At the end of July Helsinki was basking in sunshine, the warmth of summer was still in the air and the Street Food Carnival was on!
I have been to several street food happenings in Finland but never to one in Suvilahti. It’s easy to get there by metro, as it’s just a stone away from the Kalasatama metro station.
Suvilahti is actually a cultural center, kind of like the Cable Factory in Ruoholahti. It’s a former power plant and there’s a huge open air space – great for events like this.
I love to observe who goes to these street food events. Seems like it’s mostly 24-35 year olds. Many hipsters among them! These carnivals are great for meeting up with friends and just hanging out.
Speaking of friends, I met up with Jo who’d already been there the day before. We also had Nea join us for some foodie galore.
You might be surprised to hear that in Finland at events like these there is usually only a small special area where you can buy AND drink alcohol. It’s because we have this thing called anniskelualue i.e. serving area. You may not carry your drinks outside this area in any circumstance. Now this festival was different in this aspect and the way it should be! As the whole area was fenced and there was an entrance fee, there really wasn’t any way people could take alcohol out of the gates. So the festival organisers had managed to get a serving area permission for the whole area. This makes life so much easier, as you can have a drink with your food.
People were lounging about on cushions..
..and beach chairs!
We started with walking around the area and having a look at what was on offer. I’d already studied the menu on their website and had some clear ideas on what I wanted.
First we opted for Fisu & Ranet. I have been wanting to try it since I saw them at Kamppi shopping center’s 6k restaurant. Just so you know, I have never had good fish & chips in Finland. We went for the Original.
And oh boy, was it delicious…mmmm. I mean it was much better than the fish & chips I had in London! I feel my mouth watering as I write this (and stare at the photo of it). You know how sometimes fries are soggy? None of that going on here! The service was also super friendly, I was very pleased indeed. We all agreed that it was finger licking good. My mom is a fan of fish & chips, so I have to introduce her to Fisu & Ranet as soon as possible.
Next, we wanted to sample the new trendy, veggie food which is pulled oats. Fat Tomato had some to try. I’ve heard it’s difficult to get it from the grocery store as it’s so popular that they keep running out. I need to try and get some!
Fat Tomato makes these mouthwatering “reiska”, flatbread types. It comes with a gorgeous salad on the side. We went for the veggie one with pulled oats and mushrooms. I’ve tasted a reiska before and now they’d made some changes which were all for the better. The dough was tastier and not as thick as last time. The reiska was so good that I could’ve had another one. Except I couldn’t because I wanted to sample more!
Next I grabbed some MOMO’s from Arepera Bros. I hadn’t seen them before, it’s always good to see some new food trucks at these events. MOMO’s are Tibetian dumplings.
I chose the steamed meat dumplings. You could have them deep fried as well but after the deep fried fish & chips, it was out of the question. The tomato sauce was very tasty. These are great little snacks which you can easily share with friends. Just so you know, all this eating wasn’t done in one go. We took breaks in between, LOL! And shared as well.
You could have wine, sparkling wine, champagne, cider, beer, soft drinks and even Gin & Tonic to go with your food.
But let’s get back to the food. I adore sushi, so I was very happy to see Käpylän Majakka with their sushi truck at the festival.
I really hope to eat more of their fare one day – the sushi was divine. I heard people around me raving about it, so I wasn’t the only one!
Throughout the day there was music at the event and different concerts too! I’m not very knowledgable in Finnish bands, so I can’t say much about it but it looked like people were enjoying themselves.
After tasting all these savory things, it was time for coffee and cupcakes. So off to the Brooklyn Café booth we went. Those ladies are so cheerful every time I see them, it’s a joy to interact with them. And the cupcakes are to die for. We had the Red Velvet and Peanut Butter & Chocolate. The Red Velvet remains my favourite. I bought lots to take home and based on that I can say that their Death by Chocolate is a close runner up. In addition to great cupcakes, Brooklyn Café has a really tasty brew of coffee, so I recommend you stop by their café in Helsinki or Espoo (Otaniemi) if ever nearby.
To finish off the evening, we had the hot dogs from Hodarifillari. I’ve tasted their hot dogs once before and it was a great experience. This time I was quite disappointed to be truthful. There was just too much mayo. The bread is really good but I wasn’t really into the sausage either. Well, you can’t always win!
I still missed out on the crepe from Cone’s I’ve been dreaming about. Imagine this: a crepe full of berries, fruits, chocolate sauce, whipped cream….. After all the eating we did throughout the day, you won’t be surprised to hear that I was just too full. I am going to a concert at Hernesaaren Ranta later in the month, so I still have a chance.
Out of all the things I tried, the winner was the fish & chips, so yay for Fisu & Ranet! Could their’s be Helsinki’s best fish ‘n chips?
Did you go to the Street Food Carnival? If so, what did you eat? If you are from somewhere else than Helsinki or Finland, how is the street food scene where you live?