Sasu´s Chef & Sommelier
I am super late on my Helsinki posts, but better late than never! As you guys have already read, I went on a Birthday/Couple Trip to Helsinki last summer. I was very lucky to be able to eat at the Micheln Star Restaurant Ravintola Ask, found the secret Helsinki Bar (sorry no cameras allowed) and even got to find the Best Coffee Spots in Helsinki.
When we were planning this trip all things came together, One of them was Anders meeting Sasu Laukkonen Chef from the 1 Star Michelin restaurant Chef & Sommelier during our Trip to Stockholm. Sadly Sasu couldnt be there that evening, but we were hosted and treated amazingly.
The first thing that impressed me, was the size of this nordic decorated place, it was tiny. But that made it even more friendly and cozy, it was indeed warmer than the average fine-dining restaurant. This restaurant was in a posh residential neighbourhood just in the middle of apartment blocks. With barely space for 20 people and an open kitchen, we felt almost like sitting at a friends dining room.
They were very well prepared for the evening, I had a gluten-free alternative for every dish, including bread...delicious gluten-free bread! Actually one of the best I had in a restaurant until today.
You can see through the menu, that Sasu is passionate about the food that C&S serves. Everything is carefully chosen organic and wild plants foraged in the surroundings. They grow their own vegetables and herbs, and I read they know by name every farmer, fisherman and cheese maker who delivers to them.
It reminds me a lot to Noma in Copenhagen and Maaemo in Oslo, where the passionate chefs deliver dishes to the tables themselves and explain the ingredients and techniques that were used.
The cheese selection with plum compote and crispbread. The most interesting cheese was the Finnish blue cheese “Selin”, which is made as a school project in the private secondary school of Ahlman, in Tampere city. The cows are a typical Finnish breed, and our waiter told us that the cheese they produce are not always good.
I am very happy Anders wrote every ingredient and detail of the whole menu, I was in awe enjoying the food and capturing the beauty of all the dishes.
This place is worth flying to Helsinki alone, and I can't think of anything negative to say about it. Get on a plane to Helsinki and experience it.
Chickpeas and Chicken Casserole
As much as I remember, there was a lot of casseroles made when I was a kid. Mostly there was some legumes and rice next to it, very peruvian. I always loved chickpeas, but I remember hearing they are very hard to make, so I never tried to make them myself. But after all, it was pretty easy to make this dish.
When I feel a bit homesick, I try to make a food that reminds me of happy moments and childhood... no surprise why my comfort food is homemade roasted chicken and chicken fricassee, a regular on my family's repertoire. And I was feeling a bit down so I decided to cheer me up with this casserole... I hope this recipe can make your day brighter as well!
4 pieces of chicken thighs with bone
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup of chickpeas (soak overnight if possible if not 1 hour will be ok)
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of canned chopped tomatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 aubergine in dices
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Fresh parsley or basil chopped
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pressure cooker over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken and fry until is golden, remove from the cooker. Add onion and garlic and the rest of the olive oil and cook, stirring, until transparent.
Add broth, chickpeas, aubergine, tomato, chicken pieces, salt & pepper. Mix well.
Seal pressure cooker and bring to high pressure. Cook for 20 minutes. Cool pressure cooker. If you don't have enough time, place the cooker under a cold running tap, and open it.
Return to high heat and cook, stirring very gently, until it achieves a stew consistency, about 5-7 minutes. If it is a bit runny, don't worry! Just add a little bit of sauce thickener to it. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Stir in parsley or basil and serve.
Drizzle some more herbs and extra-virgin olive oil at the table. And voilá, a very easy to make dinner.
Izakaya Hashi in Berlin
First time Sebastian told me to meet at Yzakaya Hashi, I was thinking on Yzakaya in Oslo. So I had to go ask my friend Google what does Yzakaya means and it said: "An izakaya (居酒屋 ?) is a type of informal Japanese drinking establishment that serves food to accompany the drinks. They are casual places for after-work drinking."
There was the answer, a place to drink, eat and meet with friends, it couldn't be better!
As in Berlin lunch breaks aren't really long, this places was just ideal. Service was fast and we got ourselves some bento boxes.
They have several drink options, including a killer Yuzu Margarita and traditional japanese beers. But I really need to go by night and try the different tapas and share them with a big group. So far this place is a nice option for lunch breaks if you work in Mitte.
Fresh salmon fillet grilled with a homemade Teriyaki sauce Bento Box with rice and salad
Great outdoors sitting for hot Berlin summer days
Grilled fresh Atlantic mackerel, served with grated radish and Ponzu sauce Bento Box with Rice, Edamame and salad
Jinx Dreams of Ceviche
Lately I have been dying for raw fish or ceviche. You see nowadays in many places loads of Ceviche styles: From Traditional to Fusion.
Even though many people think making ceviche is very hard, It is actually one of the easiest dishes you can ever prepare. Even Peruvian culinary legend Gaston Acurio says that a great ceviche can be made in only 10 minutes.
It is easy, and everyone has their own secret, their own style. As I grew in Peru, I like very traditional ceviche. Not the prettiest one if you ask me, but my favorite.
1 kg soft but firm fresh white Fish
1/2 kg limes (the green ones)
3 garlic cloves finely chopped or mashed
4 red onions cut in julienne
200 gr peruvian chili paste or any other chili you have around
Fresh Cilantro/Coriander fine chopped
Salt & Pepper
2 Sweet potatoes
Little gem lettuce
Lets get peruvian now...
Boil the corn and sweet potatoes in advance. Wash the little gem lettuce.
Cut the fish in cubes about 1.5 cm each. In a glass bowl, mix the lime juice, salt, pepper, garlic and chilli. If you are afraid on the amount of chili, add the half first and later you can add little by little the rest.
Add the fish to the mixture and mix thoroughly. Leave for some minutes until you see the fish isnt transparent anymore but starts looking "cooked" Add the onions and let them soak for 1-2 minutes.
To plate: Put a lettuce leaf first and fill it with ceviche, sprinkle the Cilantro/Coriander, add half a corn next to it and a piece of sweet potato and Enjoy one of my favorite dishes from my hometown.
You know those kinds of places that turned up to be your regular spot without noticing it?
Well, this happened to me with Transit. Every time I want to meet people for lunch or afterwork, I end up there. It is very close to my office, in the Rosenthaler straße and the Underground is just 1 minute away.
When I first visited this place with my dear friend Ailine, I was really amused by the concept: You can order many different kinds of small bowls, each for 3€. I felt like I was ordering tapas, but Asian tapas. All of them well made and they had loads of gluten free alternatives. They have some large bowls if you aren't in the mood to share or if you are very hungry. Either way, I like sharing and this place is perfect for that
What I like the most about this place, is the freshness of the ingredients and that all meats are cook perfectly.
They have some nice wines and some awesome milkshakes to make your meal even better.
Since then I have been there many different times, from welcoming my friend Matt to Berlin to dinner lunch with my client and friend Rayk. And never dissapointed!
I would totally recommend you grabbing a bite at Transit if you are in Berlin.
I am Andrea, or as my friends call me, Jinx. I am a foodie living in Berlin, eating my way through life. Here are my recipes, cooking events, dining experiences and more...