Nolla

Helsinki, Finland

https://www.restaurantnolla.com/

I had high expectations for this place, you can find great reviews from web and I also have heard good things about the place elsewhere.

The entrance was a bit difficult to spot as at least in dark October evening could not see any signs on the door. Anyway there is only one door to try, so no problem after all.

The place consists of two rooms, with maybe 30 customer places + the bar where you can fit few more. Looks nice and staff was welcoming. While waiting for the others, browsed through the menu written on a chalk board on the wall and sipped some nice cava. For menu you have options of 3 or 5 courses. On the website they say also that vegetarian and vegan menu available upon request and proved to be no problem with that.

They also told us at the restaurant that they can customize the menu based on your wishes, but as we were easy going without any preferences (except one vegetarian), we let them decide and only selected the amount of dishes (5). We also went with wine pairing and for the vegetarian menu non-alcoholic drink pairing (that is interesting concept!).

Afterwards thinking, wine pairing might have been a mistake. Like many other places currently, Nolla also follows the trend with natural wines. I just don’t find them so appealing. Some are good, but some just too weird for my taste.

The menu consisted of 3 starters, one main and dessert. You could take also some cheese for dessert on top of the 5 course menu.

First starter was beans with almost-soup-like spanish sauce which. Good start, although some people thought, I quote, it was “salty as fuck”. Second came a sourdough waffle with mushrooms on top. Nice finger food, something I could fix for a evening snack for myself. Really taste and all, but maybe would expect something more in this kind of place. Third starter was pike, with again sauce poured on top separately. Also this one good, but not exceptional or mind-blowing in any sense.

Starters were quite small and having only lunch 9 hours before, started to get quite hungry before the main. It was this time pork neck with mushrooms. The meat was very tender, but would have needed some salt. The salt was also this time in the sauce. Maybe some potatoes or other vegetables on the side would have made this dish more complete.

The dessert with ice-cream (I missed what it was made of) with some smoky meringue type of a thing and beet root was maybe the most interesting dish. Also very good and that is a lot said from a person who could usually skip the dessert. Matching wine was not bad either.

3 hours and 119€ spent (59€ for food and rest for drinks, no coffee this time). Was it worth it? Maybe food-wise yes, but I really would change the wines for something more familiar.

Maybe worth of mentioning is also their zero waste ideology. Read more at their website.

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