A luxurious new coffee-table book weighing only 1,650 grams (3.6 pounds) reveals Finland’s best dining experiences. Classy Finnish Restaurants takes you from Helsinki’s Michelin-starred establishments to converted country manor houses. See a selection in our slideshow.
Classy Finnish Restaurants (Young Rascal Inc) leads off with an intro by Finland’s culinary top dog, chef Hans Välimäki of Helsinki’s two-Michelin-star Chez Dominique. He relates a brief, engaging history of Finnish cuisine, from the Russian era in the 1800s to the present.
Then the book launches into a photogenic parade of 52 of the country’s most esteemed eating establishments, including the five Helsinki restaurants that possess Michelin stars (Chez Dominique (2), Demo, Luomo, Olo and Postres).
The reader travels the length and breadth of the country, each place getting its own article with plenty of colourful eye candy (décor, diners, dishes and more). Taste a sample in the slideshow below.
A visual feast from Finland
The onion-shaped domes of Helsinki's Orthodox Cathedral gleam above the dining room at Sipuli (Onion). Photo: Young Rascal Inc/Sipuli
In the northern city of Oulu, the staff at Hugo are setting up before the first customers of the day arrive. Photo: Young Rascal Inc/Hugo
Wanha Laamanni (The Old Lawyer) serves up rustic Finnish fare in the charming town of Porvoo, a popular tourist destination one hour east of Helsinki. Photo: Young Rascal Inc/Wanha Laamanni
In the heart of Helsinki, Maxill is a cosy location for friends to share conversation over lunch, dinner or drinks. Photo: Young Rascal Inc/Maxill
Salutorget, on the north side of Helsinki's Market Square, occupies a former bank, an architectural treasure containing dark mahogany furnishings and ornate stained-glass windows. Photo: Young Rascal Inc/Salutorget
Top of the world: The venerable restaurant Savoy, founded in 1937, commands a view over the greenery of Esplanade Park and the rest of downtown Helsinki, including the Lutheran Cathedral. Photo: Young Rascal Inc/Savoy
Scenic setting: Another majestic location sets the mood at Tertin Kartano (Tertti's Manor) near the eastern Finnish town of Mikkeli. Photo: Tertti's Manor
In the southern coastal resort town of Hanko, På Kroken (On the Hook) offers guests its unique, patented smoked salmon and other delicacies (open only during the summer months). Photo: Young Rascal Inc/På Kroken
City pulse: Rafla, right in the middle of downtown Helsinki, makes customers feel at home with its unpretentious charm. Photo: Young Rascal Inc/Rafla
Wine glasses on the table and on the wall: In the west-coast town of Pori (the same one that hosts a huge annual jazz fest), Bucco serves Italian-influenced cuisine with Finnish-Nordic undertones. Photo: Young Rascal Inc/Bucco
Last but certainly not least: At Näsinneula, in the central-western city of Tampere, dessert and all the other courses are served at a height of 124 metres, in a dining room atop a tower offering great views as well as gourmet food. Photo: Young Rascal Inc/Näsinneula
By Peter Marten, April 2011