Express Cafe Soup Gallery: "Excellent value soup buffet!" Tallinn Restaurant Tip by SWFC_Fan
Tallinn Restaurants: 389 reviews and 755 photos
We ate lunch at Express Cafe Soup Gallery on the final afternoon of our visit to Tallinn in April 2011.
We had read about this excellent value all-you-can-eat soup and bread buffet in our "Tallinn In Your Pocket" guidebook and decided to seek it out for a cheap and filling lunch.
Express Cafe is located on the ground floor of the Tallink Express Hotel at Sadama 9, behind the Sadama market buildings and close to the port. The cafe is situated on the hotel's ground floor, close to reception, and has an informal canteen feel to it with plain and simple tables and plastic chairs.
The "Soup Gallery" runs daily from 12-5pm and costs just 4 Euros per person. Pay in advance at the counter and then help yourself to as much soup and bread as you wish.
The soups vary from one day to the next, but there are always 6 to choose from including at least one "dessert soup" (a concept that I wasn't familiar with prior to our visit).
The soups are held in six large soup kettles on a central food station, with a basket of bread (warm and crusty white rolls and tasty black rye bread) besides them. There is also a dish of cream and some green herbs to add to your soups. The staff are on hand to replenish the soup kettles and bread basket as and when necessary.
I was keen to sample all six of the soups on offer, and quickly learnt that this would involve a strategy of only half filling each bowl and limiting my bread intake! The six soups on offer the day we visited were:
Tom Kha ? a Thai soup with a coconut and chilli taste containing mushrooms, noodles and various vegetables and spices. This was the first soup I sampled and as such I filled my bowl to the top. It was delicious and I could quite happily have had another bowl, but I had to resist as I knew that this would damage my chances of achieving a clean sweep of all six soups!
Puree Garlic with Bacon - a thick and tasty garlic soup with diced pieces of bacon. It was quite a heavy and filling soup and I was glad that I'd only half-filled my bowl.
Cabbage Soup with Pork - a surprisingly tasty soup with plenty of cabbage, chunks of potato, carrots and tender pieces of shredded pork. It was more like a stew than a soup and I would rank it second only behind the Tom Kha soup in terms of my favourites.
Soup with Minced Meat - a thin but deceptively tasty broth with vegetables and small meatballs. Probably my least favourite of all the soups, but still not bad.
Milk Soup - the first of two dessert soups. At least I assume it was a dessert soup, since it was reminiscent of rice pudding although more savoury. It was warm and stodgy. Although I enjoyed it, I'd have enjoyed it more with a bit of strawberry jam in it.
Blackcurrant and Apple Soup - undoubtedly a dessert soup. Served chilled and comprising of a blackcurrant flavoured soup with abundant slices of apple in it. It was nice enough in moderation, but I preferred the savoury soups.
Overall, the Express Cafe Soup Gallery was incredibly good value for money. If I should ever find myself in Tallinn again, especially in the winter months, then this will be my first choice stop for a filling and warming lunch!
Excellent value for money! As much soup and bread as you can eat for just 4 Euros, with plenty of variety to choose from. Very highly recommended!
Address: Tallink Express Hotel, Sadama 9
Price Comparison: less expensive than average
Directions: Located on the ground floor of the Tallink Express Hotel, behind the Sadama market buildings and close to the port.
Phone: 372 667 8700
Price: less than US$10
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