Genuine Odessa

Odessa is no random town. When it comes to food, it stands with the likes of London and New York. In essence, Odessa has heaped its table with the best of the surrounding food cultures (and things from further afield as well). And as it tends to go in melting pots like this, the delicacies are adapted just slightly to local tastes. This is how eggplant ikraa and vorschmak à la Odessa came to be, not to mention lard pâté with spices and garlic… And the common thread between the three is their strange familiarity, a sense that you’ve encountered them before, yet never quite like this. There is no greater cliché than calling a restaurant serving another country’s national cuisine that country’s “embassy”, or “oasis” or worse. Generally, they’re not. But the Odessa in Tallinn walks the talk. For real. The dishes and some of the drinks are extremely authentic (the restaurant is run by Ukrainians from Odessa), the atmosphere and service are a mix of Odessa and Tallinn. The first visit to Tallinn’s Odessa sparks a burning desire to visit the city, immediately and without delay. If a travel agency were to open next door, it would surely have its hands full.