The English translation of Hans Välimäki’s last name, Midhill, is also the name of Michelin star chef Välimäki’s newest restaurant in Helsinki’s city center. The restaurant that started out at amusement park Linnanmäki became quickly so popular that Välimäki thought it would be good idea to open up at a second location in Helsinki to serve a larger clientele. Set in busy Citykäytävä, the passage between the Central Railway Station and department store Stockmann, it’s now a part of one of Helsinki’s most interesting food scenes. Midhill describes itself as a burger and new American restaurant.
The first impression of the place is relaxed: finally the windows facing the passageway have been opened and the place invites passers-by to come in with its sense of spaciousness.
The restaurant has two floors; the ground floor is meant for having a quick bite whereas bon vivants enjoying many courses can head upstairs for a calmer setting. Both floors have a bar in the middle, which functions as the heart of the space.
Downstairs the interior is a little bit more laid-back than upstairs. On ground floor Midhill has white tile walls with wild boar heads on them and a stone floor. The restaurant goer’s attention is soon drawn though to the huge lamp made out of cans. A fun detail downstairs is the rough graffiti wall, which has intentionally been left untouched to remind people the setting’s history.
The Citykäytävä passageway is an interesting part of Helsinki’s city center. The so called city block, to which it belongs, has functioned as a market place from the early 1900’s, and Citykäytävä’s history stretches back to the end of the 19th century.
When heading upstairs one first sees the impressing video display, which is set in the staircase and utilizes the white tiles as a background for video projections. Next, one stumbles upon a wall made out of cans that in my opinion functions as a link between the two floors.
The atmospheric upstairs restaurant combines darker curtain walls with the same white tile walls one could see downstairs. Wood and stone are mixed in the floor. The urban view of shopping center City-center is seen from the windows.
When I visited Midhill, I tried its brunch menu. My personal favorites were the pancakes (€9) and the so called Day After Repair Kit (€13).
Midhill has a lot of fun details, like the diner styled menus and the distinctive furniture and dishes. The restaurant offers lots of rare international treats, and the opening hours enable all types of eating. Midhill serves breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner.
Midhill’s Facebook page