Cool, Classy Nordic Nosh

With the long hot summer ahead, it’s time to hunt down some fresh flavors for palates depressed by the heat. Donna Mah says fresh is best, especially if it’s from Scandinavia.


This is the only Nordic restaurant in Hong Kong, if not the whole Pearl River Delta, and its name, FINDS, declares its origins – Finland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden.


Chef Jaakko Sorsa oversees the kitchen at FINDS and has cooked for presidents and royalty, including Jacques Chirac, Bill Clinton, Vladimir Putin, the Swedish royal family, Saudi Arabian, as well as the Japanese royal family.


Now located in Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon, FINDS has retained its cool and classic Nordic atmosphere, serving award-winning food and molecular mixology cocktails. The Earl Grey martini is topped with a bit of fruity white foam and tiny liquid-filled beads floating in it that pop on the bite. It was refreshing and light with lots of apple flavor.


Dining here is not something you want to rush. Nordic food is usually simple and fresh, but the use of smoking, delicate herbs, and beautiful presentation means that you will want to sit back and enjoy your meal at a leisurely pace.


The summer salad is a wonderfully refreshing dish made with air-dried ham, feta cheese, white and green asparagus, baby tomatoes, French beans and butter lettuce. The salad isn’t loaded down with dressing and is full of flavor.


A Nordic seafood platter is presented on a large dish with chunks of ice and comes with a variety of sauces that you can mix and match with the seafood. The seafood is flavorful enough on its own and probably won’t need the sauces, but the whole presentation is both a feast for the eye, as well as the belly.


The house-smoked salmon came highly recommended by the chef, and the warm fish dish was perfectly prepared – rare in the middle – with fingerling potatoes and a dill sauce. I would definitely order this again.


Finnish sashimi is one of the featured dishes for a menu Chef Sorsa prepared for Her Imperial Highness, Princess Takamado of Japan. It included mildly cured scallops, smoked fresh shrimp, salmon “pastrami” seared with black pepper corn and fennel seeds, and beetroot gravlad lax (salmon) with mustard dill sauce, to name but a few. Some of the sashimi are part of the Nordic seafood platter.


The restaurant also serves an extensive “scapas” (Scandinavian tapas) selection including pizzettas baked in a woodstone oven, Swedish meatballs with crushed lingonberry dip, smoked salmon mousse served with house sourdough and black bread chips, and Diam parfait brownie with almond, caramel and nougat. There are also scapas combo platters and a tea set for two with a selection of scapas for HK$228-258 ($29-33).


FINDS is one of the participating restaurants in the first-ever Restaurant Week in Hong Kong being held from July 11-17, 2011. This is an international dining event first launched in New York in 1998.


“The concept gives diners a chance to try out restaurants for a reasonable price, and restaurants woo new customers by showcasing their cuisine in the form of a fixed price menu,” says Onno Schreurs, managing director for China and Hong Kong at Diningcity.com, which is launching Hong Kong Restaurant Week this year.


During Restaurant Week, participating restaurants are offering three-course prix fixe menus at HK$158 for lunch and HK$298 for dinner. For Michelin-star restaurants, an additional HK$100 is charged for each star. Visit www.restaurantweek.hk for more information.

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