Assuming that you have managed to get a reservation, yes it is that popular, don't assume that this is going to be a fancy, white table cloths type of place, on the other hand don't be fooled by the relaxed and rustic environment. The food, wine and service will be 5 star.
We managed to visit twice in our week long visit to Helsinki, and it was consistently good on both visits. You are quickly welcomed by the staff, who are keen for you to relax and enjoy the experience. On our first visit we opted for the menu of the day, with the matched wines. We started with a lovely glass of 'winter' champagne from a small producer while some bread and amazing home-made tapanade arrived. We then enjoyed some of the best Finnish cooking as the dishes kept coming. Each had a well balanced flavour profile, highlighting the quality of the ingredients and with varying textures. Perfect.
One of the nicest things was that the wines changed with each course, rather than compromising with a wine to cover two. I opted for the half glass with each course, which was perfect. We had the joy of being served by Nikolas and Kati who were extremely knowledgeable about the wines and dishes that they were serving which really brought the experience to life. It felt very personable.
On our second visit we chose from the menu board. With Bouillabaisse, Beets & Goats Cheese, a round each of seafood risotto, then Reindeer tournards with gnocchi, cabbage and truffle, Cheese to share, a chocolate valhrona cake and some blueberry and almond cake. In total we had 8 different wines, each were PERFECTLY matched to the dishes. One of the best wine matching experiences we have had.
The restaurant has won awards from their peer group, once you visit, you will see why.
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