It’s been a little bit over 8 years since I have moved to Helsinki. No matter where I go, to known or the unknown cities/ countries, I always love to wonder around and discover new, exciting and interesting spots. I was so happy when I found out that even after 8 years of living here, there are some undiscovered places in Helsinki which I was more than happy to visit and find out what makes them so special. One of those places was the island Tervasaari! I took a walk from the city center all the way to Tervasaari ( it’s easily accessible via small bridge ) and it took me about 30 mins of nice and slow paced walk. I believe that with the car, getting to Tervasaari, even in the worst of traffic it wouldn’t take you longer than 15 mins.
This is a very small island which is such a little paradise spot. I could easily spend a day there having a chill by the small sand beach, walk through the island or just watch the old ladies wash the carpets in the traditional way with the brush. 🙂 One of the biggest reasons why I would want to come back to this island and tell everybody else to visit it is because of a restaurant called Savu. Savu means smoke in Finnish language.
Savu restaurant is situated inside of the 210 years old wooden building/ house which original purpose was to store tar barrels. Restaurant can seat indoors and outdoors with the covered terrace, all together more than 200 persons. The menu changes seasonally and is also very famous for offering house special dishes with aromas of smoke and tar. During summertime, there is a special lunch menu available as well as a-la-carte selection.
We have decided to present both, the lunch menu and some preferences from the a-la carte menu. To start with the lunch menu, we were served a cauliflower soup with cauliflower pickle and roasted almond. This was a nice, warm and light soup to start the lunch with. Homemade, rye bread was perfect condiment to eat the soup with. 🙂
From the a-la-carte menu we chose a white fish ceviche with dried shrimp white raddish and caramelised soy. I must admit that I was bit sceptic about how the ceviche was going to taste like but it caught me by surprise, a very pleasant one! This was possibly the best ceviche outside Peru, very “Finnish style” but oh so good!
As for the mains, from the lunch menu came fresh pea risotto with red pesto and smoked salmon filet. This was such a simple, unpretentious but to die for dish! I’m a huge salmon lover and when it’s smoked, it wins my heart immediately. 🙂 Risotto was perfectly creamy and tasted just the way I was hoping, hearty and comforting. I can say that I had an ode to Spring and Summer on my plate!
Main course from the a-la-carte menu was marbled steak of Finnish Limousin beef which was served with summer potatoes, creme fraiche and spring onions, as well as with white asparagus and fresh tomato sauce. Savu chefs def. know how to prep a great steak! After setting limits high by trying steaks in Argentina and at Gordon Ramsay’s The Maze restaurant, it’s been hard to meet the competitors to those, but Savu delivered with perfectly tender and medium rare grilled steak. Fresh tomato sauce and asparagus were wonderful to eat the meat with, esp. on a hot summer day, it’s not going to be heavy on your stomach.
For dessert we have tried a buckthorn sorbet with sliced and marinated rhubarb, berries and cream cheese mousse. I’m not the biggest fan of sorbets but this was possibly the best one I’ve ever had, so different, interesting in taste and worked so well with the rest of the “party” on the plate. 🙂
If you are visiting Helsinki this Summer, go for a nice walk by the seaside from the Market Square all the way towards the Uspenski church, towards the Kaisaniemi and you’ll spot the island of Tervasaari on your right hand side. The calming effect that this island has is magical, just as is the food of Savu! Welcoming and knowledgable service won’t let you down either, so in other words: “Tervetuloa!”
*This post has been made in collaboration with A&S ravintolat. All of the opinions are my own.
*Thank you to Miss Johanna for making this collaboration happen.
*Photography by: Natali K.photography