A21 Dining

Helsinki, -5 degrees

Like I've promised, here comes my blog post describing the blogger evening I went to on Wednesday at the restaurant A21 Dining. This restaurant takes cocktails to a new level by combining them (instead of traditional food drinks like wine or beer) with three or five course menus. Cocktails have been seen as appetizers or shots between courses but this kind of a concept where each dish has its unique cocktail has never been seen before! This Finnish food and drink combination invention is something worth a try and recommendations! Have you ever heard of this?

I got the invitation for this blogger evening thanks to my work, and it was very interesting since it was only my second official dinner among bloggers. Usually, I've been to places on my own. I rarely go to organized blogger events. It's always a special setting when everybody is seated with their cameras, as usually bloggers are thought of as odd as they take photos all the time while others eat. I'm not sure if all blog readers always understand how life is for a blogger with the camera being almost an extension of one's arm. Among these 10 bloggers at A21 Dining, most were fashion bloggers and only a few actually food bloggers even though the evening was set in a restaurant.

I won't go into the menu that much, you can check it out on A21 Dining's website if you're interested. I'll stick to the actual atmosphere of the evening and let the food and drink pictures speak for themselves. I thought it was a cute idea to mix Finnish food with Finnish cocktails. I've merely seen TV shows like Sex and the City where the girls are seated with drinks, but I haven't really thought about the possibility to drink purely cocktails to dinner. Until now wine has been my companion when it has come to eating. Nevertheless since the cocktails were now carefully made with the intension of matching it up with food, it truly worked!

My favorite of the cocktails was absolutely the first cucumber like drink that delighted me with its freshness, but I also liked the acid taste of sea buckthorn in the second one. The cocktails did not taste of alcohol but brought out strong Finnish tastes! This strong the tastes brought both memories and associations to my mind.

Food wise I enjoyed the most the soft shell crayfish which could be completely eaten. The dishes were not too big since I didn’t feel at any point like I had eaten too much even though they were five! The diversity of the tastes worked and I noticed that I secretly was waiting for the next dish all the time since I didn’t know what was coming! Among the dinner party this created a fun conundrum game: everyone tried to guess as first what tastes each dish included.

The best food & drink combinations in my opinion were the two first, even though the dessert was delicious as well.

Briefly I can summarize the evening by saying that the sensation of taste is personal; so is the A21 Dining experience. What one might think tastes the best, might seem ordinary or bland to somebody else. Because I know that I like fresh and acid tastes, I could have guessed beforehand which would be my favorite dishes. But for those who aren’t that familiar with their taste likings I could recommend the five course tasting menu. This said, I must add that there were some taste combinations that were surprising even for me. I wouldn’t have guessed that cloudberry would work so well together with wild boar.

I can say that in my opinion the cocktails leave a lighter and fresher sensation after dinner than wine does. What kind of tastes do you like?

What's your opinion?

  1. i agree with you cocktails leave a ligther feeling after dinner especially if its a fresh beverage. i do like cocktails, i have some i love and some i just can't drink for example i love cosmopolitan and martini but i am not a fan of mojito nor do i think that it goes well with a meal.
    lovely pics u have here, very sex and the city.
    hope you are doing well.

    1. Yeah I agree that well known cocktails don't go well together with a meal. Here at this restaurant though the idea is that each dish has its own unique cocktail that the restaurant has created to match the food's tastes.