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..
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.
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.
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!
Cheese. Always good!
The view from the terrace.
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.
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