Helsinki

Christmas 2016 greetings from Yummy Lummy

Merry Christmas dear readers

If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you’re enjoying whatever it is you celebrate.

If you don’t celebrate at all, I wish you a safe and peaceful day.

I just wanted to share a piece of art that my friend Jennifer did for me to celebrate Christmas.

I hope whatever you’re eating today is as tasty as I reckon this barbeque pig would taste after slowing turning and cooking for a few hours.

Looking back over 2016

This year (2016) has been pretty good for me. It started with a holiday in Hong Kong with my daughters. It was the best holiday ever. I really loved spending nine nights there and spending time with my girls. We did a lot of things including a lot of shopping. For me, the highlight was the food. OMG! I ate so much.

Work has been very fulfilling and very rewarding. I tend not to write much about work, but I am fortunate to have excellent and very supportive bosses right up to the secretary of the department. I’ve also loved being able to continue practising medicine in ACT Pathology at The Canberra Hospital. I have the perfect balance work wise.

I’m also experiencing a great balance in life too. As well as blogging here at Yummy Lummy, I’ve started a YouTube channel with some videos on the food I eat. If you have watched them I hope you enjoy them. I’d love it if you would leave comments, like the videos and subscribe.

Podcasting is fun

The other thing I’ve started this year is a podcast named Medical Fun Facts. It’s a great outlet for my sense of humour coupled with my professional interest as opposed to my food interests.

Work has been great

Work has seen me visit Manila and Helsinki this year for various aspects of the work I do.

I love reading other blogs

I’ve also been enjoying reading blogs from quite a lot of bloggers.

I’d like to shout out to my friends who I share comments with and who regularly comment on Yummy Lummy.

Jennifer over at Little Monster Girl NSFW

Lorraine over at Not Quite Nigella

Rebecca over at A Lover’s Musing NSFW

Sarah over at Travels with Choppy

Mabel over at Mabel Kwong

My Hawaiian brother the Mouse at Live2EatEat2Live

Tim over at Off Center and Not Even

Irene over at Irene Design

Karen over at Back Road Journal

Julie at Jules Strawberry. Julie is a really funny Texan who is now in California and she has really great adventures. 

So I hope you had a good 2016. Did you start something new? Did you stop anything? What has been your highlight for 2016?

For 2017, I hope to do much of the same, working, blogging, YouTube and podcasting, and of course eating! What are you planning for 2017?

I’d love it if you followed me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and please check out my podcast and subscribe via iTunes.

Catch you soon.

PS. One thing I do mourn now at Christmas is that my favourite Christmas song, viz., Six White Boomers, is now dead to me because of the criminal behaviour of Rolf Harris toward women (the link opens an NSFW photograph). 

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Helsinki, Finland

Thanks for visiting. Please check out the rest of Yummy Lummy. I’d love it if you shared this site with your friends.

I’ve just spent three nights in Helsinki, Finland for a work meeting. This is my first time visiting continental Europe. I’ve been to England twice (for work) but never to the continent. As I prepared for the meeting I took a look at where Finland is on Google Maps. I didn’t quite appreciate how far north it is in comparison with England. I recall watching a documentary on World War 2 and learning some history of Finland and its relationship with Sweden and Russia. Helsinki is in the south of Finland, can you imagine what it would be like if the capital was in Lapland. Being summer, the sun set well after 10.30 pm and it never really got completely dark. The sun rose before 4 am so I was grateful for curtains not that I was asleep after 3.30 am. The room I was in had a view of the water and the reflection of the low sun on the water produced a lot of glare that beamed straight into my room. The weather was very similar to Canberra at the same time. Early morning was <10 °C (I note Canberra was ‘enjoying’ some subzero mornings) and the maximum temperature was about 18 °C. It was like being in Canberra with extra sunlight. That’s not a good thing. Like Canberra, it was very dry. We all know how much I dislike the weather of Canberra. I don’t think I would like a Finnish winter. The cold dry darkness would be inhospitable and the snow would depress me.

I flew to Helsinki via Melbourne and Singapore. It was a pretty long trip. Because of the flights schedules I ended up with some time on the day of my arrival and the day of my departure to walk around a bit of the Helsinki CBD.

I’d been told that Finnish cuisine has a high seafood content and that I might also be able to try some reindeer. Regular readers will know my love of salmon. I wasn’t disappointed. I had salmon at least once every day in Helsinki and also became fond of pickled herring. I love whole baked salmon. It is just so moist and full of flavour. Whole baked salmon beats baked salmon fillets hands down. It would be great to bake a whole salmon but it would be hugely expensive and even I would have trouble eating a whole salmon at once. Friends and even my mother told me about rollmops but I never saw any. The best I could do was put a bit of gherkin between two pieces of pickled herring to make my own sort of rollmop. I don’t know that I could eat a lot of pickled herring in one sitting, but a few pieces for breakfast was really good especially with a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce.

I also got to try reindeer. It was cooked very nicely (medium rare) with a juniper sauce which offset the flavour of the reindeer nicely.

I also got to try some pike-perch which I assume is more perch than pike. It has a delightfully delicate white flesh which flaked really nicely.

Apart from proteins, I also drank my fill of lingonberry and blueberry juice. Who knew egg butter is a thing!

I was expecting the coffee to be good, but it was more akin to American and Canadian coffee.

Helsinki is a really nice city. I saw no homeless people and only a few people begging for money. The streets and buildings are all clean and I get an impression that Finnish people are very neat and tidy. I’m guessing the social welfare system is second to none and unemployment is minimal.

The city is about 150 years old, so it is about one and a half times older than Canberra. The buildings, especially the larger ones are beautiful. There are also some magnificent places of worship. They are quite architecturally beautiful.

The other revelation is the taxicabs. They are so clean and the drivers are friendly, neat, clean and they do not smell of really bad body odour. They also speak excellent English and know where they are going without referring to a GPS device and relying on a customer for directions. A trip from the airport to the CBD will set you back about €30.

While in Helsinki I stayed at the Hilton Strand Helsinki. This was the recommended hotel by the meeting organisers. I found it to be an excellent option. The staff are all friendly and helpful. The breakfast buffet was very good and the restaurant served very nice meals for lunch and dinner. I did not try room service because there is an associated €10 service charge. The Wi-Fi was fast and reliable with good upload capacity if you’re backing up files to a cloud service.

One the subject of currency, euros are quaint looking notes and the coins are nice and solid. I like them more than Australian coins.

As part of the meeting we spent one night socialising at the Design Museum which was really interesting. The Finns are very proud of their designers. A significant portion of the museum is currently dedicated to the designer of the ball chair, which in my opinion is a most uncomfortable and impractical chair. This designer, viz., Eero Aarnio, also developed a pony chair for children and the bubble lamp. Again I’m not sure why these designs are awarding winning. I prefer function over form especially when it comes to posture and maximising comfort and efficiency.

On another evening, meeting participants dined in a floating restaurant which isn’t a boat. This was quite nice and gave me an opportunity to meet new people. I learnt quite a lot about Holland, Denmark and Norway. The word is Scandinavia can be seen in two weeks with good planning.

So I shot a few photographs of food and some of the things I found interesting as I walked in the CBD.

Coffee with my passport

QF795 CBR to MEL Cheese omelet with sausages
QF795 CBR to MEL Cheese omelet with sausages
Almond croissant with pineapple juice in Qantas First Lounge MEL
Almond croissant with pineapple juice in Qantas First Lounge MEL
Crab and vegetable savoury pancake on QF35
Crab and vegetable savoury pancake on QF35
Toasted beef, mushroom and fontina sandwich with crème fraiche and rocquet on QF35
Toasted beef, mushroom and fontina sandwich with crème fraiche and rocquet on QF35
Baked chocolate, wattleseed and almond tart with date cream on QF35
Baked chocolate, wattleseed and almond tart with date cream on QF35
Roast pork with black bean, chilli, garlic, chives, tofu and noodles on QF35
Roast pork with black bean, chilli, garlic, chives, tofu and noodles on QF35
Port Keats from QF35
Port Keats from QF35
Ice cream in Singapore Qantas Club lounge
Ice cream in Singapore Qantas Club lounge
Meripaviljonki Ravintola Floating Restaurant
Meripaviljonki Ravintola Floating Restaurant
Helsinki public art
Helsinki public art

Bicycle rack

Hilton Strand Helsinki
Hilton Strand Helsinki
Transformer cow
Transformer cow
Pepsi Max and biscuit in Helsinki
Pepsi Max and biscuit in Helsinki
Steak and salad
Steak and salad

BRO restaurant menu BRO restaurant Bread from BRO BRO restaurant

Alder smoke reindeer roast from Kemijärvi, juniper berry sauce, shimeji mushroom, fennel butter brussels sprout from BRO Restaurant
Alder smoke reindeer roast from Kemijärvi, juniper berry sauce, shimeji mushroom, fennel butter brussels sprout from BRO Restaurant
Canapes at the Design Museum
Canapes at the Design Museum
The Mushroom at the Helsinki Design Museum
The Mushroom at the Helsinki Design Museum
Hilton Strand Helsinki room view
Hilton Strand Helsinki room view
Vegetable tartlet with morel cream and asparagus caviar at Meripaviljonki Ravintola Restaurant
Vegetable tartlet with morel cream and asparagus caviar at Meripaviljonki Ravintola Restaurant
Roasted pike-perch with spinach quinoa, grilled asparagus and lobster sauce at Meripaviljonki Ravintola Restaurant
Roasted pike-perch with spinach quinoa, grilled asparagus and lobster sauce at Meripaviljonki Ravintola Restaurant
Chocolate ganache with rick salt and caramel plus vanilla ice cream at Meripaviljonki Ravintola Restaurant
Chocolate ganache with rick salt and caramel plus vanilla ice cream at Meripaviljonki Ravintola Restaurant
Chicken breast and meat balls
Chicken breast and meat balls
Bacon and eggs with Hollandaise sauce and egg butter
Bacon and eggs with Hollandaise sauce and egg butter
Salmon, pickled herring and pickles
Salmon, pickled herring and pickles
Pickled herring, smoked salmon, poached eggs, with Hollandaise sauce plus crispy bacon and potato on buttered toast
Pickled herring, smoked salmon, poached eggs, with Hollandaise sauce plus crispy bacon and potato on buttered toast

Helsinki

Firefighters
Firefighters

Helsinki Helsinki Helsinki Helsinki

Beer garden
Beer garden
Pansies
Pansies
Performance art in Helsinki
Performance art in Helsinki
Public art in Helsinki
Public art in Helsinki
Performance art in Helsinki
Performance art in Helsinki

Helsinki

Polka dot trees as part of a public art installation by Yayoi Kusama
Polka dot trees as part of a public art installation by Yayoi Kusama
Public art and pubic art in Helsinki
Public art and pubic art in Helsinki

Design museum

Hors d'oeuvres including wild boar pâté and salmon
Hors d’oeuvres including wild boar pâté and salmon
Surf'n'turf with salmon, prawns and beef plus a slider. The salmon ceviche and Skargen was great.
Surf’n’turf with salmon, prawns and beef plus a slider. The salmon ceviche and Skargen was great.
Meringue and sponge cake dessert in Helsinki. This was better than Pavlova!
Meringue and sponge cake dessert in Helsinki. This was better than Pavlova!
Pressed beef neck, celeriac purée, herb butter and spring vegetables
Pressed beef neck, celeriac purée, herb butter and spring vegetables

Cloud porn coming into Singapore

Have you been to Helsinki? What did you think? If you haven’t, would you like to visit?