Minato sushi is a lovely little restaurant located in the city centre of Helsinki, it has opened a little over a year ago and is ran by two very passionate foodies and professional chefs, Tuomo and Riina. Riina has 17 years of experience and is very specific about sushi rice, fresh fish, perfect cuts and giving an own signature twist to the dishes.
Minato sushi has a small but very satisfying and delicious menu which will definitely leave you enough of choices to satisfy your cravings.
Minato sushi is a welcoming breeze of “fresh air” in the sea of wanna be Japanese and sushi buffets which have taken over Helsinki food scene.
Minato sushi delivers to your doors too, so if you’re living in Helsinki you can order their delicious sushi via the delivery services too.
While visiting Minato sushi, it was such a pleasure to talk to Tuomo a young, very involved and proud force of the restaurant. We had a delicious chance to indulge in miso soup with grilled salmon and portobello pieces, sashimi and sushi platter including signature roll, Kolari with smoked reindeer.
Just a little bit before we have dined at Minato, they had two special days of fresh tuna and they promise to have more of those kind of surprises in the future. 🙂
*Thank you Tuomo for this opportunity. This post has been made in collaboration with Minato sushi but all of the opinions are my own.
If you come to Helsinki by boat, chances are that you’ll arrive right at the Viking Line port and a hotel which is conveniently located nearby is hotel Katajanokka. Hotel Katajanokka is a very unique hotel and one of those experiences which you can put on your “bucket list” and the reason for that is because it used to be a prison!
Hotel Katajanokka was “made” in 2007. when it had been transformed from a prison into a hotel. Restoration lasted for a while and once it had opened it’s doors to the visitors it immediately became hyped up and a wanted place to stay at! You can still visit original group and isolation cells in the hotel but other than that and some prison like metal doors or window rails, you would never say that it served as a county prison previously.
Hotel Katajanokka goes by the motto “escape the ordinary” and you definitely do feel everything but ordinary staying at this modern, stylish and incredibly sweet hotel. The staff is one of the nicest I’ve encountered in my numerous hotel stays around the world.
In 2018, hotel Katajanokka joined to chain of Mariott hotels which sets them a level up higher and a certain standard which they’re meeting flawlessly. All of the bedrooms are simple, practical and the walls are decorated with the photos and small details like “lockets” to portray the hotel’s past.
For all of the hungry bellies, on the 1st floor of the hotel, there’s a well spoken about restaurant Linnankellari which serves you delicious Nordic cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had a chance to enjoy fine dinner testing some simple but full of flavour starters such as sprout salad, local blue cheese with rhubarb jam, new potatoes and broiled fish.
Main courses are hearty and perfect for sharing if you ain’t too hungry. 🙂 Linnankellari serves classics such as hotel’s own burger and fries as well as cooked pork ribs or something lighter like spelt risotto with asparagus.
There are three desserts but all three were very light and different, from deconstructed Pavlova to creme brûlée Linnankellari style, all three were worth the sugar spike. 😀
If you need a hotel in Helsinki which is nearby the best of local attractions but enough “tucked away” to give you sort of privacy and peace, hotel Katajanokka is the right choice for you, not to mention that if you’re into that whole “bucket thing” list, you simply must stay here!
*This post was made in collaboration with the hotel Katajanokka but all of the opinions are my own!
*Photography by #natalikphotography
*Thank you to Ms.Heli for this opportunity and Ms. Anni for the warm welcome.
About 12 years ago when I’ve first visited Helsinki, there weren’t as many hotels as there are now in the very heart of the Helsinki city centre but one of the first hotels I did stay at back then was Scandic Simonkentta.
Swedish chain of 4 star hotels right away “got” me with their minimalistic design, effortless check in/out and great comfort. Couple of years after, I have stayed at hotel Marski as well and while it was not any different looking than the other Scandic hotels I’ve been to (in other cities such as Turku and Oulu) I did love the very central location of it, right on the main street Mannerheimintie and right across the best department store in Finland, Stockmann as well as the historical Swedish theatre and 3 blacksmiths square.
About a year and half ago I have heard that hotel Marski is under the reconstruction and the whole new look and concept will be given to it!
Oh and it was so! Beautiful new hotel Marski by Scandic was (re)opened couple of months ago and the new , very stylish and fancy design had complemented the “old fame” of the place.
I love the cozyness of it, the upgraded bedrooms and amenities as well as the restaurant Kuusi Palaa which served us amazing dinner and a wonderful breakfast table. I found the rooms to be very stylish, more spacious than before and I have loved the new “splash” of colour it got versus the other Scandic hotels I know of.
Gym, sauna access, parking garage and super friendly and helpful staff would be definitely what I’m looking for when staying at a hotel in any city’s centre. Something that is also great about Marski by Scandic hotel is that WiFi is free of charge, pets are allowed and it also proudly carries the Nordic Swan eco label for the sustainability.
Thanks to already mentioned hotel’s restaurant Kuusi Palaa, I have dined well and have enjoyed to the max Noridc / Finnish cuisine at it’s best. The name of the restaurant is quite entertaining as it can mean many different things and some of them are: “Burning Tree” or “6 slices”. You even get a small pamphlet on your dinner table explaining the name and all of the variations of it. 🙂
It’s rare that I like any of the hotel’s own restaurants, but Kuusi Palaa has definitely satisfied my foodie standards as well as my tastebuds. 🙂
From the starter plate or so called Finnish tapas to the main course and finishing off the dinner with a rich but just perfectly combined brownie with coffee cream and popping candy was nothing short but great!
I can definitely recommend you to try out the Marski bar, besides live music played by the DJ you can also enjoy many great cocktails among which I’d like to point out Grandma’s pickle cocktail and Raspberry boat, both of them you can also get as a mocktail. 🙂 For avid beer lovers, there’s an extensive list of local and Finnish beers as well.
If you find yourself visiting Helsinki sometime soon and are looking for a 5 star hotel treatment and vibe but at much affordable rate, give a chance to Marski by Scandic, you won’t regret it!
*This article was made in collaboration with Scandic hotels / Marski hotel but all of the opinions are my own.
*Photography by Natali K. photography
*Thank you Ms. Elina and Mr. Jouko for this opportunity!
Zinfandel’s restaurant is one out of the two restaurants which you can enjoy inside of the Esplanade hotel. While LeBistro is more of a laidback “bistro” for a whole day dining, Zinfandel’s is perfect for a romantic night out, foodie experience or the best hotel breakfast you’ve ever had.
Let’s start with the breakfast, big variety of cold cuts, dips, spreads, fruit platter, overnight oats, smoothies, numerous cakes, selection of breads… All of those are part of the breakfast buffet table where you can serve yourself and eat as much as you like but if you wish to have something more special like warm porridge, grilled pineapple or poached eggs, you have a a-la-carte menu and the servers will do their best to spoil you with something warm and delicious. 🙂
I would say that you should definitely try the “star” of their breakfast table and that’s traditional Croatian strukli, a dish like no other, which quickly became my favourite breakfast choice. Dense yet “melt in my mouth” dough, filled with the fresh cheese and topped with the sour cream and eggs, baked to perfection in the oven. It’s a well known fact that Esplanade’s breakfast strukli are the best in Zagreb, if not in whole Croatia.
Zinfandel’s got it’s name after a special sort of grapes originating from the South of Croatia. Main chef, Ms. Ana Grgic has been devoted to crafting her special signature at Zinfandel’s for 13 years. What begun as an apprentice in training, developed into something very fruitful and it ensured that Ms. Ana becomes the main chef of Zinfandel’s and LeBistro.
If you are looking for a delicious lunch with a 5 star service and a cozy, home like vibes, I suggest you to go to LeBistro. It’s a perfect place to try traditional Croatian dishes but interpreted in a “finer” way with a modern day twist to it. What stood out for me were definitely a carrot risotto and ricotta gnudi.
For a dinner at Zinfandel’s, I’d suggest you to leave about 2-3 hours of free time to enjoy all of the beauty of the interior, complex but delicious bites of food and some of the best wines from an extensive drinks list.
It’s impressive to see how much an interior can change from the breakfast to dinner service. From a bright, “comfy” and bistro like vibes in the morning to the luxurious, dimmed lights and candlelit dinner tables at evening. Zinfandel’s menu is changing very often but some of the dishes marked as “Zinfandel’s classics” never go off of the menu and there is a reason for that. Traditional dishes, which don’t need any adjustments and are visually as well as tastefully perfect just as they were years before and will be in years to come.
Part of Zinfandel’s a-la-carte selection which does change has been for years putting it’s chef and the restaurant in the top of the Croatian restaurant scene. Loved by the critics as well as by the visitors and foodie enthusiasts, Zinfandel’s have set the bar very high to all of the other hotel restaurants in Zagreb. So far none of them have even got a close to Zinfandel’s in this “silent competition”.
I was happy to share this dinner experience with my brother. We went a little “reckless” and have ordered some dishes which sounded interesting and innovative to us. There was no room for the safe options when trying to test and give a grade to Zinfandel’s food.
Starters were foie gras and truffles with truffle ice cream and cocoa cone and open lasagne with rabbit confit and chickpea foam. I must say I have never yet heard of truffle ice cream and esp. not served with the foie gras so I was excited to see how it’s going to be plated as well as what kind of the taste all together will have. Foie gras with truffles was delicious! I suggest putting it on a cracker bread to enjoy it fully. The ice cream part was bit confusing to me as I just couldn’t put/ mix it with the foie gras or eat on it’s own but that’s just the way my taste buds were, maybe you would go nuts about it so don’t hesitate to try something as innovative as this.
My brother had the open lasagne and before I could even ask him how does he like his dish, it was gone, licked off of the plate. 😀 He loved them as they were full of taste, creamy… Tomac Millennium Brut sparkling wine was perfect to match with our starters.
Main courses were reindeer fillets with roasted beetroot and rhubarb and a pork fillet with mustard seeds, pickled radishes and Bernaise sauce. Visually, both dishes were perfect but my brother who tested both of the dishes could conclude that the pork fillet was the “winner” out of these two.
Technically they were both prepped perfectly but the reindeer fillets were overpowering with the taste the rest of the food on the plate. Rhubarb and beetroot might be a good combination together in some vegetarian dish or even a dessert but together with the reindeer maybe something else would be a better choice. Pork fillet had nothing to complain about, everything matched well together and mustard seeds were a cherry on top of the taste explosion. Well done!
For the main course wine we were offered a merlot by Krauthaker from Kutjevo. I must say that the sommelier made us really entertained by the whole service of the red wine from out of the bottle to the glass. Very nice “touch” to the whole dinner experience.
Zinfandel’s dessert list consists of 4 equally great sounding options but we have decided to try their brownie and lemon sponge cakes. Brownie was a chocolate and nut dream, it tasted like a sophisticated version of Snickers bar. 😀 Lemon sponge cake was served with marinated pear and cinnamon ice cream – I couldn’t think of a better , Winter perfect dessert.
I hope that my detailed description of what you can expect from Zinfandel’s and LeBistro as well as the photos of the dishes have made you consider of visiting them both and experiencing a real food heaven oasis in the heart of Zagreb city.
*This post has been made in collaboration with hotel Esplanade, all of the opinions and photos are my own.
*Thank you to Ms. Sanda and Mr. Ivica for making this collaboration possible.
*Thank you to all of the wonderful staff at LeBistro and Zinfandel’s for giving us a remarkable service during our visit.
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YUM pastry shop and cafe are a little peace of delicious heaven which you MUST visit if you find yourself visiting Sibenik this Summer for instance. YUM pastry shop and cafe was born only a few months ago and it’s a very refreshing and much needed addition to the local gourmet offer. Continue Reading…
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Triple yes to the latest restaurant ran by a successful gastro duo of Richard McCormik and Ville Relander. Those who are locals or have been following bit closely Helsinki food scene must have already come across those two names as those are the same people to “blame” for eateries such as Sandro, TheCock and Holiday Bar. Continue Reading…
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Pick up with Foodora is one of the latest options this food delivery service has to offer. Up until not long time ago, you could only order food to be delivered to your home or office address, but not anymore. Pick up option allows you to browse through the restaurants that co-operate with Foodora, decide on your preferred pick up date and time, pick up your food and either eat it/ have it right there or bring it home with you, avoiding the delivery charge or waiting in the line at the restaurant or cafe. Continue Reading…