Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Raku-Ya restaurant is the best setting for sushi in Finland
I finally had a chance to visit this cool new Japanese restaurant in the hearth of Helsinki. It has been built with good taste and quest for autenticity, which I like. The wood is thick and it hosts a warm atmosphere like lots of building in Japan, where woodworking tradition is long. I was accompanied with my two collagues Chika and Tero. Chika is Japanese and hence I was able to get a perspective of a Japanese aswell. We discussed the place and the food and the highly critical piece in Helsingin Sanomat's NYT supplement which gave one of the worst reviews I had ever seen. My expectation was thus set in the stars.
From the data I collected, I have to disagree with the NYT
Supplement, the food, the service was much better. (Finns can read
another more neutral review here)
The sushi was fresh, even very well made, the rice had a bit of al
dente to it which it should have. It was served on a thick piece of
wood, which I thought was original. We also ordered some Tempura and
that was really very good, It was warm when it was served, indicating
good logistics in the kitchen. The only think I did not think was up to
the standard was the Miso soup, it lacked depth taste, nor was it warm
I have heard from friends that the service is varied and I partly
have to agree, we were served by a Japanese lady. It was sometimes hard
to get her attention. And screaming 'sumi-masen' would be strange in
Finland, but maybe I will start doing that. When she served the beer,
she did not turn the label to face me, which I always experience in
Japan. I guess most would not care, I care. Attention to detail is the
only way to achieve quality. With a bit more attention and energy it
will be great.
I will change my review on the service once I collect more data since, I very much want them to succeed, as the mood is very different from Aki's Kabuki restaurant, which I like very much. Kabuki has an inofficial fan page in Finnish here. I think Finns have embrased sushi very well and hence demand should be big enough to sustain both these different sushi places. There are several others in Helsinki for example Len's around the corner from where I live, I also like their sushi.
Update 20-June 2005: I have now been back three times and I have been satisfied each time. The service is improving, for example once we wanted to have a chance to speak privately and there were not booths available so the let us sit just two persons at a table of six. From my most recent experience I would say my recomendation has gone up.
Did you like the food? The early reviews have been a bit tepid..
Posted by: Henrikki at Mar 10, 2005 10:32:01 AM
Posted by: metroles at Jul 3, 2005 11:29:00 PM
i love japanes food there
Posted by: me at Aug 28, 2005 2:13:09 AM
Posted by: Henry at Aug 28, 2005 2:18:03 AM
vous avez fait un très grand travails sur ce site
Posted by: Robert Poke at Sep 3, 2005 3:53:00 AM
i loved your reviews
Posted by: Samuel Clepinsky at Sep 23, 2005 5:53:19 AM
really appreciate YOU — thanks a lot!
Posted by: Nike shoes at May 22, 2012 6:48:55 AM