Dinner Date: Fisken på disken

Seafood and fish is a vital part of Finnish food culture, and Fisken på disken brings the best of it to the heart of Helsinki. Along with a bunch of other restaurants, young chefs have set up this modern joint in the new Kortteli court of the Kamppi mall. I do like fish and seafood, yet there aren’t really places I’d call a go-to for anyone craving seafood – so I was so happy to see them arrive and give their menu a go!

 

Along with a bunch of other restaurants, young chefs have set up this modern joint in the new Kortteli court of the Kamppi mall. What might not seem like the most ideal location for a high-quality meal in the city centre, turned out to be a refreshing, low-key setting for yet another perfect example of casual fine dining. The interior of the open restaurant is designed to be simple yet cozy, despite being set pretty much in the middle of the floor. Small details like the arrangement of the cutlery showed off nicely how much thought was put into the restaurant set-up.

One of my best friends moved back to his home country Switzerland about 1,5 years ago and he came to visit me just when Fisken på disken was about to open. The invitation to try out what the place has to offer was the perfect occasion for us to catch up after a long time, eat delicious food and enjoy some tasty wines. Extra challenge for the team: my friend isn’t really into eating fish. Ha!

Fresh ingredients prepared in an open kitchen, amazing flavours and combining the modern and traditional is what Fisken på disken is all about. We decide on the 5 course tasting menu, which with regular pricing is set at 40€ and a pretty good deal just as is, and start off with a glass of the house sparkling wine. To get us started, we’re being served the house-bread with tuna and some Saaristolaisleipä (my favourite thing in life) along with a brown butter spread, the latter even got our waiter very excited. The smooth tuna was delicious just like the rest and perfectly set the mood for what was about to come.


 
The first course was a charred and cured salmon (or lax), with pickled cucumbers, an avocado creme, roasted sesame and marinated tapioca pearls. The entire combination was just absolutely divine, and you’ll hear a lot of praising for me about this meal, but in this particular case mainly the textures of the different components was what made us really love this dish. According to my swiss friend, he would have loved to have this as an actual main course even, so take that from someone who’s not really into fishy bits.

Up next was my personal favourite of the evening and just thinking about it now makes me sad that it was over so quickly. Crayfish and fennel in a fresh shellfish broth – oh my, my friends, I could bathe in that soup. It was so good that it was worth even being eaten with a golden spoon (quote). The flavours here are hard to describe as they just played it so very perfectly, especially the broth is pure cooking art, and also the favourite of head chef Joona Lehto (you can check out some of his thoughts on Finnish cuisine here). I will definitely be back for this soup as soon as possible and hopefully can charm my way into getting a bigger portion.


 
As first main course of the evening we were served a lemon risotto with fried scallops and rice paper. To be honest with you, I don’t think I have ever had scallops like this before, not even really by choice, I just never came along the option. And again to be honest, it probably wouldn’t be my first choice of order either, mainly because the consistency is a bit funny, not because there was anything wrong with the taste. The lemon risotto was a nice partner for them, and the whole dish was completely packed with flavours. The portion size was decent and filling too!

A nice and crisp Riesling was the perfect buddy for these fish dishes, there are plenty of nice choices on the wine menu and the staff is happy to help you out with picking the perfect one. Since we didn’t know what was coming in our surprise menu, that was definitely great! Second main was their fish of the day, which on this evening happened to be one of my favourites, a crispy baked pike-perch with roasted Jerusalem artichokes, a fish croquette and nettle sauce. I would totally order this one again, everything worked together nicely, a proper croquette of whichever kind if difficult to come around in Finland and also the pure and plain artichokes were interesting and new to me in this form. If this had been the only main I would have been super happy already!


 
To finish off this glorious round, we got a milk chocolate mousse with a mint-yoghurt parfait and crumbly things, which was also absolutely delicious, I loved the smooth mousse and the fresh mint with it, that just rounded off everything nicely. Although I was secretly hoping to get the Crème Brûlée (another one of my favourite things in life, and whenever I come across a new variation of it, I NEED to have it), I’m happy we got this one so I have yet another reason to return soon.

Although I was secretly hoping to get the Crème Brûlée (another one of my favourite things in life, and whenever I come across a new variation of it, I NEED to have it), I’m happy we got this one so I have yet another reason to return soon. Vegetarians and meat-lovers are also promised to be made happy, the shellfish bar is a nice new addition to the features of the Helsinki food scene, which makes it easy and inviting for you to drop in for champagne and oysters if you’re feeling fancy. As mentioned before, I’ll be back for soup and crème. I’m excited to see what will be on their lunch offer during the week as well 🙂

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Thanks for friendly service and an overall absolutely lovely evening!

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