Roots & Mushrooms
For the fourth ensemble, we were served with little slices of duck breast ‘pastrami’, cured, smoked and seasoned with black pepper and fennel, served with cubed pickled pumpkin — a typical method of preserving pumpkin in Finland— with drops of pureed roasted pepper and pumpkin. On the side, a clean-tasting feta cheese was whipped to a smooth consistency and lightly torched, resulting a creamy texture and buttery palate, not the saline aftertaste commonly found in feta cheese.
Duck Breast Pastrami
For the main course, a succulent cut of veal tenderloin that had been smoked and slow cooked in a pressure cooker was served, and drizzled with blackcurrant sauce, and topped with a small slice of blanched carrot. On the side was barley that had been cooked risotto-style and mixed with porcini mushrooms, alongside a spread of velvety parsnip puree.
Slightly-smoked Veal Tenderloin
Even though there were a total of five plates that were already served, unlike some other multiple courses meal, I didn’t feel full or bloated at all. All the fresh and minimally cooked food had resulted in a subtle and easy digestion, and then I began to wonder what Chef Jaakko had in store for the dessert.
Before it was served, Chef Jaakko explained that the dessert he was about to serve had been inspired by Ikea’s Daim Cake— a cake using the popular Nordic Daim candy, served in the furniture retailer’s cafeteria— a cake that Chef Jaakko thought so sweet, you only need to eat one slice your entire life. So he presented his version of Daim cake, with almond parfait, sweet meringue instead of caramel, nougat, served with strawberries and a little bit of dark and white chocolate, and a small drop of the very Nordic spruce shoot syrup made from the young tip of pine tree that transports you to the middle of pine tree forest in the middle of spring.