Elk Soup Viking Style – Culinary Delights in Tallinn, Estonia

You’ve stepped into a time machine when you’ve finally beaten the queue at Draakon, a hole in the wall of the imposing Town Hall on the square in the Old Town of Tallinn. It’s dark inside, really dark, so dark that your eyes need to adjust and re-adjust to see the difference between a €5 note and a tenner. The ladies behind the counter are well, you’d like to call them buxom but that they’re definitely not, only with the attitude that goes with buxomness! They’re smiley enough but they do insist on you cleaning up your own mess by depositing your bowls in the designated basket after your meal.

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There’s elk soup and pastries filled with apple, cabbage, elk, mushrooms, spinach and probably carrot as well. There’s mulled wine, there may even be beer but this is pretty much the sum total of what you might find on the menu. When I asked for a spoon, the raucous laughter shut me up and made me dive into a dark corner to slurp my soup in silence! And delicious it was only to be matched by the crispy, freshly-baked pastries in their wood-burning oven. I declined the gherkins which were complimentary and could be speared with a stick from a barrel. A decent bowl of mulled wine finished it all off nicely and made my tummy so full that I felt like burping which probably wouldn’t have been out of place. Even my purse was still quite full since the cost amounted to a royal €10 for a big soup, 2 pastries and the wine. This is Viking Estonia at its best.

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