To go ahead, you have to go back
Café Moon. An unconventional name. An unconventional location. Other than that, quite a conventional place.
Though the café was opened not long ago, everyone in Tallinn knows the place and quite a few people have already paid several visits to the café while others are still planning to. However, it is not that easy since there may not be vacant tables when you feel like going there. Indeed, it would make sense to book a table well in advance to have dinner at this simple café.
What is so special about the simple-looking menu of the equally simple-looking eating place?
If you know that the food is prepared by Roman Zaštšerinski and Igor Andrejev, it makes sense to expect something really special. However, it is not that easy to capture the miracle.
The menu features dishes as simple as the café itself.
So good chefs, yet so simple dishes?!
Ö and Tchaikovsky, the other (the other as long as both of the chefs continue to work at these places as well) restaurants of the chefs, have reached the absolute top – there is no place higher than the first in ratings. Thus, to take a step forward, one actually has to take a step backward.
Here it is, the famous borscht by Roman and Igor. And old recipe with small nuances added. Everything starting from the broth is made by the chefs themselves on the spot. The meat has been stewed with low heat for eight hours. Just like gourmet cooks are accustomed to do.
There are three aspects in which the dishes fall short of real gourmet food. The raw material is not the best of the best (i.e. the most expensive one). The same holds for the interior of the eating place. And there is food and not a showpiece on the plate. However, for giving up the three luxuries, the eater is rewarded with a bill half as small as a usual one.
It is very simple! Why has not everybody gone this way? The reason behind it is even simpler: work. It takes a lot-lot-lot more work to achieve tastes worthy of top-notch gourmet food with raw material that is not expensive.
Boeuf a la tartar. Classic raw meat. “Touched up” with watercress salad and marinated onions. These days it takes more than just work to make it to the top. The ability to work hard must be backed up with an equally good knowledge and experience.
The return to simplicity is not an original idea of Roman and Igor's. Several top chefs worldwide have gone or are going this way. Their return is taking us ahead towards purer, residue-freer and better daily food.
Mutton cutlet with roasted eggplant and tomato sauce. In fact, a really daring thing on the plate. The menus of self-respecting eating places usually do not include minced meat. It really shows that the food industry likewise has nowhere to go further. It also has to go back.
The minced mutton of Moon has been chopped of legs of mutton on the spot. The mutton cutlet is one of the most popular dishes on the menu. People feel like re-experiencing or rather learning how proper minced meat tastes.
The people who appreciate the level of Ö and Tchaikovsky do not like it at cafe Moon. "Everything can not appeal to everyone," Roman shrugs off the problem. He likens a visit to Moon to coming home. He likes it here. The food prepared here is exactly the food he likes.
Every cook dreams of his or her own restaurant. Roman got his own restaurant without ever dreaming of one. He is simply too pragmatic for dreaming.
Moon was kick started surprisingly fast. The next pragmatic goal is to find surprising taste combinations for the new menu of the restaurant Ö. The more you do, the more you get done!