Crab season

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In Finland as well as Sweden it is customary to have big parties and enjoy eating crab amongst friends and family. Of course it is also a good excuse to drink wine or even snaps of vodka..

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It is also a smells a bit of the old class-system as it is very much a thing of the more wealthy people (more and more also the normal middle-pay people as well).

Still, it is very much a Finnish thing to do in the autumn when the season  for crab is here.

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The eating is very much a messy affair with very little meat to be eaten from one crab. The main Part to eat is in the rear and then a bit in the scissors.  There is also a delicious fluid in the crab which is customary to be sucked out.

The crab are usually served alongside toast and are eaten as an apperative as it is not very filling.

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Excellent meat to eat as main course after enjoying the time spent playing with the crab..

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And a nice dessert. Perfection.

This nice three-course dinner was eaten at restaurant Sunn beside the Senate square in the center of Helsinki.

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Restaurant Mantra, Herttoniemenranta

Sometimes the best ideas and the best things to come as a spur of the moment thing. Like today, I had no plans to eat out at all, however a small shift in the timetables decreed firstly a visit to Herttoniemenranta and secondly a need to eat something for it would be late until home and the fridge beckoned.

So randomly to see if there was a place to get some good food in Herttoniemenranta. This part of Helsinki is a beautiful new side of an older neighborhood called Herttoniemi. Just about 10minutes away from the city center.
In this same area there is of course pizzerias, kebab places etc. as well as one of the finest Greek restaurants in Helsinki. Also a great Italian called Il Faro. Indeed the Italian was the first I thought of. As my readers will know, I love pasta and pizza in pretty much all possible forms. So a natural choice.

However the Italian was almost empty and forlorn looking. And just a small walk from it, on the other side of the canal,a Nepalese restaurant where I had never been to..

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So naturally, this was another great option and as the day was proceeding with “a lets just wing it” attitude, it was the choice to go there. A nice looking Himalayan restaurant the Mantra had also a nice small terrace in front. As summer is short and the weather was fine, outside eating was the proper course of action to take.

After a time of browsing the menu an order was made for a fully vegetarian menu. Above is the starter. A small but great tasting dish called Sabziko Pakora. Deep fried vegetables. There was just enough spice in the dish. Excellent starter.

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The main course, which consisted of the following, from the right:
PALUNGO CHANA Chick peas with fresh spinach and garlic in a medium spiced sauce.
JHANEKO DAL Lentils, fried onion, garlic, ginger, tomato and fresh coriander, medium spiced.
SHAHI PANEER Cottage cheese in a tomato, cream, cashew nut, almond fl our sauce.
Plus of course the usual sauce called raita, naan bread and rice.

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Rice and Shahi Paneer. I usually prefer to eat only Naan and no rice at all but today I ate both, just to see the different tastes.

As for Nepalese food in Helsinki, my favorite places are Himsikhar in Hakaniemi and Base Camp in Kaisaniemi. Both offer excellent value in the taste/size/price triangle.

Restaurant Mantra was very close. In fact some of the dishes maybe better than Base Camp’s A la carte list. And as a whole the dishes were of great size.  Medium spice was great for Finns, spicy yet not so hot you would be sweating and eating. The mildest was the cheese, the rest had a bit more bite. Great!

 

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The view from the terrace.

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The dessert. KULFI Nepalese sorbet made of pistachio nut and cashew, fl avored with saffron.  A different taste from Finnish desserts, but worked very well. All in all the different parts of the menu worked together as they should to form a nice coherent package of culinary treat.

 

Photograph Herttoniemenranta by Jere Ketola on 500px

This is what the area looks like. The Restaurant Mantra is located left from the middle of the photo.  A beautiful neighborhood.  With great food.

To the restaurants pages Mantra

Restaudarantday pt. 2

As promised here is the second and final part of the Restaurantday photos.

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Raw food. Chocolate balls 😉

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The friendly restaurant manager.

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Lot of people around in the Kallio district of Helsinki.

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Finnish specialty, Karelian pastry or karjalanpiirakka. With eggbutter. Tasty!

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R.I.P diet.

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Sushi to go?

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Esplanade park in central Helsinki, packed with people enjoying the food festival.

Eagerly waiting for the next restaurantday. 🙂 One of these times I will be doing my own restaurant. But still the craving to be about and see what others are up-to has been too strong to resist.

Restaurantday, final part

Continuing from the previous post on the Restaurantday, a bit more photos from that day.

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Moving on from Esplanadi to Aleksanterinkatu there were a few stalls selling food here as well. Peasoup in one of them..

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Towards Kamppi there were more restaurants. Foods ranging from Taiwanese and thai to pancakes and cupcakes as well as chocolate chip cookies. The weather was starting to get even more miserable with the fog changing towards foggy rain.

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Different styles, different approaches to selling food. Excellent hot chocolate from the guys in the lower photo.

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This was a stall selling Asian vegetarian food.

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A bit of Kebab for you,sir? These guys seemed to be having a blast.

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The last place to visit as the weather was getting more and more miserable.

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Excellent pancakes! Made on the spot on a gas stove. The fillings tasted good! There was even cloudberry in the one I chose. Great job!

Hands


Hands by Jere Ketola on 500px.com

Eating is still in so many cultures most naturally done by the utensils we carry around ie our hands. Hand-eating is a bit quaint concept for the westerners or members of that culture. We use forks, spoons etc. instead and eating by hand is more of a for fun thing when eating pizza.. I loved the colorful combo if food and clothes and those hands.

Ravintolapäivä/Restaurantday 18-08-13

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As food is one of my passions I have always loved the Restaurantday concept created by my fellow Finns. Lovely to see how the idea has turned into a huge event that is now multi-national and really a great addition to any city’s food culture.

Here are some photos I took on the latest Restaurant Day in Helsinki. Had a blast!

Budapest, city of food and sights

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There are many a beautiful sight to behold in Budapest. The Mathias church is one of those. Named after the national hero and first king of Hungary the building is fabulous. It is one of the undeniable central spots of the Buda side.

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As far as foods and snacks go, I would advise on eating in restaurants, this small assortment sold near the church was suprisingly one of the most expensive prices of the whole trip per size of snack. But at least it tasted good..

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There is a lot of nice architecture and details to be found. I liked the form and light of this corridor.

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Goulash is one of the must have dishes in Hungary. Tasty, nutrituous and available almost everywhere as a starter.
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A well made main dish of duck meat. Not a dish I often eat but well made and very tasty.

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A little dessert to compliment the fine food.

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Normal tourist attractions in many cities but a horse ride does have a romantic feeling.

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Another view of the city of Budapest.

Nerone – revisited

Nerone is a restaurant I have visited before, but this time there were more of us and the possibility to enjoy a few different dishes from the menu.

For starters a few of us got the local bruschetta. Suprisingly delicious with the base being quite similar to a pizza. So more a”mini pizza”.
Recommended.

I got an assorted starter which is pictured below:

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All parts of the dish were excellent. Even the olives. I find that the olives most places in Finland serve are bad, probably due to the importing and the fact that the chosen varietys are not the same ones as say the Italians or Greek would approve of. Anyway, these were good!

As the main course some chose different pizzas, which Nerone is really known for. Others chose tuna -fillet and risottos. I chose a tagliatelle with chicken, cep and naturally cheese.

After dining there was a huge difference between the happiness of our dining party. The pizza were excellent as well as the risotto and the pasta. The fish however, was very bad. The tuna was deemed as close to being cat fodder. Overcooked with a badly chosen part of the tuna.

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The tagliatelle was great. The amount of food was maybe a bit too much as I was totally full afterwards. I barely had the capability to eat the dessert, eclair of excellent taste. Unfortunately I do not have a photo of the dessert as the rain outside meant I could not get a proper shot anymore.

City lehden Syö! viikot

City-lehti on jo muutaman vuoden ajan järjestänyt hienon tempauksen, SYÖ! viikot. Ideana on yksinkertaisesti se, että ravintolat tarjoavat tiettyjä annoksia kiinteällä hinnalla (tänä vuonna 10e) ja siis reilulla alennuksella normaaleihin hintoihin nähden. Näin paikkoihin eksyy myös sellaisia asiakkaita jotka ehkä arastelevat ravintolojen imagoa/hintaa. Hyöty on molemminpuolinen, uusia asiakkaita eksyy ravintoloihin ja hyvien kokemuksien myötä uskoisin että myös moni palaa täydellä hinnalla syömään. Ja lisäksi on aina kiva testailla paikkoja hieman järkevämmin hinnoin. Voi vaikka uskaltautua testaamaan ruokalajia jota ei muuten ikinä tilaisi.

Tämän viikon listoilla on ollut muunmuassa majavaa joka lienee aika eksoottinen ruoka, vai mitä?

Oman viikon käynti tuli tehtyä tällä kertaa Maya -ravintolaan, joka sijaitsee Rautatientorin kulmassa, hyvinkin keskeisellä paikalla.

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Cerdo Chimicurri valikoitui vaihtoehtoisen vuohenjuustosalaatin sijaan omalle lautaselle. Annoskoko riittävä, maku erinomainen. Mayaassa oli sopivasti vilskettä vaikka oli arki-ilta. Annos saapui kuitenkin todella nopeasti, olettaisin, että annoksia oli jossain määrin valmiissa tilassa. Tai liekö vain valittu se nopein annos tällaiseen tutustumistarjoukseen, jotta mahdollisen ruuhkan yllättäessä saadaan ruokaa pöytään. Possu oli kuitenkin sopivasti valmistettu ja kastike sopivaa, lievästi tulista. Paikkahan ammentaa Väli-Amerikan kulttuurista tunnelmaa.

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Jälkiruoaksi jäätelön tapaista, Mojito -jäädykettä eli Nieve De Mojito. Maukasta ja cappuccino tarpeeksi vahvaa, että yöunet kärsivät..

Mayasta kiinnostuneille lisätietoa löytyy tästä. Ja Syö! viikot jatkuu 28.3 saakka. Lisätietoa paikoista ja tarjouksista täältä.

This post in Finnish at the moment, relevant only to those in Helsinki at the moment so to speak. 

Restaurant day pt 3

Last part of the restaurant day posts.

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As a last place to visit on restaurant day it seemed natural to search for sweets.

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Near the largest movie theater complex of Helsinki there was a promising place featuring chocolates and sweets.

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Finnish and German assorted chocolates as well as home made chocolates to buy per the 100g.

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The place was called Goethe and the had also made these cookie cakes with their name on them.

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There was also a chocolate fondue which you could dip pieces of fruit and marshmellows.

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Looks delicious, eh?

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The taste was also good and was a fun ending to a very pleasant day.

Restaurant day is definately a great addition to city culture and a great way for people to socialize and have fun together. Info and future dates and cities can be found at Restaurant Day

Highly recommended for either taking part as a restaurant keeper or as a enjoyer of different tastes.