04 August 2017

Slo-mo Japan

... with Naoki Kenji, the maestro of japanese downtempo.

NAOKI KENJI akatombo



NAOKI KENJI oshitsuki




03 August 2017

Tasting/Testing evening at Restaurant Ora, Helsinki

Restaurant Ora now replaces restaurant Chef & Sommelier. The later has been renovated from top to bottom to give birth to this new place. Sasu Laukkonen is still at the helm with a new team. Saila and I were invited Wednesday, August 2 - along 10 privileged guests, and free of charge - to test/taste the new concept restaurant and give our opinions during this private evening. The restaurant officially opens Thursday Aug. 3. Neddless to say, the food is still incredibly creative, and most importantly, seriously good.

Welcome to restaurant Ora

This menu will be served for the next 4/5 weeks.

The delights, or amuses-bouche.

Strawberries & beetroots


Whitefish tartar, fresh peas and herbs...

... served with a smoked fish croquette & apple mayo, and a withefich skin crisp with herbs


Confit tomato & rose


Lamb with radishes & crisp cabbage

Palate cleanser (kind of frozen powder flavored with herbs)

Marigold, rhubarb and lemon thyme (we didn't make photos of the last dessert "Currants with anise", café & liquors)
 

The Ora team. From left: Adam Kavanagh (cook), Sausu Laukkonen, Tiina Kontkanen (waitress), Noora Sipilä (restaurant manager & sommelier - this young lady comes from restaurant Muru in Helsinki), and head chef Erno Kemi (who comes from restaurant Ragu, in Helsinki too). He's the man who baked the cake for our wedding anniversary dinner at Chef & Sommelier last May. (see message 15.5.2017 or use tags: "ravintola" or "restaurant")

 

30 July 2017

Half french, half italian

Scallops & prawns in a creamy lemon-butter sauce.
In french, we call it "fricassée" or "poêlée" (literally "who comes from the pan"). Looks fancy, but dead easy to do: heat a pan to fuming point and quick sear the scallops for 30sec. on each face. Bring the heat down and add the prawns and sear for an extra 30sec. Add a dash of dry white wine (like a Muscadet), a good dollop of double cream and shake the pan to mix. Then add a few cubes of cold butter in the sauce and mix gently until the butter is completely incorporated, The sauce should have a nice gloss. Add a bit of lemon juice for tartness, chopped chives, salt and white pepper. Serve in a hot plate. This dish takes 5min. to do. Really!

To go along...

This (great) italian wine is has a mineral & complex taste. Gold-yellow in appearance. Bouquet of broom and almond blossoms, of peach, apricot, camomile, vanilla, concluding with pungent sage and rosemary. Its character is immediately clear upon entrance: dry and quite smooth, with a fine supportive structure, while crisp fruit gives both vibrancy and length. The perfect accompaniment for dishes like risottos, fishes, scallops, and crab. (for finnish readers, can be found in Alko at a price of around 23€ - bargain for the quality)

29 July 2017

Mixed grill

The heat is on...

Skewers with pork belly, marinated in moroccan spices: harissa (moroccan chili paste), ginger paste, cumin, honey and lemon juice.

the meat burns a little because of the sugar contained in the marinade.

Now is the turn of fresh pork sausages to go on the grill. 
(the ones on the right are flavored with paprika and chili)


To go along the meat, some grilled veggies.
(green & red pepper, courgette, eggplant, and spring onion)

The veggies are ready and will be served lukwarm, sprinkled with dry oregano and a good dash of extra virgin olive oil. Yummi!

23 July 2017

Killer tune from planet Downtempo

AANDRA (aka Alexandra Hampton) feat. Ayako Higuchi - green tea
(from LP "Origin")



best enjoyed with headphones...

22 July 2017

Routine bbq... aka burgers

steaks on the grill...

flip the steaks...

... and voilà!
Brioche bun, organic minced beef-pork combo, pickled cucumber, Raclette cheese (from the french Alps - certainly one of the best fit for burgers), and a cucumber mayo upgraded with chopped red onions and cayenne pepper. Oh, and of course, the mandatory (organic) ketchup below the meat. Quick, cheap, and tasty.

16 July 2017

Japanese bbq... and a thai noodles salad

Beautiful weather on Helsinki - for once. Ideal for some grilling action... japanese style!

A bbq sauce made of Teriyaki, ginger paste and Shishimi Togarashi (a blend of chili, japanese pepper, black & white sesame seeds, dry seaweeds, orange peels and ginger) for the salmon & pork ribs. We've been introduced to this japanese blend of spices by Sasu Laukkonen, Michelin chef in Helsinki. Since then, we've been addicted to this stuff, Awsome!

The ingredients for the salad dressing: organic soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, red chili paste, organic cane sugar (... instead of palm sugar. We couldn't put our hands on some in time), thai basil, coriander, red onion and organic red chilis (+ peanut oil, not on the photo).

The salmon coated with the teriyaki sauce is put to the grill.

Same for the ribs.

Surf & Turf.
left the ribs, right the salmon. Both sprinkled with extra Shishimi Togarashi powder for extra spiciness.

Thai salad with rice noodles, roasted peanuts, spring onions, chili, thai basil and coriander.
The perfect side dish!

15 July 2017

Snack stop at Casa Italia 15.7.2017

Casa Italia is a small trattoria on Bulevardi, Helsinki. Small but loaded with goodies imported straight from Italia. When nearby, we always make a stop, either to buy food or to have a quick snack in their (really) small eating place. So, 2 lukewarm paninis (one with prosciutto, gorgonzola cheese, chili sauce and olive oil on left. The other stuffed with mortadella, mozarella di bufala, grilled eggplant, olive oil and black pepper). To go along, a bottle of chilled Ribolla Gialla.

Sicilian cheese cake Tatin way. Sponge cake on top, cream cheese below.

Homemade Tiramisu.

Expressos, Grappa and Limoncello to wrap up the meal.
How do you say "buuuurp" in italian?

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