Kuurna | Restaurant | Natural wine | Helsinki | Finland

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Location: 60.170272,24.958491
Price: Moderate

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +358 9 670 849
Address: Meritullinkatu 6
Helsinki, 00170
Country: Finland

Kuurna is not on any of the main restaurant strips in the seaside city of Helsinki. However it is worth looking for this tiny place if you are pining for a simple meal in modest surroundings that will not break the bank.
When we arrived in Helsinki we had recently eaten at Noma in Copenhagen and Trio in Malmo so we were uneasy about eating in one of the top restaurants lest it suffer by invidious comparison. Luckily, most of the places we thought of trying were closed for the holiday season.
We were also tired so didn't want a theatrical event where course after course is paraded before you.
When we found Kuurna and saw that there were only three choices for starters and likewise for main course we decided to ask for a table.
We are constantly perplexed as to why more restaurants don't adopt this approach. By restricting the menu to a very few dishes, the chef can shop every day for the freshest ingredients and is not stretched in the kitchen by orders for many different dishes arriving at the same time. Trying to cater for everyone with lots of choice usually means satisfying nobody.
So we were delighted with the very restricted choice available and had no trouble choosing dishes that we were happy to order.
Then we had a second surprise. We had heard that there Finland was not a country where there was an interesting selection of wine so our expectations of what would be available were fairly low. However, on opening the wine list we were amazed to find one of our favourite wines at a very reasonable price. The Raveneau Montée de Tonnerre Chablis is a wine that helped change our thinking about how wine should be made and was one of the factors that set us off on a search for wines that are made without the use of poisons and without interference in the winemaking process.
When we first tried this wine at an outdoor restaurant in the 6th in Paris in the late 1990s we were stunned by its liveliness and purity. So, without hesitation we ordered the Raveneau.
The wine list could not be classified as 'natural' or biodynamic, but there are some interesting selections for those who seek these wines out. Champagnes from Selosse and Cedric Bouchard grace the list and the Rhone wines from Chave are also there. And we are sure that on a cold Finland night the red from Domaine de la Grange des Peres would satisfy even the most discerning drinker.
Six tiny, crusty bread rolls were brought to the table (the bread was OK without being exceptional) accompanied by a chock of butter on a pretty patterned plate.
Our first courses arrived promptly. Steak tartar was well seasoned and topped with a raw egg. The flavour was good and the meat had been chopped to an agreeable roughness. This was a very good start. Another 'raw' dish was the marinated white fish served with beautiful pickled cucumber, chopped chives and small pieces of rye bread. This also worked very well, with both excellent flavour and good texture.
A cooked fish dish for main course saw two wedges of very well-cooked fish served with lots of dill, two steamed potatoes, some sliced radishes, greens and a beurre blanc sauce.
Six thick slices of pink-cooked flank steak were topped with a finely-chopped mix of oregano, onion and chilli accompanied by some green vegetables and potatoes. This was also a satisfying dish.
Desserts of almond-crusted apricots with ice cream and a dish of rhubarb soup with a floating island were also satisfying.
We would certainly visit Kuurna again if were are in Helsinki looking for a satisfying and interesting meal at a very reasonable price.


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