Few past years in Stockholm, I have witnessed the up-rise of shopping mall-dining. There has been a general cleanup off course, and the old grease-pit style food courts are but a memory now. New, produce focused fast food chains and celebrity chefs have come in to grab the attention. Kortteli, the new, luxury food court on top of the Kamppi mall is the first attempt to pimp-up the mall dining scene in Finland (as far as I know). The fifth floor of Kamppi ticks off all boxes: specialty coffee – check, vegan offering – check, awesome brunch – check, and last but not least celebrity chef – check. Restaurant Jord, hidden in the back of the food court, is the little sister of Michelin-starred Ask, one of Helsinki’s most talked-about fine dining restaurants.
I am not sure if it is completely right to say that Jord is the creation of a celebrity chef, perhaps its more correct to say it is the creation of a team behind a famous restaurant. The owners are the same and there are some synergies with the vision: high quality seasonal ingredients and hand picked wines. I have written about Ask before. It was awesome. So our expectations for Jord were what I would call hopeful but a bit insecure. Insecure due to the fact that Jord is smack in the center of the city and has an awesome view over Kamppi square and beyond. I always find location for a restaurant controversial. A good location/ view sometimes makes the restaurant forget about the quality of food – if people come anyway, why make an effort. Jord proved me wrong though. Thank God. Food was very good, wines well picked, and the service world class. Seriously – world class!
The restaurant is quite small, with table seating next to the wall high windows and bar seating around an open kitchen. You know me. I am more interested in the food than a view, so we sat at the bar, ogling at the three chefs at work. An open kitchen to me is an honest kitchen. Watching the food being created is part of the fun.
We ordered several snacks from the list, as well as two appetizers and two mains. All to share of course. The food came at good intervals and every dish was good. The dishes that we thought were outstanding was the spelt porridge with carrot and deep friend mushrooms with dip. After stuffing ourselves with the starters and mains, we were absolutely full, but decided to defy all reason and ordered the sea buckthorn parfait. I confess that I overate that night, but I have no regrets.
What was also outstanding at the restaurant were the wines. We kicked off the dinner with a lovely Veuve Forny blanc de blancs. Its a lovely champagne with a reasonable price tag. We had a chat with the staff regarding other wines, and got many great recommendations to go with the food. As we were sharing most (all) of the dishes, it felt like a good thing to do to share the wines as well; and here the staff were very accommodating and organized half glasses for us throughout the whole dinner. I always find this kind of flexibility a sign of true customer obsession. We tried many wonderful wines from a half-dry Riesling, to a 100% Monastrell, and a semi-sweet Auslese dessert wine. I must say the pairings with food were spot on and the knowledge the staff had on the wines and producers was high. More than what I would expect from a food court restaurant.
And perhaps that is what Jord is not. Its not a food court restaurant, but it is more a restaurant located in a food court. It is a great choice for any foodie, wine geek and even those who are there for the view. The bill did not take us to bankruptcy, and both quality and service was more than expected. Perhaps not Michelin-star quality, but definitely worth a swing by if you are in Helsinki.