I think this may be one of the first restaurant recommendations from Finland, so I had to make sure I picked a good one! =)
I found Bassi (Ravintolla Bassi) on Michelin Guide for Turku and couldn’t wait to try it out. Unlike some other fancy places by the Aura river, Bassi had a really good offer that gives you more value for your money (eating out in Finland can be expensive), so we went for their Summer Menu Special.
The offer costs 70 eur and you will get a three course meal for two with a glass of sparkling for each. You can purchase the voucher online and just print it out or note your voucher number to tell the waiter when you arrive.
They specialize in seafood, which worked perfectly since I don’t eat any meat.
Booking a table is recommended especially at weekends as it gets busy…. (continue below)
Bassi is right on the river Aura close to the centre of Turku. You will spot the entrance on this beautiful old yellow building.
Don’t get confused – unfortunately the outdoor sitting is for restaurant next door, Bassi doesn’t have any outdoor space which is a big shame.
After your drop off your coat at the cloak room and climb some stairs, you will arrive in the bar area where you will have to wait to be seated.
The restaurant has also a night club one floor above, which probably explains the cloak room at the entrance to the restaurant.
The restaurant has a number of rooms, some only for big groups or events. We got a table by the wall, at the edge of the room.
Even though we arrived early for 7pm dinner, the place was already super busy. Something I have to get used to since in Cyprus it’s common to go out for dinner around 9pm.
The highlight of the decor were the huge lamps and the gorgeous old windows. The interior decor was kept to a minimum, with stylish dinnerware and simple decorations.
Before we ordered other drinks, we were served a flavoured butter together with some flat bread.
The serving dish was beautiful, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the bread & butter combo.
This is a little welcome to Finland for all wine enthusiasts. A glass of wine will set you back from 10 eur and higher, in nice places usually around 15 eur.
We went for the Pinot Grigio (first one on the list) which didn’t taste amazing on its own, but paired beautifully with the food.
The starter was Basin Toast Skagen, which were shrimps mixed with mayo type of sauce, lots of dill, pickled cucumber and the delicious bread.
This was an absolute delight, the flavours in the sauce were beautifully balanced and you can taste the quality of the ingredients with each bite.
It was also a perfect size for a starter. I could have had the same again for main course, it was so good!
Main course – white fish (the menu didn’t specify which one and I forgot to ask the waiter), with new harvest potatoes rolled in dill butter with baby tomatoes.
The fish was fried on one side and super crispy. It was cooked to perfection and paired really well with the potatoes. The portion was more than generous for a main course.
The only comment I had was that the potatoes were rather salty and overpowered the whole dish.
It was a simple meal but executed really well.
Dessert – gooseberry pancakes with white chocolate. The pancake in the name might be just incorrectly translated to English as it by no means resembled a pancake.
The top layer was covered with gooseberries and other berries and had a very strong citrus flavour. The bottom layer was tasting almost like a creme brulee.
It tasted very refreshing after the main course and we were pretty happy it wasn’t anything heavy to end the meal.
Bassi Restaurant – Overall Impression
Food: the food did not disappoint and the deal we got was amazing value for money. I would definitely want to try more of their seafood specials from the menu and not be limited by set course next time. (5/5 stars)
Location: the restaurant is right next to the river, so after dinner you can have a lovely stroll on the banks or continue for more drinks to one of the many establishments in the area. (5/5 stars)
Atmosphere & Experience: this was by far the most disappointing aspect for me. The restaurant was very crowded and it felt like they were too many tables sandwiched next to each other. The only thing we could hear is chatter of people, no music. We sat by the wall so there was no view. It felt like having a romantic dinner in a school diner. The interiors and decor were lovely, but due to the fact it felt so crowded it didn’t really make you appreciate it too much. (2 out of 5 stars)
Service: the waiters were all super lovely, but the service was extremely slow. This is something our friends have warned us about and unfortunately they were right. It took ages to get the food on the table or just to get a drink top up. (2 out of 5 stars)
Value for Money: as I mentioned eating out in Finland is not cheap, especially if you want to share a glass of wine same time. The 70 eur deal for a 3 course meal with a glass of sparkling is an offer that you will struggle to find anywhere else, plus with that food quality. Wine had a few affordable options to choose from, even under 10 eur per glass. (5/5 stars)
PS: Apologies for the photo quality, these were taken with my phone for the first time! =)