, locally sourced ingredients

Unequivocal winner. Hands down. 

Restaurant Smör was the clear winner in both of our rankings. A glorious dish, whch today featured salmon marinated with cranberry long drink by Kyrö Distillery and goat cheese and summery leaves.

2. Grill it! Marina: Pulled pork burger

While at first we werent impressed by Restaurant Grill it's dish (pulled pork? burger? Haven't we all seen this so many times before...?) we were after destroying it n record time. Brioche bun was excellent, pulled pork had great texture and taste and all the condiments worked together. 

3. Stefan's Steakhouse: Duo antipasti (two small savoury ones)

From this point on the differences between the remaining restaurants weren't massive and ranking them wasn't quite as easy. Number three was, however this duo by Stefan's Steakhouse. The Jerusalem artichoke soup was very, very good and crab cake with choron sauce and parsley root crisps had excellent texture, too. 

The restaurant (part of a chain owned by Stefan Richter of American Top Chef fame) was a pleasant surprise with its stylish ambiance. 

4. Cafe Art: Coffee by Turku Coffee Roastery and slice of cake of your choice

As far as sweet treats were concerned, Cafe Art was the winner, already because this was the only place where one can actually make their own choices. Great coffee and wonderful cakes. Every single one of them...

5. Pinella: Dessert of the day

Pinella has for long been one of our favourites in Turku and didn't let us down this time, either. Today's pudding consisted of lemon curd, ice cream, meringueand burnt sugar. Lovely dish and not at all too sweet. Though it probably wasn't the ideal choice right after those cakes...

6. Brahen Kellari: Taste of Turku Appetizer

Brahen kellari's dish was a Toast Skagen on dark Archipelago bread. The richness of the prawn salad got a welcome edge from capers. Well executed classic that's hard to ruin. 

7. di Trevi: Tapas board

While Di Trevi's cosy interior might have tempted us to stay for longer, the dish unfortunately didn't. Olives, almonds, limppatatas bravas and tomato bruschetta did not exactly wow us. On the other hand this was one of the most sizeable dishes of the day and also worls for vegetarians. Tomato brushcetta was sublime, though and Peñascal¨s rosado was a perfect match with its intensely fruity tomatos. 

8. Sevilla & Co: Grilled king prawns, toasted country bread and mascarpoe and parmesan foam

Sevilla's dish featured king prawns which got me giddy. The oil that they came with had lovely garlicky toastiness, but the prawns itself had no taste. 

9. Svarte Rudolf: Warm chicken sandwich with blue cheese dressing 

Svarte Rudolf's  dish was the biggest one of the day. The salad featured fresh fruit and was ok and fresh, too, but the chicken was dry and lacked taste. By far the weakest link. 

SO... what was your favourite?

There's an additional bonus: after your card is all stamped out, you can use it to get 15 € off of a dish of your choice at any one of the participating restaurants. 

A little bird told me now Turku is planning a Food Walk that would explore the many ethnic kitchens of the city. And I though I couldn't possibly love this city any more...





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1 comment :

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