Restaurant Passio is quite unknown star of the restaurant world of Helsinki, Finland. Last weekend I had a chance to explore their five course surprise menu which was an excellent experience.
The concept of Passio is to offer fresh Scandinavian and European flavors. For them quality goes over quantity. Passio is also mentioned in a Michelin Quide 2017.
In Passio you can choose either 3 or 5 course menu. Both menus are surprise menus, how fun is that? 🙂 They also offer mostly European wines and local beers with the food. If you want to play sure try their recommendation wine packages planned for each menu.
From outside the restaurant is beautiful but doesn’t gather much attention. However the interior decorations are very unique and beautiful. You can enjoy the candle light, cozy chairs and high quality tableware.
When we got in the restaurant we were greeted with a big smile and warm welcome. We left our jackets to a coat rack and were then advised to our table. We got a window table which was great for my photographs!
The service and kitchen were all A class and fast simultaneously. It took only couple minutes to get a little greeting plate from the kitchen. We enjoyed it with some dry, fruity Nelles Riesling Sekt Brut. The kitchen’s greeting plate was iberico pork’s cheek with apple. The meat was excellent and it was fun to have apple semolina porridge in a fine restaurant. The balance of all the elements of dish was excellent and I was very excited to see what’s coming next!
The first dish of their actual five course menu was cold seafood starter. It included many different elements like confit char, scallop cream bouillabaisse sauce, carrot and red onion. The dish was very nice and fresh. Additionally, we liked how colorful it was.
We enjoyed the wines of their wine recommendations list with our menu thus we had Geils Grauer Burgunder S Trocken 2015 wine from Rheinhessen Germany with this. The dish was surprisingly delicious. I’m not generally a huge fan of cold seafood but when paired with the wine I could not dislike this dish. Passio’s kitchen really knows how to make good starters!
The second dish, the entremets, was a really interesting one. This one was spinach arancini, an Italian variation of risotto with some spinach, lemon mayo and dark white wine sauce. I had never had this kind of rise balls which were filled with cheese I guess. The dish was very unique and interesting. Maybe not the most beautiful one of Passio’s dishes but very tasty though a bit salty for my taste.
This one was served with Austrian rose wine, Rosé 2014 from Anton Bauer winery. It’s quite rare to have rose served in a fine restaurant. This rose had interesting light, a bit honey like color and paired nicely with the arancini.
The fish main course was very beautiful and colorful. I loved the combination of smoky gilt-head sea bream, pea pure, white beans and rhubarb concasse and some garlic snails. This definitely is one of the most beautiful plates of the whole meal (but wait until the dessert, it looks even more perfect!). We fell in love with the spring vibes of the colors in this one. It was also interesting how this plate combines different textures – foam, pure, solid, smoked fish, etc.
This one was served with Italian white wine from Barale Fratelli, the name of it was Langhe Arneis DOC 2015, which is made of arneis grapes. The wine was quite dry and slightly nutty. It paired well with the food – like all the other wines in Passio. They haven’t only thought their food but also the wines to complement those. They’ve done excellently in my opinion!
With all the first four courses you can additionally enjoy Passio’s self-made bread which is made to their own starter root, and includes some of one beers of Jussi, the restauranteur. The bread was soft and delicious and tasted even better when served with their whipped butter.
The fourth dish was the meat main course. Which was marbled beef file with a potato crocket, grilled pepper, lentils, chorizo and pepper pure with red wine sauce. Like the others this plate had multiple different textures and taste in it. This one brought southern Europe to my mind. I was surprised that even thought I usually prefer meat to fish, this time the seafood main course was my favorite.
I fell in love with Passio’s spicy, full-bodied red wine they served with the meat main course. The red wine for meat main course was Altas Quintas 600 Tinto 2009, it’s a mixture of three different grape varieties and tastes amazing – and of course, also pairs nicely with the food.
The next dish was a little surprise pre dessert before the actual dessert. This one was very nice and fresh. It included pumpkin sorbet, pumpkin seed biscuit, yoghurt mousse and caramelized fennel.
Passio does serve quite big dishes so it was nice that this one was quite small and fresh. Especially the sorbet was very fresh but slightly sweet, the biscuit was sweet and its texture was perfect for eating it with a spoon, the yoghurt mousse was delicious and really fresh. Overall the plate was very delicious and balanced.
The actual dessert included multiple elements like the others. There was some passionfruit soufflé, lychee sorbet, passionfruit and chocolate. This one was very sweet and delicious. Especially if you love sweet things you’ll love this! This dessert was also the most beautiful plate included in our dinner. I loved all the details and the little flowers decorating this.
The dessert was served with Huxlrebe Auslese 2013 from Geils, a dessert wine from Germany. This wine was very fruity and intense because it’s made of very ripe grapes. The primary scent and taste of this wine was passionfruit. The color was golden and the scent was slightly sweet and floral. I loved that this wine was sweet but not too sweet, it made this a perfect pair for the super sweet dessert.
In photo above you can see all the wines we enjoyed during our night in Passio. Passio imports their own wines and their restauranteurs travel around to find the best wines and to keep their wine knowledge up to date. When we were in Passio their restauranteur was in a wine expo in Europe. This really tells customers how much they care the quality and knowledge. Like the name tells, Passio’s staff are very passionate about their food and drinks. It was a pleasure to explore their menu.
Thanks you Passio for offering us an excellent dinner experience in downtown Helsinki!
If you’re looking for authentic European flavors with nice fine dining twist and excellent service Passio is a must a restaurant for you. They also offer fresh ingredients, self-imported wines, excellent bread and very high knowledge of their foods and drinks. The interior of Passio is very unique, and overall it’s a great place to enjoy excellent food.
If you’re very hungry try their 5 course dinner. For less hungry customers they also offer 3 course option. Both cooked and served with high expertise and excellent service.
Have you been in Passio? Would you like to visit and explore one of their menus?
I’ve collaborated with Passio for this post