I had made a reservation for Friday at restaurant Goto but for Thursday we decided to just see what we could find – and boy did we find it.
We stumbled across Sydvest while exploring the old town. This 30-seater bistro and gastropub had been open for less than a month. The restaurant was very cozy and inviting and the service was friendly and welcoming. The menu offered three starters, four mains and two desserts. Looking at their website now, the new menu only has three mains. They also serve a three or five course degustation menu with or without wine paring. This time we opted to only have a starter and a main. I picked a starter called Chanterelle, which had chanterelles cooked two ways, an egg and carrot. Hubby had the beef starter, which was roast beef with wild radish and capers. The starters were super-tasty. We both had trout for our main and it was the best fish course we had had in ages. It was fried trout, with a horseradish hollandaise sauce, toasted butter and lovely charred vegetables. The hollandaise sauce was to die for, I cannot remember when I’ve tasted such a balanced hollandaise. The fish also came with a side of delicious whole potatoes that had been boiled and then deep fried. I can wholeheartedly recommend this restaurant to anyone who is looking for absolutely delicious new Nordic style food in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We were lucky to get a table without a reservation as it was Thursday and the main tourist season was over. I’m pretty sure that on Fridays and Saturdays you would be wise to book a table.
|Sorry for the poor picture quality, the lighting was tricky for this one|
On Friday we headed to Goto. This restaurant went bankrupt in 2015 and was re-opened under new management in July 2015. I had read some good reviews for this place so I decided to book a table for Friday night. The booking was definitely wise as throughout the evening people came in without a reservation and could only be seated outside on the terrace (not a major problem but personally I prefer eating inside, especially this time of year when the weather in Finland can be unpredictable). The menu here had more options than Sydvest. We started with a cocktail and I must say the raspberry cocktail I had was excellent. Once again we decided to have a starter and a main. I chose Salmon 40 degrees, which was salmon cooked to 40 degrees Celsius, pickled red onion and cucumber with a dill mayonnaise. This was the best salmon I had in a long time. Hubby chose Snails and onion x 5. It had fried snails, an onion broth, pickled red onion, garlic puree, roasted onion and I must admit I’m not sure what the fifth onion was. I am not a big fan of snails but I tried a small bite and it was quite nice (hubby, who likes snails enjoyed it a lot). Again we chose the same main, Fried whitefish with vegetables from the market square. The fish was well prepared and had enough salt, which is not always the case. The biggest problem here was that there was too much on the plate. The vegetables included potatoes, carrots and asparagus. There was also a hollandaise sauce and some kind of carrot puree. Personally, I would have ditched the asparagus as it is no longer in season and was therefore slightly bitter and woody. Also the puree seemed slightly out of place. The food in itself was very nice, the service friendly and the restaurant space was inviting enough. So I can recommend this restaurant as well but if I had to choose between the two, Sydvest would get my vote every time.