Seeing how many places there were to eat as our bus came into Lohja, we were reassured we wouldn’t go hungry. Having found a bed for the night we dashed out to catch the nearby supermarket which closes mid-afternoon on Saturdays and doesn’t open on Sundays, and picked up some bread, cheese and bananas for the next mornings breakfast.
Looking for a cheap and quick late lunch we opted for the pizza and kebab joint, "Feners" at the top end of the main street. The interior is a spacious cafe style environment, spotlessly clean and fairly busy with a mix of young couples, teenage groups and young families.
We went for the special – pizza with two toppings, side salad and a coffee for €6. You also got a jug of water on each table too. We helped ourselves to salad, there wasn’t much to choose from, mainly iceberg lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and beans but it was nice that it was included. The pizzas were tasty and while they weren’t the greatest we’d ever had the toppings were generous enough and we found this overall to be a reasonable lunch.
That evening we ate dinner at Salonika, a Finnish-Greek (yes really) restaurant which is situated in a small square behind the main street; if you find the rock bar, then head downhill a few steps, then turn right and you’ll find the restaurant. Only one other table was occupied; there were two couples sitting at it. One couple was very drunk and fighting, the others were politely trying to pretend they hadn’t noticed their friends verbally abusing each other.
The interior was nicely decorated to give the feeling of a Greek tavern – as much as you can in a modern Finnish building – with white walls and blue and white cloths, etc. Fortunately the menu was in Finnish and English and was a mix of traditional Greek dishes and some Finnish classics as well as main course salads.
My partner chose the vegetarian moussaka which was excellent –full of flavour and teeming with juicy chunks of aubergine. I tried the meaty version which was also excellent. Both portions were generous and we didn’t really need the mixed salad we ordered to share. Our visit was in 2007 at which time mains cost around €13 each.
The service was good with our waiter speaking excellent English. We enjoyed the experience but would have liked to have been there on a busier evening as it did lack atmosphere.
On Sunday we ate a late lunch again having worked up an appetite at the limestone mine. We rejected McDonalds (it was never in the running) and decided on Martina, a large establishment opposite the end of the main street. It’s a chain and there are branches all over Finland.
This place was full of families having a Sunday get together. We didn’t want to eat big and so we decided on a salad each from the buffet and a shared platter of things like onion rings, chicken wings, chilli peppers stuffed with cheese and calamari. It was more filling than we’d expected and really quite tasty. The salad bar was much better here with lots to choose from – different cheeses, sweetcorn, beetroot, carrot salad, and so on, as well as lots of dressings.
We enjoyed it but didn’t suspect we’d end up here again that evening. We’d hoped to go to the Mexican restaurant near our guesthouse but it wasn’t open on a Sunday night. The only other option was a Chinese restaurant but that didn’t appeal to either of us and we knew from earlier that Martina has a massive choice.
Martina is a good choice if your party like different things because everything is covered – pizza, pasta, steaks, salads, burgers, fish – including some freshwater ones, an excellent range of starters and soups.
I chose a Martina hamburger which came with onion rings, a heap of French fries and a little pile of pickled gherkins. As well as a hefty burger, the bun was stuffed with salad and cheese. My partner had a pizza – an Arctica which had toppings of red onion, smoked rainbow trout and crème fraiche. Pizzas come in around the €10 mark and burgers around €14. It does ound expensive, but this is Scandinavia and the portions are very generous. Don’t forget the salad is included in the price, as is coffee – unlimited.
Martina and the Chinese restaurant, are the only options in Lohja town centre on a Sunday evening but my advice would be not to leave it too late as they may close early on quiet evenings.
Salonika - Larsgatan 51
Feners - Storlojogatan 1
Martina - Storlojogatan 4