Last week I wrote about my visit to Tallinn and I told you that one of the highlights was dining at a medieval inspired restaurant. Well, you are about to hear about this place in even greater detail because that’s just how much I liked it.
Have I mentioned that I ate there twice and I was only in the city for half a day?
The place that I cannot stop raving about is called Olde Hansa and it is located in the centre of the Tallinn’s historic town centre. The restaurant transports you back in time from the minute you set eyes on it, and while some might say it looks very touristy, I simply couldn’t resist it.
Because it was such a beautiful summer day out, we opted for a table outdoors, but let’s get to the good stuff already – the food.
If you come to Olde Hansa, I recommend you try the Monk’s Bride, which is the house schnapps. The drink is very sweet, almost like a syrup, and it will warm you up with the first sip. Tale has it that this drink was invented by the monks who needed something to keep them warm during the long winters, and since they had neither wives (nor blankets?), this sweet alcoholic beverage was born.
A few other beverages that I thought sounded equally as delicious include: light cinnamon beer, Hansa claret (spiced wine), and healing drops with pepper. With some of the drinks (like the last one) it’s kind of hard to decipher exactly what it is you are getting, but how can you resist trying something with ‘healing drops’ in its name.
I stuck to Neptune’s Feast the two times I ate at this restaurant. The dish consisted of Adalusian fish, smoke-grilled salmon, herring, anchovies, salmon eggs, quail eggs, fresh cheese, pickles, herb bread with nuts, and rye bread with chunks of smoked ham.
It was the perfect way to sample a few different kinds of fish, and the bread was fresh out of the oven which made the meal even better.
There were also plenty of adventurous items on the menu such as roasted bear, wild boar, and elk meat…but I’m glad I stuck with the fish.
For dessert I ordered the ‘Rose pudding savoury; velvet delight of the nobility’. (Fancy!) The vanilla pudding was sweet, creamy, and light – I dare say it felt like I was eating a cloud. The plate was topped off with brown sugar and red rose petals, and it was the perfect way to finish off such a great meal.
What I liked about Olde Hansa:
– Affordable prices. The meal I had came to € 18, which I felt was a very fair deal considering the uniqueness of this restaurant, the amount of food we got, and the fact that this place is located in the heart of Tallinn’s Old Town.
– Excellent service! The servers at this restaurant were extremely kind and thoughtful and they took the time to explain everything we were eating, and to share the story behind what we were drinking (ie. the Monk’s Bride.)
– Performances for guests and passers-by. Another thing I enjoyed about dining at Olde Hansa is that they put on musical performances (using medieval musical instruments!) not just for guests dining at their establishment but also for those wandering around the city.
– Attention to detail. This restaurant does its very best to ensure that the medieval charm can be felt all around – the costumes (pointed slippers included), the lengthy meal descriptions written in medieval font, the simple yet sturdy furnishings, the dim lighting, and even the way they have decorated the bathrooms!
Have you come across a unique restaurant? Tell me about it. ?