Ryan Shibuya, founder and chef of Hoku

SINCE KORTTELI on the 5th floor of the Kamppi Shopping Center with its variety of restaurants opened over a year ago it has been hustling and bustling. One restaurant where you can be sure to often see a queue at the door is Hoku. The restaurant has 66 seats and the most coveted tables are the ones by the windows, overlooking Narinkkatori square and Helsinki’s center, the cathedral shining in brightest white in the background.

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THERE IS no question, that sushi has taken hold in Finland, and especially in Helsinki. But things were a bit different back in 2015 when the first Luckiefun’s restaurant opened in Sörnäinen. Fast forward to February 2018, Luckiefun’s sushi buffet can now be found at three locations in Helsinki and at one in Vantaa.

The restaurant at Fredrikinkatu 49 in Helsinki’s centre is just about a year old by now. It looks modern and seems to follow the clean lines of Scandinavian design, incorporating a lot of wooden elements that add warmth to the room, while the aquarium adds to a pleasant atmosphere.

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WHAT IS this colorful bowl, filled to the brim with fresh, tasty ingredients you ask? Well, it is a Poké bowl! And if that doesn’t clarify things for you, EAT POKÉ HKI manager Jaden is happy to explain the correct pronunciation, the origins and how to build the perfect Poké bowl. 

“It is actually pronounced ‘poʊˈkeɪ’, and it originates from Hawaii. The dish is however heavily influenced by Asian flavours like soy sauce, sesame oil, roasted sesame seeds, fresh chili, cilantro, and garlic,” explains Jaden while we are sitting at a cozy window table in the new EAT POKÉ HKI location on the second floor of Aikatalo.

Poké is a raw fish salad, and in Hawaii the traditional main toppings include fatty tuna and octopus, sliced and cut into cubes.

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Restaurant Roster in Helsinki Offers Quality Food Outside the Mainstream 

The idea behind Roster, a bar and restaurant in the heart of Helsinki (right next to Helsinki’s oldest wooden house), was built on Paul Hickman and Kari Aihinen’s vision of adding something new to Helsinki’s restaurant scene. The central concept is simple: preparing and serving quality food using the best ingredients, superb service and great ambience. The name Roster refers to the vision of building a team of pros as well as to the selection of food, wine and drinks that the Roster team would like you to eat and drink with them.

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Restaurant Api is a new Nepalese restaurant located in Punavuori. Relocating to Helsinki in the summer of 2017, the restaurant was previously based in Kokkola. “We were known as the best Nepalese restaurant in town,” says owner Nirmal Gautam. “Because of our success in Kokkola we were able to come to Helsinki.”

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Ränginäk packageOnly a few of us residing in Finland have heard of Zanjan, a city of nearly 400 000 inhabitants in the northwest of Iran. The image we attach to it has little to do with reality -a rich heritage of astonishing handcrafts and an incredibly tasty cuisine. Too often the scandal-oriented media shapes our worlds and defines people’s destinies. Vahid Mortezaei, a Zanjan-origin food designer residing in Helsinki, knows that it takes colossal amounts of courage and determination to break these stereotypes.

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Famu & Bar brings together a modern Nordic atmosphere with a touch of granny's kitchen.Recipes from a little, black, metaphorical book.

FAMU is an urban granny who has travelled around the world and throughout her travels has collected recipes in to her little black leather bound recipe book. When she gets home to cook the food from that notebook, however, she doesn't remember exactly what the food looked like and how it was when she ate it. So the end result of her cooking is a dish that has elements and ingredients and main flavours of a classical dish, but may look different.

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An artist at work. Manu Torchio serves up his latest batch of flavours.Modern tapas restaurant launches quietly in Helsinki.

"HOLA!"

The waitress greets each customer who steps through the door of Mercat. It is a windy, finger-numbing cold outside but inside it is an easy Mediterranean evening: the combination of warmth, foodies of all ages chatting energetically, and a dash of turquoise on the walls is reminiscent of Southern Europe, a vibrant restaurant by the ocean. The warmth and Southern European vibe beckons the desire for a smooth glass of wine, the cold outside just about forgotten.

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With generous space, Onda is not only a restaurant, but an art gallery as well as a music hall.An ambitious start for this new international restaurant in Kallio.

In Latin America, onda is a wave, or a vibe. It is turquoise water awoken by a lazy warm afternoon wind, its surface the pinks and purples of the sunset, its composed movement reaching for white sand. Like a wave, a good vibe has the ability to defy the confines of time and allow a moment to last. In Helsinki, onda is a spacious room. Its walls and windows stretch high, a buffet table sits at its centre and its tables are dressed in tablecloths woven in shades of pomegranate, mandarin and avocado. Candles burn slowly in dark bottles and music is trumped by talk.

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