Your correspondent happened to be in Kouvola, a small city 130 km north east from Helsinki. We noted that a small restaurant, Mimosa Aito there was getting a lot of local attention – and rightly so – it is a an unusual nationally award-winning restaurant from a small city.
Pandemic restrictions on lunches had eased up, so we decided to try them out.
The first impression is one of light and pleasure – just look at the above picture! The restaurant is a large open area open with big glass windows and an attractive marble floor – a left over from a bank, the former resident of the space.
This is not some fancy place with high prices, but an exceptional restaurant where customers get real value for competitively priced delicious meals.
Tables are spaced nicely and carefully cleaned and polished by staff who were also busy topping up the lunch buffet. We came in late that day at 13.30h – Finns start lunch normally at 11.30h, and yet the buffet was attractively presented in full glory. There were plenty of customers even at this late hour on a weekday.
Salads were fresh and made with good ingredients – bright red ripe cherry tomatoes, mixed deep green salad leaves without any cheap ice lettuce, local bread, cold fresh water flavoured with mint and freshly cut lemon. Other cold starter dishes were available like spring cabbage coleslaw and another with vegetables and noodles. All were delicious and a far cry from the normal buffet style prepackaged stuff from Kesko wholesale warehouse!
The main dishes were a pork stew and a vegetarian alternative. The pork was prepared in a rich gravy made with a perhaps a dozen vegetables and was honesty really good. The vega-alternative was also a complex and tasty original concoction of delicious flavours. We tried both and were mightily pleased.
Sitting there you could not but help noticing how all the staff were on the run and very attentive to customers at the same time. One of them was outstanding and caught our eye, a rather young and obviously fit lady who was able to be in two places at once making sure that tables were spotless, plates cleared, buffet cleaned and restocked, drinks topped up, customers welcomed and bills paid. It turned out that she was the boss and sole owner of this place with her name as the name of the restaurant, Mimosa Koskipuro!
With all that energy and skill in getting this busy place so smoothly organised is a grand achievement for such a young entrepreneur. It is no wonder that they won such an important award. The restaurant is heads and shoulder above so many other restaurants in Finland.
We left at 14.30h and customers were still arriving even though the restaurant lunch was closing the lunch menu at 15.00h!