In my newest post of “Visit Helsinki” cycle of articles, I’m bringing you a full-on review of restaurant Bronda! I did write about this same restaurant a little bit less than a year ago and you can read about it here in case you’ve missed it.
Unlike the 1st time, this time around we’ve been testing out Bronda as a lunch spot and it’s set lunch menu with vegan options too. Even though, it’s not pointed out on Bronda’s website, they do serve vegetarian and vegan options as well as a set menu during lunchtime too. You can either call them in advance and pre-order your vegan/ vegetarian options or you can just walk in and let them surprise you. They’re very skilled personnel, in the kitchen as chefs and as a very friendly and quick service.
Bronda was the latest restaurant to open in BW chain of restaurants by famous chefs Tomi Björck and Matti Wikberg, but it’s nothing less popular or amazing as the rest of their restaurants. In fact, Bronda has become a regular, “must” lunch spot for many business people, younger population and as well for any real foodie lover looking for something more refined and interesting for lunch than a usual salad buffet or a quick sandwich run.
Just like the first time, this time around I was so impressed by Bronda’s gorgeous, spacious and very bright interior. Massive balls (light bulbs) hanging from the ceiling, big windows and an attention to the detail on every table are definitely some of the biggest assets of this place, esp. knowing that Scandinavia is always deprived of sun and daylight, so if anywhere, at Bronda you do get that too. 🙂
Besides an amazing food, central location and overlooking the beautiful Esplanade park next door are more than enough reasons to book your table if you’re living in Helsinki, are visiting it or planning to visit it this Summer.
Bronda is very proud of their extensive wine list which comes from all over Europe ( Bronda’s food is a fusion/ mix of Italian, Spanish and central Europe cuisines ). Make sure to try the menu or at lest one dish paired with one of their wines.
As previously pointed out, we has a pleasure to test their Menu Esplanad with an addition of couple of vegan options and daily choice from the lunch menu of Hawaii burger and Banana cake as a dessert.
Bronda’s set lunch menus change seasonally, whilst regular lunch menu and daily specials change weekly. They also always make sure that there is great enough variety of dishes so it’s practically impossible not to find something to satisfy your tastebuds. 🙂
In case you’ve missed out on having lunch here and you don’t have time to wait for the dinner shift, you can anyways come in and sit by the bar, where you can relax by listening to some good lounge music, sip on a cocktail and have a bite of some small snacks and salads.
Onto the lunch! To be honest, after so many restaurant reviews and not only Helsinki ones, I wasn’t sure if I can get so easily wooed and impressed, but I was very, VERY wrong, because Bronda’s lunch experience maximised my love for exploring food and different cuisines to a whole new level.
As an opening of the menu, we were served sashimi of white fish and prawn cocktail with apple and sorrel sauce. It was a very interesting combination, very Mediterranean like because of the aroma of the sauce and saltiness of minced olives. As a vegan option we got soft taco with cabbage, avocado cream and fried tofu. This was a very different take on taco than the ones I’m used to see around and since I’ve tried the best Mexican food in LA, it didn’t impress me as much, but it was def. a great vegan option.
Then onto the exciting, the best beef tar-tar ever! It was a smoked beef tar-tar with horseradish cream, truffle flavoured egg yolk and mustard dashi sauce, served with squid ink cracker. If a person doesn’t even blink or speak a word while they eat a certain dish, then it means that they’re so impressed by the food that they’re eating that it’s even hard to explain what exactly makes that particular beef tar-tar better than any other. I guess that a lucky combo of truffles, quality meat and smoky taste are trio for the win!
Next up came “greetings from the kitchen” with grilled broccoli, cauliflower, roasted almonds, faro and tahini sauce as a vegan option and breaded chicken with tomato and aioli sauces. Vegan option was light, very rich in flavour and I could have just kept on eating that and I would be happy, it was that good. Chicken was perfectly crispy on the outside and buttery soft on the inside. Also, both sauces worked well with it and I’d say that this is a perfect finger food. Just as was the next up coming baby back ribs in romesco sauce which are already a staple dish at Bronda and they can always be found on the menu.
Our favourite ribs to this date are at Yume restaurant in Helsinki, but Bronda’s are being a huge competitor to those. For a change, it’s great that some of our favourite dishes are to be found in our own city, unlike previously, they were spaced out all over the world and we would get to taste them like once a year. 😀
My vegan option were herb falafels in chimichurri sauce with roasted hazelnuts! I almost fell of my chair when tasting these little balls of perfection! 🙂 Hands down, those were the best falafels I’ve ever tried. I swear that I have even Lebanese friends which are pros in making falafels, but I’m sorry to break it to them that I found my favourites at Bronda. 😀 If you are a vegan or vegetarian – ORDER these asap!
Main courses were: roasted salmon with saffron mayonnaise, roasted sweet pepper vinaigrette and grilled slices of spring onion and Hawaii burger.
Let’s start with the burger – what usually people find annoying when eating a more “fancy” burger is the fact that you need a cutlery to eat it, so the pleasure of eating it with hands is gone, which is not a bad thing, but when having a specific, picky foodie, it’s sometimes taking away from the total pleasure. Bronda’s burger was just perfect and most possibly the top one in whole Helsinki. Brioche bun was so soft, meat was made into a perfect patty, grilled slice of pineapple added that sweet kick and gave some more density to the burger. Bronda’s own ketchup worked wonderfully with the burger! It had a smokey, almost like wood burnt taste and no wonder that they’re very proud of it, because it’s def. a fantastic product which would work well with many other dishes too.
My roasted salmon dish was simply TO DIE FOR! Seriously! I’m a huge salmon lover, I’ve been eating all sorts of variations of salmon in the past couple of years that I got down to getting impressed only by a perfectly made salmon nigiri but this dish made my respect and love for salmon get a whole facelift!
Finally a dish that presents salmon in a Mediterranean way and so well bodied and rich in flavour dish. I couldn’t believe how much I loved every single bite! Def. a favourite on the menu!
Desserts were already tested tiramisu which was as perfect as I remembered it and a banana cake which was equally as delicious and was presented beautifully.
All in all, I left Bronda with such a great feeling and fantastic taste in my mouth! Their lunch is worth every penny, so go and check it out.
*This post was made in collaboration with BW restaurants. All of the opinions are my own.
*Thank you to Miss Elina for welcoming us and making this collaboration possible!
*Photography by: Natali K photography