Where? Tehtaankatu 25, tel. +358 40 664 8868, samesame.fi
Because? Mon – Fri 11–23 and Sat 14–23.
How much? Appetizers 10.80–13.90 e, main dishes 17.60–26.50 e and desserts 10.50–12 e. Five-course tasting menu 39 e.
Pick up or shipment? Pickup.
Helsinki the southern district floods almost into the L-shaped restaurant space, where large windows look like a street scene in two directions.
The restaurant Fabrik, which has been operating for three years, is gone. Now the corner apartment on Tehtaankatu is dominated by Samesame, which opened in August 2020 and offers Asian food.
The western end of Tehtaankatu is known as a concentration of casual but high-quality block bistros. Here you will find, for example, the atmospheric Sikke’s, the super-popular Basbas and the corner of its fresh sister restaurant Basbas. They draw much of their inspiration from Italy and France, so Samesame’s Asian flavors would be believed to have an order in the area.
The restaurant the first impression does not take thoughts to Asia. In the interior, only the side wall landscape wallpaper with a picture of a Thai food market refers to the continent.
Rather, the place seems to be a block restaurant where the immediate atmosphere is made up of a diverse clientele. The party of adult women has arrived for a glass, the corresponding group of men eats, drinks and talks about hockey. A woman sitting at her desk with a laptop and a cup of tea blends into the crowd with her small dog.
Diversity is also believed in the restaurant’s kitchen, albeit limited to Asia.
Calling its “authentic Asian mix cuisine” line, Samesame mixes Japanese, Korean and Thai cuisines, among others.
It ignores current food trends, according to which more specific cuisines, such as provinces, are now in vogue.
The kitchen is run by a Filipino native Herbert Sofia, who has worked around the world and has had an impact in Helsinki for a long time. The food he has prepared has previously been eaten in, for example, the Yume restaurant in the Kämp Hotel.
Menu is compact. There are five starters, seven main courses and three desserts to choose from. A five-course tasting menu (EUR 39) is also available.
On his website, Samesame promises that “everything that goes out of the kitchen from the experiments is done by himself.”
The promise is tasted. The dough surface of Tempura (13.90 e), which is offered in a steam basket, is deliciously thin, crisp and hot. In addition to vegetables and mushrooms, a large portion includes giant shrimp and a large piece of octopus.
Whitefish radish in Peruvian cuisine (12.50 e) shows that the chef also seeks flavors from outside Asia. In addition to fresh fish, the food tastes full of sesame sauce and biting chili. Nuts and seaweed caviar rustle in your mouth comfortably. Edible flowers and a variety of fresh herbs complete the portion beautifully.
The sweet sticky thairibs (12.60 e) are reminiscent of Farang and its caramel pig.
Thai coconut chicken soup, on the other hand, is a weak link in appetizers. A small and regular dose is not worth the price (10.90 euros).
Appropriately dressed in a mask, the waitress presents the dishes inspiringly through her own tastes. He encourages experimentation – reportedly there is no right way to eat.
The most impressive the portion can be found in the list of main dishes. A Japanese shabu suitable for winter is prepared for two diners (25.20 e / person). Once the food has been ordered, a kettle and a two-part pot with vegetable and meat broth are carried on the table.
The table is filled with dishes: raw slices of beef, yams noodles, various mushrooms and a pile of vegetables that can be cooked in broth. Finish with four different dipping sauces.
Cooking at the table is a fun thing to do, in the heat of which you will notice that the frost bridge in Helsinki has turned into a Japanese food experience.
We also taste the favorite portion of Korean dakgangjeong chicken (21.50 e), in which the deep-fried chicken pieces are greased with chili sauce like a wing portion. The fiery, fatty and salty chicken stands out from the crumbly portions thanks to the crispy lettuce leaves, chili slices and coriander that bring balance.
A big plus for Samesame just deserves the finishing of the portions. Chilies, fresh Asian herbs, nuts and seeds that provide mouthfeel and taste are abundant in portions, not just as an ornament.
Although many dishes are excellent in Samesame, the dining environment of the place does not tint. The solutions of the challengingly shaped restaurant space and the unfinished interior create a waiting lobby-like atmosphere. And the atmosphere is not exacerbated by the Tiktok-inspired music that fits the background of the meal.
Instead of space planning, Samesame has placed stakes on food, and for that, the restaurant is approaching the four-star level.