You can get some really good food in Tampere and enjoy it in some amazing scenery. Lakes, forests, the buildings and the lights of the city create a unique combination that you can admire from many different points of view, accompanied by tasty food.
The scenic restaurant on top of the Ratina shopping centre is the creation of the top Finnish chef Arto Rastas. The kitchen is ambitious, but the concept of the restaurant is far from starchy. People can easily come for a drink at the cocktail bar upstairs, where you might even find an intimate gig or a DJ night happening.
Periscope encourages meze type of savouring. Casual dining doesn’t mean mozzarella sticks though. The chef has taken influences from all over the world but the menu is still streamlined. You can find for example beetroot carpaccio, marinated endives with Roquefort ice cream, miso-glazed pork cheek and grilled salmon ceviche on the menu.
The small plates cost 10 euros, and 5-6 of these is enough for two people to share. If you’re not into sharing your meal, there are also main courses and the always safe burger options for about 20 euros. The bigger meals are enough for one.
Periscope also offers a terrace menu with some wild surprises such as roasted crickets. The lunch isn’t just some ham casserole from the tin tubs. With 13 euros you can get for instance some pumpkin risotto or bass loaf with saffron sauce, and with a couple of euros more, coffee and dessert as well.
I also like that the kids’ menu doesn’t offer chicken nuggets, but proper food with meat and vegetables. Periscope challenges, with its offerings as well, the notion of a restaurant in a shopping centre.
Periscope has space for 550 customers, 100 of them in the restaurant downstairs, 150 in the cocktail bar and a whopping 300 in the terrace. The bar upstairs offers vies over the restaurant area below as well as over the Ratina stream pool. There’s also a cabinet upstairs, with a view to the Ratina Stadium. Here, you can enjoy your drink while watching a concert or a sports competition.
The stairway leading upstairs and the light fixtures in the ceiling are quite the spectacular elements to admire from downstairs. The restaurant and terrace also offer a view to the Ratina stream pool, the heart of the Tampere landscape of the Tammerkoski rapids. When I visited Periscope for the first time, I was actually quite surprised about the views. I have seen the red brick buildings of Kehräsaari my whole life, but never before from this angle and from this high up.
Kehräsaari building still has the name Liljeroos on top of it, as a reminder of the former textile factory that used to be there. Nowadays, the building houses the movie theatre Arthouse Cinema Niagara, Pikkuputiikit design boutiques and one of the first commercial radio stations in Finland, Radio 957. The Tako cardboard mill on the other hand is still in full action. The modern and the historical Tampere meet nicely in the views from Periscope.
The best place to admire the lakes pyhäjärvi and Näsijärvi, and nearly the whole of Tampere really, is the observation tower Näsinneula at the Särkänniemi amusement park. It’s one of the classiest fine dining restaurants in Tampere, where almost all of the top Tampere region chefs and waiting staff have worked at some point.
Näsinneula combines French cuisine with Finnish ingredients. The menu always offers fish from the local lakes, reindeer and Finnish cheeses. The restaurant also varies the menu according to the season. Näsinneula takes part in the Riesling and Spätburgunder weeks presenting the German spring season’s wines, and in August there’s of course crayfish to enjoy.
In addition to the usual menus, there are also surprise menus available. The chef’s menu (66 euros) serves five courses with greetings. Even though it’s a surprise menu, any possible allergies are considered. If you’d like to enjoy the deliciousness a bit longer, OJ’s 9th Heaven tasting Menu (90 euros) offers a piece of flavour heaven. This menu is only served for the whole party.
Näsinneula’s vegetarian list, kids’ menu and the wines are also worth a mention. Here, even a vegetarian can enjoy a fine, five course dinner (62 euros). Children get a soup starter, meat or fish meal and ice cream for 20 euros. The drinks menu is not too safely played, as it offers some more “experimental” wine options as well. Even though Näsinneula is one of the finest restaurants in town, where you really don’t come to munch down a massive pepper steak, it offers more on the plate than just two drops of sauce.
Näsinneula boasts an even more peculiar speciality than being located in 124 metres high: the restaurant actually revolves. You will not have to worry about getting dizzy though, as the speed is very moderate. The restaurant revolves one whole circle during a dinner lasting some two hours. In a summer evening, the restaurant bathes in sunlight, and the winter views are majestic and sculptural.
In this fine dining restaurant, it’s also allowed to move around. While waiting for the dinner you can take a little walk around and enjoy the views. Any familiar places and possible home building have to be spotted every time.
If you still have energy after a lovely dinner, you could continue the night over a drink at the Moro Sky Bar of the Solo Sokos Hotel Torni, nearly 90 metres high. Moro is the most popular hotel bar, thanks to the views. Minors are welcome to the bar after 6pm as well, of course accompanied by an adult.
From Periscope, you get to enjoy the waterside scenery, from Näsinneula you get the best views over the lakes and nature. Moro opens up a third dimension of Tampere: the urban, a bit rugged yet intriguing side of the city. The Tampere railway station is actually quite beautiful form up high, especially in the dark when it’s lit up. Moro also offers a view over the versatile Tammela district, which is home to young families, seniors as well as vegan restaurants.
Pick your favourite scenery or enjoy them all!
Text: Janica Brander
Photos: Laura Vanzo / Visit Tampere