Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Fusion’

Gaijin Restaurant, Helsinki, Finland

I absolutely love the power of social media. Whilst in Helsinki, I saw a post that Chef Dan Hong posted – char siu at one of his restaurant Mr Wong, and claimed how I was craving it. The next thing I knew, one of his friends recommended that I go to Gaijin, which is located on the corner of Bulevardi and Yrjonkatu. Opened by Tomi Bjorck and Matti Wikberg, Gaijin offers diners ‘unique flavours by combining traditional Japanese and Korea dishes with dishes from the North of China in a modern way’. I was excited and knew I HAD to go!

P1270248

We have been traveling in Europe for almost 2 weeks and I had not had Chinese food and was craving it badly! Every time we travel out of Asia we always crave for Chinese food, me in particular. Gaijin offers two sitting, one at 6pm and the other at 8.30pm. I was extremely grateful that I got a table at 6pm on a Friday night, the night before we flew out to go home.

I wanted one of everything on the menu, however, it was only Dragon and I eating that evening. ‘The Mother’ had some complications with his flight and couldn’t join us which was a shame as he missed out on a wonderful meal!

I started with the pork bun – pork belly, kimchi mayonnaise, pickled cucumber and soft bread. The bread was indeed very soft and the pork belly was melt-in-your mouth tender. The pickled cucumber and kimchi mayonnaise a wonderful addition. I could potentially eat 2 or 3 of these babies on my own!

P1270252

The Beijing style chicken was similar to that of Peking duck. The crispy fried chicken which was braised in master stock was tender, even Dragon enjoyed it.

P1270258

I couldn’t go past the char siew pork and bok choy which came with pickled cucumber. It wasn’t your typical char siew – not the one I was used to in Hong Kong but this definitely satisfied the cravings and it was delicious. Yes – I am ashamed to say that I ATE IT ALL!

P1270260

Unfortunately I didn’t have time for dessert – had to go back to the hotel to pack my last minute things but I would have definitely ordered either the green tea and white xoco or beetroot geisha. Damn, really wished ‘The Mother’ was there so we could have ordered more food as it was good! Service was friendly and they were very helpful at the fact that I was dining with my 20 month old!

Definitely worth visiting if you are ever in Helsinki. Definitely a great find – thanks Chef Dan Hong and social media.

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Gaijin Restaurant

Bulevardi 6

00120 Helsinki

Ph: +358 10 322 9381

Donka, Central, Hong Kong

Donka can be found on the 11th floor of 11 Stanley Street. I am not even sure what the name of the building is but I have definitely tried most of the restaurants there. Donka is a fusion restaurant – Japanese and Chinese to be exact. I’m not usually a fan of fusion, too much going on in the dishes and I’m always left a little underwhelmed. A colleague of mine wanted to give it ago so we went.

DK_menu

The restaurant is tiny, but then again the entire restaurant in the building is small, no more than 40 diners.  The layout is quite simple and diners have the option of 8 different type of set menu which also includes drink.

I couldn’t go past the rice with Thai green curry and honey grilled pork chops. The honey grilled pork chops were deliciously tender with the right amount of sweetness. The Thai green curry was a little spicy which gave it a nice kick.

DK_porkcurry

J couldn’t go past Chinese homemade pork belly with rice. I almost ordered this too and it looked fantastic!! I couldn’t help but steal a piece and it had the right amount of fat and meat ratio.

DK_pork

C had the tomato soup inaniwa udon with fried egg and meat (fried fish) and he was highly disappointed. The soup was tasteless and the fried fish was tiny compared to the rest of ours.

DK_noodles

DK_fish

Service efficient, however I thought it was a bit odd that our food did not arrive at the same time. From memory mine came last so I was watching them eat for a while. I was pleasantly surprised with my dish but I don’t think C did. Oddly I have not returned since, however, I have been to the other restaurants in that building.

GA’s ratings: 6 / 10

Donka

11/F, 11 Stanley St

Central, Hong Kong

Ph: +852 2811 5611