Restaurant review: Noa – Tallinn, Estonia

22 04 2017


NOA is a seaside restaurant on the border of Tallinn and Viimsi, Estonia, seating 80 people. The NOA dining room has been built on three different levels allowing guests to see the view of the Old Town silhouette across the bay. When putting together the menu, restaurant has not committed to any specific ingredients, countries or locations, but rather focused on creating an equal experience to all vege, seafood and meat eaters.

For aperitives decided to order NV Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne AOC, France and Gin tonic made from worlds best gin, Napue, Finland. With sea view, perfect drinks to start the dinner.


Before starters restaurant offers fresh bread and spreading, which both tasted excellent. Big box instead of plate, at least kept the pieces of bread warm.

For starters ordered Crispy seafood and chips with cuttlefish sauce, coriander, lime and potatoes and Grill “Caesar” with romaine lettuce, asparagus (& cheese).

Seafood included pieces of mussel, octopus and some white meated fish, which I can not remember any more. Anyhow all pieces (finger food) were perfectly prepared. Chips were one of the best ever tasted; there was some spice on them, which made them scrumptious. And sauce paired well both with crispy fish and potatoes.

It was not your ordinary Caesar salad.  Warm, but fresh served with seasonal veggie, in this case asparagus.  A simple, but tasty starter.

For main courses had Octopus pasta Homemade pasta, wine and butter sauce, tomato garlic, pepper, grispy panko and Eggplant “burnt end” (Goat’s cheese curd), crispy vegetables, smoked tomato

Pasta was cooked as it should be, al dente, and it was still hot. That is difficult combination! Octopus was crispy and fresh, very tasty on top of all. Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb, but as the amount was small, it just completed the dish.

The eggplant dish was served with cranberry sauce which gave the dish a bit of a sour taste.  The crispy vegetables made for a nice addition.

For wine ordered 2011 Chateauneuf-du-Pape AOC, Chateau Mont Redon, Rhone, France. Full-bodied and round. It paired perfectly with the dishes eaten.

Restaurant Noa (a la carte) serves excellent food, dining room is cozy and athmosphere relaxed. One could also choose 11 course menu on separate dining room with white table clothes.

Service was professional and polite. Kitchen had just changed menu, which meant that had to wait for main courses quite a long time. Due to delay, restaurant offered Limoncello’s for digestive for free. Must say that they were better than ever had, even better than in Italy! But delay had a small impact on service rating.

For Finnish readers; if you want to taste Noa kitchen, you can find them at Taste of Helsinki in June. Must check their goodies again.

REVIEW: FOOD 4,5/5 – SERVICE – 4+/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5

http://www.noaresto.ee/en

 





Hotel review: Swissotel Tallinn, Estonia

7 09 2014

 

Room with a view at Swissotel Tallinn - reijosfood.com

Five-star hotel Swissotel Tallinn is the highest building in the city, boasting impressive views of the old town and the Baltic Sea. 238 rooms and the facilities of this hotel should leave nothing to be desired and it did not indeed.

Check-in and check-out are quick, one of the most comfortables we have experienced.

ROOMS

We always ask for room in upper floors and our 2nd visit was rewarded with room from 29th floor with quite nice view to Tallinn harbour. Hotel also brought to our surprise a bottle of Laurent-Perrier champagne. What would be a better way to feel welcome.

We stayed at Swiss Executive room, which would had provided access to the Swiss Executive Lounge, which offers a range of special features like complimentary beverages, snacks & newspapers, as well as complimentary meeting space.  Unfortunately did not have time to enjoy the facility at all.

Room is spacious and elegantly decorated. And bathroom well equipped with shower and bathtub.

Laurent-Perrier at Swissotel Tallinn - reijosfood.com

Swissotel Tallinn room - reijosfood.com

Swissotel bathroom

PUBLIC SPACES

Public spaces are actually so exclusive that you could spend all the time at the hotel.

On the 11th floor there is heated indoor pool with Finnish sauna and a state-of-the-art fitness club. Purovel Spa and Sport is the perfect retreat after a long day out, offering a wide selection of treatments, from hydrotherapy to hot stone massages.

Unisex sauna was least attractive because it was quite simple; steam sauna’s suit better to spa’s. Maybe it has been there ealier as it was mentioned on hotel website. But would would be better to bathe in heated pool?

Purovel Spa

Tallinn’s “highest” culinary landmark is at the top of Swissôtel Tallinn, with views far out over the Baltic Sea and the medieval old town. Restoran Horisont and bar offer fine dining and drinks at 30th floor. Restaurant is ranked in 1st place on list of Tallinn best restaurants. Unfortunately we were not able to eat at the restaurant this time either because it was under renovation. Maybe 3rd time we are lucky.

Horisont bar

Cafe Swiss is at the 8th floor serving breakfast buffet (can recommend, lacked only sweet pastries), lunch and dinner. Service at breakfast was polite and professional. You could order extra goodies from waitresses which kitchen would prepare right away.

Cafe Swiss

Lobby includes reception, bar and coffee shop. Same waiters operated both places, service again thoughtful. Easy also just to drop, by if you want to take a peek.

LobbySwissotel lobby bar

Swissotel Tallinn is excellent place to spend long weekend. For 5 star hotel it is also quite affordable. Service is excellent and athmosphere relaxed.

Department store Stockmann is only 150 meters away from the hotel and walk to old town takes about 15 minutes.

REVIEW: ROOM 5-/5 – PUBLIC SPACES 5-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 5/5

Tallinn Hotel – Luxury Hotel Tallinn – Swissotel Tallinn

 





Restaurant review: La Bottega (Tallinn, Estonia)

16 07 2014

Trattoria La Bottega offers a cross-section of the Italian cuisine, with a special emphasis on Italian food and wines consistency. Sardinian origin chef Nicolo Tanda favorites, fish and seafood are represented in restaurants menu.

La Bottega is part of Sparkling Group which owns several fine dining restaurants in Tallinn.

In Italian restaurant you must start the dinner with aperitivo. As Aperol Spritz was not available, we enjoyed Campari Soda’s.

Campari Soda's at La Bottega - reijosfood.com

For starters we ordered Antipasti and Prawn tails in spicy fresh tomato sauce and grilled focaccia.

Antipasti plate was generous including salami, Parma ham, eggplant, bruschetta,…..one of the biggest antipasti portions seen for a while. Tomato sauce with prawn tails was really scrumptious. It could have been used as pasta sauce, on top of a pizza or even to be eaten as such. Best flavor kitchen servedduring our visit.

Antipasti at La Bottega - reijosfood.comPrawn tails at La Bottega - reijosfood.com

Primi Piatti, or actually pasta, Spaghetti with garlic oil and chilli and Tomato salad with mozzarella buffalo cheese.

Had to order pasta in order to try how kitchen manages. And it managed well; spaghetti was al dente and garlic and chilli tasted nicely. As restaurant does not serve gluten-free pasta ordered caprese salad (tomato and mozzarella) for another Primi Piatti. Genuine Italian mozzarella di bufala beats cheeses made of cow milk.

Spaghetti at La Bottega - reijosfood.comMozzarella and tomato at La Bottega - reijosfood.com

Main courses this time were Herb marinated quail with oven baked eggplant and Braised rabbit in white wine and olive sauce, potato-spinach puree.

As La Bottega had quite challenging and rare meats on it’s a la carte list, had to try couple of them.

Two small quial legs made us mention to waitress that portion should be starter. The answer was separate side dishes are because of that. You have to choose them with certain portions. We had ordered two side dishes; Baked aubergine with garlic and parsley and Rucola and tomato salad. Unfortunately quail legs were also a little bit dry and should have been starters, with or without side dish.

Rabbit included side dish but rucola salad paired nicely with it. Meat was overdone, otherwise it tasted like rabbit should be.

Quail at La Bottega - reijosfood.comRabbit at La Bottega - reijosfood.comSide dishes at La Bottega - reijosfood.com

Wine list consists only of Italian wines. We chose Gavi di Gavi Fossili which paired well with all dishes. The dinner was finalized with Italian digestives, Grappa and Limoncello, of course. Taste of lemon was quite thin in Limencello and the color was not so deep yellow as it should be.

Espresso and grappa at La Bottega - reijosfood.comGreen tee and Limocello at La Bottega - reijosfood.com

Dining rooms are cozy and first one behind entrance is really high in old historic building. We arrived so early that dinner time had not yet started.

La Bottega dining room - reijosfood.com

If weather allows you can also have lunch at the terrace; why not even dinner if evening is warm. Terrace is also perfect place to observe by-passers and other terraces close to La Bottega‘s one.

La Bottega terrace - reijosfood.com

La Bottega is good Italian restaurant with ambitious menu. No pizza’s which of course prune customer base. But you get a chance to eat in more peaceful athmosphere than in many pizzeria/trattoria type of restaurants in Old Town. When it comes to food, would classify La Bottega as ristorante but based on decor more trattoria type.

REVIEW: FOOD 4-/5 – SERVICE 4/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4+/5

http://labottega.ee/





Restaurant review: Chedi (Tallinn, Estonia)

13 07 2014

Chedi starters - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Chedi is a contemporary treatment of Asian food culture. Contrasts, combination of tastes and mixture different raw materials are where the contemporary Asian cuisine is heading at. Chedi location is in Old Town, which is one of food culture areas in Tallinn.

Next to Chedi is another Sparkling Group restaurant Bocca (review 02.02.2013, use search at reijosfood)

Chedi - reijosfood.com

For several years Chedi has been chosen in TOP 5 of best restaurants of Estonia. The reason we decided to visit there and of course our penchant for Asian cuisine.

Started the dinner with Small eat’s Dim sum platter with mushrooms and vegetable, Fried soft shell crab with red chilli and curry leaves and Jasmine tea smoked pork ribs.

Dim sums were great, especially the red ones. Soft shell crabs were also delicious but maybe the taste of crabs disappeared under frying. Pork ribs were one of the best ever eaten. But this is maybe because never before have tasted Jasmine tee smoked ribs.

Dim Sum at Chedi - reijosfood.comSof shell crabs at Chedi - reijosfood.comPork ribs at Chedi - reijosfood.com

For main courses we chose Grilled salmon in Chef ’s special sauce and Spicy prawns with water chestnut, chilli and almonds. For side dish restaurant served rice in wooden bowl. Would have ordered Thai style pike-perch but restaurant had not got any pike-perch fish.

Waitress asked if the salmon shoud be medium or well-done. This was a proof that kitchen knew what to do with salmon. Ordered medium, got it and enjoyed.

Spicy prawns were not enough spicy although there was lot’s of curry. Luckily we had asked extra spices which we used with every portion. However, prawns were excellent.

Salmon at Chedi - reijosfood.comPrawns at Chedi - reijosfood.comRice at Chedi - reijosfood.com

For desserts we just had green tea and coffee due to the fact that our stomachs were almost filled with three hors d’oeuvres.

Chedi dining room - reijosfood.com

Chedi is a restaurant worth to visit in Tallinn, if you like Asian food. Decor is stylistic with buddhist features. You have to be ready to eat with sticks and spoon which are used instead of fork and knife. Of even with fingers, if it is easier. You do not have to worry about smearing your fingers because you can wash them afterwards and dry them thoroughly with hand cloth.

Chedi table - reijosfood.com

REVIEW: FOOD 4,5/5 – SERVICE 4+/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5

http://chedi.ee/en/

 

 





Hotel review: swissotel Tallinn (Estonia)

6 02 2013

First hotel review at reijosfood.com. First widened restaurant reviews to wine reviews and now it is time to share hotel experiences. Maybe someday helps you to select suitable hotel.

Five-star Swissotel Tallinn is the highest building in the city, boasting impressive views of the old town and the Baltic Sea. 238 rooms and the facilities of this hotel should leave nothing to be desired; and it did not. Only problem in the room was that could not get any water to bath tube. 22nd floor also opened quite nice view to Tallinn, however whould have prefered other direction. You can see in the picture Radisson Blu hotel Tallinn which we used to visit.  Level of rooms and service lowered after SAS sold it’s hotel business.

SwissotelSwissotel bathroom

On the 11th floor there is heated indoor pool with Finnish sauna and a state-of-the-art fitness club. Purovel Spa and Sport is the perfect retreat after a long day out, offering a wide selection of treatments, from hydrotherapy to hot stone massages.

Unisex sauna was least attractive because it was quite simple; steam sauna’s suit better to spa’s. Maybe it has been there ealier as it was mentioned on hotel website.

Purovel Spa

Tallinn’s “highest” culinary landmark is at the top of Swissôtel Tallinn, with views far out over the Baltic Sea and the medieval old town. Restoran Horisont and bar offer fine dining and drinks at 30th floor and restaurant is ranked in 13th place on list of Tallinn best restaurants.

Plan was to eat at the restaurant but it was reserved for wedding party. However, tasty drinks prepared for dinner at Bocca.
And view from the 3oth floor is amazing, recommend to visit bar although you would not spend night at the hotel.

Horisont barDrinks

Cafe Swiss is at the 8th floor serving breakfast buffet (can recommend, lacked only sweet pastries), lunch and dinner. Service at breakfast was polite and thoughtful.

Cafe Swiss

Lobby includes reception, bar and coffee shop. Same waiters operated both places, service again thoughtful. At coffee shop had muffins and coffee/tea. Unfortunately muffins were old because they were dry.

LobbySwissotel lobby bar

Swissotel Tallinn is excellent place to spend long weekend. For 5 star hotel it is also quite affordable. Stockmann is 150 meters from the hotel and walk to old town takes about 15 minutes.

http://www.swissotel.com/hotels/tallinn/





Restaurant review: MEKK (Estonia)

3 02 2013

restoran MEKKMEKK

MEKK, quite new restaurant offering modern Estonian dishes, is located on Suur-Karja street in the Old Town of Tallinn.  Emporio Armani and Burberry shops are just around the corner. Restaurant includes dining room, bar and two private rooms; City Wall Chamber and Mekk Ateljee. Restoran MEKK is ranked 12th on list of best restaurants in Tallinn.

Reserved table via TableOnline.fi and it worked well.

Decided to try for starters MEKK´s assortment of lightly salted roasted salmon, marinated herring, spiced sprats and egg salad, potato cake and Lightly salted white fish with fried goose liver, cauliflower cream, tomato and chives sauce.
Unfortunately assortment included overdose of onion. Stew in a small jar was onion with sour cream and it would have been enough but there was onion on top of each fish piece. White fish was OK but lightly salted meant no salt at all. In Finland lighlty salted fish usually as clear taste of salt.

Fish assortmentWhite fish

For main courses ordered MEKK’s fish with apple vinegar caramelized beetroot, duck fat flavored potatoes and sparkling wine sauce and Braised veal shank with sugar peas and lentils.
Fish was pike perch which is usually really tasty, now it lacked salt. Had asked to replace sparkling wine sauce with something else because it included milk products. Therefore sauce in the picture is red. Veal shank lacked also salt, sugar peas were fresh side dish.

Pike perchVeal shank

For dessert ordered portion of Assortment of MEKK´s cheeses.
It is a good way to become familiar with local food. Cheeses were palatable, propably best part of dinner.

MEKK's cheeses

Restoran MEKK is promising newcomer in Tallinn restaurant life. Portions are prepared well and dining room is decorated with taste. This time lack of salt and spices lowered grade of food. Maybe they are not used so much in original Estonian food?

REVIEW: FOOD 3+/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4-/5

http://www.mekk.ee/





Restaurant review: Bocca (Estonia)

2 02 2013

BoccaBoccaBoccaimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

Have visited at restoran Bocca several years ago when it was one of the first “gourmet” restaurants in Tallinn. Restaurant Magazine UK placed already in year 2003 Bocca as number 15 amongst the 50 of the worlds most prestigious and respected restaurants. Restaurant focuses on Italian kitchen serving traditional foods in its own way. 2012 restoran Bocca was ranked 8th best restaurant in Tallinn.

Restaurant is located in Old Town. It has dining room, bar and private room. Restrooms were interesting experience already first time. Which part of restrooms to choose, small picture with signs?

At 0645PM restaurant was empty, we were the first customers. At 0800 it was almost full, biggest group were Norwegians. If you like music song by Michael Buble, Canadian singer, you are at the right place!

For starters enjoyed Grilled giant prawns tals with melon, rocket-pesto sauce and green salad and Scallop and king prawn with asparagus in delicate white wine and ginger sauce. 

Both dishes were excellent. Best part of scallops and king prawns was the sauce, really delicious. Had to use bread in order to eat all of it from the plate.

Main courses were difficult to choose because of many delicious choices, but decided to order Grilled royal seabream seasoned with red chilli in mushroom sauce and Oven roasted wild dove, potatoes topped with Gorgonzola and vegetables in a black truffle sauce.

Seabream was grilled as such which is always best way to prepare fish. Would have prefered side dish to be included, now portion was quite “lonely” as we asked to replace mushroom sauce with something else. Wild dove was great, small legs were a little bit chewy, though.

For dessert had always so tasty Italian “cake” Tiramisu and Saffron flavoured pear stewed in white wine with Drambuie liqueur sauce. 

Tiramisu was not cake as it usually is but it really was tasty. Waiter first brought only spoon which made wonder what kind of dessert is coming? Served in Martini glass and experience was perfect. Whole pear tasted also scrumptious.

Dinner ended with green tea, biggest portion ever seen, must have been 1 litre and espresso and grappa. Ready to pay and leave.

Food was delicious but service was maybe not at the same level prices would let you expect. But best Italian restaurant in Tallinn does not let you down. Photo galleries on the walls are also worth to look closer, click picture and zoom.

REVIEW: FOOD 4+/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE  4/5

http://www.bocca.ee/?action=page.main








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