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“Results of a second visit”
Review of Kuurna

Kuurna
Ranked #69 of 1,511 Restaurants in Helsinki
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $29 - $146
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Neighborhood: Vironniemi
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
192 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Results of a second visit”
Reviewed May 28, 2014

I first visited Kuurna less than a year ago. This time we were four, two Americans and two Finns. The Kuurna concept is to serve dinner twice per evening, at six and and eight thirty. It is a small place (old cellar/shop) with a rough interior and four-five larger tables and two-three smaller (for two) ones. It is presently quite popular, so it can be very noisy (you hear also the cooking, which is just behind a low wall). The food is basically Finnish and the menu changes every two weeks, so the cook has a lot of practice in the end of the period! You can get some interesting choices for a additional cost. The end of May menu was very good: as appetizers, herring, sausage or fresh cheese with nettles. We tried them all and they were very delicious. Main course had also three choices: pike with crab sauce, peas and new potatoes, asparagus in false morel sauce and horse filet. We had the two first alternatives and the asparagus with morels was especially delicious (one of us had a "green" menu with all the ingredients more or less green). One normally does not get enough morels in a morel sauce, be this time was different. The pike was esthetically less pleasing but the combination with crab sauce was very good, and the peas really nicely cooked. The desserts were simple but tasty, and not too sweet. Afterwards we discussed with the young cook, who told us that this was his first job after restaurant school. He had learned the trade very quickly and seemed to like his work. Service was quick and excellent and the bread is homemade and very nice. Even the butter was specially made. So, if you wish to experience Finnish food at its best, Kuurna is the place! But be warned: in warm summer evenings it can be pretty hot and there is no outdoor seating. The surroundings is very pleasant, however, so after the meal you can stroll in the harbour and enjoy the cool sea wind.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank jippu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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206 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    99
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    18
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Normally great experience ruined by rude and miserable waiter”
Reviewed May 11, 2014

First of all, I have to admit that I am a regular visitor at Kuurna. The food is always excellent, especially for the price. Even though the menu is small, I have always been able to find something on the menu that particularly appeals to me (there is also always a pepper steak on the specials board that is a great choice). I also particularly like the atmosphere at Kuurna. The restaurant only holds a handful of tables, which gives it an intimate feel and makes it an ideal place to celebrate special occasion (of which I have held several there)!

With all the positives above you may wonder why such a low star rating. The reason is that I recently had an unpleasant experience there. I recently went to Kuurna on Saturday evening (10th May 2014) to take my brother and his girlfriend for a special occasion. I am an expat living in Finland and it was both the first time that my brother was visiting me and the first time that he had visited Finland. As such, I though that Kuurna was an ideal choice based on my past experience.

Again, the food was excellent. However, there were two main problems that ruined the experience:

1. The waiter. For the duration of the meal the waiter looked absolutely miserable and gave the impression that serving us was the last thing he wanted to do. I think that one of the most important aspects of a nice restaurant experience is having a waiter who is at the minimum friendly and polite. It does not take much to smile now and again and to be pleasant with customers rather than looking miserable and asking "what are you having". This was a real shame and left a very negative impression for both myself and my guests. I would understand and accept if the waiter was having a particularly bad day, as this happens to us all, but the last time we went to Kuurna we also had the same waiter who gave the exact same impression. What makes it a bigger shame is that when we have previously been we have normally been served by the waitresses at Kuurna who were very friendly and polite and were not afraid to chat and make you feel welcome at the restaurant. In fact, on our previous visit we were first served by one of the waitresses for the first half of the meal, and the waiter for the second half. It wouldn't be going too far to say that this almost made it feel like having a meal at two different places, with the first half of the meal having a great experience and the second half wanting to leave and go somewhere else.

2. We had booked our table for 4 at 6pm. There are three seating times at Kuurna, 4pm, 6pm and 8.30pm. With this in mind, we did not expect to be told at 7.30 with half a bottle of wine left that we had to leave as they needed the table. We politely said ok and started to finish our wine only to be told again at 7.40 that we really needed to go. We did not expect this kind of treatment at Kuurna. With only the option of three seating times you would expect to have until perhaps 10 minutes before the next arrival so they have time to clean. It is unacceptable to tell customers at a nice evening restaurant to leave after an hour and a half, a full hour before the next people at the table arrive (we also saw this to be the case as when leaving the reservation book was open and said that the next table where we were seating was 8.30).

I want to again say that I really think that Kuurna is a fantastic place with great food for a great price. I am only writing this review with the hope that the management at Kuurna will see it and make sure that there is a consistency in their waiting staff. For us, our treatment on Saturday was unacceptable to the point that we jokingly agreed that we would only return if there was an option to choose who would serve us!

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Will S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky
Level Contributor
57 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Small, cozy and delicious food!!”
Reviewed April 12, 2014

Absolutely delicious food!! Really small restaurant, so make sure you make a reservation in advance. A restaurant NOT to miss in Helsinki! Their menu changes every 2 weeks, so I definitely going there again soon :)

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Rebecca B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
52 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Stunning little spot”
Reviewed February 2, 2014 via mobile

We had a table of 6 here for dinner on saturday night. I thought the good was really top drawer. It's an intimate little spot and the front of house staff were perfectly attentive without being OTT.

The food is Finnish modern I suppose, classic Finnish recipes done in a more modern style. It's delicious. I had blood pudding with lingonberries, pork cheek and tongue although it's not an offal heavy menu. Dish of the day from what the table had was the pike dish.

I liked the fact you can hear what's happening in the kitchen that is separated from the dining area by a 3/4 wall. I also like the fact the chefs were approachable and happy to discuss the dishes (in English although we were with locals).

For Helsinki I think it was reasonable at €125 per couple. The wine list was accessible and we had some good Pinot and perfectly nice Malbec at €37 a bottle.

Go here you won't be disappointed.

Helpful?
Thank Fuzzball79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Level Contributor
177 reviews
151 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“What a find”
Reviewed November 23, 2013

This week I've been in Scandinavia eating, some great places

In Helsinki this was one of them, the other Olo and a. Opulent in compensated too, I'll write a note on them

Kuru a was a tiny hike in the wall with a very small menu

The decode was basic but nice, cozy and welcoming, it implied welcome not expense

Two girls looked after the tables, they were great and helpful

Couple of chefs in the back, would have been nice if they visited tables, especially singles

Food simply delicious

So inexpensive I was shocked (pleasantly of course) nice opportunity to up buy

Ingredients local and tasty and creatively presented

Good wine by the glass

Service just simple and friendly

Loved it, better than some of the bigger names in Copenhagen

We'll located, easy to find, a MUST in Helsinki

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank MBJ400
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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