During my travels through Scandinavia, we had a one night stopover in Helsinki, Finland. So, I asked my concierge at the hotel to help me secure a reservation at Restaurant ASK and she did!!!
It was cold and rainy night as I walked into this beautiful establishment. Known for their Nordic cuisine and one michelin star, I was welcomed in warmly by the staff and seated in a chair covered with reindeer fur:
The sommelier helped me pick this beautiful glass of white wine with sweet fruity notes from Austria:
The meal started out with a series of snacks. First up, rice chips with spruce powder, mushroom powder, and buckwheat with a green garlic mayonnaise:
And this beautifully plated group of grilled leeks with yogurt and ask, rice sourdough with mayo, pickled carrot with mayo, tempura smelt:
Yogurt with apple vinaigrette and herbs:
To cleanse the palate, boiled buttermilk with leak oil:
Homemade bread came by slice and the waitress came often enough.
First course, herring over sour cream with mustard seeds and birch vinaigrette
This next dish was super creative in my book – potatoes done three ways:
Smoked Reindeer tartar with ash on top, served alongside ground hazelnuts and hazelnut mayo:
Poached egg with ramson (green garlic) three ways – puréed, pickled, and as a soup with dried berries and edible flowers:
Poached fish with grilled onion and crispy fish skin in a soup made from all their juices came next:
The final dish was described as “beef and celeriac”. Sounded simple enough but what I got was not simple at all. First up was their puréed celeriac with pickled celeriac root with braised oxtail stew:
And then came marbled cured meat with pickled celeriac and celeriac tea. You first eat the meat with tweezers and then drink the tea poured into the bowl to collect the remaining flavors!
Palate cleanser came next with a sour milk sorbet and birch leaves:
And then dessert! First, a frozen sorrel mousse with sorrel granita and twigs made of malt
And then quarter sized pancakes with apple jam, brown butter ice cream, pickled spruce shoot, spruce jelly, and spruce caramel drizzled on top!
This was served table side by the chef and was absolutely divine. I love apple jam on pancakes but this took it to a whole new level. Again using one ingredient in several different ways, the spruce here really made the dish.
Finally, the petit four – caramel fudge with cranberry powder, candied dried carrot with bee pollen, and a hazelnut toffee with licorice and a bean on top:
What a great meal with an autographed menu to go!