I wasn’t planning on writing a blog post about my recent visit to my home town’s newcomer on the restaurant scene, Meat District, (hence the lovely and dark mobile photos) but then changed my mind after having seen my main dish…You can see the restaurant on the left hand side in the photo above – a very nice location in the middle of picturesque Porvoo Old Town. The restaurant takes pride in serving ecological and locally sourced meat where possible but welcomes vegetarians too.
The inside is inviting and modern, whilst making it pretty clear why the place is called Meat District! I had no idea about this meat display cabinet so got a bit of a shock when we first entered the restaurant.
I’ve read that they usually don’t seat vegetarians next to the cabinet (we told them there was one veggie when we made the reservation) – but it must’ve been my lucky day as we got the table closest to all that ecological meat…Matthew and my brother didn’t mind though.
The waitress who seated us immediately asked us if we want to order some bubbly, and when we asked if we could just perhaps see the wine list and menu first she just told us to open our individual drawers. A quirky little detail I haven’t come across before! Not sure if it’s a great idea though as we all ran out of cutlery at some point and had to ask for more – because how would the staff even know we needed more forks and knives without opening all our drawers?!
We all chose the “half in” menu with 5 courses for 56 € (a vegetarian version for me) and shared a bottle of Riesling for 54 €. My starter consisted of four cold plates with different veggies. In the photo you’ve got beetroot and goat’s cheese, jerusalem artichoke and roasted mushrooms (that I happily ate although I hate mushrooms!) and squash and sage. The others shared a selection of cold cuts and steak tartare served with home made bread. All meats ecologically produced and tasty I was told.
After the starters they brought in two dishes of snails cooked in lard and four plates, which confused me a little as in my mind escargots and lard are definitely not vegetarian! The reason they have snails on the menu is because the place used to be a well-known snail restaurant called Timbaali and guests ask for the Porvoo snails so often that it made sense to serve them.
Having watched the others eat their second dish without anything on my plate I was happy to receive my main – and we were all a bit perplexed…It looked like the chefs had gone through their cupboards to find something to serve the most likely only vegetarian in the restaurant – and managed to locate a tin of beans, chopped tomatoes and corn and mixed it all together. And that’s all I got! It was like being served only a side, and the presentation wasn’t very appealing either…To be fair, it was tasty but definitely not worth 56 bloody euros! The others had beef that they all said was delicious, served with roasted potatoes (also very nice) and salad and pickled onions.
We had a lovely evening even though we soon discovered there was no dessert included in the menu – so we ended up ordering that separately and paying even more. And the chocolate cake I shared with Matthew (8,50 €) was just a dry round wee thing with some ice cream on top – no decorations whatsoever. The ice cream was home made and really nice though.
So all in all it was a tasty meal in nice settings, both for myself and the meat-eaters. The problem is that it was over-priced – especially for me who chose the vegetarian menu. The wines were expensive too and the desserts were nothing special. But if you’re a meat lover than you’ll definitely enjoy the meal – I just can’t recommend this place for vegetarians. On the other hand, maybe it’s my own fault for going to a place called Meat District!
x Nina x