Let’s talk Ravintola Ilves - constantly topping the list of recommended places to hit in Helsinki due to its close proximity to Tavastia (famous rock club). When we went, it was dead - not a soul in sight, and tbh we feel like that’s a bad sign and usually would have gapped it then and there. But it was like a mid week night, it was late and we were peckish af, so ya #yolo
. And it ended up being a fairly yum Italian/Finnish sort of affair.
Ilves does only a coupley dishes, but it does them well. We got the beetroot risotto (hoooow pretty) which was a good mix of creamy, chewy and rooty? Earthy? We’re gonna go with that - it was nice because it gave some grit and depth to the otherwise light dish, but overall it wasn’t packed with flava flav. Next up: braised veal cheeks and root veggies. One of us was not super stoked with these - the cheeks were quite gelatinous, not the tender, braised, fall apart situation we imagined - just borderline too fatty/wobbly. Veg was tasty - but that’s not what we came for. But when the tiramisu came out all was forgiven: sososo many textures, creamy, crunchy, saucy, caramelly and ohhhh those seexxxyyyy little pearls of chocolatey coffee goodness 🤤
Final thoughts: yea, Ilves is alright. They obviously put a lot of care into their food, flavour combinations and presentation. We’d eat there again, but it fell just short of the huge hype, and for the high price (aware though that this is not toooo bad for Helsinki - but we are poor and sexy Berliners so we’re allowed a grumble here), it could have been a bit better. Maybe if there were actually people there and it was vibing, we would have felt more at ease.
📍Urho Kekkosen Katu 4-6, 0100 Helsinki
💸 €€€ 25-30 for a main 💁🏼♀️ Staff friendly and attentive: but we were their only table 😅