Those were my key words for the last nights visit to the Helsinki located restaurant Savotta. For those of you who are challenged with the Finnish language, savotta refers to the logging and wood harvesting. Sort of a theme restaurant for old Finnish popular culture, with food from the old times. It was a work thing as we had our Norwegian colleague along us. Nevertheless it was my first visit to the place, so I liked the idea of going there.
The location is a rather good one, just close to the Senaatintori with great access to public transport. Altought I'm not sure if I'd come with own car as the parking might be a bit tricky.
The place itself looks the part, the decor is mostly wood, with lots of old newspaper clippings. Vintage adverts and news. I bet there are thousands of theme restaurants like that, so this isn't really that special. Except that the theme is Finland. We sat at the cellar floor which was actually really nice. Had the table at the back of the room, which felt a bit seclusive. Wasn't expecting any silverware and certainly didn't get any as the collection of table ware was a mixture of all kind of old Finnish glass work and cutlery. They fulfilled their place and added to the atmosphere.
For the starter I had the Delicacies of the hunter as in game terrine served with crowberry sauce, elk tartar and wild boar set in aspic. Curious mix of forest delicacies as it really was hard to tell which was which. I'm pretty sure I got the elk tartar correct, but I'm still not 100% sure. Wouldn't have minded a bit more info on the subject. Then again, was a bit drunk at that time, so the info might have passed me.
Never before had any bear for dinner, but was curious enough to try it as the whole table choose to have Patron’s bear Wallenberg as main course. It was served with Savoy cabbage rolls filled with barley and chanterelle mushrooms and creamed Finnish mushrooms. Can't realy say was it really worth the extra cost as the taste itself wasn't the special. But of course I understand that eating bear meat is an experience itself, so suppose it was money well spent. Not that it was my money, but still. The side dish of cabbage rolls was excellent.
To complete the menu I had the Blueberry pie served with milk chocolate mousse and white chocolate ice cream. The milk chocolate mouse was curious and would have never known what it was if I hadn't read the description. Wonder how they managed in that, but still, the blueberry pie itself was decent. Disappointingly small piece thought..
Would I go there again? Hmm.. I suppose so. It was a really nice theme restaurant and had some Tapio Rautavaara playing at the stereo. You rarely get that. The food was good, although not exquisite. Wine like vise. If you have foreign quests who appreciate the trip to wonderland of old Finland, I would even recommend this highly. A great place to have a experience, but there are several restaurants that make at least as good food, than Savotta. Service was humoristic and fit the place spot on.