My first dinner in Tallinn took me to Mantel & Korsten which is outside of the old town. I wanted to try something typical Estonian but also modern. Walking there gave me the benefit of discovering the city and also made me hungry for dinner.
The restaurant might sound as if it is at the end of the world, but it is actually near the palace in the Kadriorg area. So it makes more sense to go there during the day. But I had the palace planned for the next day which was a Sunday and the restaurant is closed on that day. Hence a long walk on Saturday evening.
Mantel & Korsten is a modern place which has nonetheless the flair of a nicer cafeteria.
I started my evening with a gin tonic and had the pleasure to try an Estonian gin called Juniperium (excellent gin, bought later a bottle at the airport). The cover includes two kinds of bread, a focaccia bread with rosemary and a sourdough bread. The bread comes with caramelized butter with balsamic vinegar.
The butter was astonishingly very tasty. It doesn’t smear like butter at all but rather makes a small roll. The little wooden knife did the job very well to get it on the bread.
To start the meal I ordered a raspberry tomato tartare, with fermented tomato sauce and blue cheese cream. The tartare was exquisite. The blue cheese cream was a fine layer underneath and it was topped with the raspberry sauce. Besides the fermented tomato sauce was also some dill oil. The dish was really colorful. The whole thing tasted fresh and summery. I just had a problem spooning the sauce on top and had to use the bread later for dipping. In any case it was a light starter.
Which was great since the main course was on the heavier side. My main course was ray fish with citrusy endive, whitefish roe and whey sauce. The whey sauce was a lot more creamy than I thought. The ray fish was bathed in the whey sauce which was sprinkled again with dill oil and had a lot of whitefish roe in it. There was also a small heap of dried up cauliflower sprinkles and dusted with spinach powder. That didn’t do anything for the dish, no enhancement at all. I felt it was rather dry and it didn’t get better with the rich sauce.
Overall it was an interesting restaurant with new ideas. The main dish was disappointing though even though the endive tried its best to cut through the richness with its citrus flavor. Definitely a place to consider when you are in the area for a castle visit. Yours, Pollybert
Mantel & Korsten
Tallinn 10216, Poska 19a
Tel: +372 66 59 555