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Spis Opens in Helsinki

Submitted by on February 11, 2012 – 12:11 amNo Comment

By Elisabeth Heinrichs
for the Official Tourism Blog of the City of Helsinki
Special to Road Trips for Foodies

Restaurateurs Antero Aurivuo, Jaakko Kinnunen and Jani Kinanen, who started their restaurant career in Porvoo, have now opened a new restaurant with 18 seats in Design District Helsinki. This restaurant bears the name Spis which stands in Swedish for stove and fireplace. This restaurant which maintains a Nordic atmosphere has concentrated in addition to Nordic food also on Nordic interior design, music and clothing.

While stepping into the restaurant, one cannot miss the rough back wall. The wall paper has been ripped off so that the earlier wall surfaces and the beautiful bricks are on display. Otherwise the restaurant has the harmonic black and white décor and furniture of Design House Stockholm, Hay and Woods. A special feature of the restaurant is the open door to the kitchen which adds to the restaurant’s transparency and feel of reliability.

The interior design continues in the restroom. Marimekko’s poppy pattern hand towels, which the customer throws after use to a washing basket for re-use purposes, delight at least me. Next to the mirror there are more traces of the Design District: some cute jars of Nounou Design.

When sitting down at the table we notice immediately the staff’s Alvar Aalto inspired clothing, designed by Jenni Alava. In my own opinion they bear even Viking time features.

Next our attention switches to Hackman’s classic cutlery. While choosing from the menu, we also notice the restaurant’s characteristic music. We are told that DJ Bunuell has chosen the playlist which consists of music made within the Nordic countries.

The menu is variable because it is based on seasonal ingredients. The fact that the ingredients come from all Nordic countries insures a larger variety in them. The menu changes about ten times per year. The menu consists mainly of vegetables but there is always at least one dish with fish and one with meat.

Because the restaurant isn’t open during lunchtime, it’s definitely not a fast food place. The estimated eating time is about one to two hours; otherwise it’s recommended that one leaves out either the starter or dessert. The restaurant has reserved two hours and a quarter for the first sitting. The second sitting is longer and then the restaurant serves also a four course surprise menu.

We get as a surprise a taste bite before the ordered main course. A fun small carrot growing pot is brought in front of us and the anise taste treat inside of it is eaten with a carrot.

As a second surprise we receive some fresh borsch soup as a greeting from the kitchen. The treat is put together in a pretty ice cream form. The clean taste of beetroot stays as an aftertaste.

We are told that the actual starters are larger than these samples.

As main course I chose the fish of the season, turbot, with potatoes, onion, and rye popcorn and rye chip. The portion is beautifully served on a unique plate.

As dessert I chose on the other hand chocolate brownies, beautiful alike, which leave a sweet taste of cocoa, ice cream and whipped cream in the mouth. The dessert has an air light décor that resembles a snow flake.

The successful restaurant experience is fulfilled by lollipops that we eat on our way home.

This restaurant answers on the current world demand which American “The Daily Meal” described in December 2011 when it listed “16 top food trend predictions for 2012”. Among these the Nordic cuisine is on first place. One cannot do other than conclude that the Nordic countries and Helsinki amongst these are on the lips of the whole world.

(Photo courtesy of the Official Tourism Blog of the City of Helsinki)

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