Food, Lifestyle, My Work

Visit Helsinki: Gaijin

November 5, 2015

Gaijin is a Japanese word for an “outsider” or “foreigner” . After being an “outsider” for more than 8 years in Helsinki and being a huge Asian food and culture  lover, visiting restaurant GAIJIN was more than exciting! I have been to some of the best Asian restaurants in Europe such as Yauatcha in London and in US such as Katana Robata and Matsuhisa (LA) but I must admit that Gaijin impressed me so much. It can easily meet the standards of such high level as the other three mentioned restaurants.



GAIJIN was an idea which was born when Tomi Björck and Matti Wikberg worked together at another famous restaurant Chez Dominique and were driven with the same vision of opening a restaurant that would serve North Asian food in the heart of the city, inspired by their trips to China, Korea, Japan and also Sydney and New York. All of those have influenced Gaijin’s menu. There is as well a book titled Gaijin with the photos and stories from those trips and I must say that after flipping only through a couple of pages, I was so inspired by it and felt like I couldn’t wait to start tasting the food that chefs have prepared for us on that day.



Our culinary trip started with some very special sake which is a rare find in Helsinki and I must say that Gaijin has a great variety of sakes, so you’re more than welcome to test them at the Gaijin’c cocktail lounge without any reservation. Also, Gaijin is a fine dinning restaurant BUT without the stiffness or dress code of one. You can just relax with your family, friends or have a romantic date instead.



We were presented with lots of small bites/ snacks and I must say that every single dish that was brought in front of us was pure perfection on a plate. There was NO boring food, just a brilliant and innovative take on Asian kitchen which I love so much.  We were presented amazing dishes, from a prime raw fish ( tuna tataki, prawn cracker and salmon sashimi), dumplings (pumpkin shu mai, kale & caramel gyoza) , meat ( beef tartar, marbled beef tataki) to mouthwatering buns ( pork belly and soft shell crab ) over to my ultimate favourite, eel and truffle nigiri to the most crispiest and tender squid tempura and baby back pork ribs! We’ve finished our dinner with a masterfully decorated plate, selection of their 4 delicious desserts Tsukiji choco being my favourite one. 🙂




Overall feeling was more than I have expected to ever experience in Helsinki and I went home happy and in awe of an amazing food trip that I have just witnessed only a few blocks away from my doorstep.

If you ever visit Helsinki or are planning a trip there in a near future, MAKE SURE to stop by Gaijin, you won’t regret it!



*This post was made in collaboration with BW restaurants/ Gaijin but all of the opinions are my own!

*Special thank you to Kata of BW restaurants for this amazing opportunity and experience.

*All of the images were shot by: Natali

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  • Reply Hayley Larue November 6, 2015 at 1:59 AM

    The way they present their food is amazing! What a nice place! <3

    • Reply natali karppinen November 6, 2015 at 4:32 AM

      Thank you Hayley for your comment! Gaijin def. met all of my expectations and even more!

  • Reply MartaBarcelonaStyle November 6, 2015 at 4:08 AM

    Yummy yummy, it’s looks delicious 🙂

    • Reply natali karppinen November 6, 2015 at 4:31 AM

      Thank you Marta, it was very delicious food indeed!

  • Reply Annabelle November 6, 2015 at 6:40 AM

    Absolutely loving the photos and outfits

  • Reply Sandy a la Mode November 6, 2015 at 8:27 AM

    wowww i am drooling and i just had breakfast hahah!!

    Sandy a la Mode

    • Reply natali karppinen November 6, 2015 at 11:49 AM

      😀 Thank you Sandy!

  • Reply jenessa November 6, 2015 at 9:54 AM

    yumm! can you please take me out on a date… I want to eat where you eat!

    • Reply natali karppinen November 6, 2015 at 11:49 AM

      Absolutely Jenessa! 😀

  • Reply anne/ 52weeksofdeliciousness November 6, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    I LOVE those green mussels!!!

    • Reply natali karppinen November 6, 2015 at 11:50 PM

      They’re really different from any other green mussels that I had, very refreshing! 🙂

  • Reply Toks November 6, 2015 at 2:31 PM

    Great post. You always find the best restaurants. xoxo

    • Reply natali karppinen November 6, 2015 at 11:50 PM

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  • Reply Anonymous November 6, 2015 at 6:48 PM

    This all looks so good. I cannot eat raw sushi/fish, but I wish I liked it.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • Reply natali karppinen November 6, 2015 at 11:51 PM

      Thank you Amy! I love sushi and raw fish, it’s all I’ve been craving lately. 😀

  • Reply Nidhi November 6, 2015 at 7:11 PM

    Everything looks so yummy! Literally would try each and every one of these options!
    An Unblurred Lady

    • Reply natali karppinen November 6, 2015 at 11:51 PM

      Great to hear this! Thanks!

  • Reply Jacques November 6, 2015 at 10:00 PM

    It all looks so delic!!

    • Reply natali karppinen November 6, 2015 at 11:51 PM

      Yes it does! Thank you for commenting!

  • Reply Hollis November 6, 2015 at 11:13 PM

    Thank you for sharing

    • Reply natali karppinen November 6, 2015 at 11:52 PM

      Thank you for reading! 🙂

  • Reply nancy November 7, 2015 at 12:05 AM

    Oh, what a great pictures. Watering mouth here! Ibalsoblove the Azian kitchen.

  • Reply Stephanie @ Diary of a Debutante November 7, 2015 at 5:31 AM

    These photos are fabulous, and the food looks AMAZING! Craving some authentic Asian food now!

    Diary of a Debutante

  • Reply Nada November 7, 2015 at 10:13 AM

    Yoummy !! 🙂
    please follow my blog : THE COLORFUL THOUGHTS

  • Reply joel moore November 7, 2015 at 5:45 PM


  • Reply Ivana November 8, 2015 at 2:02 AM

    Ajde nas vise lijepo prestani muciti ???? Jako volim azijsku kuhinju pa mi ovo izgleda superyummy … i tu me vodis kad dodjem u Helsinki :)))

  • Reply Lulu November 8, 2015 at 4:02 AM

    Wow! Delish! Pictures too are wonderful, great job and I hope you ate well 🙂 Thanks for being such a loyal reader Natali! I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.

    xo Lulu

  • Reply JLu November 8, 2015 at 6:22 AM

    Food! That food!!!!

  • Reply Gemma November 8, 2015 at 7:21 AM

    This looks like such a lovely & relaxed place to eat! With the nicest dishes presented so perfectly, everything pictured looks so good & like you said, not boring! It also looks really cosy, I love the look of the interior of the place and that it doubles as a bar.. Such a lovely post & beautifully taken pictures 🙂

    Xo Gemma

  • Reply Natalia November 8, 2015 at 7:31 AM

    Everything looks so beautiful and delicious! What a wonderful place to eat. x

  • Reply Esther November 8, 2015 at 4:33 PM

    It looks like an amazing place, I really hope I can try it at least once! Thank you so much for sharing, you always write about fantastic places!

    xo, Esther

  • Reply Kelly November 8, 2015 at 5:11 PM

    This place looks and sounds amazing!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  • Reply Hollis November 8, 2015 at 10:00 PM

    Looooove your blog!!

  • Reply Hollis November 8, 2015 at 10:17 PM

    Great post!

  • Reply Hollis November 8, 2015 at 10:23 PM

    Loving these very much!

  • Reply Adela Acanski November 8, 2015 at 10:36 PM

    Ovo izgleda fenomenalno. Fotografije su super

    Adela Acanski

  • Reply Quentina November 8, 2015 at 11:06 PM

    What a lovely post to read!

  • Reply Jacques November 10, 2015 at 10:56 PM

    Much I enjoyed reading your blog , fell in love with the look and the photos were wonderful .

  • Reply Kate November 12, 2015 at 12:14 AM

    Loving the photos.

  • Reply Malinda Frances Knowles November 22, 2015 at 2:25 PM

    theyre all so tiny
    but they look delish

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