09 Nov MAGU
Friday is usually my toughest day so I arrived at the restaurant late, and utterly exhausted. I was looking for a good glass of white to take the edge off and immediately perked up when co-founder Andrew Taylor welcomed me with a glass natural wine from their sommelier collection. As a nutritionist, I advise against doing this before at least having starters but once in a while, the night does call for it. Magu also has home-brewed Kombucha for none-alcoholic options and craft beers for more casual drinkers.
The restaurant brings me back to my time in London, it is spirited and easy which makes it cozy for families and chic for date nights. I was privileged enough to be hosted by Chef Felipe Moya Gonzalez who generously served me plate after plate of what was to be, the best gastronomical experience I’ve ever had in this soulful city of Helsinki.
Chef Moya took Magu Bistro to the level of fine-dining with his food. The attention he puts in every ingredient to layer-on texture, the art that comes into his plating, and the complexity and robust flavours that carries notes of all four tastes to achieve Umami easily puts his cuisine on the same level of his mentor, esteemed Michelin starred Chef Jouni Toivanen.
Everything in the menu was a real treat for the senses but if I had to make a hard bargain for their 2+1+1 set it would be… actually I suggest you come with company and order everything because really, it would be a shame to miss out on any of them.
Celeriac Root and PeanutCelery root on its own puree, dressed in peanut teriyaki-satay topped with crispy tamarind peanuts and sesame seeds. This dish brings me back to South-East Asia where I grew-up and spent most of my life in. Usually, elevating Indo-Malay cuisine ends up being too pretentious but on this case, the refinement worked beautifully.
Beetroot and Mustard SeedFish is something I do miss eating ever since I went plant-based at 17 and this dish hits the spot. Smoked and roasted red beets, dairy-free crème fraîche, coconut-based Feta, pickled mustard seeds garnished with beet chards. The best warm autumn salad I’ve ever had, hands-down.
Endives and Chanterelle
The base is pureed Beluga Lentils topped with roasted endives, fermented chanterelle dressed in walnut balsamic reduction. The bitterness from the roasted Endive leaves that popped out was surprisingly refreshing.
Yuzu and Daikon
Dairy-free crème fraîche and Japanese Yuzu in Daikon with edamame puree topped with tapioca pearls. The glaze is wasabi-edamame with Yuzu ponzu that is made of soy sauce, sake, sugar and mushroom broth which is pretty impressive as few Chefs will go out of their way to make their own glaze and broth from scratch for a bistro restaurant.