The tropical girl’s insights about Viking-Themed Restaurant in the heart of Finland

The Harald Helsinki, for us is the long-awaited restaurant to try. Located at Aleksanterin katu 21 downtown Helsinki, we’ve been walking pass it so many times. This Viking-themed Restaurant looks intriguing from the outside. We were wondering how the interior would look like, how’s the service, could it be the staple of Viking meal we’ve been searching for or plainly: is it any good? As our marriage anniversary getting nearer, we thought it was appropriate to have couple’s fun and dine in the times between 800 AD – 1025 AD.

Jyrki and I are used to do a little bit of googling before we go to visit restaurants in Finland to get the best experience. On their website we can pick Finnish language, Swedish or English. We read that the service was good and were not disappointed. We came on December’s Tuesday after 1.30 PM, found the restaurant easily. A nice waitress came to greet us and then helped us find the most suitable table the moment we stepped in Harald Helsinki on the 2nd floor. There were also one Asian couple behind us and like me, they were enjoying the whole entrance heartily.

The higher table on Jyrki’s left looks like a long Viking boat with its paddles which were transformed into coat hangers for the customers. The shields and Viking horns hats are scattered around to give chance for customers to wear in place. Tables and chairs designs were nicely made of thick woods and gives overall a very Vikingish mood. In this pandemic, I think the wood divider between tables will be complying.

The whole interior was very interesting. The walls decorated with moose’s head shots, axes, swords, furs, Viking’s shield, and other Iron Age’s handwritings. A cheerful ethnic music accompanied our steps to our table. I choose to sit in the middle area of the restaurant hoping to see all the actions easily, because the higher tables were all booked for Pikkujoulu or Christmas dinners for offices and companies. And on that note, the restaurant itself was wide enough to accommodate large groups. There were at least 5 groups of customers celebrating Pikkujoulu, 3 or 4 couples beside us and there were more empty tables.

The waitress gave us 2 menus, one for the meal and the other were especially for beverages. It was fun to read as they incorporate details of Viking’s histories in each of the pages and most dishes. One of them were even stories from local farm about their goat and milk used in Harald’s many meals. Others were explaining about their salmons, history of game meats and local producers who made Tempe. Yes, the Tempe that was originally from my homeland, Indonesia, are being made here in Finland.

We started with the ultimate Nordic choices of meat, Rafter’s reindeer soup for my husband and Starter Stone from the Land of the Sami for me. As usual, plain water for the drink so we can indulge on the flavor.

Lactose-free Reindeer Soup is a cheese soup with shredded reindeer chuck and roasted artichoke served with malt bread and butter. I tasted it and was quite OK for me, creamy enough although can use a little more salt, in my humble opinion. The Finnish husband liked it enough, though… So, I guess it’s more of a Finnish range of saltiness = Less is more. We were pleasantly surprised by the malt bread. Sweet rich flavored and chewy, absolutely the best.

FYI, malt bread is commonly found in the shore’s areas of Finland. My in-laws who are living in Porvoo, said that this rye bread is common in the archipelago. Which I think is appropriate considering how Vikings were known to had infested coast of Finland.

Lactose-free Starter Stone From the Land of The Sami consist of cold-smoked salmon, tarred Baltic herring, smoked bream, herb pistou cucumber, malt bread, beef brisket mousse, arugula leaves, corned elk and my personal favorite, smoked reindeer liver. While salmon is familiar to me, these were all tasty. As a first timer Elk meat eater, I didn’t expect corned Elk to be quite salty. But it complements the whole set because tarred herring and malt bread are sweet. Arugula leaves looked sad although it gave some freshness with cucumber. Then creamy mousse, tangy bream and bitterness of liver completed the whole experience. I like this dish!

Moving on to the highlight of the evening, The Shield of the Vanaheim, Jyrki and I were excited to see what the Shield really means. We haven’t been able to find the photos from internet and when a waitress puts an iron-legged tripod.

We were thinking “if the holder were this big, how much will the meal itself be?!”

And then, BOOM! A round table filled with 4 different types meats, 2 types of potato dishes, and 3 types of sauces. Massive plate!

Look closer… what a heaven for meat lover, is it not?!
It was truly a meat party. Very less salt and plenty of potatoes but meaty, nevertheless. Black Angus, Elk, and reindeer were presents on that dish. We were eating like a true Vikings: a lot of meat!

The thing about Finland is the fact that most people are “woke” about health and sustainable environment which were shown by this dish. You can chew on the lean steak but not feeling the guilt or bloated afterwards. The menu clearly said it’s a Gluten-free meal.

All the wild game meat in this dish are I think among best qualities. They were rich, juicy, and cooked perfectly. Different from industrialized meat I’ve so grown accustomed-to.

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t say this is the spiciest meal, but it was -there’s no other way to say it- fulfilling. Portion are enough for 4 persons, so imagine how full we were up ’till the next day! The 77,20 euros worth so much. We weren’t sure to even continue to dessert at first.

That is, until we read this.
Jyrki was lucky! He meant to take Harald’s Viking Helmet Drink but ended up with a free drink at the draw. The drink he got was a mysterious one with an acquired taste, but the gesture was nice.
Vanilla Ice Cream with Nougat-caramel Sauce that was recommended by one of the helpful waitresses. Ultimate sweet endings, delicious!
If you’re walking in the downtown Helsinki, I believe you wouldn’t miss the place. I mean, look at that fun looking guy with the horns! LOL

There is access for disabled person by elevator and I saw a few highchairs for toddlers in this restaurant. During Covid-19 pandemic, the restaurant is closed but it will be opening on the June 1st, 2020. We can contact them at for details of their services.

I wouldn’t recommend it so much for those who have no interest on looking at head wall mounts. Harald Restaurants has a good deal of them. Meanwhile if you’re looking for that Vikingish experience for the whole family or many people, this place is a win. And as a Themed- Restaurant, Harald were fun. Jyrki and I already planning on to try on other dishes while envisioning one of the most intriguing tribe in the world, the Vikings.

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