On my first night I walked passed this restaurant but since I had no feeling for Middle-East kitchen that night I passed the marvelous smells.
On the second night, knowing what restaurants there are around Tallinn, I decided to give this restaurant a chance. (http://magnuna.ee/)
I was in doubt if it was a Persian restaurant, Lebanese or Egypt, since the man in the kitchen as well as the interior could be all of these types…. So I asked him before sitting down, to find out he was from Egypt, the kitchen made Lebanese food and the interior was partly from Turkey and part from Iran….so it is good to know I’m not crazy yet…
Strange enough, although it looks so good from outside and inside, there was no one there and I even think that when I would have left they would have closed the door right behind me. Luckily for me the owner of the restaurant was in and he ensured me to take my time, sit down and relax and we will take care of you. He explained it was a new restaurant, his third, and business was growing slowly. He made me feel comfortable.
He asked me what I would like to eat so after looking at the menu I made a decision on a starter and a main course but he was so honest to advice against this. He said that because business was slow, not everything was as fresh and perfect as he liked and he asked if he could suggest on the best thing available. And since I trusted him, why not. He said, skip on the starter, just take the Taboola chicken, it is best! look at the other options as well:
He then told his chef to prepare the chicken but make it mild spicy, without asking me… So I was glad I heard him say this and immediately shouted I wanted the real deal, no soft spiced Baltic flavored food but the full Shabang…. He asked if I was sure, and in the beginning I always am 😉
I could see them prepare everything fresh and I advised on a wine to go with this dish, he said the Chablis would be absolutely best. I could not believe my ears and asked him if he was sure, he was and said to trust him, again…
The meal came out, smelling absolutely fabulous! All these typical aroma’s of star anise, cinnamon, cardamon and others, so good:
And I do understand this picture maybe does not look that appetizing it sure was! There was a down part because the first bite was pure coriander, which I’m no big fan of, but after that it was getting better and better. In a way it tasted like a big pizza Calzone with the pastry and the filling but then in an Oriental way. The chicken was tender and stuffed with onions and leaks. Together with fresh peppers, mushrooms and some local cheese melted into it all it was very tasty. The 2 sauces, with a similar taste, were very good and at the same time made me feel to be in a Pita / durum place….Which I love some times but not today or for dinner.
In the end I was glad he advised on this and it was a very big meal so more then enough (and officially still on that diet…). Only the wine was, as I expected, a complete miss match. It needed a strong red wine, a good Rioja or maybe a local wine, they have great wines in Morocco, Turkey or Tunisia so why not? I guess he just wanted to sell that bottle, I don’t know.
I had some room left for a small typical dessert, some sweets maybe, this was not possible?! He said there was nothing fresh and maybe it was better to leave it at this? Strange way to end a dinner but then again, it was better for the diet as well !!!
When I left the door closed behind me and left me with a strange feeling, he was happy the night was over I guess.
In the end a terrific main course and a very nice cozy place with an honest waiter. Only bad wine with strange ending of an evening so total score ends up at 7.5 out of 10
Some pictures of the place and view from outside: