The Finnish Institute in London is launching a pop-up restaurant next month, led by Finnish chef-restaurateur Antto Melasniemi.
Hel Yes! will be a temporary 120-seat restaurant, bar and exhibition space set up by a group of Finnish designers and food service professionals, which will run as part of the London Design Festival from 15 September to 3 October. It has been commissioned by the Finnish Institute as part of the run-up to Helsinki being the World Design Capital in 2012.
Located at Londonewcastle Depot in north London, Hel Yes! will serve a daily changing menu at £25 for three courses, with a focus on foraged ingredients from Nordic forests. Typical dishes will include Archipelago bread made from wheat bran, rye flour and grounded malt, and the Karelian Pot, a traditional stew prepared with beef, lamb and pork and named after the region now split between Finland and Russia.
Meanwhile, interiors at Hel Yes! will be developed by a range of renowned Finnish designers including Alvar Aalto, Harri Koskinen and Klaus Haapaniemi.
Melasniemi, who previously worked with fellow Finnish Helena Puolakka at London restaurant Sonny's and was executive chef at gastropub Cat & Mutton, said: "It will be all about the delicacies of primitive Finnish cuisine which is typically more about pure ingredients than, for example, restaurant culture.
"We will use the best vegetables and fish as well as traditional cooking methods, producing our own interpretations along the way."
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By Kerstin Kühn
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