Culinary Memoirs of A Biologist Who Loves Food

Welcome, Be Hungry, and Know Your Food!

"Know and learn from what you eat", this is the main idea of this blog that set by a young Indonesian biotechnology researcher, Adhityo Wicaksono. Currently in Bahasa for Indonesian restaurant reviews, English articles will be for international reviews. Enjoy reading this blog, and hopefully later you can understand the depth of foods and beverages of the world by looking it through details within culinary art!
  • Apple Tree (1)
  • SE - Spinach Spatzle (1)
  • Harald (1)
  • Ravintola Lappi (2)
  • NS - NS Med Hemlagat Potatismos (1)
  • SL - Caviar, Smoked Salmon, Pickled Herring
  • FI - KP - Berlusconi Zoom (2)
  • FI - Leipajuusto w Cloudberry Jam
  • GA88 - Meal 1 - Farfalle Seafood

Latest

Berries in Turku

There are lots of plant species in Turku, Finland, that provides visible (and maybe tempting) fruits. Thing that we should know is not all of them are simply edible without preparations. This “berry note” might be helpful for anyone, especially foreigners like myself who are coming to either staying or studying in Turku!

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)

Location to find: Forest floor

Edibility: Edible, direct consumption

Period of fruiting: July (Late Summer)

Habitus: Low herbal plant

Bilberry Flowers

Flowering plant.

Bilberry (3) Bilberry (2) Bilberry (1)

Fruits bearing bush.

Description of berry: Small, blueish color, purple flesh. Small version of blueberry in fruit morphology. Tastes sour and a bit of sweetness.

Consumption note: Good for snacks, ice cream topping, dessert, or made into jam

Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)

Location to find: Forest floor

Edibility: Edible, direct consumption

Period of fruiting: August (Late Summer)

Habitus: Low herbal plant

Lingonberry Flowers

Flowering plants.

Lingonberry (2) Lingonberry (1)

Plants with fruits.

Description of berry: White-ish when young, red when ripe. Tastes sour and a bit of sweetness.

Consumption note: Good for snacks, ice cream topping, dessert, or made into jam.

Red Currant (Ribes rubrum)

Red Currant

Location to find: Randomly around housing complex as ornamentals

Edibility: Edible, direct consumption

Period of fruiting: July (Summer)

Habitus: Low shrub plant

Description of berry: Orange when young, red when ripe. Tastes sweet.

Consumption note: Good for snacks, ice cream topping, dessert, or made into jam. Also nice for flavors.

Gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa)

Gooseberry

Location to find: Randomly around housing complex

Edibility: Edible, direct consumption

Period of fruiting: Late June (Summer)

Habitus: Low shrub plant

Description of berry: Translucent green when young, reddish when ripe. Tastes sour and sweet.

Consumption note: Good for snacks, infused water or tea, dessert, or made into jam. Good ingredients to make as steak sauce as well.

Wild Strawberry (Fragraria vesca)

Wild Strawberry

Location to find: Randomly around housing complex or in forest floor

Edibility: Edible, direct consumption

Period of fruiting: Late June or July (Summer)

Habitus: Herbal plant

Description of berry: Smaller than cultivated strawberry, red when ripe. Tastes sour and sweet.

Consumption note: Good for snacks, ice cream topping, dessert, or made into jam.

Wild Raspberry (Rubus idaeus)

Wild Raspberry

Location to find: Randomly around housing complex or in forest side

Edibility: Edible, direct consumption

Period of fruiting: July (Summer)

Habitus: High herbal plant

Description of berry: Compound fruits, red, soft flesh and juicy. Tastes sweet and a bit sour.

Consumption note: Good for snacks, ice cream topping, dessert, or made into jam.

Juneberry or Saskatoon Berry (Amalanchier arborea)

Juneberry (1)

Unripe fruits

Juneberry (2)

Ripe fruits

Location to find: Randomly around housing complex or forest side

Edibility: Edible, direct consumption or cooked

Period of fruiting: July (Summer)

Habitus: Tree plant

Description of berry: Green when young, black when ripe. Tastes sweet with a hint of leafy flavor.

Consumption note: Good to cook for dessert, or made into jam.

Rowanberry (Sorbus aucuparia)

Rowanberry

Location to find: Randomly around housing complex as ornamentals

Edibility: Toxic when raw (contains parasorbic acid, may leads to kidney failure), edible when cooked

Period of fruiting: July (Summer)

Habitus: Tree plant

Description of berry: Orange when young, red when ripe. Tastes stingy sour when uncooked.

Consumption note: Cooked into dessert, or made into jam. Also made into liqueurs.

Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica)

Tartarian Honeysuckle

Location to find: Randomly around housing complex as ornamentals

Edibility: Poisonous

Period of fruiting: July (Summer)

Habitus: Shrub plant

Description of berry: Orange when young, round in shape. Food source for birds and insects.

Consumption note: –

Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa)

Red Elderberry

Location to find: Randomly around housing complex as ornamentals

Edibility: Toxic when raw (contains glycoside, causing nausea), edible when cooked

Period of fruiting: July (Summer)

Habitus: Shrub plant

Description of berry: Red when ripe. Clustered from inflorescence.

Consumption note: Cooked into dessert, or made into jam. Also made into liqueurs.

Hawthorn Berry/Thornapple (Crataegus coccinea)

Hawthorn Berry

Location to find: Randomly around housing complex as ornamentals or fence plant

Edibility: Edible, direct consumption or cooked

Period of fruiting: July (Summer)

Habitus: Shrub plant

Description of berry: Clustered, red when ripe. Have medicinal value for heart and vascular problem remedy and also digestive system problem.

Consumption note: Cooked into dessert, or made into candied fruit slice, jam. Also made into liqueurs.

Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

Chokeberry

Location to find: Randomly around housing complex as ornamentals or fence plant

Edibility: Edible, direct consumption or cooked

Period of fruiting: July (Summer)

Habitus: Shrub plant

Description of berry: Clustered, black when ripe.

Consumption note: Made into juice, baked into bread, made into flavoring, jam, and tea.

Sour Cherry (Prunus cerasus)

Cherry

Location to find: Randomly around housing complex as fruit bearing tree or in forest side

Edibility: Edible, direct consumption or cooked

Period of fruiting: June (Summer)

Habitus: Tree plant

Description of berry: Small fruit, red, with big seed inside. Tastes sour and sweet.

Consumption note: Good for snacks, ice cream topping, dessert, or made into jam.

European Crabapple (Malus sylvestris)

Apple Tree (1) Apple Tree (2)

Location to find: Randomly around housing complex as fruit bearing tree or in forest side

Edibility: Edible, direct consumption or cooked

Period of fruiting: June (Summer)

Habitus: Tree plant

Description of berry: Crabapple is smaller than apple, green-reddish when ripe. Tastes sour and sweet.

Consumption note: Good for snacks, ice cream topping, dessert, or made into jam.

Rose Hip (Rosa rugosa)

Rose Hip Bush Rose Hips Rose

Location to find: Randomly around housing complex as flowering bush

Edibility: Edible, direct consumption or cooked

Period of fruiting: Late July (Summer)

Habitus: Shrub plant

Description of berry: Small fruit, red, with big seeds inside.

Consumption note: Made into herbal tea, jam, jelly, syrup, pastries, marmalade, wine, or other beverages.

Snowberry/Ghostberry/Waxberry (Symphoricarpos albus)

Ghostberry

Location to find: Randomly around housing complex as ornamentals

Edibility: Poisonous

Period of fruiting: June (Summer)

Habitus: Shrub plant

Description of berry: Hard, white berry, round in shape.

Consumption note: –

BONUS PLANT

Silver Birch Tree (Betula pendula)

Birch (1)

Tree in winter/early spring

Birch (2)

Tree in summer

Birch Sap

Sap may be collected in spring.

Location to find: Randomly around housing complex or in forest side. It’s Finland national tree.

Edibility: Wood bark can be used for consumption, sap can be taken directly or processed. Mycorrhizal host for chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius)

Habitus: Tree plant

Consumption note: Bark bread, sap syrup

Identifications were done with help of Reza Raihan (Forestry Engineering batch 2012 of Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia)

-AW-

(BIO FACTION) Standardised Production in Kitchen

When we are eating in our house, we all know that when we are cooking, the proportion and composition of the ingredients we added are based solely by our instinct and experience in cooking. In higher scale, in restaurant level, higher experience is required so every food sent to each costumers are equally rationed and flavoured from time to time to maintain the quality of the restaurants and credibility of the staffs. In even higher production level, the uniformity of produced food must be kept at optimum level. Things that we called in here, both as result in hours of experiences and quality management are all about standardisation.

In Vienna at Fall 2015, Bio Faction opened a workshop about food standardisation. Allowing the participants to make some foods with equally measured weights, sizes, even to the food appearances that required in industrial level of food production. As food is very closely related to food biological science, perfect adjustments/combinations will allow us to create the food product in desired variables of shape, flavours, colours, and odours. For example, the cylindrical egg and burger patties in this video (linked to Vimeo):

For Vimeo-unabled countries, the video can be accessed here.

As I always said in this blog, making constantly good food requires much efforts, one error might result on lower income for your restaurants or home industries!

Video is provided by Markus Schmidt of BioFaction Vienna (2015).

-AW-

Spätzle Express, Berlin

I went to Berlin this May (2016) and I had a chance to try some foods in here. But, of all my visit, there is a restaurant that somehow quite far from the downtown (took me there via U1 unter/metro line) near Görlitzer Bahnhof (Station). Here, I got a chance to try the Swabian (Southwestern Germany) food that similar to pasta. Well, those are pastas, aren’t they? So yeah, I went to this place called Spätzle Express.

Spatzle Express (2)

Outside view and outdoor dining area.

Spatzle Express (1)

Indoor dining area (from my seat, looking outside).

It’s a simple place to eat. All you need is order the food and go to your seat. Food you may found here is schnitzel in Tuesday and Thursday, while for the other days, there are three kinds of food you may order: Spätzle, Maultaschen, and Schupfnudeln. Spätzle on its original language means “little sparrows”, maybe because it looks small. I tried one portion of spinach späatzle with gorgonzola and mushroom sauce.

SE - Spinach Spatzle (1)

SE - Spinach Spatzle (2)

Späatzle with gorgonzola and mushroom sauce (served with salad).

It first impression is rather unique. It looks like long beans and I noticed the pan-frying mark on the pastas. The combination of boiling and frying is somehow make it more delicious and the sensation sometimes a bit close to crisp on the outside and soft like pasta on the inside. For the taste, it’s so delicious! Gorgonzola mushroom sauce is really top everything really nice!

Then, I push myself a bit further (at the moment I was low on budget, but this would be my only chance to eat something in Berlin for this period of time in Europe). So, I ordered vegetable maultaschen. In concept, maultaschen is very similar to ravioli, except for its bigger square shape.

SE - Vegetarian Maultaschen (1)

SE - Vegetarian Maultaschen (2)

Vegetarian maultaschen in herb sauce.

It’s basically similar to ravioli. They made it with combinations of vegetable (I believe they put spinach, onion, and carrot, then mashed them up together) and serving it with creamy herb sauce. It was good! And since those are more compact than spätzle, it makes you stuffed easily.

I haven’t got a chance and enough money and budget (I was stuffed as well) to buy the schupfnudeln, but all I know, it similar to Italian gnocchi, but it looks like pupa, or American football ellipsoid ball, and also fried after boiling. You can see this on wiki if you want.

That’s quite an afternoon experience. For everything else, since it farther than downtown area, be mindful of your surroundings. Last time I got there, some people offered me weed from the moment I stepped out the station. But they didn’t do harm at the time, so just be careful.

SPÄTZLE EXPRESS

Address: Wiener Straße 11, 10999 Berlin, Germany. Phone: +49 30 69534463. Web: Spätzleexpress

Opening hours: Everyday 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Ordered food (on this article):

  1. Späatzle with gorgonzola and mushroom sauce (served with salad) – Medium sized: EUR 7.20
  2. Vegetarian maultaschen in herb sauce – Small sized: EUR 4.69
  3. Still mineral water (0.25 L): EUR 1.20

Price range:

Foods: EUR 1.70 – 10.80

Beverages: EUR 1.00 – 3.50

Foursquare: Link

TripAdvisor: Link

Notes: Best for lunchtime!

-AW-

Viking Delicacies 101 – Viking Restaurant Harald

Uhm… everyone who watched Dreamworks How To Train Your Dragon movie franchise probably ever heard this:

“This is Berk. It snows nine months of the year, and hails the other three. Any food that grows here is tough and tasteless…” – Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III

No… no… I don’t mention about the dragons. I mentioned about the tribe on which Hiccup, the protagonist of this film affiliated with: The Viking. Go browse about them, so… yes… they occupied the northern area of Europe until Greenland… and if I correct, even until the coast of Newfoundland. It’s basically true, then… they were settling in very cold area. Sure, they had to be tough, or perished. Now my common question: So what did they eat??

Lucky for me in this town of Turku, there’s a restaurant that selling Viking originated cuisines! Viikinkiravintola Harald (FI: Viking Restaurant Harald). The name comes from King of Norway, Harald Fairhair who ruled during Viking period in 872-930 AD.

First time I ate here is on April 21st, 2016.

Harald (1)

Front view.

The front view of this restaurant (Turku branch), is probably won’t telling you much about anything on the inside, but once you stepped in… you’ll see the wonder inside.

Harald (2)

First floor – Where you stepped your feet in. I feel already like in a ship or a chieftain’s lodge.

Harald (3)

From the stairway to the seating area in the second floor. The feelings intensify…

Harald (4)

Harald (5)

Harald (6)

Dining area. You can feel the atmosphere of a Viking gathering hall or hunting lodge in this room.

So I was there for the first time for my lunch. I walked upstairs, a waitress warmly greet me and took me to my seat. She was on a medieval clothing. For lunch, we offered a price of 12.50 euros for three kind of set; I forgot what are those… but I choose the combination of mushroom soup, salmon steak, and for the drink… I bought extra drink called Miklagård’s Drink (in lunch set, we got free water).

VH - Cep and Chanterelles Soup (1)

Cep and Chanterelles soup of Northern Forest (lunch version)

First meal of my lunch is a mushroom soup served with archipelago bread. Although it mentioned only as mushroom soup, I do believe it is the small version of Cep and Chanterelles soup of Northern Forest which description written in the menu. Let’s say, norther area of Viking territory can be sea, icy regions, and forests. I believe in the northern cape of Norway or Finland at the time, it covered by forest. Of course, one of forest product is mushroom. Cep (Boletus edulis Bull.) and chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius Fr.) are both mycorrhizal fungi that grow in symbiotic relationship with trees in coniferous and deciduous forest. Cep is a perfect mushroom for soup or risotto. Chanterelle is a yellow trumpet-shaped mushroom, known by chefs for its fragrance that resembles apricot and mild peppery taste. Combined as creamy soup, the flavour is just wonderful. The archipelago bread here is made with rye and some malt. Unlike normal dry rye bread, this one is soft, emitting some sweet taste with a bit of bitterness and signature fragrance of rye. Compared to normal European dinner white bread and baguette, this rye bread’s unique taste give its own nice combination with the soup.

VH - Lunch - Salmon

Salmon steak for lunch.

The salmon steak served with creamy sauce, sweet root vegetables and fried potato cylinders. The salmon is really good and the sauce topped the tastes. To balance the palate, the sweetness of carrot… and turnip (I’m not really sure) makes your tongue happy. In the end, I love to wipe the remaining sauce with the potato. Yum!

Okay… what a perfect lunch!

But that’s not enough…

Later that afternoon, I stepped myself for early dinner. Table for one with some space left in my belly!

This time, I ordered one a la carte set course, it called ‘Voyage of Finnmark”. Finnmark is a county located in the northern most tip of Norway which connected directly to the northern area of Finland. Thing that sure, River Tana of this area is renown for the largest place in Europe to catch salmon! So… yeah! I expecting salmon as one of my dish! Anything else, based on the menu, since northern Finland area (Lapland) is one good place for reindeer, no wonder if that dish is included on the menu. And of course, any dishes brought from other Viking region might complement the dishes.

VH - HDO - Butter and Rye Bread

Hors d’oeuvres: Hard rye breads and melted butter

Before the starter, we got the small dish (hors d’oeuvres, or appetizer in French) consists of some cuts of hard rye bread, served with melted butter. The bread, I think is Finnish reikäleipä (FI: reikä – hole, leipä – bread). It’s a hard but thin rye bread. I ate that by cracking it into several pieces and dipping it into the butter. The taste is sour at start and there’s a hint of cardamon on the bread. It’s good… and it’s tough as Hiccup said (see the quote in the beginning). You want to make it sweet? Chew it a bit longer and let your enzyme at work!

VH - Salmon Soup From Archipelago (1)

Salmon soup from The Archipelago

VH - Salmon Soup From Archipelago (2)

As it almost emptied…

My appetizer is the salmon soup. The salmon has a hint of crispiness, I think the salmon is added last and it prepared by light seasoning and frying in oil. We know that salmon is one of commodities that you can found in Nordic region. Other thing inside is a mix of artichoke with Icelandic yoghurt called skyr as mousse and the combination add some fresh-sour taste to the vegetable broth. The basic broth itself has carrot, onion, fresh dill, and I think there is cardamon added. Placed between the salmon and the mousse, there is a piece of reikäleipä as crouton, but unlike white bread, it remains hard although it’s soaked. Interesting part is, although it’s hard, it absorbs the flavor from the soup. In the end, the soup itself is just perfect.

Skyr was brought from Norway to Iceland c.a. 1100 years ago, and gradually the tradition perished in Scandinavia but thrive in Iceland until now. Compared to conventional yoghurt, skyr is more solid because rennet is added following the fermentation with Lactobacillus and Streptococcus to separate the whey from the solid protein.

VH - Reindeer From Snowy Fells

Reindeer of Snowy Fells

As main course, I ate an awesomely tender and juicy reindeer tenderloin (cooked medium). Shortly, reindeer meat tastes gamey and the meat itself is very lean thus it’s good for consumption (I will explain it later in my next article). The steak is served with two sauces: cranberry and cut brandy sauce and creamy cep-chanterelle sauce (if you love mushroom sauce, like me, you’ll LOVE this one!). In addition, we have smooth and creamy potato cake (you can see it above in the top right, under the creamy thing) topped with crusty smoked paprika mousse. The creamy thing is a game mousse that top the reindeer salami (the salami is a bit hard with rich smokey meat flavor but with the mousse, it’s become really good!). For the veggies, there are fried kale, soy bean (edamame), bell pepper, rye grain, and one that caught my attention: a bit of sour and sweet Gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa L.) jam. All I can say: Wow!

VH - Pancake From Reval + Tar Ice Cream

Pancake from Reval with added Tar Ice Cream

To let you know, the pancake here in Europe is a real cake made thin on a pan… not the fluffy one served in most area of US. In my dessert here, the pancake… a bit crispy on the outside and soft inside, poured with raspberry and balsamico syrup. The taste is sweet and sour. Actually, there should only one ice cream in here, but I asked with addition of another ice cream with unique taste! The first one (bottom) is ice cream, flavored with Iceland moss, roasted sugar, and nuts. The second one (top) is tar flavored ice cream.

Icelandic moss is not actually a moss but it is a lichen, scientifically called Cetraria islandica (L.)Ach. It was used for folk medicine and said that it taste a bit bitter. However in this ice cream, the sugary flavor is more dominant so it didn’t feel so much in my taste buds. Tar is a result of destructive distillation of organic material. It’s commonly used in Finland from cooking ingredients to candy (which I don’t understand why), but it considered as panacea or capable to heal anything! It was made from wood by burning. When you eat it, it has a minty taste with a hint of smokey flavor. For the ice cream, I could taste it and it went well! Anyway, Reval is medieval name of town we recently know as Talinn, Estonia.

I was leaving the restaurant that night with my belly stuffed…

Then I went there again Friday 13th (wow) 2016. This time, I tried another a la carte set course called “Voyage of Dyflin”. Dyflin is what Dublin, Ireland, called during Viking period. So probably I expecting something that comes from western area of Europe.

VH - Njord's Starter Stone (3)

Njord’s Starter Stone

VH - Njord's Starter Stone (1)

Njord’s Starter Stone: Archipelago rye and malt bread with roach mousse, reindeer salami, fried duck heart, salad with rye grains

VH - Njord's Starter Stone (2)

Njord’s Starter Stone: Salad with brown rice, cold-smoked horse meat, blueberry and onion jam, cold-smoked Greenland halibut, tarred Baltic herring, and marinated vendace.

The starter is this various… meat and stuff. The name itself comes from Nordic god Njord (Njörðr), the father of deities Freyr and Freyja. So, what’s in his stone plate? We have the archipelago rye and malt bread topped with roach mousse. No… not that roach the insect from ordo Blattodea but roach the fish in Cyprinidae family, Rutilus rutilus L. I like the bread with the creamy mousse… so yummy! Then we have reindeer salami, cold-smoked and sliced… horse meat (it’s a bit tougher than smoked beef even it’s thinner here, but it’s good), strangely-but-really-good blueberry and onion jam, cold smoked halibut (it tastes like smoked white fish, but the meat has a bite), tarred (okay… more tar) Baltic herring, and (I think it also marinated by tar) marinated vendace. It’s funny if you imagine a minty tar flavor combined with fish, but it’s good… no kidding! Ah, there are also fried duck heart (this is my first time eating it, and somehow the texture and flavor is close to beef), and salad with rye grains in it.

Fish from Baltic sea like herring is tend to be more plain in flavor than fishes from other seas or ocean, because Baltic see is known for its close-to-fresh water salinity level. Well… that’s for your info, basically I already wrote so much facts here, hehe.

VH - The Horseman's Tenderloin (1)

The Horseman’s Tenderloin (side view)

VH - The Horseman's Tenderloin (2)

…from another view, you can see the potato cake now

For the main course, I wouldn’t say anything… it’s just stunning! The beef tenderloin is so tender and juicy as it cooked medium, very nice to be eaten with the sweet (a bit sour) cranberry and cut brandy sauce. The creamy and cheesy flavor of potato cake (baked with paprika mousse on top, making it crusty) is really delicious. The veggies, aragula, and root vegetables neutralized your palate. Oh… there is also a thin slice of a bit salty and crusty Maasdam cheese, a Swiss-style Dutch cheese make of cow milk, aged for 4 weeks.

VH - Frigga's Chocolate Cake

Frigga’s Chocolate Cake

To close my dinner that day, we have this double chocolate cake (my favorite!) with salty liquorice (another odd “sweets” combination from Finland) mixed in the top layer of white chocolate (it balances the sweetness of the milk chocolate layer below, and intensify the whole flavors in your taste buds). The cake tastes like heaven for me! There is also raw chocolate ice cream with blackberry jam and star anise-rhubarb sauce (I thought it was cloudberry sauce, until I tastes it further). Personal preference: The berry jam is nice with the ice cream, the sauce goes well with the cake and the sugar.

Anyway, the name Frigga… well, if you notice the Nordic mythology (or watched/read Thor comic), Frigga/Frigg is Odin’s wife, Thor’s mother.

VH - Miklagard's Drink

Miklagård’s Drink

In case you wondering, there are of course drinks available here. This mocktail for example. Miklagård’s Drink is a mix of blueberry syrup, orange juice, and soda water.

Miklagård or Miklagarðr (Old Norse: mikll – big, garðr – city) is an old name of Istanbul, Turkey, during Medieval Viking era.

VH - Water Jar

Water jar

If you don’t want to drink anything fancy, you can ask for cold water in a pitcher for 1 euro.

In the nutshell, it’s a wonderful experience to dine in there. It feels like you just come back in time and try the Viking-medieval period delicacy here and this experience, although the price for you to pay (for the food) is considered high, the experience itself is memorable and priceless. I’d like to come back here again for the atmosphere, and of course the food… especially the meat and salmon!😉

PS: That afternoon (both), I came back to my apartment listening to “This is Berk” and “Flying With Mother” by John Powell to intensify the feels (that I got when I watch “How To Train Your Dragon”). And I feel like I was in Viking island at the moment… :p

VIKING RESTAURANT HARALD/VIIKINKIRAVINTOLA HARALD

Branch: Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Lahti, Tampere, Turku, Oulu

Turku Address: Aurakatu 3, 20100 Turku. Phone: +358 44 766 8204.

Price Range:

Food: EUR 6.20 – 67.60

Beverage: EUR 1.00 – 64.00

Ordered Courses:

Lunch set: EUR 12.50

Set – Voyage of Finnmark: EUR 52.30

Set – Voyage of Dyflin: EUR 49.90

Tar Ice Cream: EUR 3.50

Water: EUR 1.00

Opening Hours (Turku):

Monday: 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Tuesday – Thursday: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am

Friday – Saturday: 12:00 pm – 01:00 am

Sunday: 03:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Website: Viikinkiravintola Harald (available in English version)

TripAdvisor (Turku): Viikinkiravintola Harald

Foursquare (Turku): Viikinkiravintola Harald

Note: Eat the reindeer and beef here, for steak, ask for medium cooked. Seat in the middle room for brighter ambience, or else ask the waitress.

-AW-

Restaurant Lappi, Helsinki

Food in Finland for me is close to nature. Things that people normally can forage from the forest. We can see most areas in Finland are made of forests, although some products are caught fresh from the sea. For example, as now I’m living on Turku, I tend to get fishes as local products easier than meat. In the other hand, if you want to eat reindeer, people said, you should go to northern area like, Lapland.

So what is it looks like, the food from Lapland, area that dominates by forest? To answer this, during my last trip to Helsinki (May 7th, 2016), I visited an exotic local restaurant that sells delicacies from Lapland. It’s Restaurant Lappi or Lappi Ravintola (Lappi means Lapland, and ravintola means restaurant in Finnish).

Ravintola Lappi (1) Ravintola Lappi (2)

Outside view of the restaurant.

It looks like a small shop when you see from outside, but when you go inside, it looks wider and more… natural.

Ravintola Lappi (4)

Interior of the restaurant.

Ravintola Lappi (3)

This is your table.

So then I entered the restaurant once it open in 1 pm, the waitress greeted me and took me to my seat. The atmosphere is really nice. It’s like you’re inside a hunter’s lodge in the middle of the forest. Wooden wall amplify the ambience to be more… rustic. I can imagine when you have a dinner here, it must be great!

Then I received my menu (well, I already check them out on their homepage, so I knew what I want to eat). For my lunch on that day, I decided to eat a simple dish, a sautéed reindeer and finished with a mousse.

RL - Sauteed Reindeer (1)

RL - Sauteed Reindeer (2)

Sautéed Reindeer (served with mashed potato and lingonberry)

I was surprised when the sautéed reindeer was served on my table, it’s actually larger than I expected! And bit more… juicier. But well, it’s still looked good anyway. And it tastes really good! In my sense, it tastes simple. It’s like you cook it with butter, salt, and pepper, than added with some water, but the flavour is just wow. The gamey taste of reindeer is balanced with creaminess of mashed potato and acidic flavour of lingonberry. Although it’s a bit runny, the broth actually enhanced the flavour richness of mashed potato like you’re eating poutine. Yummy!

RL - Sea Buckthorn Mousse (1)

RL - Sea Buckthorn Mousse (2)

Sea Buckthorn Mousse

I know lingonberry and I know cloudberry, but sea buckthorn is something new in my ear since my arrival in Finland this January. After I made a quick browse, unlike lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) and cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus L.), sea buckthorn (Hippophae sp.) is a shrub instead a short, forest floor dwelling herbs. So then that’s basically the reason that I wanted to try this for my dessert! As it served on mousse, it tastes really fresh to your palate (although I know it’s not because it’s impossible to bring it fresh from that far north). It’s smooth, combined with its acidic taste and sweetness of the scone. Terrific!

Overall, the price is quite high like normal Scandinavian dish restaurant, but it is worth the fortune if your really like reindeer or adventurous enough to try some new meals here!

 

RESTAURANT LAPPI/LAPPI RAVINTOLA

Address: Annankatu 12, 00100 Helsinki, Finland. Phone: +358 964 5550. Website click here.

Opening Hours:

Monday – Friday: 04:00 pm – 10:30 pm

Saturday: 01:00 pm – 10:30 pm

Closed on Sunday

Ordered meals:

Sautéed Reindeer: EUR 24.50

Sea Buckthorn Mousse: EUR 10.50

Price Range:

Food: EUR 11.00 – 68.00 (Dessert: EUR 6.50 – 35.00)

Beverages: EUR 6.00 – 11.00

Foursquare: Link

TripAdvisor: Link

Note: The place is a bit tricky, but it close to the central road as well as Kamppi Bus Station

-AW-

(Stockholm) Street Food – Nystekt Strömming

I want to share you on one of my place-to-visit if you want to have a trip to the capital town of Sweden, Stockholm.

As I mentioned for many times, fish is one ingredients that is abundant to find in Nordic country. But, the thing you have to know: The fishes are caught from Baltic Sea. Baltic Sea is known for its low salt content. So… yes, the fish is close to freshwater fish in term of flavor. One of the fish commodity you can find here is herring. You can smoke it, grill it, pickle it, or even serve it… as the infamous Swedish surströmming. But, this time… I’ll talk to you about Stekt Strömming (it’s Swedish of ‘fried herring’). The herring is filleted flesh to flesh with skin out, seasoned with fresh dill, and covered with breadcrumbs before fried in pan. Normally, you can eat it with mashed potato and vegetables.

Or you can put it into more awesome dishes! Like as served in here… in the market square in front of Slussen Metro Station, Stockholm.

Nystekt Stromming

The food truck: Nystekt Strömming

Nystekt Strömming (it’s Swedish for ‘freshly fried herring’) is a local food truck you can find in Slussen area in Stockholm. It’s known for its stekt strömming (obviously!) and its various ways to eat it!

NS - Fish (1)

The herring being fried in flat pan (click to enlarge).

NS - Fish (2)

And stored under heat lamp.

Then how do you like it to serve for you?

NS - Strommingrulle

Herring Roll (SE: Strömmingsrulle) is rolled stekt strömming inside lefse (Norwegian flat bread) with mashed potato, ‘creme fraiche’ salad (cabbage and carrot, mixed with creamy mayo), red onion, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, leek, and chopped fresh parsley. This thing contains tons of carbos, so I must to say that you’ll be (normally) get full after you have one.

NS - Strommingburgare

Herring Burger (SE: Strömmingsburgare) is… well… as it name. Burger of stekt strömming with iceberg lettuce, ‘creme fraiche’ salad, red onion, and chopped fresh parsley. For everyone who love fish burger, throw those from your fast food chains… this is the real deal!

You can also eat it in ‘proper’ way! Here: Freshly fried herring with mashed potato (SE: Nystekt strömming med hemlagat potatismos)

NS - NS Med Hemlagat Potatismos (2)

Nordic version (with lingonberry jam, shaved raw carrots, and sliced beetroot)

NS - NS Med Hemlagat Potatismos (1)

My version (with sliced cucumber pickles, chopped iceberg lettuce, and dill mayonnaise)

In default, the meal has three pieces of strekt strömming with chopped parsley on top, mashed potato, and Swedish crispy bread (SE: knäckerbröd). They will ask you to choose three additional topping to add from this list:

  • Sliced pickled cucumber
  • Red onion (chopped)
  • ‘Creme fraiche’ salad
  • Iceberg lettuce (chopped)
  • Shaved carrots
  • Dill mayonnaise
  • Sliced beetroot
  • Remoulade (a French condiment, I think it’s aioli)
  • Garlic sauce
  • Mustard
  • Lingonberry jam

To let you know, this is best for main dish if you want to stay and stuff your stomach as the roll is for you if you want to be mobile.

Last but not least, you can buy this for light meal…

NS - Knackis

Knäckis is stekt strömming served on top of Swedish knäckerbröd, then topped with sliced pickled cucumber, chopped red onion, and chopped parsley. This can be eaten as light snack. You’ll enjoy the crispiness of the bread and herring and the freshness of the veggies.

The place can be easily recognisable if you go out from the Slussen Metro Station from the way where you go upstairs by the stairs, instead of the one in the end with escalator. Once you walk the stairs, you’ll see Pressbyrån (the convenient store) on your right near the exit. Go forward from the exit to the market square and you’ll see this food truck.

Special thanks to Demi (now in Copenhagen, Denmark for his Ph.D program) and Mirna (now in Uppsala, Sweden for her M.Sc program), my good friends, colleagues, and fellow alumni of School of Life Science and Technology, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) Indonesia who accompanied me for my Stockholm trip!

IMG_1041

NYSTEKT STRÖMMING

Sodermalmstorg 1, 11645 Stockholm, Sweden.

Opening hour: 10:00 AM – 08:00 PM

Price range: SEK 35.00-75.00

Price of selected dish:

  • Knäckis: SEK 35.00
  • Strömmingsburgare: SEK 55.00
  • Strömmingsrulle: SEK 75.00
  • Nystekt strömming med hemlagat potatismos: SEK 75.00
  • Water: SEK 0.00

Note:

  1. The opening hour above may change occasionally.
  2. The tables are not equipped with umbrellas, in case of raining, go to the side of the truck where the place is sheltered by the truck shady roof.
  3. The water is free of charge.
  4. Throw your food plates, utensils, and plastic glass in the available garbage bin before you left

Foursquare: Link

TripAdvisor: Link

-AW-

To The Sea! Food Aboard Silja Line and Viking Line Boats

Moi! It’s been so damn long since I wrote something here. Being a Ph.D student is one heck of a challenge you know. But, when science stuffs drain your brain energy, food will be there to soothe it up!

In these both months of March and April of 2016, I’ve been on a boat cruise twice. First, it’s for a cruise seminar along my lab colleagues in Silja Line (route: Turku-Åland-Turku in a day) and second, I went to Stockholm with Viking Line. For my second trip, I can only tell you about my return trip, since my departure trip is at night and I was obviously spending most of it on my cabin bed.

In the nutshell, if you want something really Nordic to eat, go to their buffet!

Let’s start from the breakfast meals!

SL - Yoghurt and Lingonberry Jam

(Silja Line) Buttermilk (FI: Piima) with lingonberry jam

Most of the time, finding yoghurt and other dairy products here in Finland is always been easy. You go to any convenient stores to big supermarkets, you’ll find one. Even honestly, this become my reason of why I can get easy access to cheese, yoghurt, milk, and buttermilk every time! Anything else is, berries are common forest products to find in summer. Back to the ship, so then I tried the buttermilk with lingonberry jam. I thought the jam is sweet. I was wrong. It’s face-warping sour. Now I know my supervisor, Pav, poured a lot of sugar in it.

VL - Karelian Pasty, Swedish Pancake w Jam, Cookie

(Viking Line) Nordic pancake with starwberry jam, Karelian pasties, mini cakes, and cookie.

Nordic pancake is similar to French pancake or crepes. The serving for pancake in Nordic way is by combining it with berry jam. This time (learning from experience before), I used the sweet strawberry jam. It tastes really good and fresh! About Karelian pasty, I’ve explained about it before. However, in both boats, it tastes plain, you have to use munavoi (butter mixed with chopped boiled egg) to give the taste in. The mini cakes flavor mostly buttery, sugary, and sometime have almonds in it.

VL - Bread and Salmon

(Viking Line) Bread, butter, and smoked salmon.

You know what? It’s hard to find a white dinner bread or toast here in Finland. They mentioned it as French bread for it. But the French bread I know available here is baguette, the long hard bread. So, to eat a sliced loaf of soft bread, you will normally found bread that normally and naturally colored brown or yellowish. The color comes from rye or other cerealia seeds (or carrot). And it’s common to eat them with LOT of butter as topping. Anything else, you can also add smoked salmon in it. It’s protein and omega-3 rich meal for you! And its taste is very rich, umami, and fresh!

SL - Cheese

(Silja Line) Cheese plater

In Europe, cheeses are something you can easily found, staple, and cheap (compared to Asia countries, including Indonesia). You can eat cheese like emmenthal, blue cheese, smoked cheese, or more with crackers. Me? I like to eat the cheese as it is! Not everyone have an endurance for the taste of blue cheese, and I’m enjoying myself eating one of the strongest blue cheese, roquefort from France!

SL - Caviar, Smoked Salmon, Pickled Herring

(Silja Line) Caviar, assorted herring, smoked salmon, and open sandwich with fish salad.

Smoked salmon (FI: savulohi), especially the cold smoked one (slowly smoked in 25ºC for hours to days, allowing the natural fragrance of the smoke to permeate the fish) is recommended  dish to start your day! You can it it with bread, or as it is. Anything else, in Nordic country, an abundant fish you can find from Baltic Sea is herring. You can found it as fresh commodity, hot-smoked, fried, baked, pickled, and even… as sour herring (SE: surströmming, the Swedish cuisine, a fermented RAW herring with extremely putrid smell… if Capt. Barbossa of Black Pearl in Pirates of Caribbean ever mention the smell of kraken’s mouth… here you go). Here, you can find the pickled herring that tastes salty or sweet. I don’t know exactly yet on how it cooked. Open sandwich, normally with fish is common dish in Nordic countries, especially Norway. And in picture above, you can found herring cooked in tomato and caviar… although we believe it’s not the actual one, but it made with alginate. Yeah… the original one has a price of fortune.

SL - Mix

(Silja Line) Roasted beef, spiced chicken with red sauce, and Greek Dolma with Feta cheese.

There are also many European dishes and some Asian dishes like curry in the buffet. Even you can find roast beef and Dolma (Greek dish, grape vine filled with sour rice, been explained here although it’s in Indonesian).

Other than these buffet menus, I was also walking around in the boat. I found this in Frank’s Casual Dining… let’s put it as extra…

VL - Reindeer and Beef Potato Lefse

Reindeer & beef filled potato lefse (FI: Poro & nautarieska, SE: Ren och nöstek fyllda potatis tunnbröd)

My second reindeer dish during my whole journey in Europe! Lefse is basically Norwegian flatbread made of flour, butter, milk, and potato. Here, the lefse is rolled with cold roasted beef, small-diced roasted reindeer mixed with mayo, lettuce, sliced grilled tomato, and sliced cucumber pickles. I kinda like the combination! It’s fresh!

VL - Mezzarin (1) VL - Mezzarin (2)

Mazarin.

Mazarin or in Swedish, Mazarintårta, is a tartlet consists of almond paste dough and topped with icing sugar. So far, this is one of my favorite dessert because I love the sweet flavor combined with the almond taste inside! If you asked me to compare this one with the one I ate in IKEA Tangerang (near Jakarta), Indonesia… it’s heaven to earth compared.

So much new food to try! I’m glad I’ve been through various trip in here!

Special thanks to my lovely colleague from Laboratory of Paper Coating and Converting, Åbo Akademi University, who brought me to the special cruise seminar and then… the buffet!

SILJA LINE & VIKING LINE

Aurora Buffet

Breakfast: EUR 10.50

Lunch: EUR 24

Dinner: EUR 31

Frank’s Casual Dining

Reindeer and beef potato lefse: EUR 6.90/SEK 63

Mazarin: (around) EUR 3/SEK 30

Note: Booking the buffet while booking the cruise ticket is recommended to avoid fully booked restaurant.

-AW-

The Pizza That Fights Back – Pizza Berlusconi, Kotipizza, Finland

First of all, thank you @KotiPizza for the nicest pizza I’ve ever eat in Finland, my first experience to eat reindeer meat (although it’s chunk sized) and chanterelle mushroom, and after I read the history, I salute the pizza you made here in Finland!🙂

Not much people know about Finnish food. Even myself, before I know my professor in Åbo Akademi University and watch some TV cooking show about Nordic food, I have completely no idea about food in Finland. In my thought, it’s… fish, something nature and gamey, bread and cheese. I remembered in my childhood that I read a magazine that said Finns have black bread and cheese. My curiosity lasts long enough until I discovered it’s a rye bread and some kind of smoked cheese.

I read this story from Wikipedia about Finnish Cuisine and KotiPizza. Years ago, two leaders of two countries renowned for their excellences in culinary art, French president Jacques Chirac and Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi gave negative critiques to Finnish cuisine.

“I’ve been to Finland and I had to endure the Finnish diet so I am in a position to make a comparison.” “The Finns don’t even know what Parma ham is.” – Silvio Berlusconi

“After Finland, [Britain is] the country with the worst food.” – Jacques Chirac

These statements however, were countered by some international food reporter:

“Chirac and Berlusconi are wrong! Finnish cuisine is much more international than I expected. I have eaten very good food in wonderful restaurants, visited market places and enjoyed in good cafeterias. Cheese is very good in Finland. I also love Finnish cloudberry and smoked fish.” (Ute Junker, Australian Financial Review MagazineSydneyAustralia)

“Food in Finnish restaurants is extremely good. Especially I love Finnish salmon, mushroom soup and desserts. I have also got very good Finnish wines. The worldwide reputation of Finnish cuisine isn’t very good – but it should be!” (Liliane Delwasse, Le FigaroParis, France)

“I have eaten only good food in Finland. Food in Finland is very fresh. Bread, berries, mushrooms and desserts are very delicious. Finnish berries (especially cloudberry), salmon, cheeses and reindeer should be available in London, too.” (April Hutchinson, Abta MagazineLondon, England).

Personally saying, I have to agree. Finnish cuisines are fresh and true (combinations of the foods here, even it has low on spices… are all delicious for me!). Although as someone who comes from Indonesia who accustomed to spicy and foods with stronger flavors, I really love to eat salmon, breads, and some other meals in here!

In 2008, Kotipizza from Finland won America’s Plate International pizza contest in New York, while their competitor, an Italian-American pizza stood in second place. Outstandingly, they name their award-winning smoked reindeer pizza Berlusconi as payback to the Italian prime minister.

Okay… that’s the story. What is it look like? Awesome news, I bought it in my second week of my stay in Turku!

FI - KP - Berlusconi

Berlusconi pizza… damn, I have to eat it while fresh next time. Waiting for bus for more than 20 minutes in the weekend under 2ºC of outside temperature is a bad idea.

FI - KP - Berlusconi Zoom (1)

The slice…

FI - KP - Berlusconi Zoom (2)

Zoomed for reasons… look at those stuffs!

The pizza is thin crusted pizza (of course unlike the American pan pizza with thick crust), with tomato pizza sauce and mozzarella. For crust, they use rye fibre crust. For the topping, they use chunks of smoked reindeer, marinated chanterelle mushroom, red onion, and some sprinkles of dried oregano. Once you open the cardboard lid, the smell of smoked reindeer and onion say hello to you. The flavor itself is absolutely wonderful! For those who never tried the marinated chanterelles, it tastes like normal button mushroom but in shape close to oyster mushroom (the fresh one is claimed to has apricot aroma). Have to say that I agree with my friend, this is a Holy Grail of pizza!

Can’t wait to taste more of it! Kiitos Kotipizza!

Price:

Berlusconi Pizza – EUR 10.90

AW’s Rating: √√√√√ (full score, no complain!)

KOTIPIZZA

For address, it’s spread around Finland. You can found one in both Turku or Helsinki. I bought this one in:

Uudenmankatu 19, 20700 Turku. Ph: +358 2 251 5660

Opening hours:

Restaurant: 12:00 PM – 22:00 PM

Home delivery: 12:00 PM – 21:30 PM (minimum order: EUR 10.00)

Foursquare: Kotipizza

TripAdvisor: Kotipizza

-AW-

My Culinary Trip at Turku – The Beginning

Moi! Tervetuloa Suomen! Ummm… I meant, welcome to Finland! This month and forth, I will take you to the meals that I will eat for daily routines, or some restaurant visits, or even some traditional food events!

Honestly for me, transition between Indonesia and Finland is not that much in term of food for me because actually I used to eat bread or cereal in the morning instead of rice while I was still in Indonesia. Even more, I actually random enough to made this… Karelian Pasty (low budget and no rye version):

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 2.47.20 PM

Seems… odd…

The idea comes from Alexis Gabriel AKA “The French Guy” in Youtube…

And… now I’m here! Here in Turku, Finland, Karelian Pasty or Karjalanpiiraka is something you can found almost in every supermarket that selling breads which may cost you only less than 1 euro per kilogram.

FI - Riisipirakkan (1)

The difference is uncanny… this one is piece of art!

FI - Riisipirakkan (2)

Bitten one…

As Indonesian that accustomed to be full after eating rice, me myself… after eating like 3-4 pieces of this (medium size), I’m starting to full. I like the mild savoury and creaminess of the rice in here. I like these one! There are other variants of Karelian Pasty: Porkkanapiirakkan (FI: Porkka = carrot) or Perunapiirakan (FI: Peruna = potato).

FI - Porkkanapiirakkaan

Porkkanapiirakkan (with rice and carrot)

To let you all know, Karelia is area in Europe that marks the northwestern part from Russia, including some part in south of Finland. This pasty or pirog is available mostly in Finland, and especially here in Turku (you can find it in LIDL, K-Market, or Siwa). People here say that the pasty is delicious if you eat it with egg butter or munavoi (FI: Muna = egg, voi = butter), butter mixed with chopped hard-boiled egg.

For daily, I ate bread, cheese, and sometime… fish, because fishes in here are all mostly fresh! In Turku, I normally buy my stuffs in supermarket, but sometimes… if I’m in mood for adventure, I go to Kauppatori (FI: market) located in the heart of the city, where sometimes… various goods can be found.

FI - Market

In the market… in fish truck.

We can sometime found a fish truck in the market (last time, I saw it on Wednesday in a week ago, and in Friday around three weeks ago). They sell various cooked fish in there, from salmon with any methods of cooking, fish patties, to other smoked fish. They priced per weight (kilogram).

FI - Salmon

Smoked salmon…

You can found smoked salmon… with cream cheese and herb, with herb, with spices, or original one. Last time, I bought the one with cream cheese and herb… and it’s truly marvellous!

FI - Salmon w Cream Herb

Smoked salmon with cream cheese and herb (0.25 Kg = EUR 5), warmed in microwave.

FI - Smoked Herring

Smoked herring (whole fishes; 0.5 Kg = EUR 5), also warmed in microwave.

For the first time, I also interested to buy smoked herring because I was curious about it. Well… like I was in Indonesia eating nila fish, it has a lot of spiky bones in it so you have to be careful, and because it’s whole… you need to separate anything with flesh before you it it. I ate “something” from it, and I don’t like it…

FI - Limppu

Limppu

Rye breads are common in here. The one I bought (picture above) is called limppu. It made from rye and added with molasses, so the flavor is between sweet and a bit sour, and it has unique aroma. My housemate told me that it’s a traditional bread here for Christmas and good to be eaten with butter… and it does! It also good with lox (cured salmon).

FI - Limppu + Lohi

Limppu and salmon… and extra horseradish sauce (as you might see)

FI - Leipajuusto w Cloudberry Jam

Leipajuusto with cloudberry jam

Other than fish and bread, Finland is also has their own cheese… and sometimes Finnish people eat meat or cheese… with jam, especially lingonberry (red one, Vaccinium vitis-idaea) or cloudberry (orange one, Rubus chamaemorus). One of the unique cheese here is called bread cheese or in Finn, leipajuusto. This cheese is made from colostrum rich milk of cow that already has calves, and strangely… it squeaks while bitten (in contact basically) with your teeth, so in America, they call it squeaky cheese. It tastes plain with some richness of cream but a bit salty (if preserved with brine). Normally eaten with cloudberry jam or lakkahillo and it gives the flavor quite colorful in your mouth!

Ah right… there are also special foods that can be eaten to commemorate some events. Like in February 5th, you can eat Runebergin torttu (FI: Runeberg torte, SW: Runebergs Tårta) to celebrate Johan Ludvig Runeberg’s (a poet) birthdate.

FI - Runebergin Torttu

Runebergin Torttu

The torte is made from pastry flavored with almond and arrack or rum and in top of it, there is raspberry jam with ring of sugar icing. It is nice to eat as snack in any time!

Ah right, you can found A LOT of pizzeria and kebab store (normally both in one shop) here! You may found one who sell falafel (Lebanese fritter made of chickpea) or kebab pizza!

Well… that’s for now. I believe there will be more soon!

PS: If you are not eating pork, here’s some list to avoid… meals with these words in Finnish:

Sika (FI: pig), sianliha (FI: pork), kinkku (FI: ham), porsaan (FI: pork), porsaanliha (FI: pork meat), porsas (FI: pork), porssu (FI: piggy)

PPS: These stuffs is just okay:

Kala (FI: fish), kana (FI: chicken), pihvi (FI: beef), lammas (FI: lamb)

-AW-

Journey from Indonesia to Finland: Inflight Meals of Garuda Indonesia Flight 88 and KLM Flight 1167

Finally… after passing some jet lag and some adaptational time here, now I’m got to go and ready to write my culinary experience here! But of course, placing some transitional meals here would be really nice, don’t you guys think so?

Okay then… on that January 21st night until January 22nd in the morning of Eastern European time, I made my long journey of more 10,000 Km (it’s ¼ of the globe!) with total around 16 hours of flight hours! For the first flight between Indonesia and Netherlands, I was in GA Flight 88 for more than 13 hours. Thank God for the awesome and cozy Boeing 777-300 ER and cool flight crews to flew it really smooth, in addition of there’s nobody seating next to me in the 3 seats (which in some moments become really sad), I could lean my feet and the rest of my body to sleep! And, you know what… I had my stomach really full up there!

For flying with GA 88, there are 2 segments of flight: CGK (Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Banten-Jakarta, Indonesia) to SIN (Changi International Airport, Singapore), then SIN to AMS (Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Netherlands). By total, there are 4 sets of meals on my way to AMS.

About inflight food, I heard before they said that it cooked a bit spicier to balance the condition during high atmospherical lower pressure that affect human taste bud to make it sense less than normal.

GA88 - Meal 1

From outside: Fruit cuts, bread and butter, and coffee cake.

GA88 - Meal 1 - Farfalle Seafood

Farfalle Fish and Prawn.

From CGK to SIN, the offers were chicken and rice or fish pasta, I took the fish pasta. It tastes nice, the pasta is not overcook, although the fish is too few. But the taste from the prawn make a lift on the dish. I also like the cake!

From SIN to AMS, there are 3 courses… well, actually 2 plus 1 snack time. The menu was given after we took off from SIN.

GA88 - Meal 2

From outside: Brownies, bread and butter, fruit cuts.

GA88 - Miso Broth

Miso broth and guava juice.

GA88 - Meal 2 - Fish Steak

Pan seared snapper with potato and veggies.

Option for this time, Hainan rice with grilled chicken or pan seared fish. I, again, took the fish. I like the fish and its mild flavored sauce. Although if it has more spice, it will be better… I remembered that people from Europe are tend to prefer milder flavor. For the brownies, it’s nice! They also offered the miso broth… well, broth… because there is no seaweed nor tofu inside. But I like it simple like that because it wouldn’t give much extra to my stomach, but it kept me warm (it’s -69ºC outside you know!).

Then… I took a long (supposedly) sleep time for more than 10 hours. I spent some of it to watch some series in the inflight TV. At the same time, the flight attendant gave me 2 bottles of mineral water and 2 smoked beef sandwich. I couldn’t get the picture because it’s dark.

Half an hour before landing to AMS, we had our final meals… the option: Western style omelette or chicken satay with rice. As I don’t like egg, I took the chicken rice.

GA88 - Meal 3

From outside: Fruit cuts, yoghurt (YEAH!), croissant and butter… and miso broth.

GA88 - Meal 3 - Empty (Chicken Satay)

I’m sorry… I was too hungry (really??) at the time.

The chicken satay is actually out of the skewer sticks and for me, the combination between it and the peanut sauce are more like curry (I tasted the flavor of cumin and some spices, unlike in simple peanut sauce). But I like curry, so this one is one good shot!

Then… we landed… I wanted to try some food over AMS, but my flight transfer schedule was too short.

But hey! I still had a flight from AMS to HEL (Helsinki-Vantaa Airport), KLM Flight 1167.

KL1167 - Snack 1

The warm box.

Once we were airborne, the flight attendants gave us this warm box… at first, I was hopping that it has no pork inside…

KL1167 - Snack 1 - Turkey Cheese Pretzel (1)

Smoked Turkey Pretzel Sandwich with Mascarpone and Melted Emmental Cheese

Lucky enough… it’s turkey… even better, it’s smoked turkey! Even better again… it’s on pretzel and bunch of mouth watering cheese!!

KL1167 - Snack 1 - Turkey Cheese Pretzel (2)

Hello… smoked turkey!

The taste? Fabulous!!

KL1167 - Orange Juice

Orange Juice

I got a glass of orange juice for my drink. Brrr… it’s cold outside. I was worried because I could see ice crystal forming in my window. But well… I had nice and warm food inside! And for extra, I got 2 of these lemon cake!

KL1167 - Snack 2 KL1167 - Snack 2 - Lemon Cake (1) KL1167 - Snack 2 - Lemon Cake (2)

Lemon cake!

Yummm… although honestly I already felt quite lonely on the trip, feeling far away from my family, my friend… and my girlfriend, Ghea… I feel that my next 9 months of journey in Finland will be awesome! It’s for food… and science!

Stay tuned!

-AW-

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bread hunter + cycling + travelling + urban ecology + architecture + design

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I know who I am. I know what I want. What about you?

Hari Prasetyo's Blog

Just super stories of my life

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