Tallinn, foodies’ paradise

The Estonian town offers a mix of cultures and cuisines.
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Updated on Jun 30, 2010 01:18 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByKalpana Sunder, New Delhi

After a visit back from Estonia,the most interesting thing I wished to elaborate upon was the cuisine of the place. So, I boxed the itinerary for the travellers and primarily planned to take foodies for a ride across the town.

Understanding cuisine

In a medieval building of the Town Hall pharmacy in the heart of the Tallinn town square,I visit Estonia’s first garlic restaurant,Balthasar. This restaurant uses garlic in all its dishes,even ice-cream! Next,I head to the colourful Kalev Marzipan Museum. Tallinn is supposed to be where this almond and sugar delicacy was invented.In the museum, there’s marzipan painted with food colours, and in a variety of shapes and figures — plates, animals, birds, fruits, vegetables, postcards with views of the city. Rene Uusmees is a young Estonian chef who owns the MEEK restaurant in old town. He explains that meek stands for Modern Estonian cuisine and that he draws on local produce like Estonian cheese and meat and fish and eating habits, interpreting them in a modern way. Estonian food has Scandinavian, Russian and German influences.

For the Indian pallete

There are more than ten Indian restaurants in Tallinn. One called Maharaja is smack in the centre of the Town Square.In Old Town, I head to Chakra to have a hearty Mughlai meal.I lie back on mirror-worked cushions looking brightly hued drapes at Old Town feeling totally at home.

Getting there

There are direct flights from Hamburg, Helsinki, London, and Paris among other European cities.Estonia Air and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Air France fly from Mumbai to the Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport with stopovers.

Useful information
The city of Tallinn is on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, and situated about 80 kilometres south of Helsinki.Must-visits include Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, St Mary’s Cathedral or Toomkirik, Raekoda or the Town Hall which is now the Tallinn City Museum.You might also want to visit All-Linn,one of Tallinn’s busiest shopping areas.

For information visit www.tourism.tallinn.ee

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