Helsinki’s Hidden Pearl – Restaurant Grön

I would never have booked a table Grön, if a wine interested friend had not tipped me off. Regardless of its central location, its kind of unnoticeable; and the name somehow suggests that the place would be just for vegetarians (its not). Its one of these small bistro-types that don’t look like much from the outside, but there is heaven inside for those who know it. When arriving at the restaurant, the place was crowded. Tables are quite close to each other, and there was a chill creeping in every time someone opened the door. One of the tables is half way in the open kitchen. On purpose? Perhaps. I would have actually liked to sit there. I like watching when people make food. We pushed our way to a corner table. It was a bit claustrophobic, but still manageable. It took a long time to receive the menus, so we did not really have the best start one could imagine.

But when the service started rolling, it improved exponentially. We asked for quite many changes to be made to the set menu, and all was possible. The sommelier seemed very knowledgeable, so we felt comfortable leaving the choices in his hands (does not happen that often).

Our menu:

  • House bread with butter and sorrel salt
  • Broth from roasted chicken wings with seaweed, dill seeds and the last winter cabbages.
  • Buckwheat ”tartlett” with caramelized onion, egg and grated onion butter
  • Raw dry-aged beef and mustard flavoured kale with cured and smoked egg yolk.
  • Oxtail glazed with ”pea-soy”,  fingerling potato, charred leek and redused beef broth (main)
  • Sorrel sherbet with arctic crowberries and cream flavoured with meadowsweet flowers

The good service did not stop at the food, but we also ordered a wine flight with a twist.  As we never really drink a full glass with one course, we asked for half glasses. No problem. We also got to taste all the wines before the full pour, which I appreciate especially when I am going for a surprise menu. Pairings with food were excellent. Wines at Grön are naturally produced, from small family producers.

The “damage” was not too bad. The menu cost 49€ per head + the extras that we ordered around 20€ together. Wines were more expensive, so we landed at around 120€ per person for the evening. Looking at the quality, I was very comfortable paying, but its just good to know in advance that this is not the cheapest dinner in town. Chef & Sommelier still ranks a bit higher on my list for value for money.

Last but not least, Grön has gotten my concept of a good ending for a dinner. The coffee is from small roasters and brewed by hand. I have always wondered when will restaurants get it, that the coffee is what gives the last impression.

xx Soile

Cheers, dessert wine, sparkling Malvasia
Vouvray with the chicken broth
Oxtail glazed with “pea-soy” and lingonberries


Sorrel sherbet with crowberries



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