There are 4 different Michelin-starred restaurants in the Finnish capital (each of them awarded with one coveted star). Offering new Nordic cuisine, each one still has a different touch and a signature of its own. Thepickytraveller visited all of them during the last year.
- Chef & Sommelier. Hidden in the posh district of Eira, on one of Helsinki’s most beautiful residential streets (Huvilakatu) close to the sea, this (very) small and charming restaurant has a warm atmosphere with herbs growing on the window sill.
- Demo. Centrally located with a bistro-like ambience. Very pleasant dimmed lighting!
- Olo. Facing the harbour and close to the Senate square, Olo features a more classical up-scale setting.
- Ask. Classical setting for restaurant Ask as well, in the beautiful area of Kruununhaka.
- Olo. Not easy to set up a Top 4 in terms of food but with a long and elaborate tasting menu associated with clever wine choices (go for the premium pairing) presented by a passionate sommelier, Olo clearly is the no. 1 in this category. The dishes are very sophisticated, yet down-to-earth. Great quality of products (of course) and wines from small wineries (mainly whites, in harmony with the current trend). High-end Nordic cuisine at its best.
- Chef & Sommelier ex aequo with Demo. Refined Finnish gastronomy with local and organic ingredients for Chef & Sommelier, a bit more international touch for Demo. Both offer good wine pairings, with a slight preference for Chef & Sommelier’s list.
- Ask. Local and organic ingredients are predominant here as well. A lot of greens.
Value for money
- Chef & Sommelier. Provides a great experience at a surprisingly affordable price. Very recommended if you are looking for a tasteful Michelin-level meal but don’t want to overspend!
- Olo. Heftiest check by far… But very worth the price.
- Ask. Clear price structure (a short menu and a long menu) with a decent amount of dishes (actually quite a lot of them). Portions are small and delicate.
- Demo. Not overpriced, but too many different options to choose from.
All in all, if you have to choose a restaurant from these 4 and are not repulsed by the price, go for Olo. Otherwise Chef & Sommelier is a strong option. Special mention to restaurant Kuurna, not Michelin-starred but a very nice hidden gem featuring simple and tasteful Finnish cuisine in the Kruununhaka district.