Friday, September 02, 2005

Tallinn Café Scene: Musi

Musi, which means 'a kiss' in Estonian (see the lips on the logo?), is one of the newest cafés that has recently popped up in Tallinn. In any case, it was my first time to visit the place, and I went twice during my recent trip home. To be precise, my first accounter with The Kiss was before I even reached home.

One of my best friends back home was due to give birth any day in early August, so we arranged to meet asap upon my arrival, just in case. As it happened, I saw her again just a few days later for a relaxed late summer BBQ in my parents house and she didn't give birth to her baby boy until the following week. But after meeting my parents at the airport and sending them home with my luggage, I met up in Musi with some university friends. There were five of us, and it was almost like an Estonian emigré gathering. I have lived the last 6 years in Edinburgh, one of us was visiting from near San Francisco, one from her secondment job in Brussels, one has been back in Estonia for a while now after a few years in Budapest, and my then still mother-to-be-friend is due to start working in Brussels once she returns to work when the baby turns one and a half. So you can imagine there was lots of catching up to do.

Musi is at a discreet location just opposite St Nicholas Church (Niguliste kirik) and somewhat hard to notice from outside. But I highly recommend it - it's cosy and very ambient, with a good selection of wine (the only alcohol served) and not too extensive, but very tasty selection of food - mainly cakes, quiches and salads. I had a chicken quiche on the first night, and it was yummy. When I was back in Musi the night before heading back to Edinburgh, I treated myself to some canapes with chicken and pesto that were nice as well. However, what I really recommend is their eponymous cake - Musi tort:

It was a really tasty layered sponge-cake with cream cheese and sea buckthorn (see those bright orange berries?) filling and drizzled with honey - absolutely lovely. And look at the plate it came on!

Lovely, lovely place. Just make sure you have plenty of time to enjoy your wine and nibbles, as the service is somewhat relaxed:)

Oh - and the place has probably the most gorgeous public restroom in town - a size/looks/smell of a small boudoir.

Niguliste 6
10130 Tallinn
Open: Monday-Saturday 2pm until midnight


Anonymous said...

Delightful-sounding place as is the sponge cake that you've described.

Sea buckthorn? Never heard of it before.... I'm enjoying learning about new things from your blog.


Pille said...

Sea buckthorn is also sometimes known as hawthorn - I picked up some 'hawthorn discs' from the Chinese supermarket the other day and tastewise they're really similar to sea buckthorn.
The berries have a lovely tart and sour flavour, which went well in this creame cheese filling.
My Mum purees some and freezes in ice cube bags - lovely thrown into a mug of hot water during winter as a cure against colds. And you can use the juice and puree in cooking a bit like lemon juice.

Anonymous said...

Wow! How interesting! I'd love to go food shopping with you, Pille! That would be fun to discover all these interesting food ingredients, like the sea buckthorn, with you!