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“Portion Paradox”
Review of Olde Hansa

Olde Hansa
Ranked #36 of 1,035 Restaurants in Tallinn
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$4 - US$89
Cuisines: European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic, Groups
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Breakfast, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations
Description: The medieval restaurant Olde Hansa is the home of a rich merchant, whose guests enjoy delicious, authentic Hansa-era meals and drinks, true period music and always friendly service. All of the dishes on the menu, including many wild game delicacies, are cooked using 15th century recipes and methods. Medieval musicians delight the guests every night of the week except Mondays. Tallinn Card holders receive a sweet treat with every meal purchased - a bag of freshly roasted almonds, on the house!
Reviewed 2 August 2014 via mobile

The menu @ Olde Hansa is intriguing. Elk. Bear. All kinds of local rarities. It makes one want to try everything. And thus it is no coincidence that they have designed special "feasts" such that one can. Luckily, they are very honest about the amount of food involved as well as the amount of time involved in order to get through a feast. We were 2 adults and 1 6 year old boy and it sounded like 1 feast would have been enough food for all of us. Then there was the time axis. Even though the interior of the restaurant is fascinating (truly medieval as advertised, no electric lights, candles only) it still would not have provided the extra hours of entertainment needed. We were not about to torture our son by making him sit in the dark all that time. (there is not enough light to play cards)

So, we proposed the following to the waiter:
We would order 1 big feast + 1 small thing from the à la carte menu.
They bring all the stuff at double the normal rate. (speed, not price)
problem solved.

NO GO.

This was in violation of 2 strict rules:
A) 1 feast per person. No sharing.
B) Each feast has its own special order and it doesn't work if they mix it up or double it up.

We had to order dishes from the à la carte menu. There are certainly some interesting selections on this menu, but it is so much less interesting than the contents of the feasts, that it ends up being a big disappointment.

And therein lies the paradox.
That which you want, you cannot have.
And that which you can have, you don't want.

2 pints of their delicious and super strong homemade all but drowned both the disappointment of not being able to get what we wanted as well as the annoyance of the inflexibility of their system. The food finally arrived and it was superb. One would never think to use the words gourmet and sauerkraut in the same sentence, but this version is so good, it deserves some kind of award.

Maybe it was the lack of oxygen due to all the candles and the limited ventilation. Maybe it was the heat. (poor ventilation again) Probably it was all of the above. But we started getting overly annoyed with each other. As our tempers grew shorter, we realized it was a good idea to cut things short. We ate quickly, paid (a whopping bill!) and left.

Tempers were back to normal after a few minutes in the fresh air. So, we had to conclude that the Luft in the Hansa was a bit stale.

Would we return to the Olde Hansa?
Probably not.
Would I recommend it to others?
Yes.
It is worth the high price to experience it once.

Thank Ravenshaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 August 2014 via mobile

It was full house at 3 pm , sat outdoors , quick to have a table to seat , with a free drink , choose juice or alcohol . The waiter and waitress wore medieval time wear from top to bottom . Had the exotic bear meat which is exotic to me , got to wait about 20 minutes for the bear meat and from my country is illegal to eat this kind of meat . Thumbs up for this restaurant !

1  Thank kenkeh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2014

Olde Hansa is for me one of the attractions of the city. We went there few times especially for the home made beer. We tried the bear meat steak which was quite strange for non game lovers. The atmosphere is cozy and some days you can have a real medieval music and dance performances that really add to the whole experience.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Iskren M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

I expected a typical tourist trap, and it is pricy, but four of us had an interesting meal and a fun experience. We ate outside, which I recommend. It was stuffy inside on a summer night, and we enjoyed people-watching as we ate. There are many unusual food options, including bear and elk. We weren't so daring, and had salmon, sausage and chicken. All were well-prepared and the portions are generous. The warm cheese appetizer was yummy. Free cards for a warm 'Monk's Bride' drink are available in front where girls sing and play medieval instruments. That is a hot drink served in little green mugs worth trying. Our waitress, Lisel, was terrific, and totally entered into the spirit of the place.

1  Thank Crcb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

We had lunch here as part as a tour of Tallinn. The atmosphere was really fun--authentic medieval style, with our waiter dressed appropriately for the time. We were seated at a long table, with rather rustic utensils. The food was brought out in large bowls, and we were told they were meat pies and sweet pies. I suggested to my sister that we try one of each and split them, but when they told us that the meat pies were elk and wild boar, she balked. I decided to brave it, and WOW!!! The flavor just burst out. The seasonings were a perfect compliment to the meat, and the crust melted in my mouth. I'd expected the meat to taste gamey, but it didn't at all. My sister decided to try it after all, and was as delighted as I was. The sweet pies were apple, and were also delicious. The service was friendly, and our waiter even posed with me for a photo afterwards. It was definitely a high point of an already wonderful day!

    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank whgrn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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