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An iconic restaurant serving classic cuisine from the former Baltic states
Something of a Southwark icon, Baltic has been going strong since it opened in 2001, and with good reason: it’s brilliant. Here, you’ll find all the best dishes from across the Baltic states, that section of the former Russian empire bordered by the Baltic Sea (now Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia). You think you don’t know these dishes? Oh, but you do.
It’s in an absolute tardis of a building. The cute, rustic-looking frontage gives way first to a bar, then a double-height dining room with a timber-framed, glass-paned ceiling. The look is a bit ‘smart noughties’: matt-black floors, good linen tablecloths, a mix of moody back-lighting and natural rays, but it works. It’s classy and atmospheric. And the service is utterly charming.
As for the food, it’s mostly terrific. Highlights from a recent visit include moreish cheese and potato pierogi (frilly-edged dumplings, not unlike gyoza), fluffy blini with lashings of smoked salmon, or the star dish: juicy pork-and-veal pelmeni (like fat ravioli). Or if you want to keep it simple, go for the classic blini with smoked salmon: a trio of large, fluffy pancakes absolutely groaning with good-quality fish, plus dinky pot of soured cream on the side. Large plates were equally memorable – try the comforting choucroute, a mellow bed of warm pickled cabbage with hunks of juicy pork three ways – while the yoghurty cucumber salad was as good as I’ve had in London. Only the plaki (a kind of rosti), with its too-charred edge, was a momentary blip.
Our tip? Go with friends and share, or be prepared to swallow your pride and ask for a doggy bag: portions are epic. You could, of course, strategically under-order, but really would be a shame.
74 Blackfriars Road
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £100.|
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