The Tastes of Soomaa in the Heart of Pärnu

Soomaa is a special kind of place: it has five seasons rather than four. The fifth is the spring flood, when the lowlands are submerged and the rowboat is the optimal means of transport. The fruit of this land tastes accordingly special. It is transported to Pärnu, to the Hea Maa (Good Land) restaurant, in the car of the restaurant’s owner and head chef Virkko Vendla. The first look at the small restaurant suggests anything but a rustic milieu: rather, it is tuned to a vintage formal. The plating is rather coquettish, but the dishes are in essence honest country food with pure flavours. The smart drink picks are the local beers and ciders. Pair the Tori Cider Farm’s Talvenauding cider with the ruffe fillet – all thought of grape-based drinks goes out of the door. The same maker’s ice cider puts any dessert wine to shame.