i spent last weekend in my old hometown. the busy three days consisted of two dj gigs, gathering and preserving the crop we've grown at the garden cottage. come sunday, i was knackered, but needed a refueling stop before heading over to helsinki for the showing of the september issue.
the people of turku have a gem they hopefully appreciate to its full potential. blanko has been a part of the restaurant and club scene for years, has enjoyed a dubious status as too trendy and snotty for almost as long but, nevertheless, has been one of the most stylish bars in this country for its entire existence. the interior, designed by tom gustafsson, has gone through a few evolvements while remaining unpretentiously spectacular.
as i grieve the fact that my favorite bar in helsinki is closing down (or changing ownership, which practically means the same thing...), my nostalgia for blanko heightens. the many nights i've spent leaning on the bar or slouching deep in the couches (first in the back, now in the main space of the restaurant), the times i've dj'd there and danced to someone else's music... sure, the turku jock extravaganza may feel annoying as hell, especially during the weekends, and there are a myriad of rather dubious ways to describe the fashion scene at blanko, but regardless of the hair-extension galore and cheap heels, the place is pretty uplifting and still feels cosy and homely.
well, guess what: it just got better! last sunday they served brunch for the first time in years. as might be obvious from my previous ramblings, i welcome brunch culture with open arms. because their forte is catering, a buffet is definitely something they excel at. there was nothing left to be wanted, to be honest – and that's saying a lot.
naturally they served the compulsory brekkie foods: cold cuts, cheeses, bread, veggies plus the usual warm grub – bacon, sausages, eggs, potato fritters – associated with finer hotel breakfasts. the variety was great already. additionally there were three salads, marinated mushrooms, falafel, a selection of fresh fruit juices (pink grapefruit, my favorite!) and a huge bowl of ice cream next to the most beautiful fruit salad i've seen in a while.
the fact that everything looked great even after two hours is another point worth mentioning: the most common and annoying thing about finnish buffet service is that after the first round, things get messy and sloppy and, quite honestly, not very appetizing... well, not here. the display was immaculate throughout the time we spent enjoying ourselves.
another added bonus was the dj: ricardo played soulful pop tunes that together with the rays of the sun lifted you to another place altogether. there were several moments during the couple of hours that i noted that i – or someone else in the table – had an escapist and ecstatic smile on our face. pure little moments of perfection.
despite some people walking in and checking out the buffet were heard murmuring something about "expensive", people used to brunches in helsinki will appreciate knowing that the entire set cost 15€. i wonder if there is any way to teleport blanko to helsinki?