One bear please!


It was hot summer day. The ship had anchored in the city of Tallin, Estonia. We were happily waking to the city with our maps and the printed tour guide we had found using our good friend google.  We had decided no to take the red bus because we had heard the city is small and you have to walk all around.  At least for what we visited was true, but we stayed in the medieval old town, which is nothing but true beauty.

We walked all around. We saw beautiful views from the highest parts in the city. We were marveled by the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and by the imposing medieval walls that were one the first protection of the city. We walked around Katriina’s Kaiik (Catherine’s Passage) and took photos of the lovely street market where people were selling had knitted wool sweaters, socks and more. The center of the city was enchanting with an enormous city hall and the oldest european pharmacy.

The city is full of history and totally enchanting! We were completely seduced by it. Of course, after all the walking we did, we got really hungry! Wondering what to eat, we remembered that the cruise had  a recommendation for a restaurant featuring Estonian food, so we decided to go there. Kulse Notsu Körts is located a few steps away of the Town Hall Square on Raatskaevu 7.

© mylunchanddinner

We sat happily in one of the tables on the street. We were looking at the people walking by and started talking. The waitress, dressed in Estonian typical cloths, brought us some bread and some butter which was made at the spot. The bread was super delicious, with some bacon bits on it, which gave it a taste that was sublime. The butter enhanced the flavors, and was really good by its own. Along with the bread, came the menus… we had no clue to what they said, but when the waitress saw our puzzled look she brought some menus in english.

We were reading and discussing what to order when the people sitting behind me turned around and asked if we were Mexican. We started chatting with the Spanish family, they were very nice… that is until they offered us some of their appetizer. They said we should definitely try it. It looked kind of gross though… fried pig ears! They insisted so much we tried it. The taste was not good, but the feeling was terrible… a crunchy skin (which wasn’t that bad) followed by chewy cartilage! The worst ever! We all had a nice laugh after the taste.

When the girl came back, we placed our orders. Hubby asked for some lamb chops. I didn’t know what to order, so I asked for a recommendation. The girl said I should try the bear which is a classic dish. I asked for it. After a few minutes, the order came in. Hubby’s dish had a lovely look. The lamb chops were cooked to a nice brown and were covered with a sauce featuring pink pepper which looked lovely. It was was complemented with potatoes and barley.

© mylunchanddinner

My dish came with cubed bear meat with a white sauce, some carrots and potatoes and additional small potatoes with herbs. The taste of the my dish was good, but I must confess that after ordering it I felt kind of sad. After all, I love bears. Then again, I love cows and I’m always eating them. I cannot describe to you the taste in comparing with some other meat, because the taste is unique. I wasn’t completely conquered by it, so I convinced Hubby it was a good idea to share and try both dishes. So by the time we’d eaten half, we exchanged.

It was the best idea ever! The chops were sublime. The sauce was tasty and light. But was did excel in taste was the barley. I was shocked, I had never thought of eating barley as rice or risotto. It was actually cooked in a risotto-style. It had bacon which gave it lots of flavor and some kind of cream that made it rich and tasty. It was the best ever!  I think the barley was our favorite of all, but the meats were really good too!

Well, if you ever go on a trip to Tallin given you are on a Baltic Cruise or you just decide to go there,

don’t forget to go to the Kulse Notsu Körts…

©mylunchanddinner 2012