From a small industrial district, the Ruoholahti area in Helsinki has been transformed in the last two decades into a centre of culture and business, connecting Helsinki and Espoo. Ruoholahti, which means Grass Bay in English, is the perfect example of urban regeneration. Improvements on infrastructure, building residential areas, and investments in attracting high-tech companies have made Ruoholahti a vivid centre where people live and work. To cater to the needs of the thousands of people working daily in the area, Theron Catering renewed its Ankkuri restaurant on Itämerenkatu 23.

I visited Ankkuri for lunch last week and I had the chance to speak with Sami Engström. Sami has been working at Theron Catering for 7 years. He started as a head chef and now he works as the district manager responsible for managing the purchases for the whole company. Sami’s connection to Ankkuri is that he is Ankkuri staff’s closest boss.

“Ankkuri was opened just before May Day 2013. The idea was to serve basic lunch with a good salad table on the side,” says Sami. This year Ankkuri renewed its lunch concept and restaurant interior. “The new concept was introduced by Tero Blom, our CEO. The biggest changes have been made to the food and how it is presented. The new concept is to serve quality food with a good salad selection. Paintings were also placed on the walls to soften the space and create a warmer atmosphere,” says Sami.

We arrived with my photographer a bit before 11:00 and there were already customers in line getting their lunch.

“Our customers are coming mainly from businesses around Ruoholahti and from the same building we are located in. Many have woken up at 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning to come to work so by 11:00 already they need to get their energy levels up! The need to get a warm meal on their lunch break. Also, speed of service is important because our  customers have just half an hour to eat lunch,” explains Sami.

The strongest points with Ankkuri is that it is cosy and not too big, so it won’t be too noisy during lunch time.  If you want to enjoy a peaceful meal before continuing with your hectic work day -like I normally do- keep it in mind! While we were there, even though there were plenty of people having lunch, there was a calm ambience and not a stressful, hectic buzz.

The day we visited Ankkuri, I took a large plate of salad and parsnip soup and my photographer had the shrimp pasta.

Ankkuri collage

“The clients can choose from breakfast, lunch and normal cafeteria products as well as smoothies. Ankkuri has also nice cabinets you can use if you have a business meeting. For such meetings, you can order savoury or sweet products and beverages. I hope the customers will give the new concept a chance and come and have lunch to experience it themselves,” adds Sami.

If you work nearby Ruoholahti, take your lunch break at Ankkuri! Check out this week’s (Week 43) menu below:

Monday:

WILD MUSHROOM SAUCE AND PENNE PASTA / L

-Parmesan cheese / L.G
9,20€

*SWEET POTATO SOUP AND PUMPKIN SEEDS / L.G

 6,80€

Tuesday:

CHICKEN FILLETS WITH BLUE CHEESE SAUCE / L.G

-Rice / L.G

9,20€
*FINNISH-STYLE SAUSAGE SOUP / L.G

6,80€

**Oven baked bananas, caramel sauce and salted peanuts. Whipped cream   / VL.G

Wednesday:

ROASTED SALMON WITH SOUR CREAM SAUCE  / L.G

9,20€

*FRENCH ONION SOUP / L.G

6,80€

Thursday:

TENDER PORK BELLY WITH CHIPOTLE MAYONNAISE / L

-Roasted potatoes / L.G
9,20€

*SMOKED REINDEER SOUP / VL.G

6,80€

 **Blueberry pie / VL

Friday:

TACO BUFFET / L.G

9,20€

*PUMPKIN SOUP / L.G

 6,80€

Ankkuri restaurant, Itämerenkatu 23, Helsinki: Lunch is served on weekdays from 11:00-14:00 and the café is open on weekdays from 8:00-14:00.

Suomenkielinen tiivistelmä:

Nauti lounasta Ankkurin uudistetussa lounasravintolassa!

Ruoholahti on kehittynyt viimeisen parin vuosikymmenen aikana teollisuusalueesta vilkkaaksi asutus- ja yrityskeskukseksi. Koska vilkkaalla alueella on paljon lounasruokailijoita, Theron Catering on lähtenyt uudistaman Ruoholahden Ankkurin (Itämerenkatu 23) lounastarjontaa perinteisestä lounasbuffetista. Haastattelin hankintapäällikkö Sami Engströmiä uudistuksen tiimoilta, ja kävin kokeilemassa uudistunutta lounasta. Kahvilanomaisessa ympäristössä on rauhallista, ja tarjolla on lounaan lisäksi myös aamiaista ja smoothieita, joten kannattaa käydä tutustumassa valikoimaan paikan päällä.