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View into the kitchen and slow service: Restaurant Nokka (31. July 2017)

| November 8, 2017 | 0 Comments

Now, after having visited the OLO restaurant the first evening in Helsinki and the Nokka being rated similarly, I was expecting quite something. And I was a bit disappointed to be honest. I had booked a table in advance and arrived on time and while there were quite a couple of waitresses, they all passed us until I basically kind of waved at one so she noticed us and we were brought to the table – and left alone. Well, at least for five minutes before someone showed up and brought a menu. Luckily, the butter was already on the table so … you could do nothing as there was no bread.

Finally, after we had our orders placed, the bread came and it was absolutely delicious! Unfortunately, they arranged it rather ‘stingy’ only offering about one piece of bread to everyone. So much about ‘bridging your waiting time’.

I decided to go for the “Menu Nokka” (EUR 66.00) with the “wine pairing” (EUR 45.00). The “smoked bream” which came as the first course was served with …

… “cucumber and dill” [the dish would usually cost EUR 18.00] paired with “Anselmo Mendes, Contacto, Vinho Verde, Portugal”. So basically, the first dish consisted of two separate elements or dishes. The bream was great in quality and flavour and the dill and cucumber with some kind of yogurt was also rather refreshing. In my book, the two didn’t entirely match but individually I liked them both.

The next course were “garden greens with browned butter hollandaise” paired with “That’s Neiss, Pinot Noir Rosé, Neiss Weingut, Pfalz, Germany”. Firstly, can we please appreciate the name of the wine for a second? “That’s Neiss” from the Neiss vineyard! Loved it! The garden greens on the other hand were interesting as a combination but nothing extraordinary. Especially, given that it was really not more than a bite.

What I did like a lot though was the main course – the “slow cooked lamb with herb butter and fermented garlic” [usually, EUR 34.00] paired “Saint-Joseph Baligant, 2015, Ogier, Rhone, France” was delicious. The dehydrated carrot was already amazing in its simplicity and intensity of the flavour. The lamb which was kind of assembled from pieces was incredibly aromatic and rich – absolutely loved it!

As a little break, they served “elderflower lush with cucumber granite”. This adding of cucumber really seems to be thing these days in Helsinki. Get me right, it was delicious but it was the second time in 48 hours that I got an extremely similar dish in two distinct restaurants.

What came for dessert was intense but on the other hand also absolutely luscious – the “blueberries and white chocolate pudding with meadow sweet” [usually, EUR 13.00] paired “Bracchetto d’Acqui, 2015, Tenuta Il Falchetto” was one of these desserts where I could eat more than one.

What I loved most about the place was the fact that we got the table with view straight into the kitchen. It is – on the one hand – great to see how things work, it isn’t on the other hand if things don’t entirely work out. Also, it makes it so much easier to see the waitresses just standing there, stalling, not knowing what to do. Frankly, there was one competent person in terms of service and the rest did – I don’t know what. In any case, the service was slow – too slow. I am not a fan of rushing things when eating, really not, but waiting almost 60 minutes before the first course is served is just way too long!

And again, the same was true for the “double espresso” (EUR 5.50), it took … time. Overall, I’m not quite sure what to say about the Nokka. The food was good but it definitely wasn’t exquisite but it was better than average. The service on the other hand was really not what I had expected but it is kind of balanced off by the good table as well as the general atmosphere of the place but doesn’t entirely compensate. So, frankly, I’d currently not recommend to visit the Nokka.


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Contact Details:

Restaurant Nokka

Kanavaranta 7 F

00160 Helsinki (FI)

Tel.: +358 9 61 28 56 00

E-Mail: myyntipalvelu@royalravintolat.com

Homepage: http://www.ravintolanokka.fi

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
EUR 530.00 (incl. tip) Filed in: Helsinki (FI), Restaurants

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