January 10, 2017

Dinner – Restaurant Lönkka

New Year's Eve Dinner at Restaurant Lönkka

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Restaurant Lönkka

Story: Newly opened neighborhood restaurant with amazing beer selection
Location: Lönnrotinkatu 11, 00120 Helsinki
Open: Mon – Thu 11:00 – 23:00, Fri 11:00 – 01:00, Sat 12:00 – 01:00, Sun 13:00 – 22:00
lonkka.fi

book-a-table

Lönnrotinkatu is a fun street where you find interesting different places from Cholo and Naughty Brgr to Hietalahti Market Hall offerings in the other end. Restaurant Lönkka is a great addition to this combination. Before visiting the restaurant we thought Restaurant Lönkka seemed like a relaxed neighborhood restaurant and a great thing was it is also open on Sundays from 13:00 until 22:00. Ecological thinking and sustainable development are important values for them and even more importantly they partner with a lot of local producers and companies like Vallilan Panimo microbrewery, Son of a Punch Cocktail Bastards, Roslund meat and Mimis veggies. We had heard good feedback about the food as well which made us go for it for a New Year’s Eve dinner.

Restaurant Lönkka Experience

Our booking for two persons was quite early in the evening and at the time we arrived there weren’t too many people yet. The restaurant was even more spacious we had imagined while walking by and at the same time the space just feels cozy. There are big windows facing Lönnrotinkatu and the decor is pretty cool. We were seated at the back of the restaurant. Little by little more people came for a dinner and after all the dinner was fully booked. During the busiest hour we felt the tables were just a little bit too close to each other where we were seated. It kind of felt like the close setup also made us change a few words with the couple sitting next to us 🙂

Service was warm and personal from the start. Our idea in the back of our heads was of course to go for a glass of sparkling because it’s New Year’s but it was great the waitress reminded us about the cocktails they’ve created together with Son of a Punch. By having heard this we had to go with the cocktails which were actually really nice to start off the dinner.

Cocktail and Menu

Matcha and Basil Cocktail and Menu

Looking at the menu we could’ve pretty much just eaten all through the starters. The most appealing options for us seemed the Winter Soup, Calamari and Beetroot and Quinoa. As a compromise we both wanted to go for the Winter Soup which was a cauliflower-truffle soup accompanied with some house focaccia and we had to order some Calamari to share. For drinks some Riesling as a safe choice and some beer to go with the soup. Our waitress gave nice different recommendations to go with the soup and ended up ordering Brewcats India Red Ale. It was the first time we tried out Brewcats beer and the beer and the combination with the soup were just perfect. The soup had an excellent flavor. Calamari was ok, not like the best ones we’ve had in Spain.

As our chef Joona wrote early 2016 about the Helsinki food trends, the rise of veggies being one of the trends, we’ve been eating more and more veggies and cutting off meat from our daily menu. So basically we eat more or less fish and veggies nowadays. Restaurant Lönkka has plenty of good seafood, fish and veggie options on the menu. The beetroot falafel dish sounds delicious. This time we both went with fish. We ordered Market Fish which is the catch of the day and the catch on New Year’s Eve was arctic char which happens to be one of our favorite fishes. The other main course ordered was a classic fish ‘n’ chips.

Market Fish Arctic Char

Market Fish Arctic Char

We might be wrong but somehow it seems fish ‘n’ chips could be the new burger on the menu of many restaurants. On top of our mind there’s now at least 3 different type of fish ‘n’ chips available in Kamppi area; Fisu ja Ranet at 6K Food Market for some quality fast food, Fisken på Disken for a premium pike perch fish ‘n’ chips and now Lönkka coming probably somewhere in between with their beer battered cod fish ‘n’ chips. And by the way there was no burger on the menu except for the starter slider.

We asked wine recommendations to go with the fish dishes and got couple of good ones. Ended up going with an interesting new acquaintance from Basque country in Spain. The white wine had light bubbles and a gentle taste considering it was coming from Spain. The main courses were tasty and fish ‘n’ chips was pretty ok. Lemon was present on both fish dishes and that divided our opinions. Other one of us thought there was too much of lemon and then other one that it was nice to have a strong lemon taste. The food and drink pairing worked very well again.

We were quite full after 2 courses and an extra starter so we could say the dishes are quite honest in size. We decided to go for a dessert and Churro was the most desiring option. A cup of espresso to go with the Churro of course. The Churro was not the kind of what you’ve seen on Serrano’s Family tv-series thin and long but instead thick and served with apple compoté and vanilla ice cream. The combination was delicious. Just because it was New Year’s and we hadn’t had a glass of sparkling yet we ordered two glasses of champagne to end the dinner.

Churro and Espresso

Churro and Espresso

Relaxed food and drink pairing with great service

Overall the menu has quite some Spanish influences with items such as Calamari, Iberico Ribs and Churro for dessert. Our experience was positive and we were really impressed for the cocktails and the huge beer selection. Food and the place is nice and we would definitely go there again if we are looking for a bar with nice cocktails and beer selection or to eat out in a relaxed atmosphere. The menu also feature interesting sounding Piadina sandwiches and Salad Bowls for casual dining. Lönkka also serves lunch during weekdays and we’ve heard it’s good. All in all Restaurant Lönkka is value for money considering the main courses are around 20€ and you can easily just eat two courses and you are full. The beers are available for 0,2l and 0,4l which makes tasting easy. Rumors tell as well Lönkka will be serving Saturday brunch from late January onwards.

Beer Wall

Beer Wall

All opinions are our own. This article is sponsored.