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“It's Real” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aito

Aito
Museokatu 29, Helsinki, Finland (Kampinmalmi)
9 4544303
Website
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Ranked #24 of 1,016 Restaurants in Helsinki
Cuisines: European, Scandinavian, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Neighborhood: Kampinmalmi
Finland
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“It's Real”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

Usually you either get the food or service right - in this restaurant you'll get both. Specially the service feels so smooth and effortless. The problem is that you'll expect this level of service everywhere after you've been here.

Prices are reasonable considering food quality and taste, service is excellent. The menu change every ~6 week, so if you want to spend your money on a great restaurant experience every now and then, this is the place in Helsinki region to go. Try the wine package with the menus also, and remember to make the table reservation in advance. It's quite booked at evenings.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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58 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    33
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    3
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    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Helsinki, Finland
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Simple yet innovative”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

I've been eyeing this restaurant for a long time but been a bit turned off by the name ("real" or "genuine" in English), which in my opinion is kinda too obvious for a restaurant of this style. Well, it turned out you shouldn't judge a restaurant by its name... We got two Chef's Menus for the price of one (booked via TableOnline.fi, the offer's valid until Valentine's Day) which meant that the price-quality ratio was just spectacular. Even the normal price of 52 euros (+ 5 euros for the cheeses) is very reasonable considering what you get for your money.

So, what do you get? Five courses: two starters, two mains (optional cheeses) and a dessert. The starters we got were pike ballotine and venison carpaccio, and both were lovely, but I liked the pike maybe a little better because that was honestly the first time I've tasted pike that was neither bland nor overly seasoned to hide the, um, blandness typical for the kind of fish. Also the sides were clever and delicious. The main courses were burbot and lamb shank, and they were both brilliant. The lamb shank was just unbelievable: lamb shanks are generally my favorite meat already, but the one I had yesterday was still even better than I could imagine. The South African Pinotage paired with the lamb made the whole experience even better.

The cheese plate is written on the blackboard as "a pair of cheeses" and that is exactly what it was: two pieces of cheese, a well known Finnish blue cheese called Peltola Blue and a brie called Valma from the Kolattu farm. We also got a piece of Aito's rye crisp and a dollop of tomato compote which tasted curiously like cloudberries. What a brilliant combination.

The dessert was a baked alaska, which seems to be getting back in fashion and I can't complain - I mean, it's a perfect combination of fresh and sweet, warm and cold. It had a tiny pear compote on the side as well as some orange jelly/marmalade type thing in a shot glass. Accompanying the dessert was a small glass of German dessert wine, which had a lower alcohol content than usual, and it made the freshness in the food stand out even more.

All in all, we paid a bit under 60 euros per person for all of this greatness (the menu for half the price, halved wine menu, cheeses and coffees) and I have to say I can't imagine a better use for money. Even if we didn't get the deal from TableOnline it would have been totally worth the money. I think this became my favorite restaurant at the moment. Aito's menu changes about ten times a year and the next time it'll change around February 18, so that's when we'll probably visit again.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Helsinki
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Very fine dining indeed!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Me and my wife got the best treatment here. The kitchen is really professional and innovative. The menu was expensive but worth the price. They combine things you would not believe, but not for the sake of it - the taste of the different plates was heavenly. They also were professional about the wine and knew what to recommend.
It is a very small place. The ambience and decoration is plain and simple (scandinavian). And there was enough food so that a grown-up man does not have to leave hungry, like sometimes after french cuicine or fine dining :-)
Definitely one of the best in Helsinki.
It´s a 20 minutes walk from city center - maybe a little bit hard to find on a small street.
Be sure to make a reservation.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Lovely small local in Töölö”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

Enjoyed a very tasty lunch in this small and cosy Töölö local.
It's a Scandinavian kitchen with brilliant ingredients and fabulous dishes.
Crab soup for a starter was to die for with their home made bread. Fried pike-perch for the mains was also as fresh as it can get and very tasty.
The service was quite special, very attentive and positively personal.
Overall it was a very lovely and posivite surprise experience.
During the summer, they have a nice terrace outside.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Finland
Top Contributor
173 reviews 173 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 83 cities Reviews in 83 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
“Nice little restaurant In Helsinki”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

One of the restaurants that is outside the boring big chains. Finnish/Scandinavian style, well picked raw materials which are carefully cooked. Nice and friendly service. Small place that might be noisy when crowded, because there is nothing to absorb the noise.

Not in the highest level yet, but absolutely one of places in Helsinki that is worth of trying. The price and quality is balanced, but not a budget place. But you need to remember that in Helsinki the plates are always pricy when you want something else than fast food, kebabs or pizzas.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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