A Classic Is Born

When the owners of the Moon left their positions in Estonia’s leading fine dining restaurants on 1 December 2009 to open a simple eatery in what was considered the middle of nowhere at the time (while still half a kilometre away from the Tallinn old town), scepticism ran high. Now, ten years later, the widely predicted quick end is yet to materialise. The simple restaurant with its light-coloured wood and dark blue wallpaper offers dishes that appear simple at the first sight. But the first wafts of the first dish suggest that the apparent simplicity conceals a real wealth of flavours, and by the time you leave the restaurant the passion with which the food was prepared is more than evident. This is not an Estonian passion. The Moon offers modern Russian cuisine, paralleling the work of the great innovator of Estonian cuisine, the Leib. But the passion is not quite the one felt in Russian kitchens in Russia, either. It is a blended, Estonian-Russian passion, strictly limited to the work of Russian-bred chefs in Estonia. The influence of Russian temperament and customs in the sphere of Nordic food is a newly discovered value. The Moon is its first herald in Estonia, and as such, it is becoming something of a classic. The borsch has been on the menu from Day 1, but it tastes new every single time. (Always order a pie with any of their soups!) Or do you know any restaurants that you keep on returning to for their chicken dishes? If you have already visited the Moon, you do. Their chicken schnitzel and chicken à la Kiev are impossible to reproduce. You can’t imitate the inimitable! As the Moon clearly shows, making predictions is thankless work when it comes to restaurants. Its owners seem to have found a recipe for becoming classics instead of meeting a quick end. The two restaurants after Moon, the Kolm Sibulat and the Mantel ja Korsten are well on the way to repeat the feat.