Wineweek 39: Helsinki State of Mind

Sun, fun, food and wine. These are the ingredients of this past weekend. Summer seems to be here to stay, even though I can feel the chilly fall wind in the evenings. The weather forecast is showing nothing but blue skies for the coming week. I think I need the vitamin D to survive the long dark winter from September to March, so keep it coming.

We have been visiting Helsinki this weekend for one reason: Restaurant Day. It is a day arranged three times a year, when anyone can open their own restaurant (for that one day). Many people put up food stalls, but some even invite people to dine in their home. There is an app where you can browse for options and check out what is close by from a map. We have in the past visited many quirky restaurants: We’ve got Pork (pulled pork sandwiches), What the Pho (Pho served from someones kitchen window), and my favorite being the Empanada Mans Kitchen. A man dressed up as a giant empanada was dancing on the street and cashing in, as the yummy empanadas were lowered to hungry customers in a basket from the fifth floor of a building. The food wasn’t world class, but I felt I got my moneys worth.

I love the concept, but this year I must say I was not as impressed by the result. Many of the food stalls were run by professionals, mainly ethnic restaurants, not common people just cooking for fun. The app was not optimized for the growing concept and the food had become relatively expensive. If I want to pay 10€ for a burger, I can go to a burger place. There were also multiple events in town at the same time: Helsinki City Marathon and Flow festival, so it was a bit too crowded for my taste. I am not completely sure if I will visit again. At least not very soon. Or to be honest, I should have done better research on which stalls to visit. There are good ones in there, but you need to read up to pick them out from the hundreds of others that are on display.

We also visited some nice restaurants and tried out good wines. More about those next week as I am currently at the airport, soon ready to board the plane back to Stockholm. Hopefully you enjoy the pictures!

Forest berries, mascarpone cream and Cristina Ventura cava
Forest berries, mascarpone cream and Cristina Ventura cava
Pulled pork at Hakaniemenranta
Pulled pork at Hakaniemenranta
Japanese yakitori skewers
Japanese yakitori skewers
What the Pho, Vietnamese delights served from the kitchen window
What the Pho, Vietnamese delights served from the kitchen window
Some gingerade to revive the energy levels
Some gingerade to revive the energy levels
Flowers and food stalls at Karhupuisto
Flowers and food stalls at Karhupuisto
Pork bun!
Pork bun!
Cocktails and camera dreams on the terrace of Gaijin
Cocktails and camera dreams on the terrace of Gaijin

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