I mentioned in my earlier post about spending Midsummer in Finland, and the challenges that posed to finding a bite to eat – when most of the city seemed to be empty! On Midsummer day, we decided (after spending some time along the river and walking to and from Turku Castle) to enjoy the hotel’s buffet for dinner.
As I mentioned before, the buffet breakfast was pretty extensive at the Centro hotel in Turku, with lots of selection in a wide range of areas including cereals, breads, meats, fruits, vegetables and food that I wouldn’t consider typical breakfast foods. We weren’t sure what to expect for dinner, but anticipated a similar selection.
We started off with a drink from the small menu. The hotel front desk doubled as a bar, and they also had a few snacks offered there too.
While my companion stuck with a familiar Heineken, I figured I’d try something different and chose between Karhu III and Lapin Kulta III, both Finnish Lagers. Karhu translates to “Bear” and Lapin Kulta translates to “Gold of Lapland, and the bartender/desk clerk recommended the pale lager Karhu III, which I enjoyed. I am not much of a beer drinker, but after the warm day in the sunshine, it was great!
The selection for the buffet dinner was significantly smaller than the breakfast buffet, but still there were many things to choose from to create our own dinner.
While my companion went for crackers, a bun, some sliced meat, and lots of chicken, I filled my plate with olives, pickles, picked beets, sun-dried tomatoes, deviled eggs, sliced cheese, salami, some pasta salad, a bun, some chicken, and some strange tangy mushrooms. These were marinated Nameko mushrooms, which are very popular in Japan, and sold in the US as butterscotch mushrooms. They’re sold marinated in jars; I noticed most of the foods in the buffet were canned or packaged goods – which is probably more practical than trying to run a full kitchen with limited staff and space.
It looked like we were alone in looking for alternatives for dinner, as for the most part the dining room was empty. A few other people came for a drink, coffee, or dinner, but the dining room wasn’t anywhere as busy as it was during breakfast!
I took the opportunity of a quiet space to take some interior photos!
There was also one strange item on the dinner buffet. They offered nice danishes for dessert, but beside the danishes were these strange, sugar-topped buns. They seemed just like dinner rolls that had been halved, toasted, and then sprinkled in sugar. I tried to find out what they were, with no luck… but I’m pretty sure I saw them in bags in the grocery store. I found mine hard and dry – it struck me like biscotti more than a bun or cookie.
Do you know what these are? Let us know in the comments below!
Want to see more of my recent trip to Turku? Follow the Turku Tag for all the posts so far! (There might even be a few more to come!) If you’re coming to Happy Sushi Belly long after I’ve published these posts, you will also be able to see all of my posts about Finland by following the Finland Tag (though right now when I publish this, it’s going to be all about Turku for the most part!)
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