After already having been to 3 out of 4 Helsinki based B&W restaurants, I was more than eager to visit the 4th one and so to say close the circle, with the restaurant where it all began… FARANG!
Back in times when Björck and Wikberg used to work together at Michelin awarded Chez Dominique restaurant was when an idea of a great quality, authentic Asian restaurant in Helsinki was born. It took about 5 years of planning, researching and taking a trip to Southeast Asia, to finally open up Farang in 2009 offering all of the authentic Asian flavors and a fusion kitchen which was something very new and refreshing on Helsinki’s food scene.
Ever since, Farang has been in top 5 local and tourist favorite restaurants in Helsinki city. Farang’s mission has always been to offer harmony of flavors, using only the best ingredients and always improving and following the modern cooking techniques.
The dishes at Farang are served the way that the two main chefs Bjorck and Wickstrom have been thaught on their trips to Southeast Asia, it’s all about social eating, sharing food, eating “finger food”, etc. Even though, Western cultures have influenced the modern day Southeastern Asian way of eating ( use of chairs, tables, cutlery, etc. ) it is still possible to enjoy a real way of traditional eating when visiting those countries – on a carpet, eating food with minimum use of fork and spoon, knives are never used and food usually comes served in bowls.
I must say that Farang have followed this tradition as well, but not to that extent of eating on a carpet or only with hands, since I believe that it would make many locals feel uncomfortable or confused. 🙂
Farang’s interior is absolutely charming, fine dining – social eatery with a laid-back lounge bar, just like in all of other B&W restaurants leaves you an option of totally informal dining, enjoying one of many and often changing cocktails, wines and perhaps fresh snacks from the seasonally changing menu.
Prior to the new menu change, Mr. Tommi Björck has spent some time living and exploring Australia. More laid-back lifestyle, sunny days and Aussie flavors have definitely inspired the new changes on the menu to be even more fresh and street style food like than before.
We have tasted many new dishes as well as some “legendary” ones such as Pork and Caramel that’s been highly raved about for years and is still to date a customer favorite.
Every dish in Farang is prepared on spot and comes out of the kitchen with a lot of pride and heart put into each dish.
Creative, fresh and perfectly balanced food are three first words that come to my mind when thinking of my experience at Farang.
For the starters we have opted for couple of snacks and two dishes from the “Fresh – shared” section of the menu. Snacks were pumpkin and coconut on a cha plu leaf, as well as roasted albacore tuna on a cha plu leaf with salmon roe, along with the greetings from the kitchen – green shell mussels with a seaweed caviar.
Fresh – shared dishes were my favorites hamachi and salmon sashimi in a coconut cream and lime dressing and rainbow trout roe on top. We were advised to eat it together with the jasmin rice to bring out all of it’s deep flavors and it definitely did the trick!
Second fresh dish was a “newcomer” pork and prawns Tumazaab – shrimps, grilled tiger prawns and green mango salad with salted pork belly and sweet lime chili dressing. Wonderful combination of fresh, crispy and perfectly balanced spices in one plate. I can see this dish being one of the new costumer favorites, for sure.
For the mains, we have opted for already mentioned, legendary dish crispy pork with palm sugar caramel and crispy fried lotus root. It did not let down the expectations which were very high! After being “instructed” by a dear friend to definitely try this dish, we knew that it must be nothing shorter than the perfection on a plate and it was!
Another main was Phaenang curry with two different options – meat eater’s version with braised pork neck and vegetarian one with grilled and shaved carrots, both prepared with coconut oil and roasted peanuts giving that well known and loved Thai taste but with a touch of Farang magic. 🙂
To “clean up” our taste palette and end the evening in the only acceptable way was with a new dessert – Golden triangle. Coconut pudding with mandarine sorbet in a Thai coffee with fresh mango. I must admit that I love anything with the coconut, but I didn’t like the mandarine sorbet, I felt that some other would work better, but that’s just my personal preference and I always want to be honest in my reviews.
After being catered wonderfully, explained every single dish that has arrived to our table, having our bellies full of amazing food, we found it hard to want to leave that little piece of foodie heaven!
*This post has been made in collaboration with B&W restaurants, all of the opinions are my own.
*Thank you to Katariina and Hele for an amazing experience and for making this collaboration possible.
*Photography by : Natali K. photography