On summer vacation we have had the opportunity to sample different ways to dine and lunch in Helsinki.
For example yesterday we sampled impressively cool restaurant at the 8 th floor of Stockmann’s department store, called F8. On the eight store of the departmentstore F8 proved to be much better diner and cafe than we had anticipated, and to be honest also the deco and good service made an impression. Because of Cityshopper card we got two dishes for the price of one, but even for the full price food was reasonably priced. We took mediterraen beef and grilled salmon with new potatoes from the grill, each costing about 16 – 18 euros per dish – including salad, bread and icewater. Other options would have included home cooking ( pasta etc. ), salad bar or oriental options – including really good looking dishes of noodles and eggs. Dishes looked superb, tasted very good and like I said – service and decoration were superb. I really liked the place and imagine that it is very popular place among people who spend more time shopping in the department store or want something good during the lunch hour.
For this summer we took ambitious project to take advantage of most of the restaurant promotions in Cityshopperi card, which we got for free – because our household is a subscriber to Olivia magazine. Dining in Helsinki can be an expensive experience – even if you don’t frequent fine dining places, but use services of quite normal restaurants. Multiply 50 to 160 euros by the times you eat out, and suddenly you have used as much as students use for rent and food in a month. However with promotions like the ones you get in Cityshopper-card you get to dine in much more reasonable expenses more often – and thanks to the markup in drinks and other products that restaurants serve also they get something in return. Best promotions in the card are usually two meals for the price of one and reasonably priced wine bottle while dining, which puts dining well for two persons in the price range of 40 – 80 euros.
So now we have 10 to 15 restaurants on our todo-list, and need to also write reviews about them to http://eat.fi/. Whole lotta eating to do, but some one has gotta do it. Earlier this year we made arrangement to not to eat in normal eateries, but rather pool our resources together and eat in a better establishment once a month for a much larger sum, but also for a much more memorable experience. That however lasted only for couple of months as even though we decided not to, we still went now and then to normal lunch restaurants and did not really make the effort to really plan ahead and set the milestones for all the great fine dining restaurants in Helsinki. So that is another project that we need to continue, when autumn comes – if economical situation allows it.
In other news we are also enjoying cooking at home, but would really need to have more dinner parties with friends as it usually is much more fun to cook with friends, and enjoy food and great wine together. These days we actually have very good opportunities to eat well at home as we have really good food shopping choises around us in Itäkeskus and in new Prisma department store, which houses decent meat, fish and cheese sections – and has also small alcohol store right next to it. If we just had the energy to invite anyone for dinner…
Yesterday we made great late evening snack, chicken hamburgers. Homemade bun with all sorts of seeds and healthy goodness, chicken filee instead oh hamburger patty, tomatoes, cheese, lettuce and three slices of bacon. Mouth watering good! I’m beginning to salivate even now. Picture however was not that good:
After eating the burger I was done for the day. I barely managed to roll myself to the sofa and watch news for a while, before we decided that it is time to hit the bed. Experience that I haven’t had since I ate Bacon Ultimate Cheeseburger at Jack In The Box in California. Somehow fast food in Finland is light years behind chains that are only available in US like Jack In The Box or In-N-Out. Jack In The Box was really nice for their outrageously fatty meals that made you realize that you just ate something big, where as In-N-Out was about quality, even making french fries right there in the store.
Compare that to fast food restaurant here:
Image is from Hampuris chain’s XXL Burger meal.