Quick test Spontaneous “wow” gets out of my mouth – Mannerheimintie’s new vegan café serves a real surprise in the form of a pie

The Rakastan café in Hakasalmi villa is overflowingly cute.

Cafe I love

Where? Mannerheimintie 13b.

Because? Sun – Thu 10–17, Fri – Sat 10–22.

How much? Coffee 3 e, latte 5 e, pastries 3.50–6 e.

Pickup? Yes.

Clear? No.

Finlandia House A café with a special name was opened in March in connection with the Hakasalmi villa next door. Think in advance what that means. Misty hippie or pink glitter pastries? On the spot, however, it is imperative to admit that the name fits the line.

The interior of the I love cafe is overflowingly cute. Pastel-colored dried flowers are arranged in tiny vases. The candles burn in antique pedestals in the middle of the day. A portrait of Grandma is placed on the windowsill. She is Meri, apparently a grandmother of some owner and a native of Karelia.

Precisely because of Grandma Meri, the cafe is completely vegan. Grandma reportedly said at the time that in Karelia mostly vegetables were eaten and the meat was just a scavenger. It was also important for Grandma to bequeath pure nature to her grandchildren. That’s why Karelian pies here are made from plant-based ingredients – like everything else: feta salads, cheesecakes, potato pastries and buns. A daily changing soup lunch is also available.

Wholly There are only a dozen vegan restaurants and even fewer cafés in Helsinki. That’s why every new place is a case in the veggies. The café I probably love attracts non-vegans to the milieu and tastes.

The place is open until 10pm on weekends. That’s when vegan sapas assortments are served there. You can enjoy wine, a small brewery beer or a cider with Sapasten. It is possible that the yard of the I love café will become one of the most popular summer terraces in the city center.

Bridge times, however, we have come to test pastries above all else. I have Karelian roots, and I don’t think anyone makes as good potato pies as my mother. But when I hawk a pie at a cafe I love, a spontaneous “wow” gets out of my mouth.

Despite their veganity, these don’t go away with their mother’s pies. What a wonderfully thin shell and succulent interior! Even the companion admits that in a blind test, one would not even realize one’s pie is vegan.

Also, “eggless egg butter” is delicious, though it doesn’t resemble its role model. However, the egg-flavored fish namak salt brings a believable aroma to the paste made from chickpeas and tofu. You can also choose pickles and syrup or caviart caviar on top of the pie.

We also choose two different buns for the test: a butter-eye bun and a plush, heart-shaped earmuff. The softness of the dough in a butter-eye bun is delightful. However, the amount of margarine and sugar in the butter eye is a bit exaggerated and the whole is a bit overwhelmed. This time, the victory will take your ears. It is fluffy, soft and boldly cinnamon. With this pastry, the founders of I Love Café prove that the bun is really a matter of the heart for them – other than for the sake of form.

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