The Street Wok @ 42 Tatari in Tallinn deserves to be even more popular than it is. Despite Tallinn’s many fine dining opportunities finding a place to get authentic, exotic cuisine can be tricky. The Street Wok offers genuine Malaysian street food, ingredients sourced and recipes developed by Malaysian chefs. In a city where the local palate leans towards less spicy food it is very good to get properly delicious hot and spicy meals. I highly recommend visiting The Street Wok enough times to try everything on the menu. This place would do very well to open another franchise over in Telliskivi, or even a real street stall in Summer.
Vanalinna Muusikamaja, February 8th, 2014. Like some sort of half remembered music from a dream. What’s in a name?
Verdict: No beer, no indoor seating, but by far Tallinn’s best burger.
Vesivärava Grill is quite a way out from the centre of Tallinn. It’s just by Kadriorg Park, across the road from Kadrioru Stadium. What’s more it’s like a classic American burger stand, in that there is no indoor seating area. You queue up at the order window and wait outside while the burger is barbecued outside. Given the annual climate in Tallinn you can imagine that for most of the year this is a little cold and uncomfortable.
Is it worth leaving Tallinn Old Town just to get a burger from here? No, not unless you have a vehicle and feel like a little drive in action. However, if you are in the area, visiting the KUMU art gallery, Kadriorg Palace, The Swan Pool, Pirita Beach or any of the other museums and attractions in Kadriorg then definitely get over to Vesivärava Grill and grab yourself Tallinn’s most awesome gourmet burger.
It is very popular, lots of people drive up and queue up for their burgers and once you try them you will understand why. Up until this point I had not had a really good, or even a passable burger in Tallinn but Vesivärava Grill are certainly equal in flavour and quality to London’s top gourmet burger joints. The fries were also delicious and top notch.
One last thing to note, Vesivärava Grill was taken over by new staff and management since I visited, the previous management and staff have renamed themselves The Estonian Burger Factory and I think we are all looking forward to their new restaurant opening in 2014. I have not revisited Vesivärava Grill since this change but I have heard nothing but good things in the meantime.
The magpie problem has been increasing of late. Other than in Barcelona Airport car park (where I counted five) I’ve been so many lone magpies it’s almost led me to restart my online magpie dating agency. Unfortunately this would exacerbate the situation exponentially with all those photos of desperate single magpies.
Worse still it was not until a few weeks ago I first encountered a real live magpie in Tallinn, before this the only evidence of Estonian magpies I had observed were the five graffiti magpies at the top of the stairs on Linnahall. Then I spotted one, flying alone down Ristiku, and the same one again the next day in the same place. As if that were not bad enough, later that night, on my way to the Tallinn Music Academy Christmas Ball, I saw this watercolour (above, duplicated & augmented) of a single magpie in the window of an art shop, just across the road from NuKu. What kind of sick, twisted mind not only paints a lone magpie but then allows it to be displayed publicly? Spreading misery and sorrow to unsuspecting passers by.
I am completely against the thought of ever having a tattoo, but these recent events have led me to consider having two magpies inked onto my left palm. This way I can always turn sorrow into a girl, if you ken what I mean. For the moment I think I might carry a picture of two magpies, see how it works out. Perhaps I should simply avoid gaming the signal and tweaking the probabilities, after all I see five magpies quite often and I don’t think I can keep so many secrets.
This year I was lucky enough to work on some of the onstage motion graphics for Robbie Williams’ Take the Crown Stadium Tour. Always fun to make visuals for a big tour but this time it became a lot more personal and magical when I discovered the Estonian stop on the tour would be broadcast live to cinemas worldwide from the song festival grounds in Tallinn. It was my first event at the song festival grounds and I thought it was awesome, the atmosphere was just incredible due to it being Estonian re-independence day.
Tall Ship Krusenstern arrives at Tallinn Seaplane Harbour on the morning of July 12th at 10am, to take part in Tallinn’s annual maritime festival Merepäevad. This ship, originally built in 1926, is the largest traditional sailing ship still in operation and one of four remaining Flying P-Liners built by German shipping company F. Laeisz, the other three being static museum ships. This ship holds the record for fastest sailing between Hamburg and Chile via Australia. Krusenstern, originally named Padua, was surrendered to the USSR after World War II as a war reparation and subsequently named after Estonian born, Baltic German, Adam Johann Ritter von Krusenstern, an Admiral and explorer in the Russian Imperial Navy who led the first Russian circumnavigation of the globe.
Rat Race Tallinn 2013, a set on Flickr.
My photos from this year’s Rat Race event in Tallinn. I got involved in a small way with Rat Race last year, this year I stayed an extra few days, during my May visit to Estonia, and helped a little in designing the thankyou certificates. It was good to actually witness the race this year.