Skip to main content
  1. Leisure
  2. Food & Drink
  3. Restaurants

Very modern Nordic fare at Helsinki, Finland's Spis

See also

Do you live in an area where cupcakes are (still) the trendiest thing on the dining scene? Maybe their idea of cutting edge is to add some bacon to the mix. Ho ho ho hum. Or maybe this holiday season, family dinners with canned cranberry sauce and canned cream of mushroom green bean casseroles made you wanna cry "Uncle". The gastronomic poet in you longs for creativity, something that's not so tried-and-true. There are many reasons to visit Helsinki, Finland, including the dining scene.

More Photos

I was happy to be hosted to experience Spis, a restaurant that's unafraid to create unorthodox combinations and to plate/present in unexpected ways. This ain't Aunt Millie's meat and 3, so come prepared to try new things . . . and, well, maybe leave Aunt Millie at home! Also, you'd better make reservations: the casual place only seats 18! Dinners are the super-leisurely, European style . . . pace yourself, drinking-wise!

You choose between short and long tasting menus, built on what's fresh that day. It's mostly vegetable based, but there's always one meat or fish course. Since it changes daily, I'll give an overview of what I had. Check out the slideshow for the presentation.

The house aperitif was beer with elderflower liqueur. This sets the stage right away that this restaurant's on a different kind of wavelength.

There was a "salad" was a deconstructed style. It was a bite-sized lettuce leaf with dots of vinaigrette done up more like molecular gastronomy spheres.

The "house salad" then came: bits of potato, leek, barley and tomato on a plank.

There was an amuse bouche that was a dab of cucumber, but whipped up with something elusive . . .

Then came what I thought of as a "roots course": licorice root, parsley root and horseradish root. They were served cold and were icy, rather than spicy.

Ashes of leek were made into a biscuit.

There was a "summer soup" that had a crispness to its broth.

Onion with sorrel was sweet and acidic.

The hard to find but local black trumpet mushrooms were served with chard and egg.

Then came a sorbet made of cucumber and wild fennel . . . that maybe felt a little bit like a(n over) duplication of the amuse.

The main course was Norwegian cod, broccoli, fennel, potato and tomato juice, very Fall-like.

The first dessert course was cinnamon buns and chocolate/porcini mushroom ice cream. That was one of the more challenging desserts I've tried. It was quite earthy!

Then were donuts flavored with beetroot -- very Baltic -- and donuts flavored with strawberry.

If you like reading my foodie adventures, please click on the "subscribe" button above. You'll get future articles in your inbox for FREE! Of course, I have over 1,900 articles here, so poke around and "find something tasty™"!



  • Patio gardens
    Gardening in small spaces: Vertical organic patio gardens made simple
    Patio Gardens
  • Knee and low back discomfort
    Do not neglect those little aching hip or knee pains when exercising
    Health Buzz
  • Kendall Jenner
    Get the Coachella looks: Kendall Jenner’s nose ring, green hair and edgy nails
    Coachella Look
  • Dodge Power Wagon
    New Ram Power Wagon: Powerfully awesome return for 2014
    7 Photos
  • Fire pit tables
    Fire pits make the perfect addition to any outdoor decor providing cozy warmth on a chilly evening
    Outdoor Living
  • British Virgin Islands
    Explore the top things to do in the British Virgin Islands
    Travel 911

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!