We love Finland. We love Japan. We live here, and we go to Kamome to enjoy a little bit of both.
The mix of Finnish-Japanese culture at Kamome fits perfectly into the exciting and modern design district of Punavuori in Helsinki. The decor of the dining room is simple Nordic and is created by using high-quality materials that give attention to the tastes and requirements of both cultures.
Our connection to the two countries is very simple. The Japanese owner, Mr. Hideki Ogawa, has been living in Finland for more than 20 years. When he took over this small restaurant in 2015, he wanted to connect both cultures.
Our team also participates in these two cultures. Some of our waiters and waitresses are Finnish students of Japanese culture and language, or are at least Japan-savvy, and some of them are Japanese. What they all share is that they are good, cordial hosts and are open to both cultures.
Our chefs are mainly Finnish. So they know the local products and the seasons very well. They love traditional Finnish dishes as well as Japanese cuisine, with its fine aromatic taste. The highly-trained kitchen team brings together expertise in both: the Nordic-Finnish courses and the Japanese way of cooking.
Another unique part of our story is the connection to the wonderful movie "Kamome Shokudo” or “Ruokala Lokki,” which was filmed at this location in 2006. And to this movie we dedicate our name.
The story is about the endearing Sachiko (played by the lovely Satomi Kobayashi), who attempted with much trouble to lure guests to her small restaurant in Helsinki with handmade, tasty Japanese "soul food." With love, perseverance and the help of Finnish and Japanese friends, she finally succeeded in creating a place which we see as a model of zest, hospitality, courage and humanity.
We all try to foster these values, too.
The friendship between Kamome’s Japanese owner and its passionate German chef, who has much experience in European and Japanese cuisine, creates the exciting mixture of local, traditional, seasonal food and Japanese delicacies.
The two designed, for example, a wooden box named “Oishii Finland.” Inside the box and on Danish ceramics, we serve nine, small and tasty Finnish dishes for the “Taste of Finland” – especially crafted for our guests from far away countries.
Our beautiful and comfortable aprons are created by Mai Ohta, a Helsinki-based designer who works for Marimekko and various Japanese brands. The name of the print is "Lokin suosikki" (Seagull's Favorite). It's inspired by the shiny appearance of the Finnish sea during summer.
We are immensely grateful to all who have worked with us on this project and are looking forward to entertaining, culinarily-fulfilling and successful years to come!