Thursday, May 27, 2004
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Nokka - Finnish for front and that is where this restaurant is heading
href="http://www.royalravintolat.com/nokka/index.asp">Ravintola Nokka is situated in the wonderful old harbour warehouse below the Uspenski Catedral on Katajannokka, the part of town where I spent my first 5 years. It is situated in the premises of the legendary restaurant Kanavaranta, which got very famous for their tar ice cream. After a major renovation Nokka opened under the chef Markus Maulavirta. The mood is different, trendier, more international, but still carrying the legacy of fresh Finnish ingredients. They are moving to the front in Finnish cuisine, and cannot do anything else as they are called Nokka, which is Finnish for front.
Having recently been to Chez Dominique I was in a very good position to compare the two. Chez Dominique is clearly sharper on the food, but the atmosphere and the wines at Nokka gives me reason to compare them. I am no expert on Guide rouge stars, but they could get one, with a bit more focus on details. Two stars would require more culinary innovation and refinement.
This visit was special as I took my dear wife Nina there and we had a feast! We started with a plate of seasonal delicacies, this was quite innovative, but was not up to the standard of what followed. I had a spinach gnocchi in champagne sauce with a paste of olives, this dish was very very good and had wonderful vivid colours. Nina had a crisp and fresh green salad with fresh asparagus. To each dish I had a different glass of wine. One of the things Nokka is really focusing on are the wines. Their sommelier Petri ??? is one of two having a very high level french wine diploma and one can really taste his competence. The service was very flexible and professional, not the posh stiff style typical in Finnish restaurants, but empatic and efficient. We got a brief tour of their wine cellar and their cook-in kitchen, where I had been cooking in the fall when Matt Jones joined Nokia.
My main course was an exotic breed of salmon lightly smoked on a bed of morel stew with new Finnish potatoes. This was as Finnish as fish gets, great smell, wonderful texture, food was hot. It was the best smoked salmon I had ever had. Nina had a pike perch dish, but there the pike perch was a fraction overdone, but it did not seem to affect her satisfaction. For desert we continued with an Pannacotta with a pineapple sauce and I had an orange souffle with a choclate sorbet ball. This was spectacular as the ball was served in a second bowl, the waitress cut the souffle upon and dropped in the ball of sorbet. Again strong smell couple with a wonderful wine. The souffle act was gracious move, making a great dinner peak.
I rounded of with a bit of spirit tasting by comparing French Calvados with Finnosh Ålvados, I guess Apple brandy from Åland. It was quite OK, but not a subtle as the Calvados, might have been due to the age, I do not know if they have been doing Ålvados for a dozen years.
Birds are singing in the toilet and you dry your hands in nicely rolled cloth napkins - exclusive.
Update June 20th 2005: I recently had a chance to go back, this time in a bigger party, where we were served the Helsinki Menu. I am still of the opinion that this is one of the best restaurants in Helsinki. Considering that we were about 15 persons, they managed to have the food hot, not over cooked and served in a timely fashion. The Helsinki Menu is not particularely Finnish, but it is a good menu.
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Creative Commons is the DNA of a rich connected future
I had heard about Creative Commons, but I hadn't heard it from the horses mouth. Meeting Lawrence Lessig quickly convinced me of the benefits individuals have of Creative Commons. His passion and determination is impressive, a real intelectual rebel, exactly what the world needs in this age of complexity.
I think Creative Commons will be a fundamental building block for the future of electronic sharing. It will stimulate creativity in totally new directions and fuel new forms for communication. I am always impressed when I meet people which are willing to take an establishment and seek new ways do do things. As the internet is becoming a place for multimedia communication enablers such as Creative Commons will play a key role. I am planning to integrate creative commons licensing into my blog to signal my support for future creativity.
I will certainly keep an eye on how this unfolds! As I am a true believer of free creativity in an age where passive media is being push into the brain faster than ever.
Saturday, May 15, 2004
Porno fuels monologue
I am sorry to say, but I decided to cut communication aspects of my blog down to a monologue from me to you. I just had nearly 700 spam comments mainly from some porno sites, so I decided enough is enough.
I do not mind porno on the net, but it should be pull not push, just like in real life. After all lust is one basic driver to build business upon.
I do not know what the root cause why they found my blog, but it could have been my post on A9, which got quoted on a porno blog called Mature erections. This public blog originated in New Zeeland, now living in the internet, seemed to be a blog mixing porno and technology. Interesting convergence I must say.
It is fun for me as a new blogger to go through the life cycle of blogging from: Setting up a blog, making news, getting readers, figuring out what to write, now getting spammed.
So I must say my dear collaugues were right, when they told me: 'soon you will be blogging about blogging'. This post is just about that.
What I really like in this little mess, is that I am the editor. My blog is my place and if I do not wish to have comments, I can stop. I feel in control. I do not know if I am in control, but the feeling is enough for me right now.
It just proves to me that we are living early days in blogging and lots of small challenges needs to be ironed out before blogging could go main stream, and with main stream I mean a new type of communication tool.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Still life with Apples and oranges. This is not trying to be a dutch masterpiece, as you can see there are no beautiful waterdrops or flies in this picture as there would be in finer still lives from 17th century Holland. This was a picture blogged with the 7610 using new version of photoblog. I decided to keep it just as a small record. Check out the timeline for a more interesting little case. Two pictures with text that is a story and with a bit of idea behind it it is narrative...
Sunday, May 09, 2004
Chez Dominique – the culinary peak in Finland
If 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
Saturday, May 01, 2004
The wooden Citroen CV2
My neighbor has a wood paneled Citroen CV 2, or at least that is what I thought until I touch it. It is painted, but the accuracy of the paintjob is so amazing that only touching it reveals the truth. This vintage car is owned by my neighbors who are conservationist painters restoring churches and famous buildings in Finland. Today they went on a cruise with the top down, some champagne, their dog and some friends, and ofcourse wearing fine hats. It looked very cozy. (The shots were done with the Nokia 7610)
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