Cafe ambiance, more casual than fine dining yet the food is truly excellent. Tried the Krog Martini which is basically a Martini with an Aquavit splash and although it was nice it was also the smallest Martini I have ever had in my life - at 9 Euro by no means the cheapest.
I had the thin cut fillet of beef with chanterelles and Wrångebäck cheese as a starter (beef carpaccio with mushrooms and cheese) and it was truly excellent - my partner the marinated seasoned vegetables with poached egg and hollandaise sauce - a perfect egg (ordered firmly done and delivered as such) for her taste with a sprinkling of piquant vegetables - tiny tender carrots, pink shallot slices and watercress. This simple starter delighted and has stayed with her as a memorable thing.
Mains: Sundmans Krog`s sausage with poached cabbage was a generous portion of three fat sausages sitting on a strongly flavoured cabbage with bacon pieces - not a subtle dish, but a great big winter warmer. I took the char grilled pike perch terrine with fried summer potatoes and cauliflower and it was a gorgeous dish of beautifully cooked ingredients laid out in picture perfection on the plate. Desserts were the chocolate praline with meringue - a rich, unctuous praline offset by a berry sauce drizzled on the plate and little crumbs of dry white meringue. The marinated cherries with mascarpone and almond was a trifle by any other name, but rich for all that, a jelly base laced with just enough sponge to texture it, the cherries fat and fresh - in season, of course, as the stalls on the seafront marketplace attested.
By no means cheap, the meal was informally presented, beautifully cooked and delicious. The setting is pleasantly casual and yet had that ability to impart a sense of occasion. The service was diffident - as all service in Helsinki tends to be - but efficient enough. The wines (a pinot grigio and house white, both good and good value) well chilled and the whole experience highly recommended. We ate there again the next night and were again happy punters (the pork cheek and the 'salmon wallenberg' which wasn't bad but didn't exactly sparkle). It almost made us take a deep breath and brave the pretentious and daunting 'set menu only' confines of big brother restaurant GW Sundmans but then we thought, "No, stuff that" and ate elsewhere.
An excellent Helsinki dinner out.
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