So, we have a new local sushi joint. “Local” being a relative term, since it’s around an hour’s drive into the nearest large-ish city. But we go there on a fairly frequent basis to visit friends anyway, so it’s just a happy opportunity that we also get a decent sushi fix on the same trip. In fact, the first time I visited this restaurant was with those friends, on what was probably my second trip to Finland. They were telling me about this place that was pretty good, except for the strange sweet mayonnaise that they put in some rolls… to which I responded that Japanese mayonnaise is on the strangely sweet side to begin with, so that was in all likelihood what they were tastiing. We decided to visit and settle the matter in person and I ended up having an excellent mixed sushi plate that would have been right at home in Cali. I then spent the next two years trying to drag the boy to this place, but it didn’t really happen until last month. He ordered their largest plate, declared it very edible, and a consensus was reached that we would have to make this a regular thing.
Kado Sushi is located in the picturesque old Turku kaupahalli (market hall), across the aisle from an excellent fishmonger and wedged into a space — narrow and long — reminiscent of a train car. Simple bamboo decor keeps the room from seeming cluttered and large wall windows let you watch the market shoppers bustle by while you sip soothing green tea (or something stronger from their well-stocked imported alcohol section). The guys in the kitchen are all Finnish, which gave me pause when I first came here since there’s an unspoken rule in Cali that you only go to sushi bars with immigrant Japanese chefs if you want the good stuff. However, these guys were definitely trained well by somebody with a formal Japanese culinary education, because everything that came out of that kitchen was fresh and perfect. This wasn’t some ghetto Todai buffet microwave sushi, these guys are serious. They also get extra points for successfully using local fish, which can be somewhat difficult because the majority of Finnish fish come from brackish water rather than the staple fatty ocean fish.
The “big plate”. The piece of salmon nigiri on the far left got cut out because the boy couldn’t pull the camera back far enough 😛 This area is known for divine Atlantic salmon, so I needn’t go on about how generous the piece was nor how perfectly buttery it tasted. Moving along. There was also arctic char, tuna, shrimp, squid, burnt salmon, octopus, pike perch, whitefish, surf clam, eel and sweet egg. And the obligatory California roll across the top, of course. Really, the only thing that could make me happier is if they had uni and raw sweet shrimp. However, I have a feeling that sea urchin and amaebi might be a bit too delicate for any but the most expensive restaurants to ship and serve. Sigh.
More pictures of the interior and menu behind the cut…
These pictures were shamelessly stolen from the official restaurant website, because I forgot to take my own when I was there. Will get around to fixing that next time… Notice the really tiny sitting area. We are usually there a little after lunch time, but there always seem to be people at the other tables when we arrive.
A pretty picture on the front of their menu.
The menu, with everything simultaneously in Japanese, English and Finnish.
The prices are pretty close to what we were paying for a sit-down sushi meal back in the States, especially since you don’t have to factor in gratuity in Europe. I can’t get over how awesome that concept is, by the way.
So yes. Just thought I’d share our find with everybody, since I know I was trying to do some sushi research back before we moved out here. They don’t do the fancier stuff, but they have the staples and do them well at a reasonable price. Which is all we ask for, most of the time. Maybe one day soon we’ll wander further afield and go to some of the purportedly fancier places in Helsinki on my ever-hopeful search for uni. In the meantime, you’ll find me every other week at our favorite booth, swapping my shrimp for the boy’s squid and drinking copious amounts of green tea, just like we did back in OC .