Viikonloppu Yarra Valleyssa ja muutamia ajatuksia ulkosuomalaisuudesta – Weekend in Yarra Valley

Päätin kirjoittaa vaihteeksi suomeksi. Tuntuu jotenkin siltä, että oma suomenkieli surkastuu täällä ulkomailla, sillä suurin osa suomenkielisestä kommunikaatiostani on lapsen kanssa, sanavarasto ja ilmaukset on hiukkasen hukassa. Joskus naurattaa, kun tapaan muita ulkosuomalaisia ja kun he kuulevat kuinka kauan olen ollut poissa, he kommentoivat, että ”onpas sun suomen kieli vielä hyvä..”mitä lie tarkoittaakaan..ei siltä usein itsestä tunnu.

On ikuisuus viime kirjoituksestani. Aika rientää. Täällä on kesä kohta ovella, lämpö kohoilee kohti kolmeakymppiä ja päivät ovat ihania! Ostettiin pyörät ja ollaan pyöräilty pitkin meren rantaa. Melbourne on kyllä mahtava elämän laadun näkökulmasta. Me ollaan ajeltu autolla melkein joka viikonloppu ympäri Melbournen lähialueita ja viinitiloja. Joka kerta kun mennään Yarra Valleyyn tai Mornington Peninsulaan ihailen maisemia niin suunnattomasti ja koen sellaista aitoa onnellisuutta, että  saan asua juuri täällä. Välillä on aivan kamalia koti-ikävän kohtauksia, ne tulee aalloissa, mutta sitte lohdutan itseäni, että päästään kohta jouluksi kotiin Suomeen ja näen kaikki rakkaat ihmiset. On tää kuulkaas vaan silti tosi rankkaa joskus olla ulkosuomalainen, etenkin lapsen kanssa. Sitä on vaikea selittää. Toisaalta on kamala ikävä kotiin mutta toisaalta tuntuu, että 6 vuotta (en tajua sitä itsekään viela – yli puoli vuosikymmentä!!!) muualla on vaan paljon ja joissain asioissa on vaan vieraantunu Suomesta melkoisesti. Joskus oikein mietin, että miltäs tuntuisi paluu. En osaa työsanavarastoa ollenkaan suomeksi. Suomen politiikasta olen ihan pihalla (vaikka koetankin lukea HS netistä..). Monissa asioissa on oma mieli muuttunut ja katsoo asioita todella toisesta perspektiivistä kuin Suomessa asuessa. Joskus on kuitenkin sellainen olo, että sielu lepäis Suomessa, kun saisi hengittää suomalaista kirpakkaa pakkasilmaa, puhua joka sekuntti omaa äidinkieltä, kehon stressitila olisi matalampi, kun ei joutuisi joka päivä ja sektunti pärjäämään lapsen kanssa ihan yksin (kaksin miehen kanssa) ja voisi vaan kuunnella sitä hiljaisuutta mitä talvipakkaset tuo tullessaan, tai vaan istua järven rannassa kesämökillä ja liottaa jalkoja viileässä vedessä ja rentoutua. Samalla kuitenkin pelottaa, että miten sitä taas tottuis moniin muihin asioihin, jotka on kovin toisin, ei olisi viinitiloja kivenheiton päässä (vaan Alko), ei olisi 2kk talvea (lue syksy) ja jatkuvaa aurinkoa, ei olisi kotimaisia avocadoja, mangoja, papaijoita tai banaaneja.. On se elämä sellaista valintojen vaihtokauppaa, eikö. Ja mikä sitte viime kädessä tekee onnelliseksi, se on vaikea kysymys.

Tällä hetkellä on kuintenkin todella hyvä olla, ja koti-ikävän kanssakin voi olla todella hyvä olla.  Tässä muutamia kuvia meidän viime viikonlopusta. Yllätin mieheni synttäri viikonlopulla Balgownie viinitilalla Yarra Valleyssa. Ollaan viimeksi oltu siellä juuri naimisiinmenon jälkeen, ihan yksi mun lemppari paikoista Yarra Valleyssa, mahtavaa kuohuviiniä tekevät. Illastettiin viinitilan  Rae’s ravintolassa, joka on arvioitu yhdeksi Yarra Valleyn parhaista ja sitä se onkin.

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Seuraavana päivänä olin järjestänyt viinimaistelun De Bortoli tilalla ja lounaan kavereidemme kanssa Locale ravintolassa De Bortoli tilalla (ylläri tämäkin).  Locale on yksi Yarra Valleyn parhaista Rae’s ravintolan lisäksi. Molemmat ravintolat olivat upeita ja koko viikonloppu aivan ihana. Yarra Valleyn hieman kukkulaiset maisemat, viinitilat silmän kantamattomiin ja se punainen Australialle ominainen auringonlasku olivat ihanaa vaihtelu arkeen.  Tyttäremmekin tykkäsi kovasti olla luonnon helmassa!

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PS. Mulla on muutama mahtava resepti, jotka haluan jakaa pian, toinen on minttusuklaa fudge (toffee) ja toinen on vege-pita, jotka on mun facebookissa seikkaillu jo. Pysykää kuulolla. Lupaan, ettei kestä kolmea kuukautta tällä kertaa!

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I wanted to write in Finnish this time. Summer is here in Melbourne soon. Here some photos of our amazing trip to Yarra Valley. My husband had a birthday so I surprised him with a weekend getaway at Balgownie Estate in Yarra Valley, we had dinner at Rae’s restaurant, wine tasting at De Bortoli and then a surprise catch up with our friends for lunch at Locale restaurant at De Bortoli Estate! Was amazing!  I cannot believe it is so long since I wrote the last post. I have been just terribly busy at work and then haven’t had much free time. Every weekend we have been driving somewhere and enjoying our new car and spring months. I have promised to myself to be better with blogging now, particularly as I have two great recipes to share and one knitting instruction (for those who interested).

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South Melbourne Restaurant Jewel

A little while ago my dear husband took me for a weekend lunch. Like usually we got our baby to sleep in her pram and strolled for a late 2pm lunch to a local restaurant. I had hardly noticed this place before as it is in the quiet area of South Melbourne almost in the Albert Park. It was fantastic. The place is called Lamaro’s.

I could not believe what a fine dining experience it was just on my door step. To start with I went for a fig, chevre and walnut salad. A very classic combination which can be really boring if not done well but this one was beautifully prepared and presented.

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My husband went for something a bit meatier!

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For my main I chose trout. I have not been eating meat much lately, I am somehow a bit tired of meat and prefer vegetarian or seafood at the moment.

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The crunchy corn with beetroot was different but amazing!

My husband went for a pork belly as expected.

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The dining experience was great, the wine selection was fantastic and service great! If you are looking for a great little place to eat in South Melbourne this is it!

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon -Fine dining at its best

Last Saturday my husband and I went to L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon which is one Michelin star restaurant in Covent Garden. A true jewel of West End. We were both so excited about our date night. With the small toddler and being away from your home country you don’t really get much time off as a couple as there are no grandparents to help you out. Luckily our nanny does baby sitting for us occasionally which is great.  It is so relieving to leave our daughter to her hands as we know she know her inside out plus has done such an amazing job with her so far! It was a beautiful day in London and was lovely to walk hand in hand in the Central London.

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Like I said in my previous post London Restaurant Festival was still on so we got an amazing deal of full three course menu with matching wines in this fantastic restaurant.

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My husband and I chose different courses from the menu so that we could taste as many as possible.

We got an amuse-bouche from the kitchen to start with. It was some kind of chevre foam with port wine. Absolutely heavenly. So unusual but tasty.

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Sorry about the dark photos.The restaurant had a very dark interior, black and red so photographing was challenging!  The seating was Japanese teppanyaki style -super cool and modern, high bar stools around the kitchen. I loved it as we were able to watch chefs working and decorating each meal to their finest detail.

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My starter was this gorgeous foie gras with green beans. It was amazing. The wine with it was strong oaky chardonnay. I have to tell you a secret. I had the most horrible cold the day before and I was terrified that I could not taste anything the day after. I had a snotty nose but luckily I tasted most of it, maybe some super fine flavours I could not capture. Such a bad luck isn’t it!?

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My husband took the eschabeche of kipper with potatoes. Super good too! He got a crispy Sauvignon Blanc with it.

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My husband went for 4 course instead of 3 so we got an extra starter which was this phenomenally poached egg with Comte cheese sauce. The poach egg was a piece of art, it was cooked into perfection!

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My main course was salmon. I was suprised that the restaurant chose to serve it with rose wine. I was a bit doubtful of this combination as for me rose is more of a socialising summer wine but it went together with the salmon so well that I will definitely try this combination again, maybe serve it even for my guests!

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My husband chose pork belly with beans. Obviously he got a strong Spanish red with it. It was delicious although I am not a big pork belly fan. in fact I don’t eat pork at all…

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For dessert I went for chocolate macaroon with hazelnut cream filling and convinced my husband to take the strawberry cheesecake so that I could taste both…I got some red dessert wine with it, it was almost like a port wine. My husband got some super tasty Riesling dessert wine from Germany.  The combinations of flavours were just fantastic.

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How beautiful are these desserts!!!?

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I ordered black coffee with my dessert too. It was an amazingly tasty coffee, I guess Michelin star restaurants need to choose their coffees carefully too. They brought more cakes with it…luckily my husband had some room in his tummy.. I could not fit anything in…

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The food was so tasty, beautifully presented, each ingredient on the plate had its purpose. My husband was so fascinated about this eating experience that told me we needed to go again as it was so amazing. We have been fine dining a fair bit. Unfortunately I so often get disappointed not only due to the food but usually just the setting, I don’t like pretentious restaurants with white table cloths and dry waiters. This place was great. I loved the relaxed atmosphere, teppanyaki setting and music being rather loud which gave the restaurant an edgy club vibe.

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I warmly recommend this place. They do now the same menu as their pre-theatre menu. If you have a chance to go to L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon go, don’t miss your chance!

Randall and Aubin restaurant in Soho -Randall and Aubin ravintola Sohossa

I used to work on client site in Soho in London all last  spring and most of the summer. There was a place in Soho that I passed almost daily when going to get my lunch. I so often wondered what it was like and thought I should try it. My colleague had it also on his hit list to go so inspired by that when my sister and mum came to London for a visit we gave it a try. The place is called Randall and Aubin.

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It spesialises in seafood and you can see all the fresh seafood in the window. They do all sort of dishes on their à la carte list so you are not only restricted to seafood. The wine selection is amazing too!

I ordered chevre salad for my main. The size was perfect. I love when meals are rather small so that I have definitely room for dessert.  This salad was the most incredible combination of flavours, one of the best chevre salads I have eaten ever.

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My mum and sister had fish and they were both extremely happy with their meals. My sister is a difficult one. She used to work for one of the most prestigious hotel and restaurant groups in Finland.  Being so she has eaten so many fine dining dishes and tasted too many rare wines that taking her out for a dinner is always a challenge. This time she was super happy with my choice!

Randall and Aubin has changed their wine list since we were there but I remembered we went for Italian Vermentino and it was heavenly good. I tasted quite a few wines until I ended up choosing it. Was a good choice.

For a dessert as usual I went for a chocolate cake.

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It was tasty but compared to the main course it was like a shadow..but good, nothing to complain. I guess my main was just so perfect that there was nothing really to compete with that.

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Me pulling a silly smile when getting my cake…

One funny detail for all the ladies who read my blog..this place has the most stunning male waiters. My sister, mum and I were laughing so hard when thinking of the job interview..they must have some extra  standards that applicants must fullfil :)!

After the dinner we headed to another place. It is a Spanish tapas place, we did not eat there but I have eaten there before and I wanted to mention this place in the same post. It is not far from Randall and Aubin, maybe 10 minute walk away. The place is called Copita. I may have mentioned it before. It is super nice.  I have eaten there and I have also tasted quite a few of their wines (the wine list is amazing!). So if you fancy a good after work drink I recommend to go there.

 

Tony’s Deli in Helsinki – Tony’s Deli Helsingissä

 I personally always struggle with lunch places in Helsinki. Helsinki is amazing for high end cuisine that you enjoy in the evenings but lunches are trickier. Reasonably priced lunches are hard to find if you don’t want to end of in the regular salad bar.

My sister has been praising a place called Tony’s Deli on Bulevardi street in Helsinki. It is actually under the ground so you rather easily just pass the place without noticing it. This week I went to Helsinki with my dad and we went to try this place. I was extremely positively surprised.

The decor was lovely! The place has both restaurant and wine bar.

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It has relaxed and peaceful atmosphere.

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The best thing is that during the day time sparkling wine is only 2.90 euros per glass in their wine bar! I guess this tells something about the Finns, they never drink at lunch time so one can easily have offers like this. Great for tourists like me!

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The lunch was 10 euros. Great price. This included soup starter which was tomato on that day, all the salads from the buffet, main course and coffee with a biscuit. You were able to either choose the main from the buffet (that was a bit too work lunch option for my taste..) or order mains separately from the wine bar menu, in either case the soup, salads and coffee were included in the price. As I am a huge Caesar salad fan I ordered that. It was super tasty and well presented!

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I warmly recommend this place if you end up wondering in Helsinki at lunch time.

Have a great Wednesday!