Helsinki Card

Chef Henri Alén

16.6.2014 Text: Annaliina Niitamo Photos: Henri Alén
My Helsinki_Henri Alén

Henri Alén is one of Finland’s top chefs. His tweets of recipes and ingredient recommendations have caused several food crazes recently. Henri’s restaurants Muru (Fredrikinkatu 41), Pastis (Pieni Roobertinkatu 2) and the newest, just-opened addition Hodari & Hummeri (Hotdog & Lobster) (Pieni Roobertinkatu 2) are some of the brightest stars of the city’s food scene.  

Favourite place

Hakaniemi Market Hall. I come here to get in touch with authentic artisan food culture, still unblemished by excess commercialism. This place shows you what Finnish gastronomy can do. 
Hakaniemi Market Hall, Hämeentie 1A, Kallio district. 

Favourite district

Kruununhaka. There’s something magical about this neighbourhood. Kruununhaka is hidden from the city centre, even though it is in the city centre. The area is always peaceful and dignified, making it a joy to just walk around and take in the sights.
Kruununhaka lies between the historical centre of the city and the Kallio district. Its streets are dotted with lots of small cafés, artisan food stores as well as vintage and antique shops.

Favourite eateries

There are so many fabulous places here. In summer, Café Ursula and Mattolaituri by the Kaivopuisto shore are great spots for a cuppa. Not counting my own restaurants, I’d consider Savoy to be the number-one place with regards to atmosphere, it is indescribable. Demo, on the other hand, is abuzz with activity and always serves up a top-notch supper. When I’m looking for a quick bite to eat, Putte’s pizzas are unbeatable! 
Café Ursula, Ehrenströmintie 3. Mattolaituri, Ehrenströmintie 3A. Savoy, Eteläesplanadi 14. Demo, Uudenmaankatu 9-11. Putte’s Bar & Pizza, Kalevankatu 6.  

Favourite event

The citywide Restaurant Day as well as the Herring Market at the Market Square in October – you should not miss these two for any reason! 

Favourite activity

I enjoy working out at Töölö Sports Hall, which of course must be followed by a sauna. This is the best way to train in summer. Picking mushrooms in the Paloheinä corner of Central Park is also one of my routines. There’s no shortage of delicious boletes there!

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