The Finnish food culture and Karelian culture heritage meet at the 30-year-old restaurant Konstan Möljä!
Located in the Hietalahti area, restaurant Konstan Möljä has got its name from a former word for pier. According to the owner of Konstan Möljä the word is based on a Latin word for pier. Already for centuries, piers have been places to where people have arrived and from where people have left- a natural meeting point. Piers have been places where people have cried, laughed, believed and hoped. For islanders the piers have been the connection to the rest of the world and link between reality and dreams. No wonder that the traditional Finnish restaurant has chosen this word for its name.
As a hint for visitors, it’s worth mentioning that in Konstan Möljä the owner is glad to tell the history of the restaurant. This is for once a restaurant where one can, and should, get to know the owner couple.
Konsta on the other hand is a Finnish male name, and a historical person: a Karelian docker.
Konstan Möljä was opened in 1981 so this year the restaurant is celebrating its 30th birthday. Besides traditional Finnish food the restaurant offers memories. On the walls of the restaurant there are both photos and items telling about the Karelian culture and pre-World War II ways of life. The interior has been designed and collected by artist Seppo Huunonen, who is from Vyborg. Konsta was his grandfather.
The actual restaurant is run by a couple and therefore it feels homey, almost intimate. The surrounding is despite its Finnish background international, since visitors have found it. The restaurant has by choice given up on big pr projects and focuses instead on maintaining a good reputation. The restaurant has already been mentioned in many travel books and TripAdvisor has turned out to be a triumph.
The restaurant is mostly known for the fact that it serves both its lunch and dinner in buffet form.
Nowadays it’s a rarity that Finnish restaurants serve dinner buffets. According to the owner there is always reindeer and salmon in the selection since that is what the majority is looking for when it enters the restaurant. Besides these two, the buffet consists of other Finnish treats like cold smoked salmon, marinated herrings, mushroom salad, sour cabbage, egg butter with Karelian pies and pickles. The buffet always has a soup, and a meat dish of the day, sea salmon fillet, oven vegetables and a variation of seasonal dishes. Potatoes can be enjoyed in many forms: there are cream potatoes, mashed potatoes and even boiled potatoes. The dinner buffet costs 18€/person.
Even the dessert is a fun surprise – Fazer’s Pihjala candy is nowadays a rare sight. When one is reminded of one’s grandmother’s house during dinner, one knows that this place is genuinely Finnish and cozy.