High-flying Wines: Finnair Business Class Helsinki-Bangkok

Airline-wines are often selected to please crowds, thus it is highly likely that I will find them uninteresting. Finnair is no exception, except for, that they are even more boring than other airlines. Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve as their champagne (a bad move I think to change from the previous Joseph Perrier Brut), an unoffensive South African Sauvignon Blanc, a fruity Riesling, and an average Italian Merlot. I swear to God, I was yawning when reading through the list. Big-house products, selected from which ever importer is giving the best deal, feels like. Anyway, I don’t actually want to write about the wines. What I really want to write about is the Finnair business class menu, designed by one of my favorite chefs, Sasu Laukkonen from Chef & Sommelier.  A few weeks back, M showed me an article from one of his travel magazines (I think) about Finnair launching a new signature menu on their business class. The chef: Eero Volttonen, who has worked at numerous starred restaurants (Chez Dominiue, Luomo, Sundmans and Olo). The launch of the new menu is on 11th of January, just two days after our return from Asia. Two days! Such bad luck. However, I was not aware that signature menus is not a new concept for Finnair and the old (current) signature menu is by no other than Sasu Laukkonen from Chef & Sommelier. C&S is my absolute favorite restaurant in Helsinki. Good luck after all!

First course

Artichoke soup with rainbow trout and horseradish
Duck compote with beets

Mains

lamb with red wine sauce and potato
Baked cod  with crispy almonds
Tortellini with spring onion and chantarelles

Dessert

Petit Choux (small airy pastries filled with cream)
Jymy organic ice cream

Disclaimer: I would have written more elaborate descriptions if I would have not forgotten to take a picture of the menu. Amateur..

Lucky we were three travelling so we could try all three mains. The stewardess tried to offer our two-year-old meatballs and potatoes, however we kindly informed her that our daughter would be having the baked cod. Well, she ate it all and we nibbled a bit. My favorite dish was however the tortellini. Creamy pasta swimming in a sauce of basil and butter (yes butter!) with a side of beautiful chanterelles. I am not a vegetarian, but I give respect when the vegetarian dish has been prepared with just as much care as the meat/fish ones. I also enjoyed the artichoke soup with trout. It had a good balance of creamy and salty flavors. M was a bit skeptical of his duck compote, but the beets were delicious. I like beets.

All in all the food was very good. To be airline food I mean. I would rather eat at Chef & Sommelier, however, the Finnair-version was not half bad. The ingredients used were fresh and very typical for C&S, beets, horseradish and rainbow trout, as well as the effort put in the vegetarian dish. We have many times found the vegetarian menu at C&S to be more surprising as well as tastier. As an added bonus Sasu Laukkonen responded to my Instagram post on his menu. He seems like such a nice guy, and he is also a coffee geek (have met him at the restaurant a few times).

On the was back we get to sample another menu by a signature chef, Steven Liu (The Savoy and Dorchester in London). I cant wait! I just wish that the winelist would catch up to the excellent choice from Finnair to partner up with exciting chefs. Maybe someday…Looking forward to a cooperation with Essi Avellan!

xx Soile

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The menu by Sasu Laukkonen
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Artichoke soup with rainbow trout
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Tortellini with chantarelles
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Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reverve Champagne

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