MEKK: Estonian cuisine is our cup of tea!
Estonia is such a tiny country that there can not be any special purely our own raw materials. For the same reason, there can not be very many restaurants with a purely Estonian cuisine. The playground is rather limited, and to be honest, it is not very attractive either. For most people, cooking one-time rustic peasant dishes at a level that would appeal to the contemporary gourmands is a mission impossible.
All the more, we should respect the few who are willing, have the drive and know how to. Almost right after opening, restaurant MEKK ascended to the elite of the dining establishments eager to develop modern Estonian cuisine and everybody seems to be happy with this. Nobody has made any attempt to speak of to surpass MEKK.
And MEKK is feeling very comfortable up there on the top and is rapidly gaining fame beyond Estonia as well. One can no longer imagine a function presenting Estonian restaurants without MEKK.
Rene Uusmees, chef at MEKK, does not need to make any special efforts to come up with dishes for the restaurant festival. For him, pork dishes are a matter of course.
Estonians have always liked their jellied meat. Usually spiced up with horseradish and/or abundant vinegar. When it comes to Rene's jellied meat, there is just the idea left of the old traditions. There is not even the word "jellied meat" in the name of the dish. Indeed, given that the pig's leg has been enriched with foie gras that in turn has been marinated in the wine Põltsamaa Kuldne, the horseradish has been turned into a mousse and the flavour of vinegar is lent by the vegetables, the dish resembles the ancient jellied meat as much as this year's car make resembles a horse carriage.
This stewed pork has made it to the menu as a result of long-term development. During the Copenhagen Cooking Festival in Denmark, MEKK served this dish to the locals on their guest menu in a slightly different form.
"Danes are very particular and knowledgeable when it comes to pork. Our pork went down well with the locals. Our tradition of eating meat may even originate in Denmark when Estonia was ruled by Danes and Tallinn was named after Denmark," fantasizes Rene.
In late autumn when it is cold outside such food will warm everyone quickly up.