Dining Review: 5 Restaurants to Stay Away From in Finland

The best way to know a venue fully is to visit it few times.

Your first visit of a venue may not tell you much as it might be the “one-day” that the Chef could be having a bad day, the waiter or even you!

Over the time, we have come across many bad venues. But few of them stood out. Even though we would make the effort to give our reviews, some cared others did not.

Here are 5 of them that did not care.

Helsinki – Helsinki Hard Rock Cafe

Helsinki Hard Rock Cafe

Helsinki Hard Rock Cafe. Credit: Google

Hard Rock Cafes around the world usually deliver safe and tasty food wherever you travel. Unfortunately, Helsinki Hard Rock Café could be the one to skip.

The bar is on the second floor and the restaurant is on the street level. You may not find anyone to assist you to hike up the stairs and there is no lift. Though, if you do manage to get to the second floor; there are no regular chairs at the bar where you’ll be asked to wait to be shown to a table.

The restaurant was packed with waiters and waitresses but we had to wait a long time to get someone’s attention.

We wanted to go easy and ordered a Long Island Ice Tea (LIIT)! When we saw that our order was coming, we were surprised of the fast service. Though, then we tasted the drink… We believe that half of that LIIT was coke and other with vodka. Sam, smelled a bit rum but we were not sure what it was.

There is no gluten food in Helsinki Hard Rock Cafe! This is a bit surprising for Finnish standards, cause, even McDonald’s in Finland serve gluten free burgers.

Kid meals are served on soup plates which made a mission for us to use cutlery! Those conservative parents may not like what they see on their TVs!

Food? We had to leave the hot dog aside. Burgers? Do you like dry steak with overcooked cheese? We founded it to be very disturbing.

Desserts came with big portions and they were fine.

All in all, Hard Rock Café is a good package with no content.

Tampere – Pub Kivitasku Terasi

Out of all customer-bashing venues in Finland, Pub Kivitasku Terasi stands still.

Pub Kivitasku Terasi

Pub Kivitasku Terasi. Credit: Google

Our experiences with this venue has been harsh and very edgy over the time!

We were shouted at. We were shown “the” finger. We were charged for drinks that we did not order. We were forced to speak Finnish (even though none of us could) to order anything.

Considering the fact that, the managers of this venue are expats, it was shocking the way we were treated. It was not easy to hear the F word coming out when we asked why the beers were €7 while anywhere else would be around €4 in Finland.

Even though we reported them to the Finnish consumer’s right association, the result was literally and practically nothing.

Never ever again.

Turku – Restaurant Sampalinna

Restaurant Sampalinna

Restaurant Sampalinna. Credit: Google.

Restaurant Sampalinna is one of the most beautiful locations you can imagine in Turku.

It is situated in a picturesque wooden house on the edge of a park, with a view to the river. Inside, the by-gone atmosphere continues (think 1890s).

Unfortunately, the restaurant’s service and food do not at all match with its marvelous looks. Because the personnel usually consists of temporarily hired students, the service is very slow. This could be forgiven when the restaurant is really full, but it is slow at all times.

Worse yet, the food is not always top-notch, and the personnel is not quite eager to replace over- or undercooked food. To top this off, it is not a cheap place. Presumably the quality of food and service varies with the personnel, but Sampalinna is usually experienced to be a disappointment.

Oulu – Pizzeria Baabel

In Oulu, Pizzeria Baabel has to be the worst!. This is a rather famous pizzeria and we still have to figure out the reason. The waiters are good at customer service and the prices are reasonable. But when it comes to the real deal, it is not worth eating by any standard.

They serve pizzas and “kebabs”. However, for someone who comes to Finland as an expat would be truly disappointed. The size of the pizzas is gigantic but then there is no taste.

One might try out all the fancy toppings but it will not make a different what so ever.

The quality of the food is poor and so is the dinning area.

In a nutshell, in Oulu, stay away from Pizzeria Babel in Linnanma.

Jyvaskyla – Pick Up JKL

Pick Up JKL

Pick Up JKL. Credit: Google

Pick Up JKL not only sells pizza – but they also sell Chinese food.

Customer Service is quite sad… We felt like bullied into buying the 3 dishes when we really only ordered 2.

Maybe it was our phone – but the screaming had to stop… We held our phone away from our head a good foot and a half and still could hear the girl from JKL perfectly fine.

Food Quality, portion size was good for both the Chinese and the pizza, but the flavor was quite bland. Could have been more meat on the pizza… not so spread out so that the pizza toppings look even thinner (less) than what there was.

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