It is time for food porn again my friends, and plenty of it. Our recent visit to restaurant OX in Helsinki was a real feast for the eyes, as well as the palate. OX serves bistro style food from ingredients from the season and the wine list features small producers also from the biodynamic movement. The small restaurant is rather new in town, located on the edge of the center and Punavuori. The ambience is warm and welcoming when we step into the restaurant. Fall is here and I feel very comfortable in cozy little corner table. While we wait for our dinner company, we browse through the list of available bubblies by the glass: Philipponat and Fleury Rose are the choices of the evening. When our friends arrive, we realize we could have ordered a bottle. The list by the glass was sufficient but nothing to get excited about.
The menu gives two options: either go for a surprise menu, or choose dishes from a la carte. Tricky, as well all want the tasting menu, but there are several picky people in the dinner party: M with his dislike for sea food, my friend E who does not eat mushrooms and J, who is just picky because he is (why make up any excuse for that). The waiter is kind enough to tell us what is on the surprise menu, so that we can make our order. We go for a mix, M choosing a la carte, and me going for the surprise. The boys end up browsing the wine menu for a long time before they settle for the Printz von Hessen 2002 Riesling. I take it as there were so many good alternatives to select from.
For food we have some lovely lamb tartar, pork tongue with beetroot, cabbage soup with kale, and deep fried cod. Mmmm..deep fried, but still very fresh, and some German Spätburgunder to wash it down. However, the desserts are the best. Feast your eyes on the sea buckthorn parfait with chocolate and hazelnut, and lingonberry ice cream with basil cake and strawberries. They were both delicious.
The only thing I can give a negative comment about is the service. It was not bad. Not unfriendly. But the waiter just seemed exhausted with all of our questions. We did take a lot of her time with asking about the foods and wine, but still, you could take it that we were just really interested. Perhaps she did not mean anything, but we just didn’t feel the love.
Anyway. Great experience. Not horrible on the bank account, perhaps we paid 50 something Euros for the five course menu. Beautiful and tasty food! I can warmly recommend.