Toni Toivanen is one of the internationally rising stars of Finnish cuisine. He debuted at the legendary two Michelin star restaurant Chez Dominique in Helsinki, from where he travelled to Copenhagen to join the ranks at Noma. After three years with the Noma groups he continued his international journey and moved to New York to support Shaun Hergatt open the world famous restaurant in 432 Park Avenue. Toni's love towards Japanese cuisine then pulled him to Tokyo, where was part of opening two Michelin Star restaurant Inua. In 2020 Toivanen moved back to Helsinki to open Aki, a Japanese-Finnish fusion popup that sold out in less than 24 hours, and in 2021 Toivanen is working on his next big project.
While we eagerly wait for what’s next, Toni has designed this menu inspired by his time in Japan for you to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
We start off with a burnt beetroot and plum tartar, followed by a smoked mushroom and dashi soup bursting with umami. Next you’ll enjoy a filling rice dish before rounding off with a japanese style cheesecake with a blueberry and pine compote. Lastly you’ll have some steeped matcha green tea with some blackbean mochi to finish the menu. The entire menu is Vegan.
Before you start
Make sure to take the following items into room temperature for 1 hour before starting: (1) Seaweed Oil, (12) Cooked Seeds, Smoked Seeds (13), (15) Rose Oil, (16) Cheesecake, and (19) Mochi. Keep everything else refrigerated until you start cooking. All of our menus can be refrigerated for up to 2 days (<2C) to be prepared later.
Get to know the Menu: Read the descriptions and instructions and watch the instruction video if there is one. Make sure that you have all the components and that nothing is missing. Call our concierge (+358942453216) if you have any questions or concerns.
Prepare for service: Every successful service starts with a clean and organised kitchen. Wipe down and clear as much surface area as possible for plating your dishes. Make sure you know where you have all your kitchen gear and components for each dish. Pick out stoneware and cutlery for each dish in advance and place them somewhere easily accessible. Think about the pace of your dinner and plan a schedule for both preparing and enjoying each dish. Don’t rush things and reserve at least 1,5 hours to get through the entire menu
Set the mood and get ready to enjoy yourself: Dim the lights, light some candles, and set the table before you start cooking. If you’re enjoying some of the wine recommendations, make sure that all your whites and sparkling wines are chilled and that you’ve opened up your reds to breathe. To help you get in the mood we’ve made some music playlists. You can find them on our Spotify profile.
Burnt beetroot plum "Tartare"
Larmandier Bernier Longitude Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Champagne Extra Brut
The menu starts off with a vegan "tartare" made from beetroots and plums. The beetroot and plums are baked and dried to achieve a meaty texture that is full of flavour. Mixed with spices and sea wood oil for a nice sheen and taste, the dish is finished with dollops of tofu-miso cream and fresh herbs.
(1) Beetroot plum “tartare”
(2) Tofu-miso cream
(5) Seaweed oil
- Mix the spices and oil thoroughly but gently with the “tartare” straight in the container. Let the tartare rest and soak up the spices for 5 minutes before neatly spooning the tartare in even portions in the center of a small plate or bowl dish. Focus and make sure to make a nice and beautiful bed of tartare.
- Cut off the tip pf the bag of tofu cream leaving a half-centimeter wide hole. Pipe small dots of tofu cream neatly onto and around the tartare.
Tip from the Chef: Odd numbers are preferred in plating fine dining because a lack of balance creates visual allure. Arrangements of three, five, and seven etc. are often the most aesthetically pleasing. In this case you could go for five or seven dollops of tofu-miso cream around the dish.
- Finish the dish by garnishing with fresh herbs for colour, fragrance, and flavour. Serve the dish slightly chilled or at room temperature and eat with chopsticks or a fork and spoon.
Smoked mushroom in dashi
Fiskars funky luomu
The next dish is a warm bowl of vegan dashi that fills your mouth with umami. The dashi is made by slowly steeping dried kombu, a type of kelp, to create a flavourful broth that serves as the base of this dish. Smoked mushrooms are the filling component that bring added taste and texture to this bowl of deliciousness. The dish is served warm from a bowl and eaten with chopstick or a spoon.
(6) Smoked mushroom
(7) Mushroom dashi
(8) Flower salt
- Pour the dashi in a small pot or pan and add the smoked mushrooms in with the dashi.
- Bring the dashi to a boil and immediately take off the heat. Cover the dashi and the mushrooms with a lid or foil and let rest for about 5min.
- Place the mushroom in individual portions in a small bowl dish and add equal amounts of dashi for each portion.
- Finish the dish with a sprinkle of flower salt and eat while hot with chopsticks and/or a spoon. Feel free to slurp as is custom in Japan. While considered rude in western countries, slurping is standard in Japan and it even enhances the flavour of the broth by aerating the liquid as you ingest it.
Rice with seeds
Murasaki Junmai Daiginjo Sake
Rice is considered a side dish in western cuisine, but in most Asian countries rice is often the base of many dishes. This dish may seem simple, but is delicately complex and full of flavour. Rice is cooked and steamed in the oven with dashi and topped with a variety of seeds, herbs and spiced. Fluffy, delicious, and filling.
(10) Cooking dashi
(11) Spice mix
(12) Cooked seeds
(13) Smoked seeds
(15) Rose oil
- Start by preheating your oven to 180C on convection setting.
- While the oven heats up rinse the rice with cold water in a colander, sieve, or bowl. Rice has a lot of starch and we want to wash that excess starch from the surface of the rice grains. Once the water appears clear the rice is sufficiently rinsed.
- Drain the water from the rice and and place it in a medium sized oven safe pot, and pour the cooking dashi in with the rice. Stir gently and make sure that the dashi is covering the rice.
- Place the pot in the oven and bake for 20minutes with the lid on. If you don’t have a lid for your pot you can cover the pot with aluminium foil.
- After 20min take the pot out of the oven and let rest for 7 min with lid or foil on. The dish will continue to steam inside the pot so don't take the lid off. Taking it off will let out most of the steam and you won't achieve the right results.
- After 7 minutes of resting take the lid off carefully as not to burn yourself. Gently stir the rice with a spoon to fluff it up before topping it with cooked and smoked seeds straight in the pot. Drizzle the oil evenly on top of the rice and seeds and garnish the dish with the herbs. Lastly sprinkle the spice mix neatly over everything and serve straight from the pot at the table.
- Mix everything together at the table using serving spoons and plate individual portions for each diner.
Burnt tofu cheesecake
Hana-Fuga Yuzu Sparkling Sake
This isn't a typical western cheesecake. This Japanese style cheesecake is served straight from the paper it was baked in, and unfolded like a small gift and enjoyed with blueberry-pine compote. We hope you enjoy it.
(16) Tofu cheesecake
(17) Blueberry compote
- Take the cheesecake into room temp 20 min before serving. Don’t remove the cheesecake from the paper as you’ll enjoy it straight from the package.
- Unfold the paper exposing the cheesecake and garnish with blueberries. Eat the cheesecake straight from the paper using a small fork or spoon, or just use your hands.
Matcha Green Tea and Mochi
Green Tea is a part of many Japanese meals so it's a fitting way to end this journey. Matcha is a shade-grown green tea that is selectively picked and ground into fine powder. The tea is steeped and served hot, accompanied by mochi, a popula Japanese bean-paste confection.
(18) Matcha powder
- Select a small teacup or glass for your green tea and add about half a teaspoon of matcha powder per cup. Reserve a little bit of powder to sprinkle the mochi.
- Bring some water to a boil in pot or kettle and then pour hot water into the cup(s) of matcha powder. Mix with a spoon and let the tea steep for 2 minutes before drinking.
- Pick your prettiest small plate or serving dish. Place the Mochi(s) on the plate and dust with tiny amount of matcha powder.
- Eat the Mochi with your hands and drink the tea while hot. If you're not listening to music yet, consider listening to some appropriate tunes or just enjoy the silence and serenity at the end of this menu.