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Luomo

Helsinki, Finland

Cutting-edge technique meets wild food in one of Finland’s greatest restaurants

Luomo opened its doors in 2009 and quickly won plaudits at home and abroad for its avant-garde style of cooking, which blends different cuisines from around the world.

Co-owners Jouni Toivanen and Mika Mattila previously worked at Chez Dominique, one of Helsinki’s best-known restaurants, and have now gone on to make a name in their own right by pushing the boundaries of Finnish gastronomy with unusual flavour combinations and modern cooking techniques.

Toivanen cites Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adrià as important influences on his cooking style, which is characterised by the use of foams, sous vide and dry ice. “We use the latest techniques, but also respect the old-fashioned ways,” he says. “I’m particularly interested in wild food, including herbs, mushrooms and berries.”

The restaurant was recently relocated to larger premises on an anonymous Helsinki side street, but still offers the same choice of three, five or seven-course tasting menus, which change every month. Dishes could include ‘Japanese sea’ combining seafood and sushi with a consommé poured over dry ice to create a fragrant ‘sea mist’ around the fish; and veal cooked for 36 hours in a sous-vide served with a vivid green chlorophyll broth, which is poured at the table.

The global influences are carried over on to the wine list, which takes a whistle-stop tour of the world’s major grape-producing countries, with wines expertly matched to each course.

On the pass

  • Jouni Toivanen

Style of food

  • Modern fusion

Standout dish

  • Xoco with ceps: caramelised cep ice-cream, warm chocolate mousse and sea-buckthorn