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“Intimate dining experience in central Helsinki” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ravintola Karljohan

Ravintola Karljohan
Yrjonkatu 21, Helsinki 00100, Finland (Kampinmalmi)
+358 9 6121121
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Ranked #92 of 1,016 Restaurants in Helsinki
Price range: $37 - $147
Cuisines: European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Neighborhood: Kampinmalmi
uk
1 review
“Intimate dining experience in central Helsinki”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014 via mobile

This was a very good find. The restaurant is in a quiet area just of the main central shopping area. If you are looking for something just a little bit different from standard restaurant fare then this is certainly worth considering. The menu changes regularly and there is a daily special. The menu is carefully thought out and well presented. Portions are not enormous but are more than enough and the real experience is much more about savouring the various dishes that have been so thoughtfully created. There is also a good selection of wines by the glass to choose from. The staff are also extremely friendly and helpful. Price wise, you can expect to pay around €40 -€50 per head including wine. (Wine as in most restaurants can significantly add to the cost but here they had a very decent range of house wines ranging from € 6.70 to €8.30 per glass). We would certainly go there again.

Visited February 2014
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120 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    55
    43
    17
    3
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
La Crosse, WI
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Cozy and very Finnish in an elegant way”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2014

Conveniently located in the market section of town but tucked away on a side street so is very private. On line reservations work well, and the setting is typical Scandinavian simple elegance. Wait staff is attentive and friendly and facile in English, probably other languages as well. Expect to pay 50 euros for a decent meal, but they had 3 prixe-fixe meals in that range that were nice with a mix of seafood and "turf" meat, although I was disappointed that they did not have reindeer that night. Very tasty and excellent presentation, but the wait time for food was long (very small kitchen), and the portions are more like appetizers, at best. You will not gain weight on their account! Overall, pleasant, relaxed meal in walking distance from the Sokos Presidentti Hotel.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, CA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Excellent gem in central Helsinki”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

I initially visited Karl Johan for lunch, based on the good reviews and reasonable prices. The restaurant offers 8 or so lunch options that change daily--the website seems to be updated very diligently with the next days lunch specials, albeit in Finnish only (Google Translate to the rescue!). Prices range from 10e-19e for entrees, and includes salad and bread (to which you help yourself next to the cashier counter after you have ordered). I opted for the sautéed reindeer with mashed potatoes and lingonberries, although I noted that the meatloaf was very popular with the large lunch crowd (which appeared to be mostly local patrons). My entree was excellent--the reindeer was flavorful and not overcooked--but the delicious poppy seed bread stole the show for me.

I enjoyed the lunch so much that I returned for dinner with my traveling companions. Dinner prices are steeper, but average or below for central Helsinki standards, I think. Our table had the reindeer starter, butternut squash soup, vorschmack, fish of the day (grilled salmon with dill sauce), and calf cheek. All of the dishes were done well, particularly the calf cheek, which was very tender. Of course, the poppy seed bread made a return appearance, this time accompanied by a tasty tapenade. The restaurant is not large, but there were only 3 or 4 other tables occupied when we went around 7:30 p.m. on a Wednesday evening in January, so we did not need reservations.

Visited January 2014
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Narragansett, Rhode Island
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Helsinki Gem”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

I was searching around Helsinki for a good local place to eat and not touristy. Stumbled upon this place based on TripAdvisor recommendations and it didn't disappoint. Food was excellent and the tasting menus were set a three difference price levels. Good representation of Finnish fare. Wines are reasonably priced as well. Place is small but consistent with the area. Recommendation granted!

  • Visited November 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Padua, Italy
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“First and last time”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2013 via mobile

Yes let's a write my experience.
The dishes would like to seem dishes from super restaurant, with this small portion and good presentation but the taste is completely another thing. No savour at all. It is not worth a menu for 50 bucks.
Not good.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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