Looking for a good restaurant in Helsinki, still affordable, not Hok Elanto place, and which can even be a good place for a romantic dinner as a good dinner place between friends? Maybe Kuurna is your place.
Located in Kruunuhaka, not far from the sea side, in nice old town surrounding but further from the busiest and poshest area of the city. The place is in a nice old building so, with high ceilings with vintage looking canopy, chandeliers and simple vintage design furniture. The place itself looks stylish enough, staff is friendly and act professional, with a Finnish touch. Only perhaps the music selection can be surprising (listening to Foo Fighters in this kind of environment sound a bit off the frame, but why not...)
And what about the Food. Kuurna has a very interesting formula. Menu will cost you either 31 or 37€ if you decide to go for a 2 or 3 course meal. Which is reasonable regarding the quality of the food and the other options you have in town. The menu can look small at first but in fact the list is slightly updated weekly so that there is always some change; For our venue our pick was:
Baltic Herring filet
Stuffed cabbage rolls with mushroom
Home made Finnish apple sorbets (three different apples)
Pike perch filet with potatoes
milk chocolate pie with pears
The herring were good, but in my taste maybe a bit too classic for this kind of place, but the artichoke soup was definitly a lovely starter option. We both enjoyed our starters with our aperitif, a homemade cocktail made of sparkling wine, zubrowska vodka and secret ingredient (we don't remember what it was).
For the main course we went through the wine list. Au verre ou à la bouteille, the wine selection is not too wide but interesting enough. We went as usual for French, Pinot Noir pour Mademoiselle (very good choice, strong in the mouth and fitting perfectly the mushrooms), and Chablis pour Monsieur (not too fruity and less dry than the German Riesling that the Waiter was first suggesting). The Stuffed cabbage were very good, nicely presented, a success. The pike perch was good, but perhaps the chef should serve it in a smaller quantity and try some more convincing spice (only salt and butter were used, while the range of possible spice for this dish could be so much more exciting).
The dessert was itself a real pleasure to eat, and finishing on that note is definitely a great option we strongly recommend. The chocolate pie is simply delicious but the winner is without any doubt the home made apple sorbet, made of 3 different kind of Finnish apple from the basic yellow cider to the very sweet red one which almost taste like a summer strawberry. Even if you would filled stuffed yourself by the previous courses, you won't regret these home made sorbet.
As a conclusion Kuurna is a very interesting place in Helsinki, where booking ahead is mandatory in weekend (they offer different time of service allowing their kitchen to work in the most effective way), in a nice atmosphee (if you don't pay too much attention to the music selection), with a professional staff and perhaps one of the best rate quality/price menu in town.