The location is not pobre
We’ve spent a quite lot of time in Kortteli, the foodie court on the 5th floor of the Kamppi shopping center. It is so easy to get to Pobre that you might find yourself way too often that you’d like. It is like when you just commute from one place to another or wander around the city center you just accidentally end up at Kortteli and Pobre. It is way too easy to create an addiction for Pobre food.
The foodie court Kortteli features plenty of great eats and the newest addition is Pobre Filipino. Pobre is a Filipino kitchen with a twist. Considering the amount of time we have spent in Kortteli the location is nothing but pobre. Easily accessible from anywhere in the Helsinki area and beyond. You can access Pobre from your front door travelling indoors from Western Espoo or Eastern Helsinki by metro or even from small cities by long haul buses directly to Kamppi center.
Pobre has a nice spot in Kortteli as well aside from the biggest traffic bringing some privacy for the space. The location is perfect for meeting friends in a prime location or having a dinner date with your loved one.
The food is not pobre
Once you start exploring the menu of Pobre Filipino you are most probably going to find items and ingredients which you have never heard of especially if you’re not familiar with Filipino kitchen. I am sure you are familiar with things like jicama, mungbeans and jackfruit right? Imagine these kind of ingredients combined in Filipino dishes. Justine, one of the owners of Pobre told us that the menu is inspired by the owners’ moms cooking. Given the ingredients are not too familiar for the Finns but knowing the fact that mother’s love is put into the dishes gives you just enough confidence to try out new dishes and flavor combinations.
At a dinner we went all in for three courses and a sample of a side dish. For starters we ordered Lumpia Sariwa and we had to try out the dumplings since those were highly recommended. The dumplings were to die for and the guys told they make the dumpling themselves from the scratch. Such a delight to enjoy fresh handmade dumplings. These were the starters but we wanted to get a real pobre photo of the beautiful food so we ordered all at once to be shared. Sharing and ordering all at once is for sure a great option we would recommend and not only for the great shots. The beverages include a wide variety of teas and some local beers. The beer selection included an interesting local mango-habanero ale from Helsinki based Donut Island Brewing which was a bit spicy and accompanied the food nicely.
Main courses were Ginataan and Palabok. Ginataan is a veggie dish and in general I tend to eat at least one of the two warm meals a day a veggie one. Hokkaido squash combined with other exotic ingredients like jack fruit, taro leaf and chips in coconut sauce was extremely tasty. Palabok shrimp and squid rice noodle combo reminded me slightly of Spain. Again a very nice combination.
Filipino flavors are something I was not really familiar beforehand. The visits gave a good picture of the FIlipino food but the guys also told that they will little by little introduce more Filipino flavors to the mix. The taste of a regular Finn is more or less pobre and not very much prepared for exotic and spicy flavors. Pobre Filipino handles this challenge very well by introducing local flavors slowly and making them easier to digest.
We had to of course enjoy both of the desserts. Leche con Pilyo was our absolute favorite with just enough of sweet and some crunchiness. Turon de Langka was an interesting new acquaintance. Sweetend ”Saba” banana is probably to hate it or love. Another one of us liked it very much and the other one not so much.
Don’t get confused with pobre but you might end up leaving Pobre being not so pobre. The menu is reasonably priced and considering the flavor journey you will become rich of pobre memories when heading back home.
The experience is not pobre
How can one not love the experience when the owners, six of them, have a drawing of their moms on the wall. Six moms are watching on the wall how are their sons behaving. And yes Pobre has been founded by six guys. We visited Pobre couple of times. First time on a quiet Monday evening and for the second time on a busy lunch day. At both occasions what we felt was exceptional was the hospitality of the people of Pobre.
We must warn you that the hospitality might be too overwhelming for us quiet and shy Finns and you might actually get a feeling of going to a homelike place where you might even feel more comfortable than at your home. There is a chance that you end up visiting Pobre time after time for some genuine human interaction and beautiful food.
By now you probably think about what is it with all this pobre talk. Well as the guys put it pobre is pronounced: /POB-re/ meaning “poor” in Tagalog.
Go feel the homey experience, enjoy and table reservation for evening is highly recommended. Reservations here.
This article was created in partnership with restaurant Pobre. The opinions are our own.