Café 371 Taste Space

Well, hasn't life got in the way of blogging a little bit! In what feels like the blink of an eye, it's been months since I've set fingers to keys to write a post. A change of job (I'm now a fully fledged corporate lawyer at another City firm) and a flat hunt, as well as a jaunt to Asia, means that the first half of the year has really flown by. Anyway, C and I are back on the blogging horse and we're both tapping away producing some cracking content for all you lovely people.

For this one, I'm going to ask you to turn back the clock a little. Yes, I know we're enjoying a balmy June in the UK, but for this post, imagine you are on the snowy, sub-zero Baltic, whence this post comes. In the depths of winter, I was part of a 'team stag' for my good friend M (of M and J fame for those who read regularly). It was decided that a proper send-off was in order, and so we arranged a proper "lad stag" in Riga: go-karts, clubs, bars and all the rest were part of the package on the Friday and the Saturday, but by the Sunday, we were totally burned out.

Anticipating this, we booked a proper lunch at the wonderful Cafe 371 Taste Space. This is one of Riga's top places to eat, and 'team stag' sorted out a proper menu for the very hungry (and hung over) boys. To start, we arranged a taster plate of local smoked cheese and charcuterie, washed down with kvass (a form of black bread beer that's popular all over the Russian-speaking world - we've seen it sold out of wooden barrels in Georgia before) and morse (a kind of hot cranberry tea). The smoked meats weren't really my bag, they were a bit too pungent for my liking, but the cheeses, were creamy and really very flavoursome.

After this, we started with a mackerel salad,  which came with a lovely tangy vinaigrette. I'm not usually a fan of this overly salty fish, but this really hit the spot. I'm also not going to lie, it helped with the hangover too.

For the main, we had arranged for steaks to be served. These were cooked to perfection and butter soft, and came served atop a dollop of creamy mash and garnished with a cream of mushroom sauce: it provided a colossal hit of umami, and was just what the doctor ordered following the revelry the night before.

The meal was finished up with a dessert, which tasted a lot better than it sounds: dried fruit bread, with cinnamon 'curd' and wild forest honey. Bread in fact may have been a mistranslation, it was more like malt bread - a fancy soreen if you will - and the tang of the curd and the sweetness of the honey was absolutely fantastic.

The decidedly groggy stag boys left the cafe delighted with lunch and properly revitalised. I say properly, not one person except M's former boss, a sturdy Mancunian also called M, could really face another drink...


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