Getting Close To Home At Finland Kitchen Talo
Nordic Food, Beer And More At This Limited Time Pop-Up Eatery in Roppongi Hills
The latest pop-up restaurant at Roppongi Hills invites you for a true at-home experience of Finland.
While Finland’s famous Moomin family characters have officially stolen the hearts of many Japanese and have established an ubiquitous presence here over the past few years, authentic Finnish food and drink are still rare in Tokyo. The recently opened pop-up restaurant Finland Kitchen Talo at Roppongi Hills is on a mission to change this, inviting locals to sample the many unique flavors of the Nordic country until the end of January 2018.
Located on the second basement floor of the shopping complex, this rare gem, which opened in early March, is your one-stop shop for everything Finnish. From the minimalistic home décor and Moomin blueberry coffee to the exquisitely curated traditional Finnish cuisine, Finland Kitchen Talo is almost a setting straight out of the Nordic country.
Opened in celebration of Finland’s 100th independence anniversary, the restaurant’s name was inspired by the Finnish word talo, meaning “house,” and offers a menu created by the official chef of the Finnish embassy in Tokyo, Elena Ada. The concept is simple: you’re invited to feel like you’re visiting “a home party at a lakeside Finnish home,” and you’ll know why as soon as you step in. The warm yellow light bulbs, antique wooden Scandinavian furniture and overwhelming amount of the blue-and-white flags are definitely reminiscent of a traditional Finnish household.
But the food is also a taste of home. During lunch, you can choose from three different meal sets including the staple Scandinavian beer-infused beef stew (¥1,200), a daily special dish of home-style Finnish dishes (¥1,000) or a combination of the two plates (¥1,300), all including a complimentary drink bar. The lunch plate is a party of its own, featuring lotus root, couscous with tuna, caramel coated sweet potato topped with kermaviili (Finnish curd cream) and rice. And of course, it comes with a Finnish flag.
For dinner, you can taste a number of Ada’s specials, including roast pork with beef sauce (¥1,600), macaroni casserole (¥900), Talo’s original Scandinavian tea (Nordqvist) roasted chicken (¥1,200), salmon milk soup (¥800) and other traditional dishes. Leave some space for the desserts, though, because these are truly special: Ada’s chewy pancakes (¥700) and the famous bakery Ekberg Berry Pie (¥750) will give you a flashback if you’re from Finland and will add a new favorite to your list if you’re not. Finish it off (pun intended…) with a Moomin blend coffee or tea.
Finland Kitchen Talo also offers a drink menu that features over 32 alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including Finland’s very own Lapinkulta Beer (¥700), a number of vodka-based cocktails, a good selection of the country’s popular tea brand Nordqvist and even blueberry and orange flavored coffee.
The Finnish experience here, however, doesn’t end with the food. On your way out, make sure to stop by the merchandise corner, located at the front of the store. There you can grab a few picture books, including the popular Finnish Nightmares in Japanese and English, find a good variety of Finland-imported chocolates, Moomin products and flavored coffee, among other goodies.
You’ll leave this cozy place feeling as if you had just dined at grandma’s home — with a full stomach and a bag full of goodies to take back home.
Finland Kitchen Talo is open until the end of January 2018.
Finland Kitchen Talo
Address: Roppongi Hills B2F, 6-4-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Direct access from Roppongi station’s 1C exit on the Hibiya line
Business hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.