Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tallinn's kitchen nightmares

I know, I know... I said I'd write about my impressions of Estonia, but something pretty extraordinary happened today, which I had to write about. Brace yourselves - I came across a restaurant so bad I had no choice but to walk out, refusing to pay.

That's right, the Gordon Ramsay in me, your own little Michelin inspector, tried to eat somewhere so crappy it was indeed worth mentioning. Let's get out the big letters for this one:

Do not try to eat at restaurant BannCook in Viru Keskus!
Seriously, the flaws of that restaurant (or here, translated into engrish from russian):

  • The place is supposed to serve russian-style blini, thus the name and confused asian-inspired logo featuring a tower of pancakes.

  • It looks and feels as cozy and tasteful as a McDonalds

  • Perhaps because it was just opened, but service was slow and stressed, they didn't clean tables...

  • Waitress didn't speak english, which could have been excused, if she could have read the estonian...

  • ... menu, which was obviously more ambitious than the kitchen could ever hope to deal with. The beef salad with woked vegetables and roasted red onion looked tasty enough...

  • ... but to my disappointment, the by estonian measures pretty pricey salad was tiny...

  • ... and didn't feature anything woked or roasted...

  • ... nor any peppers or some other of the nice ingredients...

  • ... but indeed two cold slices of what might have been beef, cold salad, bean sprouts, two lame shavings of carrot (which I'm violently allergic to) and an egg drowned in sauce.

  • When I objected to the waitress, she brought the chef who after some conversation with the waitress apologized, but claimed that it was the correct dish except for... (after some hesitation) the carrots.

  • As I was about to get up and leave, the chef convinced me to stay and promised me the correct dish within two minutes, free of charge. About now I was starving, had low blood sugar and a beginning headache.

  • After some five minutes, the waitress came out and confusedly apologized that they did not have what I asked for...

  • ... but as I decided that was it - still had the audacity to ask me to pay for the half cola I drank, so I left it and walked out.

May they close up within the month. Instead I walked up into old town, to have a delicious burger at what seems to turning into my regular café, incidentally doubling as a gay club. Well, the waiters are at least awfully charming :-) .

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Finally, a small step for our quasi-norwegian?

03:30 Swedish time, 04:30 Estonian time, I definitely plan to stay awake and see it.

I hope everyone realize, that it was now roughly ten years ago since Killinggänget made fun of Fuglesang in "Percy tårar" because he'd already waited so long to actually get out in space. Tonight might put an end to that giggling.

Congratulations Robert!

Is it time yet? Nah!!! Congratulations dude!

PS. XSLT is a twisted language - XML transformation written in XML... in XML... in XML... You can tell I'm still at work?

Monday, December 04, 2006

A piece of true swedish culture

Or as he himself so fittingly would have put it, had the worms not been feasting on him by now; "this giant, among giants". Let me humbly bring you a small but great piece of swedish culture, Ernst-Hugo Järegård:

Fig 1: "Postbanken", a loved and hated commercial

Fig 2: "Danskdjävlar" part 1, probably quotations from the series "Riket"

(Yeah, sorry, I know I said I would write about Estonia... but this simply had to get through now. :-) )