The giant terrace of Helsinki's Senate Square, with its hundreds of seats, was opened to visitors at the beginning of July and immediately became a hit.
In addition to the summer cityscapes, the giant terrace offers the opportunity to enjoy a variety of food and drink. During the summer, there are 16 restaurant stalls serving a variety of summer food.
We asked the restaurant stalls what dishes they do on the giant terrace and what the summer has looked like from the point of view of the restaurateurs.
The giant terrace of Senate Square has had enough visitors right from its opening.
Photo: Jussi Helttunen
Burgers and breads taste good to Finns
As the facilities in the restaurant stalls are understandably more limited than in the normal kitchen, many operators have prepared their own menu for the giant terrace.
Many who head to the giant terrace want to enjoy easy and hand-eaten food on the terrace, they find out when interviewing restaurants.
For example, various burgers and toasts have big sales.
- Our most popular dish on the terrace is definitely a handmade cheeseburger, where you can order a summer coleslaw, says restaurateur Ville Geitel from Bites Burgers.
Reindeer and bull burgers are also popular at Restaurant Sunni's stall, says Uma Kangas, the restaurant's partner. He has noticed that the weather affects orders - in cold weather a lot of the best-selling product reindeer burger goes, while in warm weather customers order salads.
Mirka Korkia-aho, executive director of the losing food restaurant Loop, says that toast breads and sweet pastries, such as muffins, are bought from the company's stall. Grilled toasts are variedly filled with, for example, cheeses, sausages and vegetables.
A variety of breads and burgers are available on the terrace.
Photo: Timo Jaakonaho / Lehtikuva
Kristian Vuojärvi, a restaurateur at the W30 restaurant, says that most of the Skagen bread is ordered from the restaurant stall.
- We have wanted to keep the food in the stall as simple as possible, but still edible. There are portions of bread for sale, with which you should enjoy certain wines, Vuojärvi says.
In addition to burgers and breads, there is other hand-made food available. Inspired by Eastern Finnish food culture, the herring rooster is to the liking of customers at Restaurant Sea Horse.
- A small, hand-eatable herring rooster is clearly of interest in Helsinki as well. It is a self-developed, different version of the traditional fish rooster, which many have come to eat even several times, says Jere Laitinen, the terrace manager of the restaurant Sea Horse.
Alcoholic drinks on the terrace are most enjoyed with wine and beer in both traditional and specialty forms.
You can enjoy the terrace in both sunny and cooler weather.
Photo: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva
The non-Finnish terrace arouses curiosity
The unique giant terrace in Finnish conditions is invariably praised by restaurateurs. The logistics and services of the terrace play, the challenge has sometimes only been caused by the distance between the restaurant stall and the actual office of the restaurant, if the main kitchen of the restaurant is not located just around the corner from Senate Square.
According to the restaurants, the atmosphere on the terrace is good and the customers' interest in the terrace has surprised only positively.
- It is great that there is such a European-inspired place in the heart of Helsinki, where food and drink can be enjoyed in beautiful scenery until the evening, praises Ville Geitel.
According to Geitel, guests have found a very special spring on the terrace. Mirka Korkia-aho describes the customers' interest in the services and offerings of the giant terrace as “curious” - many have been interested in what the terrace really is like.
- restaurateur I am glad that the Finnish nation is not afraid of the wind or the rain. Kristian Vuojärvi is amazed when it comes to the terrace, even if it rains.
Uma Kangas praises the atmosphere of the terrace as “living room-like”, although it sounds a bit cliché to her.
- Hopefully the terrace will continue to function next summer. People are on the terrace in a nice mood and the place has a relaxed atmosphere, Kangas describes.
On the terrace, which is open until the end of August, safety clearances have been taken care of, for example, with planting boxes and the precise placement of tables and sales outlets. There are also toilets and hand washing facilities.