Restaurant Helmi

Restaurant Helmi has been located at the same place in the Eerikinkatu since the dawn of the day, or at least it feels so. My earliest memories from the restaurant is way, way back from the 1990’s when we visited the bar during the summer time and it was every single time packed. The restaurant has kept it’s appeal all these years thanks to various factors: great location, renting downstairs bar for private parties for free and good kitschen. Yesterday was the first time we tested out Helmi’s kitschen.

Before talking about the food it is important to remind that the restaurant is decorated in style, has nice atmosphere – including quiet music playing in the background – and really warm and good service, just as it should.

First thing to come out of kitchen was a welcome-snack:

I don’t know how to describe what it was. It was like a small pastry with sour cream and bacon. De-li-cious!

For actual appetizers we selected:

Tapas selection a’la Helmi. Tapas was a safe and easy choice from an excellent menu – and taste was also really good.

And for me..

Beef tataki with kimchi salad and tonkatsu mayo.

Honestly it was so hard to choose foods from the menu, as there were so many really good and interesting choices. Before going to the restaurant I had to do my homework and actually figure out what different dishes included – and this dish got my interest and appetite to rise. I expected the taste to be a little bit different, but was also positively surprised as it was not quite what I had thought it would be. Combination worked really well, though I have to say that after this appetizer I was already a little worried whether I can eat the main course.

Expectations were high for the main courses:

”Fish stick” – which was salmon tempura with crab-potato ragout and so on. Looked delicious.

I had selected filet mignon, which actually sounded better on the menu. The dish had creamy hash of potatoes and black trumpets – and the dressing was rosemary-rum sauce. It looked great and tasted really good, but I still had a feeling that I made a wrong choice and should have known better. There was really nothing wrong with the dish, it was just perfect – including the meat, which was perfectly medium, really nicely reddish from the inside – something I can’t really make at home, as Satu wants meat to be done closer to the well done with only little pinkish tones left.

My problem was that the dish – including the sidedish – did not bring really any new taste-experiences. It was really good, but not unforgettable. It was good, but we could have made comparable dish also at home, as in the end the dressing and hash did not taste so different. If I had tasted it with eyes closed, I would have not known that there were mushrooms. It was perfect, it was really good and the dish was visually really beautiful – but in few weeks I can’t remember it.

I just have to remember to reach out more in main dishes into more unfamiliar territories.

I warmly recommend Helmi to others. Like I said in the beginning, service was really warm and good – and people had clearly understood their role in the service business. Food was great and location is just perfect, if you want to jump back into the city center after a great dinner.

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