There are some combinations between wine and food that have no place in history. Sushi and wine is one of them. Sushi, originally from Japan was meant to be enjoyed with local beverages, some hot sake for example, or green tea. However, more recently, a lot of Asian restaurants have popped up pairing oriental dishes with cocktails and different wines. Sushibar + Wine is one of them. The concept restaurant has four different locations in Helsinki, and I was lucky enough to be invited to one of them for a drink and a nibble. Sushibar + Wine on Fredrikinkatu close to Kamppi is one of the first locations. It does not look flashy on the outside, but inside it is cozy and fresh. The furniture is simple and clean, but all the details from pillows, to vases and plates are from Marimekko. I stumble in from the hot weather and the staff is already waiting for me with a cold drink. I cant think of a better welcome. I sit down with the restaurant manager, Iisa and have a look at the list of sushi.
The list is comprehensive with different kinds of sashimi, nigiris, makis and bowls. There are plenty of traditional sushi’s, however also modern and quirky. Iisa explains that the Finns are crazy about teriyaki sauce and Philadelphia, so they use them in the different rolls quite a lot. When a Japanese person walks in, they go for the plain ones, and wonder quite a lot about our odd taste. I am quite happy to see that there are dishes for almost all diets (maybe not the meatlovers): vegetarians, vegans etc. There are many sizes of dishes, big and small, so one can just come for a tiny bite and a glass of wine. According to Iisa, its a popular place for a pre-dinner snack – its like like Japanese tapas. On Sundays, the guys from Wolt run in and out delivering sushi home to the weary party people.
And how about the wine then? Does wine fit with the different types of sushi. We sip on a crisp Riesling to try out. In the hot weather it matches perfectly with the lightly grilled Korishake with coriander and chili. I could also have imagined a fresh new world Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Weltliner or Sancerre to pair with the different dishes. They key, I would say, is that the wine is served properly chilled (maybe it was the weather talking, but it definitely felt so at the moment). Red wine, hmmm, I am not so sure, and definitely not funky skin contact orange wines. I would go with something crisp and clean.
After taking photos, we gobbled down the sashimi, some stravocado nigiris, deluxe maki, vege suppreme maki and vegan purple inaris. I was sure I could not finish everything but we did. Everything was so delicious. The glass of Riesling went down nicely too, and I was very pleased with the meal. What is very nice is that Sushibar + Wine also makes an effort with the presentation. It is not an expensive place, but the food is made to look very nice – not just slapped together like at my normal lunch sushi place, where the taste partially makes up for the looks.
Sushibar + Wine Freda is located on Fredrikinkatu 42 close to Kamppi. They have maybe 30 seats inside and in the summer another 30 seats on the terrace. This is definitely a place I could imagine coming for that pre-dinner snack or even a date (oh, if M just would eat fish).
Thank you my dear Iisa for the lovely introduction!
P.S. This place can also be found in our Tripsteri App