Resto Hafen

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Resto Hafen is a charming harbor restaurant located by the Kuressaare yacht harbor. The restaurant has two floors and a summer deck with stunning views of the sea and the Kuressaare castle. The restaurant’s interior is bright and inviting. The white wood wall paneling gives the restaurant warmth and coziness. 

The restaurant was located next to the hotel I was staying at, so I decided to head over there for lunch. The menu offered was limited but had an interesting mix of local, Mediterranean, and Asian inspired dishes.  I ordered soup and pork ribs. 

Seasonal puree soup (leek, cauliflower and potato puree soup with Saaremaa chives and vegetable crisps) €6

I love the bright colors of the soup. Unfortunately, the taste left much to be desired. It tasted pungent and raw, like a detox vegetable soup. I felt nauseous halfway through the soup.

 

Pork ribs with roasted potatoes, colorful coleslaw, salted cucumber and homemade BBQ sauce €12

The pork ribs were dry, and the flavors were flat and dull. The only food on the plate that was enjoyable was the coleslaw. 

I was disappointed that the food did not match up with the beautiful environment. 

 

Restaurant Hafen

Websitehttps://www.hafen.ee

Opening hours: 

Monday: closed
Tuesday to Thursday: 12:00 – 21:00
Friday and Saturday: 12:00 – 23:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 20.00

Telephone: +372 59 104 045

Address: Tori 4, Kuressaare Sadam, 93810, Kuressaare 

Doughnuts for all at Holy Donut

Holy donut is one of the best places to get doughnuts in Lithuania. They have one in Vilnius and two in Kaunas.

Holy donut also offers a breakfast menu and are also known for their over-the-top milkshakes (freakshakes). Vegan options are available, such as vegan donuts and bagels.

 

Holy donut

Websitehttp://www.holydonut.lt

Address: Vokiečių 9, Vilnius

 

Address: Vilniaus gatvė 37, Kaunas 44289, Lithuania

 

Address: Vytauto pr. 24, Kaunas

Manami

Manami is a restaurant serving Asian fusion cuisine of Japanese, Indian, and Thai with four locations in Vilnius. I visited the one in the Old Town.

The restaurant has an interesting decor for an Asian restaurant. There is a jungle theme feel with a mix of modern and avant-garde. The green plants and citrine colored chairs and throw pillows really pop against the dark accent wall. Next to the entrance are throne-like rattan chairs.

The restaurant offers an extensive menu of ramens, curries, soups, wok dishes, stir-fries, donburi, and etc. The prices are quite reasonable.

I ordered a drink, soup, and fried rice. For the drink, I got the Yamato which is fresh watermelon, mint leaves, lemon, and strawberries (€ 3.20). For the soup, I went for the soup of the day, which is a vegetable mushroom soup (€1.20). Lastly, I got the Kimuchi Chahan which is spicy rice with chicken thighs, carrots, button mushrooms, Chinese cabbage, eggs, garlic, soybean sprouts, chili pepper, soy sauce, and fresh coriander.

The drink was refreshing and creamy with a good balance of sweetness and acidity.

The soup had a lovely creamy broth. The flavor of the mushrooms did not overpower the overall taste of the soup. The fried shallots gave the soup an extra punch.

The fried rice was well seasoned with a bit of heat. It had all the elements of tasty a fried rice – the right amount of oil, perfect seasoning, and a simple medley of ingredients.

The service was standard, but because I enjoyed the food so much I decided to give a little tip.

 

Manami

Website: https://www.manami.lt/

Opening hours:

Monday                      10:00 – 23:00

Tuesday to Thursday  10:00 – 00:00

Friday & Saturday       10:00 – 02:00

Sunday                       10:00 – 23:00

Telephone: +37069467131

Address: Vilniaus g. 10, Vilnius 01402, Lithuania

Kinų bambukas – authentic Chinese cuisine

Kinų bambukas is a Chinese restaurant across the street from Lietuvininkai Square. The owner and chef are Chinese. When you enter the restaurant, you can tell straight away that it is a Chinese restaurant, with red wallpaper and Chinese lanterns. I had taken pictures of the restaurant but may have accidentally deleted it. The image below is taken from the restaurant’s website.

There are both indoor and outdoor seating available. I opted to sit inside. The inside of the restaurant was not ventilated well. It was a little stuffy, and it smelled of oil.  The waitress who served me was a local. She was friendly and always had a smile on her face.

http://kinubambukas.lt/kontaktai/h.-manto-43.html
http://kinubambukas.lt/kontaktai/h.-manto-43.html

 

I got the Chinese homemade salad  (€ 7), rice with eggs (€ 1.30), and crispy chicken with sweet and sour spicy sauce (half portion for € 7.50). The portions are big! I was only able to finish half of each dish.

I was blown away by the flavors. I was not expecting the dishes to taste as authentic as they did. I am currently working in Beijing, China, and have been here for more than 10 years. Believe me when I say this is really good Chinese food, almost like how it is made in China.

The Chinese homemade salad consists of carrots, cucumber, Chinese cabbage, soy sprouts, vermicelli noodles, black fungus, seaweed. The salad had a well-balanced flavor of sweetness, saltiness, and acidity. I love the crunch of the different vegetables.

The crispy chicken was divine! The chicken was tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. The sauce was not spicy at all, but nonetheless, went really well with the crispy chicken.

I highly recommend this restaurant for authentic Chinese food.

 

Kinų bambukas

Website: http://kinubambukas.lt

Opening hours:

Telephone: +370 46 412117

Address: H. Manto 43, Klaipėda

Tabula Rasa

I came to this restaurant by chance. My initial plan was to have pancakes at Kompressor, which was just down the street from Tabula Rasa. The place was packed, and as I was tired, I did not want to wait. I just wanted to rest and have dessert. I walked up the street, scanning at all the restaurants available and Tabula Rasa caught my attention.

Tabula Rasa is located in the heart of Old Town Tallinn, tucked away in the St.Petersburg hotel. The restaurant has an exclusive vintage bar feel with a chic setting. There are interesting art pieces on the wall. It was around 4:40 p.m. when I arrived at the restaurant. There were only two customers, so it was quiet. There is a big window at one corner of the room, overlooking Rataskaevu street (one of the oldest streets in Tallinn) and cat’s well (a historical landmark).

 

I ordered an orange juice and the traditional Estonian “Kama” Pavlova (€5). For those who are not familiar with kama, kama is one of Estonia’s national food. It is a flour mixture of roasted barley, rye, oat, and pea flour. It is usually added to yogurt or milk.

The waitress informed me that the kama Pavlova is not the traditional meringue pavlova but a kama based pavlova. She went on to describe what the dessert consists of.  It was nice of her to tell me, or I would be expecting a meringue pavlova.

I like the presentation of the dish, especially the colors. The red stood out and was stimulating. The kama pavlova was sweet and nutty, It reminded me of graham crackers. I love the different layers of texture and flavors of the dish. There was the nuttiness from the kama, acidity from the berry sauce, sweetness from the fresh fruits, and the occasional crunch from the meringue cookies.

I was only here for dessert, but it may be worth visiting for lunch or dinner.

Tabula Rasa

Website: http://tabularasa.ee/en/

Opening hours: Opened daily from 12:00p.m. till 00:00 a.m.

Telephone: +372 628 6560

Address: Rataskaevu 7, Tallinn Old Town

 

Vegan meal at Moksha

Moksha is a humble little vegan restaurant with an Indian and Thai fusion menu. Although it is known as a vegan restaurant, they do offer fish dishes. The restaurant is small with just a few tables, and it can get quite busy, so it’s worthwhile to make a reservation. The restaurant has a cozy ambiance with a deep house/ chill techno music playing in the background.

The server was personable and welcoming. However, the service was slow, as there was only one server.

I ordered the Thai Green Curry with Fish (€ 12) and Tom Yum (€ 7). The curry and soup were delicious and mildly spiced. Flavors were distinct, and the ingredients were fresh.

The Tom Yum soup is different from the ones I’ve had. It tasted more like an Indian curry soup with Thai elements. It was creamier, just a little tangy with a stronger coriander taste. The chopped onions added sharpness and crunch to the soup.

The fish in the Thai curry was tender, and there was a generous amount of vegetables such as green peppers, broccoli, bamboo, and button mushrooms. The basmati rice was a nice accompaniment to the curry.

A good place in Kaunas for Vegan Thai/Indian food.

 

Moksha

Website:http://www.moksha.lt

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday 11a.m. – 21:00 p.m.

Saturday 12:00 p.m. – 21:00 p.m.

Sunday Closed

Telephone: +370 676 71649

Address: Vasario 16-osios g. 6 Kaunas 44250

 

RØST Bakery & Café

RØST is a bakery and cafe tucked away in an alleyway in the Rottermann city. The interior design and decor are different to many cafes in Tallinn. The muted color brick and tile walls, open kitchen, and wooden furniture resemble a Scandinavian style cafe.

The cafe makes its own sourdough bread along with sandwiches and pastries.

The whole cafe is enveloped with the aroma of cinnamon and coffee. You could smell it from a mile away.

The cinnamon and cardamom buns were amazing! They were soft with a sweet cinnamon and cardomom gooey filling. The Cappuccino was the best I have had in Tallinn. The coffee had a good depth of flavor with bitter and sweet notes. The milk foam was creamy and dense, unlike the cappuccino from other cafes where the milk foam was light, airy with bubbles, and the coffee flavor was mild.

I would say that this is my favorite cafe in Tallinn. If you want good coffee and pastries, then this is the place to be.

RØST Bakery

Website: https://rost.ee/

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday (8:30a.m. – 18:00 p.m.)

Saturday (9:30 a.m. – 17:00 p.m.)

Sunday (closed)

Telephone: +372 5622 3239

Address: Rotermanni 14, Tallinn

Okinawa soba in a 150 year old house

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When one thinks of soba noodles, the first thing that comes to mind is the thin buckwheat noodles served with a dipping sauce. Okinawa soba is entirely different. Okinawa soba noodles are thicker resembling the Chinese ramen noodles and are served in a hot broth.

Udunyama is a soba noodle house located in a 150-year-old house surrounded by lush greens on top of a hill in the Shuri district. There are two other branches in Naha and one in Fukuchi.

I rented an electric bike from a bike shop a few feet away from the Shuri station. As the area is quite hilly, I’m glad I rented an electrically assisted bicycle. It would have been taxing trying to cycle up the slope on a conventional bike. The bike ride was less than 10 minutes, I followed google map’s directions, it was not hard to find.

You have to take your shoes off before entering the restaurant. The restaurant has a homey feel, serene and relaxing. This is probably the most peaceful noodle house I have been to. Occasionally, there was a gentle breeze. There are tatami style seatings indoors and a few tables and benches outdoors.

The waitress who served me was friendly. She told me how to eat the soba noodles in the Okinawan way, which is to eat the noodles with pickled ginger.

The restaurant serves four kinds of toppings for the soba. There is the Okinawa soba (soba with two slices of pork belly and fish cake), Nankotsu Soki Soba (Soba with pork cartilage sparerib), Yasai soba (vegetable soba), and Yushi tofu soba (soba with local fluffy tofu). There is also the special set meal: the Udunyama set, which consists of Okinawa soba, Okinawan rice, Okinawan pork rib, and a small dish (which changes seasonally).

There are two choices of noodles – white noodles or wheat noodles. Both noodles are made using the Banyan tree ash water. I read that it is a troublesome process to make this ash water, and this goes to show Uduyama’s dedication to making a good bowl of soba.

I went for the Udunyama set, which cost 1580 yen. The noodles had a nice chew and springiness to it, with a delicious umami broth. The pork belly was tender and flavorful. The pickled ginger further elevated the flavors of the soup. The fried rice was lightly seasoned, allowing each component to stand out on their own.

This was one of the memorable places I have eaten at in Naha – Great location and ambiance, delicious food, and excellent service.

Udunyama

Website: http://udunyama.com/

Opening hours: Everyday except Monday – 11:30 a.m. to 16:30 p.m.

Telephone: +81 98-885-5498

Address: 1-121-2 Shuri Ishibuchicho, Naha City

 

Italian food at Gianni’s Cafe

Gianni is located in the Sadama neighborhood, not too far away from Rotermann City. Gianni has a cafe and restaurant. I planned to dine at the restaurant, as I was not aware that the cafe was attached to the restaurant, I ended up in the cafe. The cafe has a simple menu while the restaurant offers a more extensive upscale menu consisting of seafood and meat dishes. The decor of the cafe was elegant and airy. However, I thought the chairs were a bit gaudy.

The salad was delicious with a beautiful Balsamic vinaigrette. The greens were fresh, and the chicken perfectly seasoned and cooked. The shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano encapsulates each bite with a lovely nutty, sharp, and savory taste. The overall flavor was all rounded, coats your whole mouth.

Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the pasta. It was oily and bland. The taste of the oil overpowered the whole dish. The pasta was a little firm for my taste. I requested for the pasta to be cooked a little softer and the chef was kind to make a new plate.

Gianni cafe was announced as the best cafe in Tallinn in 2018. I was expecting better service and food, perhaps the food and the service at the restaurant would be more promising.

 

Gianni 

Website: http://www.gianni.ee/en/cafe/

Opening hours:

Cafe

Monday – Friday 8:00 — 20:00
Saturday 9:00 — 21:00
Sunday 10:00 — 20:00

Restaurant

Monday – Sunday 12:00 — 23:00

Telephone: +372 626 3684

Address: Jõe 4a, 10151 Tallinn

 

Legendary pancake house

 

Kompressor serves the best pancakes in Tallinn and is located in the old town. The huge portions and reasonable prices make this place very popular amongst locals and tourists. I highly recommend making a reservation. You can call or make a reservation online through their website.  The outside of the restaurant does not look like a restaurant at all (I actually walked past it); with barred windows, dark entrance, and dull facade, it reminded me more of a prison. When you enter, the whole room is filled with the aroma of pancakes and has a pub feel, with the low lighting and wooden furniture. The menu offers a wide range of sweet and savory pancakes along with salads, soups, and snacks. Gluten-free pancakes are available but need to be preorder. Orders are done at the bar, and they only accept cash.

 

 

I ordered the pancake with chocolate sauce and ice cream for 5.30 euros. The portion was big. I was not expecting such a big portion of just 5.30 euros. I was quite stuffed after.

The pancake was much thicker than the French crepe. The pancake was delicious with savory, buttery notes. The milk ice cream was really good, and the chocolate sauce was not overly sweet.

This is definitely a place to visit when you are in Tallinn.

 

 

Kompressor

Website: http://kompressorpub.ee/en/

Opening hours:  Everyday 11:00 a.m to 23:00 p.m (Take note that kitchen closes at 21:45p.m.)

Telephone: +372 646 4210

Address: Rataskaevu 3, 10123, Tallinn