Hans Välimäki, one of the few Finnish chefs who have owned a Michelin star restaurant, closed his famous Michelin restaurant Chez Dominique a couple of years ago. This didn’t mean getting out of business completely but there’s definitely a change in style in his new restaurant Rikhard von Trappe where we had dinner last Saturday evening. The restaurant is situated in the same address and premises in Rikhardinkatu 4 in Kaartinkaupunki area as Chez Dominique was before.
Rikhard von Trappe’s menu is a Belgian style bistro with oysters, stakes, mussels and waffles with a long list of beers and wines. I think the whole idea has been to create a very laid-back and relaxed atmosphere with an easy-going menu so that the comparison to former Chez Dominique wouldn’t even make sense – and I think they’ve succeeded in it (maybe a bit too well)!
We decided to go for a very traditional menu: a steak tartar as a starter, mussels as a main and berries with a sorbet as a dessert. The steak was served with pickled vegetables and salad. For mussels we choose two different versions: one with bacon and a spicier version with curry.
As I mentioned earlier, Rikhard von Trappe has a good selection of beers including their own brew, Top Fuel’s Von Trappe Saison Brun – or as the waiter called it, the Movember beer. It’s always interesting to learn about smaller Finnish craft beers and new breweries such as Top Fuel (which is according to the bottle situated in Lohja, about 40 kilometers from Helsinki).
All in all I had a good time at Rikhard von Trappe. Food wasn’t anything special and to be honest I’ve had much better dinners in Helsinki but materials were fresh and quite tasty and fulfilled my expectations for bistro-styled food. I’m not convinced Rikhard von Trappe will be my regular from now on but I think I could recommend it for anyone who is looking for a easy-going menu in a relaxed and cozy atmosphere. Plus any restaurant that plays Phil Collins during dinner gets my vote!
P.S. Find the restaurant on Foursquare/Swarm
EDIT: Unfortunately Rikhard von Trappe closed their doors in December, but Rikhard still has his brother August von Trappe in Tampere (2 hours from Helsinki)