Kings of Casual Dining

Plated perfection, symphony of senses, epicurean elegance, hedonistic heaven… There are many ways of describing what you get if you go to restaurant Passio, a small hidden gem in the heart of Helsinki. I have dined at Passio a couple of times and this restaurant keeps stunning me after each visit.

Apparently I’m not alone with my opinion, because customer reviews in Tripadvisor rank Passio as the best restaurant in Helsinki. In fact, this restaurant has been among the Tripadvisor top 3 ever since they opened their doors 2 years ago. Passio is also mentioned in the Michelin guide 2016.

DSC_6614With a 20 years’ experience from the industry, the owners of Passio are geniuses at understanding how to design a perfect dining experience. Here’s what I think they earn extra credit for:

Simplicity: They choose what they do and do it more than well.

Wow factor: Because of the intense focus on the most important elements of a dining experience, they deliver more than expected. The food is fabulous and the menus are complemented with small surprises from the kitchen.

Great value: Menus range from 49-69 EUR, which makes the price levels really moderate.

Art On A Plate

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Jesse Vottonen, the main chef and one of the founders of Passio, says he travels much and seeks experiences from diverse places to get ideas and inspiration. He likes to experiment with new taste combinations and compositions in his work. The menus change every two weeks and the scandinavian food served at Passio offers a great experience visually as well as in taste and structure.

Here is an example of a menu (what I had last time I visited Passio) and a couple of pictures:

  • Jerusalem artichoke soup, lamb pastrami and roasted artichokes
  • Scallopconfit, carrot granite and pyre, brioche and tarragonpesto
  • Parmesanpolenta with braised porkbelly and parmesan cracker
  • Poached rainbow trout, pea pyre, salad with pea shoots,beurre blanc sauce
  • Sirloin of elk, tongue of reindeer, sage potato and oven roasted vegetables
  • Pineapple sorbet, caramelized fennel and liquorice
  • Passionfruit soufle and green apple sorbet

A Relaxed and Uncomplicated Athmosphere


Jussi Hukkanen is one of the restaurant founders and he is in charge of the service and restaurant interior. He also produces the restaurant beers in his own brewery and imports all the wine served in the restaurant. Jussi has designed the restaurant interior entirely by himself.

Right next to the restaurant entrance you can see the evolution of a high-class Global knife in frames, representing the top quality cooking equipment and food ingredients they use at restaurant Passio for creating the wonderful dishes.


Mr Hukkanen’s passion for great wines gave the idea for the restaurant lamps – genuine Anton Bauer wine bottles recycled to light fixtures.

Version 2


The restaurant floors are covered with (partly) original floor tiles from the 1920’s. Tables are covered with leather, creating a distinguished, yet relaxed athmosphere.


This was it, thanks for reading!

P.S. If you want to give Passio dining experience a try, I recommend booking a table right away, because the restaurant is usually fully booked for several weeks ahead. You can book a table here.

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