In a lovely cellar entered from Raekoja plats is Troika, one of Tallinn's Russian restaurants.
The setting is great, like a recreation of an Imperial Russian dining room, and the service excellent. The menu runs through Russian staples such as blinis, dumplings, stroganoff and pancakes. There is a good selection of fish and vegetarian options and, for meat lovers, plenty of choice, including bear! And as an accompaniment? What else but vodka! Though there are plenty of other alcoholic and non-alcoholic options for those who want a clearer head the next morning!
It's a lively, popular and busy place, underscored when we were there by live Russian folk music, so booking is advisable.
One word of warning though, it is not an overly expensive restaurant (we paid about £55.00, £60.00 with a tip, for both of us and there was more than we could really eat, even with trying) and indeed very good value for the quality of both the food and the whole experience, however, it is easy to rack up the price. For instance, as we sat down and before we were given the menu we were asked if we wanted to start our meal in true Russian style with vodka, pickles, honey and sour cream. Who could say no! It was a fantastic way to open the meal, and the evening, but was also one of the most expensive items on our bill and as we hadn't seen a menu at that point we weren't aware of how much it cost. Now we would probably have still gone ahead and ordered this anyway, it was fun to see the vodka being poured from a height of two or three feet into the glasses and the combination of all the tastes was great, but for anyone on a budget or watching what they spend the cost may have come as a nasty shock.
That is only a minor criticism, however, as we had such a good evening at Troika, excellent food, excellent atmosphere and great fun. And I didn't even mind the vodka hangover the next day!
Raekoja plats 15;
tel: 372 627 6245;
The translation of Mookkala is swordfish and the menu here includes not only that fish but many of its sea-going compatriots.
The décor in the restaurant is lovely: blue walls, unusual but striking pictures, eclectic table settings, padded chairs and sofas. It creates a comfortable, interesting and relaxing atmosphere. Service too, is very good, friendly yet understated and happy to offer advice about the dishes on the menu.
As for the food, well, it was excellent. There is a choice of hot and cold starters plus soup and salads encompassing such things as oysters, crab legs, salmon and lamprey. For a main course as well as the signature dish of swordfish you can sample pike-perch, eel, salmon and sardines. The dessert menu is small, however, you may find that after a fish feast - portions are generous – that you may not have room for much else! There is also a good selection of wines, spirits, beers and other drinks.
There are so many fine restaurants in Tallinn and Mookkala is up there with the best of them. Delicious food and at approximately £40.00 for two courses each, one dessert, drinks, coffee and tip it’s not bad value either.
tel: 372 644 8930
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