Veggie Based Unseasonal Food
Restaurant Grön is one of the first restaurants in Helsinki going wild in their cooking. Grön is founded by chefs Lauri Kähkönen and Toni Kostian accompanied with a barista and a sommelier. Grön opened couple of weeks ago and it is the first Finnish restaurant with a focus in plant based cooking Scandinavian style. Their menu includes seasonal ingredients but they also harness unseasonality with preservation which enables them to offer different treats at different times. The restaurant is relaxed and dishes are carefully made but not too fancy. Wine selection includes bio dynamic options and coffee is filtered by hand. This article is the the first one of our series featuring new interesting restaurants in Helsinki.
Honest cooking combined with excellent wines
We had booked a table for early Wednesday evening and little by little the restaurant got full. The space itself is small with big windows. The dry preserved veggies stored on the wall gives a nice unique touch. Kind of a funny thing was that one has a chance to watch people workout at the gym across the street while enjoying dinner.
The restaurant crew is young and professional. One must respect the passion and dedication the crew has. They have collected the preserved veggies themselves during the summer. Wines are mostly natural coming from France and pretty much all of the wines were available by the glass. The pricing of the wines is also reasonable and the sommelier told they just add a set profit on top of the price of a bottle which makes the wines reasonably priced. The wines were different from a standard restaurant which was really nice.
The menu features mostly plant based dishes but there is also meat options and a fish option. The menu as well is reasonably priced and the “chef’s menu” costs 49 euros and includes four dishes. We had the wild option for a starter which was Preserved forest mushrooms, cep butter and fermented buckwheat bread. The starter was the best dish of our meal. Refreshing and tasty combination including also lingonberries and annual pine shoots.
For main course we tried out Roasted and raw beetroot with preserved plum and rose and Smoked chicken breast with “fried chicken”, chicken skin emulsion and cream. Both main courses were quite big and chicken was served on multiple plates including chicken breast, chicken leg and a side dish. Beetroot dish looked very beetrooty but there were plenty of different flavors on the plate including very pleasant touch of a rose. The chicken dish was maybe little bit overwhelming with many things happening though the chicken itself was one of the best ever had in a restaurant.
Desserts are always oh so delicious and Grön also offers micro roastery coffee. This time the coffee was coming from a small micro roastery in Sweden and coffee changes with seasons. Coffee was light and fruity and did not quite do the trick for us who love dark roast. Desserts we tried out were Berries preserved in alcohol with cream parfait and almond cake and Baked fall apple with apple sorbet, white chocolate and apple vinegar caramel. Both desserts were great. Apple dessert is a must for all sweet lovers and almond cake combined with berries was a very nice combination.
On top of everything the chef served a second dessert, a greeting from a chef, which was a coffee bundt cake made out of coffee waste generated the day prior. Very moist and tasty, loved it. After that we were very full. In the future we definitely want to see Grön continuing on its path of focusing on veggies and being even more brave maybe only featuring veggie dishes on some seasonal menu. Even now this is the place to go for any vegetarian or vegan or meat eater and the guys are happy to cater any special diets. We would consider having plant based milk to go with the coffee and featuring great local coffee roasteries going forward.
Thanks guys at Restaurant Grön for a great experience. Menu for one was sponsored for heleats by the restaurant.