A new pop-up restaurant serving Finnish folklore-inspired dishes, including reindeer, is open in London's Soho.
Tënu has been created by Finnish chef Antto Melasniemi and London-based, Finnish artist and designer Klaus Haapaniemi, and will serve a daily-changing evening menu influenced by eastern Finland, using local ingredients such as reindeer, berries and mushrooms. It is targeted at late-night shoppers and "adventurous Londoners".
Having first opened on 6 December, it will continue until 24 December, and then re-open from 26-30 December. It is located in an 18-bedroom townhouse, which is expected to be developed into a hotel and restaurant by new owner Elliot Blum in 2015.
The site's dishes are also inspired by Melasniemi's Helsinki restaurants Ateljé Finne and Kuurna, and are served with sharing in mind, with no clear breaks between starters and mains. Décor is focused on Finnish mythical creatures in traditional-style drawings created by Haapaniemi.
A sharing, tasting menu is also on offer, for £42 per person, in which chef Melasniemi will select an array of plates, such as wild sea bass tartar with Finnish archipelago bread; creamy salmon broth with allspice and dill; chicken liver mousse with lingonberries; reindeer fillet with beetroot; plum tart; or lingonberries and rose.
The restaurant has also launched a new gin label, also called Tënu, which is distilled in Helsinki, and intended to give a taste of old Finnish forests and wild botanicals.
Commenting on the project, Melasniemi said: "My version of Nordic food is a complete surround experience. I value concepts that simply make the guests feel good, and much of that comes from the setting and surrounding of the meal."
Speaking about the importance of the site's design, Haapaniemi said: "Food is overrated as part of the restaurant culture. The idea of spending an evening in a space that only serves dinner is dated. Tënu opens to the customer a story charged with conceptual mysticism, and reinvents the reason to go out for a bite."
Melasniemi and Haapaniemi are already known in London for their collaboration on projects such as the travelling food, design and art event HelYes!, a pop-up restaurant created with the Finnish Institute in London in 2010.