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Troika: Surprising good value on the main town square
We're no experts on Russian food, but we thoroughly enjoyed our evening at Troika.
The restaurant is located in a cellar right on the main square, which is not the sort of location that you'd generally expect to seek out in terms of value for money. Yet the food was reasonably priced and the atmosphere was warm and welcoming. The service was also exceptional and the best I've experienced in years: it's hard to strike a balance between being attentive but not intrusive, and these guys had it down to a fine art.
There is live music - mostly pleasant but mournful classics such as the "Song of the Volga Boatmen", which manage to sound like laments even when they are quite up tempo.
Favorite Dish: If you have the urge, you can order bear stroganoff, whose availability - as the menu helpfully informs you - is dependent on the outcome of the hunt. We had neither the budget nor the stomach for this eclectic offering, and plumped instead for blini (russian pancakes) and pierogi (russian dumplings).
The blini were light and served with sour cream, chopped onions and smoked salmon - always a delicious combination. However, the real triumph were the pierogi, which came in a wild mushroom sauce served in a bowl sealed with bread, giving it the appearance of a huge, squat mushroom. The combination of the meat-filled pierogi and fresh bread to mop up the rich, mushroomy sauce was an absolute triumph - absolutely scrumptious, and if I could have got away with licking the bowl, I would have!
There is Russian beer on sale, which was pleasant if unspectacular, but the usual local brands are also available (which are a more economical option).
Troika: Authentic Russian restaurant
On my second night in Tallinn, I had dinner at the Troika restaurant that is located on the main square ( Raekoja plats) in the Old Town. This restaurant serves authentic Russian food and has a great Russian atmosphere. Like most restaurants in the Old Town, it is fairly expensive by local Estonian standards. However, both the food and service are excellent. Highly recommended if you are seeking quality Russian cuisine in Tallinn.
Interestingly, our waiter poured the vodka from a high distance but did not spill a drop. Impressive!
Favorite Dish: For a unique Russian drink, try kvas.
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Troika: Friendly Staff & Great Atmosphere
We went to this restaurant on the first night and had a great time. The restaurant is situated downstairs from the tavern on the Raekoja plats in a dimly lit medieval cellar. I immediately felt relaxed and by the looks on the faces of the other guests, they did as well. We received a warm welcome and the staff were very attentive and friendly.
Every so often a female solo guitarist sat at the top of a balcony and sang Russian folk songs, which added to the very Russian atmosphere. Furthermore, a tropee of about 4 broadly smiling girls would do a high kicking dance around the restaurant. They would change and then come back again after a while in a different costume. I loved it, even if I was getting stares from across the table for looking at them too often! I would definitely recommend this restaurant. It has a great atmosphere, the decor is just right, the food is good, its reasonably priced and you just walk out feeling that you've a had a really good time.
We booked before we arrived by email and they confirmed our table was booked within the hour! Like most restaurants, I can see this one getting booked up at the weekend, so I would advise emailing them first.
Favorite Dish: We had a shot of vodka each and some pickled gherkins with honey dip, as a pre-starter. Another VT member warned about the cost but said they would still have chosen if they knew and I have to agree I would too. From memory its about 250 EEK though! You can pick up a large jar of gherkins from Sainsburies for about 80p! I should have brought my own and asked them to knock 100 EEK off the price! No worries it was a nice experience though.
We had a fish for 2 starter which was good, then I had a Hussar Beef style which was ok but Wend had Yasnoya Polyana, which tasted lovely. The Russian beers good as well, but I can't remember what its called. Will try and come back here next year.
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In a lovely cellar entered from Raekoja plats is Troika, one of Tallinn's Russian restaurants.
The setting is great, like a recreation of an Imperial Russian dining room, and the service excellent. The menu runs through Russian staples such as blinis, dumplings, stroganoff and pancakes. There is a good selection of fish and vegetarian options and, for meat lovers plenty of choice, including bear! And as an accompaniment? What else but vodka!Though there are plenty of other alcoholic and non-alcoholic options for those who want a clearer head the next morning!
It's a lively, popular and busy place, underscored when we were there by live Russian folk music, so booking is advisable.
One word of warning though, it is not an overly expensive restaurant (we paid about 55.00 sterling, 60.00 with a tip, for both of us and there was more that we could really eat, even with trying) and indeed very good value for the quality of both the food and the whole experience, however, it is easy to rack up the price. For instance as we sat down and before we were given the menu we were asked if we wanted to start our meal in true Russian style with vodka, pickles, honey and sour cream. Who could say no! It was a fantastic way to open the meal, and the evening, but was also one of the most expensive items on our bill and as we hadn't seen a menu at that point we weren't aware of how much it cost. Now we would probably have still gone ahead and ordered this anyway, it was fun to see the vodka being poured from a height of two or three feet into the glasses and the combination of all the tastes was great, but for anyone on a budget or watching what they spend the cost may have come as a nasty shock.
That is only a minor criticism, however, as we had such a good evening at Troika, excellent food, excellent atmosphere and great fun. And I didn?t even mind the vodka hangover the next day!
Favorite Dish: We had
Pickles, Sour Cream, Honey and Vodka
Blini and Mushrooms - perfect comfort food
Lamb Dumplings and Sauce - more comfort food, especially dipping bread in the sauce!
Salmon & Prawns with Potato Pancakes and Sauce - very, very tasty
Pot Roast Pork under a Bread Shell with potatoes - good solid filling fare
Cherry Tart and Cream - very gooey, very sweet, very nice!
At least 3, if not more, vodkas each, 2 ports, 2 espresso coffees
Total 1385 EEK (about 60.63 sterling including tip)
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