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Sunday, May 09, 2004

Chez Dominique – the culinary peak in Finland

collague_1smallIf we are to follow the advice of Guide Rouge also know as Guide Michelin, food lovers now have a reason to do a detour to Chez Dominique in Finland on their way somewhere. The guide states that two star restaurants are well worth a detour on the journey. For me it has been the destination twice this year. First with my wife, a food lover with a very delicate sense of taste. The second time last week with a partner also food lover and family centric recorder. Both evenings were culinary peaks elevated by good company. The restaurant is a wonderful small place with an utterly professional attitude, you come here for food, and everything else is reduced to professional minimalism in the Scandinavian design tradition.

They are famous for their surprise menu, which I had both times and during those times only the desert was the same, which I was actually happy for as it was an amazing rum panna cotta with sauce of finely chopped strawberries lightly roasted with an exotic fruit sauce. Perfectly sweet with amazing texture, heavenly! One of the real tricks in cooking is to compose a menu which even if it has 4-8 courses would not make the eater feel like a balloon ready to burst, but ensuring body and soul is in equilibrium. Here the Chef Hans Välimäki and his crew did amazing jobs. Some of the highlights from the visits was the duck liver prepared as a crème brule with marinated cherries, this starter was kidding to be a desert in the beginning of a meal, the kind of small innovations they do at Chez Dominique. It was a wonderful starter and reminded me of my great grandfather, a Danish man, who started every morning with a pastry, saying ‘he starts with the good stuff, just in case he gets full.’ A healthy attitude to life, I think he became 90. I was also particularly fond of the Fried halibut, perfectly cooked with the fish playing solo on a bed of vegetables. The poached egg with mussel foam and some small beans was a delicate experience. They have an excellent web site here. The only thing I do not like at all is their no photography approach. Well I could not but break this rule; these are taken with the 7610 phone touched up with a bit of Photoshop. I think recording food is a central part of life recording. I recommend if you want to touch the best Finnish French cuisine in Finland. If you want plain good Finnish food go to Sea Horse, see my post here

11:14 PM in Play, Restaurants | Permalink