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45-50 seat-dining area, chic and stylish décor inspired by the 1950s.Initially a dessert-only restaurant, Postres has expanded its horizons offering

SCANDINAVIAN, chic and stylish décor inspired by the 1950s. Soft coloured walls, ceiling with chandeliers clothed in semi-transparent dark fabric that give a delicate glow around the dining area. Such is the restaurant I encounter this week.

Located on the refined avenue of Eteläesplanaadi, Postres offers its customers a wide selection of elegantly plated desserts as well as several mouth-watering entrées. Firstly aiming to be a dessert-only restaurant, they soon decided to redesign their philosophy and expand their menu by offering savoury treats.

Looking forward to tasting their specialties, photographer Thomas and I arrive slightly ahead of time and are warmly greeted by Samuli Wirgentius, head chef and co-owner of Postres, who sits us at a stylishly set table by the window. My eyes travel around the place, mesmerised by its simple and yet extravagant design. “This is going to be fancy,” I tell myself. Little do I know, I am about to experience flavours I never dreamt of tasting before.

Cloudberry sorbet with caviar and birch tree sap sorbet sprinkled with madeleine dried cloudberry seed.Game of textures

Starting with their most demanded dish, a Tarte Tatin for two (6,00€), a French classic upside-down apple pie is our first dish, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the middle topped with a succulent caramel sauce that we shamelessly pour on.

With Thomas busy taking his best shots at this decadent dessert, I observe its perfect golden puff pastry and rustically chopped caramelized apples. Its unembellished honest appearance is screaming to be enjoyed, and we do so to the last drop.

As a savoury dish, Sam offers us perfectly cooked smoked scallops hidden under sorrel and fennel leaves. Then, a second dessert makes an entrance, composed of cloudberry sorbet delicately topped with caviar and birch tree sap sorbet sprinkled with madeleine dried cloudberry seed – all decorated with a tree-branch-shaped biscuit. The unusual combination of sorbet and caviar pleasantly surprises me, but it’s the birch tree sap sorbet that ultimately sends me through the roof due to its absolute forest-like taste. A wonderful earthy dessert that leaves us wanting more.

Our sweet finale is composed of wood sorrel ice cream and raspberry granite (6,00 €) sitting on a bed of oat crumble, and topped with a delicate layer of crispy meringue decorated with a few drops of black raspberry cream and sorrel leaves; a perfect way to end this lovely meal.

Wood sorrel ice cream and raspberry granite sitting on a bed of oat crumble and topped with a delicate layer of crispy merengue overlaid with a sorrel leaves and black raspberry cream.“How did you like it?” Sam asks us later on, as he sits with me while Thomas puts his camera to work. Sam and head chef Heikki Liekola, run the kitchen together and create new dishes at least six times a year, updating their menu according to the current season and their own ingenuity.

Sam, a Finn through and through, travels the world looking for inspiration and staying true to his roots and transforms international cuisine in his own Scandinavian way.

After his culinary studies in 1996, Sam travelled to Norway, England and Sweden and was mentored by several celebrities in the culinary world, such as Hans Välimäki, Finnish chef and currently sub-chef for the popular show Top Chef Finland; Swedish chef and restaurateur Christer Lingström and the very well-known Master Chef’s judge Gordon Ramsay, but the highlight of his culinary experience was a three-month internship at Les Ambassadeurs, a first-class restaurant in the heart of Paris.

Back in Finland, Sam, together with Janek Bjurström and Pekka Satinen owned Restaurant Alia in Mustikkamaa and Restaurant Kokkola in Linnanmäki, until one day, they decided to sell it all in order to buy Postres (which in 2008 was granted a Michelin Star and recognised restaurant of the year.)

Graceful menus from three to five course-meals amongst a wide choice of artistic and colourful plates are available and, whether they are entrées or desserts, the presence of sophistication and high quality is undeniable. As for hasty businessmen, there is always “Lunch Express” (29,00€) composed of entrée and a main course. dessert is always a possibility, for those who have the time, of course.

Postres Ravintola
Eteläesplanaadi 8
00100 Helsinki
Tel. 09 66 33 00
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.postres.fi

With a capacity of 45 to 50 seats, Postres offers the possibility to host private parties such as small weddings, baptisms, and anniversaries; they provide the space, menu and service for the evening. Elegant plating, high quality food and wine are guaranteed. If planning a larger celebration, a catering service is also available to host your event at the location of the client’s choice.

Next year, Sam and his business partners will expand Postres by opening Pompier, a new 160-seat restaurant offering a lunch-time buffet, which promises to honour Finnish traditional food. In the evenings and weekends, this new culinary space will be a framework for business and family gatherings. Built in an old fire station and located on Albertinkatu, Pompier will open its doors in early January 2014.

I left Postres with a smile on my face, seduced by their culinary vision and sophistication of flavour. I can’t wait to come back and bite into that Tarte Tatin again but, this time, I’ll have it all to myself.

Valerie Brun
HELSINKI TIMES
PHOTOS: THOMAS POOLE

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