Ora resides in Helsinki, on Huvilakatu 28, in the same space as the former Michelin-starred restaurant Chef & Sommelier, which was also owned by Sasu Laukkonen. Chef & Sommelier opened in August 2010 and had a 7-year run before Laukkonen decided it was time for a change. When asked why he chose to close Chef & Sommelier, Laukkonen said:
“Most of all, I think that there’s a time and place for everything, so almost seven years of Chef & Sommelier was enough. An amazing run, really. A restaurant in Helsinki full every night for that long, that’s quite rare. So humble and happy I am. But now – same space, new restaurant, new name, new vibe and better focus on modern local cuisine.”
Ora may be a small restaurant, but their dreams are big. When the place was known as Chef & Sommelier, they gained a Michelin star after just four years of opening. Ora gained a Michelin star after only six months of opening as the restaurant became an immediate success in Helsinki and internationally. The team managed to defend their star in 2019.
Sasu Laukkonen is known worldwide as a zero-waste chef, and he is a veteran in the culinary field. He has had internships at Château Carsin (Bordeaux), Lux and F12 in Stockholm, his restaurant Chef & Sommelier and now Michelin-starred Ora. Laukkonen is a passionate chef who embraces every opportunity to evolve his cooking and create the absolute best for his guests.
Local ingredients with a modern interpretation
Ora offers a ten-course set menu, and it changes according to Finnish seasons. The kitchen uses modern techniques to enhance the classic Finnish flavours. They always use local ingredients, and since Laukkonen is a zero-waste chef, they ensure to use everything, which means using lesser-known cuts such as tongue or belly.
Ora is the place to visit when roaming Helsinki. The fine-dining restaurant is very popular, and reservations are a must if you wish to visit Laukkonen and his team. Restaurant Ora opened in August 2017 and has had immense success right off the bat.
Ora is open for dinner Wednesdays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 4 p.m.