Friday, March 08, 2013

Brasserie Le Havre, Helsinki

This is a tricky one.

Honestly at one point we were even thinking not to write about it, just not to be mean.
But as you will see the story has an happy ending.

Brasserie Le Havre is a new restaurant which opened in Helsinki on March the 1st 2013. The place is located at the ground floor of the Seurahuone Hotel, just opposite the railway station in a very nice building from the late 19th century. The place itself looks very interesting, you could feel in a French high class restaurant from the 'Belle Epoque'.

The table are set in quite nice way, and the restaurant tries to keep it as French spirit as possible, even by playing only French music. On that point some choices are quite interesting some are...well it might be a very long time I haven't been there so no more comment...

But we were there for the food, on the opening day.

As a starter we got the Foie gras mi cuit for Monsieur and Snails for madame.

It was a vey long time since I ate foie gras, even more mi cuit like. Served on a toast, the bread could be a bit better for this kind of product but the overall taste was fine.
The snails were maybe not cooked at their best as the garlic kick you usually have in this dish was extremely mild. This was even more disappointing that the chef has the very good idea to use a nicely extra salty butter, the real garlic taste would have just act perfectly here.
Perhaps their recipe is still to be improved.

Then started the trouble:
We asked from the waitress if the seafood section on the menu was more like a started or like a main course. Her answer was straight forward: seafood dishes are like main course.
So we went for the Scallops in crab mousse in one plate and Roquefort Mussels gratinated.

First surprise, the size of the dish, clearly for starters.
The Scallop was ok, even if it could have been a little bit more grilled to emphasize the contrast between the soft inside and the crispy outside. The crab mousse was in fact a 'bisque' wiped too fast and still foamy, but not anything you could call mousse.
But let's talk about the worst dish in the history of this blog maybe, or at least the less good looking. This mussel plate was just ridiculous: 5 mussels fighting with 2 slices of lime in a very large plate. It looked very bad even the plate (the dish) itself was quite nice. And the taste was not really successful either.

But we carried on and experienced the dessert list:
Crème brûlée and double chocolate mousse.
The Crème brûlée was maybe one of the worst I tasted in any restaurant in Helsinki, the texture was almost liquid and for some reason a oversized ball of cassis sorbet was on the top of the brûlée.
For the chocolate mousse, it tasted good honestly, but this place seems to have a problem with the term 'mousse' as this dish was far closer to fudge.

So as a overall Brasserie Le Havre should be renamed Brasserie Gonfreville (the name of Le Havre neighbor city in France where all the polluting factories are located).
The place looks nice, but the service (at the exception of the main waiter always going everywhere, taking very good care of his customers) is very poor: our waitress should have adviced us on the size of the dishes and few of them seemed at one point to be on their break at the same time causing a time lapse in the service for some tables.

But the story continues in the following post...

1 comment:

Pyjama said...


I'm only thinking creme brulee in your place. It was exciting