Monday, March 07, 2011


Siltanen is a nice trendy bar/kitchen/club in Kallio. The atmosphere is laid-back and relaxed.
It's always a good place to go either in late night (it closes already at 2am), if you want to get your feet on the dancefloor, or earlier in the evening for a beer with your friends. If  you fancy something to eat with your beer, it's also possible to get something from their kitchen.

Yes, eating is possible in Siltanen and the couple of time we've used that opportunity to enjoy their service. Unfortunatly we are here to talk about another story, a Saturday night experience.

A famous sandwich chain has a saying for slogan "eat fresh". Well, it seems that in Siltanen you can eat a bit too fresh. But let's not spoil the story from the start.

Saturday evening after seeing a good play with friends, we get an idea: how about heading to a place to get a beer, grab some simple food and listen to good music? Siltanen here we come.
Siltanen is located on Hämeentie, one of the main road leaving from city centre, in a old brick building next the Academy of Fine Art.

Inside white wooden floor and high ceiling testify that you are in an old industrial building. Cosy sofas and stylish DJ bar will make you forget the weird feeling given by the dentist lamps on the ceiling.

Anyway let's talk about food: Once you've got in and your table is found, there's only a direction to the counter. The friendly English speaking staff show you were are the menus. We all go for the pizza plate, vege for some, chicken for others and beer for all.

As expected the beer comes right away, we're told that the food will take 30 minutes more. That's fine it's weekend in a bar, not in a fast food place at a gas station. But time suddenly take a different dimension and after asking the staff about our food, it comes...after 45min.

At first, for hungry eyes, the plate looks good. The fresh goat cheese on the vegetarian pizza was yummy yummy. The First bite feels quite good. After few more bites there is a surprise; the freshness I talked about earlier. The pizzas were not enough cooked! Grated cheese has not melted on the vegetarian pizzas, leaving a bit the feeling to eat a frozen pizza straight from the carton box. Chicken pizza has also its part of surprises; as the triple, sorry the quarter of cheese and garlic layers. This resulted in pizza dough covered by the regular tomato sauce, few piece of chicken and 1cm layer of garlic covered by an at least as thick layer of not totally melted cheese.
Come on guys, we know that only Jamie Oliver knows how to cook in UK but do something, learn how to use an oven! I understand that it was a weekend evening. Maybe in the rush guys might have got a Saturday night fever, but still, this was a disappointing experience.

Luckily this is not the end for Siltanen, we'll talk more about them later as they also serve brunch on weekends, so stay connected for the update.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Galleria Keidas

Among all the places we wanted to go since a while, Galleria Keidas has been on the top of the list. Quoted by many magazines as a good organic brunch place we were excited to pay a visit, even more as it is located just on front of our old apartment.

H. had a special voucher for a brunch which gave us the perfect opportunity to visit the place.
At 10.50 on a Saturday morning we popped-in! And surprise the tiny place (only 20 seats maximum) was full. We had tried to contact them by email in advance to make a reservation, but we didn't get any answer. It seemed to be hard to get a seat. Anyway we were told to come back at 12.00 by then there would be a table waiting for us. We were informed that we could come also a bit earlier, if we wanted to come to check the situation. So we came back at 11.30 and after 10minutes we got our table.

The place has some charm. It is tiny but not too tiny and the decoration looks very friendly, but something weird make you feel that it is not as friendly place as it seems to be.

The brunch consist of a "starter", a bowl of porridge or musli with soured milk and jam. Musli was tasty enough to be a good introduction.

Then comes a plate with the main ingredient of your choice: Mozzarella, edam, eggs or tofu.
We both went for mozzarella. The brunch is served with tea or coffee plus a glass of juice. This is in theory - In practice there is a small bottom of black mud in the coffee pot, some water for the tea and after many attempt and request a small glass of juice is served to you. A buckthorn juice has a nice orange color but with an awful taste (reminds me of puke), the perfect morning drink though!

The plate is garnished with some homemade and good humus, some black beans, salad and slices of  pineapple and orange. The bread is also fresh and still warm, and actualy quite good, not homemade though.

But. A big but. There are some serious problems with managing.  The small cafe is lacking of directing. There were no organizing at all, which gives totally catastrophic feeling also for the customers. Orders were mixed, even forgotten. Some people got service twice, some none. Unfortunately lots of your energy goes to see, if the manager is surviving. It's scary.

The waitress seems to be a very kind girl but maybe a bit too much under the stress of a manager who have no organization at all (in a place of less than 20 seats, isn't difficult to give numbers to table for example?).
Never the less, the brunch is suppose to end by a royal pancake with ice-cream. The ice-cream is made in Suonenjoki, Finland. Unfortunatly there wasn't anymore blueberry when our turn came. Chocolate and lingonberry did the deal, but what a pancake! I think that with such a recipe we found the solution to build earthquake proof building in Japan! Even a steak knife would have not be enough to cut through it! A cold and hard pancake, how can you dare to serve this to your customers?

Another comment need to be added here: as for many places trying to surf on the organic wave, what is the point to propose organic products, if the products are not seasonal nor local and are coming from the other side of the world? And what about products grown in green houses, which need lots of energy (not necessarily green in a country which had a massive nuclear power plant park)? If I were vicious, I could say opportunism...

Verdict: It's not a bad place, but to really make yourself a good opinion of the place, go there when the place is not packed, it might be then more relaxing and this also effects on the food and the atmosphere!

Moko Market (UPDATE)

I was hoping I would never have had a reason to write this message, but never say never, as they say.

Almost a year ago we were charmed by Moko Market Brunch. The bread was fresh and good. The organic cheese, imported from Spain though, was tasting amazing. Especially the goat cheese, the selection of vegetables and fruits was large. The juices offered were also pretty decent.

So when a friend of us invited us to repeat the experience, we said yes! But should have remembered that it is always a bad idea to try to repeat a good moment from the past.

Moko Market brunch is no more the enjoyable moment we talked about in the past. Only the bread could still be compared.

Nowadays, when you have the "privilege" to pay your 16€ (prices raised btw which could have lead us to think quality was getting higher) you have the amazing chance to eat very basic non organic cheese. Which makes me thinking about a sliced version of terrible "Vache qui rit", plus a very basic assortment of vege (only the salad leaves were good).

The cherry on the top is the new apple juice (yes, oranges disappeared from the table, and thus even before the revolution in Tunisia and Egypt)! Nowadays your apple juice tastes very basic and comes straight from a 10 liter carton box. The box itself isn't the major problem, even some descent wine can be bought in carton boxes, but when you want to serve an expansive brunch, at least respect people and serve them in descent dishes. It would not cost much to Moko Market to serve their juice in pitcher rather than from the boxes!

One positive point anyway. The desserts are still pretty good. The blueberry pie was melting in my mouth and the pulla-cake was also delicious to even if the Finns around the table found it too raw for their taste.

So the verdict is clear: Moko Market is soon to reach the quality/price range of the poorest! Overpriced and proposing only a limited choice of very basic and low market product.

Honestly for 16€ per person I could have orgnize a feast at home myself.
Moko Market Cafe