Friday, July 26, 2013

Restaurant Day in Helsinki (May 2013)

The concept of ‘Restaurant Day’:

‘It is a worldwide food carnival when anyone can set up a restaurant, a café or a bar for a day. It can happen anywhere: at your home, at the office, on a street corner, in your garden or inner courtyard, at a park, or on the beach – only your imagination is the limit.’       

–  Excerpt from Restaurant Day website.

Students from this French Chef also joined in the worldwide food event.

So far there are 5,300+ pop-up one-day restaurants in over 45 countries and counting! The event is held 4 times a year. The next Restaurant Day is August 18, that is 3 weeks from now! Hurry and check the Restaurant Day link above for the dates and find out if your city is joining. Maybe you can pop-up a restaurant of your own as well? The perfect opportunity to release those creative and entrepreneurial skills of wannabe foodies who love to cook! Well, I am a wannabe foodie as well but who loves to eat =)

Unfortunately the countries I am travelling to in Asia this August have not yet joined in this tasty initiative. In fact Asia is not very active, save for a few countries, i.e. Japan and Thailand. I don’t really mind because Asia is one big street food lane anyway. And I have other noteworthy feasts to look forward to as well such as Ramadan’s Iftar and the Hungry Ghost Festival. *excited*

Nevertheless, I was lucky that it was Restaurant Day when I visited Helsinki! Before this event, I have not heard of Restaurant Day (saw Amsterdam and Utrecht as listed cities, so that is cool).

Most of the participating one-day pop-up restaurants were gathered at the Esplanadi (the park near the harbour and market square). Check out my Restaurant Day pictures in Helsinki below.

Brilliant, a caravan ice cream cafe.

This was a very international gathering of restaurants. First up is South American cuisine: Peruvian Ceviche, Mexican Chili Tacos and Argentinian Alfajores

Pretty paper design shopping bags. Who buys them these days? 

Then we have many flavours from Turkey (Baklava) and the Middle East. There were also a few restaurants offering African food such as Samosa. This stand is selling traditional Finnish doughnuts called, Possumunkki as well.

South East Asia represented!

I couldn't resist, I have to try those crunchy Vietnamese lumpias. They remind me of Ngo Hiong sold in the streets of Cebu when I was young. You dip them in vinegar. Helsinki also has a few surviving old trams and they stop between Esplanadi and the Market Square.

With an event like this, there is surely some other show going on as well.

Oh another South American country represented. Brazilian Churrasco =)

Funnily, my Helsinki experiences revolved mostly around food. Not necessarily eating but ogling and taking hundreds of pictures of food around me for sure. At the end of my Tallinn-Helsinki-Porvoo holiday I swore to myself not to eat for a week. That is of course, as we all know, a big lie.

Travel Period: May 2013
Destination: Helsinki, Finland

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