Every time I venture to a new country, I always research the local cuisine and seek out somewhere that I can give a selection of local dishes a try, I stumbled across Province (check them out here) through one of my long winded research attempts!
We arrived on time for our meal at Province but had to wait a little while, as our table was not quite ready (it seemed the reservation system was a bit, shall we say, lax?) Luckily we didn’t have too long to wait as the people were preparing to leave anyway, which was good as the restaurant is tiny and there isn’t really anywhere you can wait for any length of time.
Province was decorated very rustically with lots of wood and with herbs and garlic cloves hanging from the ceiling amongst a smattering of fairy lights for a festive touch.
We already knew what we were going to order, Province offered a ‘taster menu’ but we still gave a quick glance to the menu to check we weren’t missing anything! The Province taster menu consisted of 5 local dishes for 26 euros, which really wasn’t a bad price, especially when you realise how large the portions are!
We started with a herring tartare, which if I am honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of, but that’s down to my dislike of herring rather than anything against the food itself. Chris enjoyed his though!
This was then followed by the famous local dish of black peas and bacon. I really enjoyed this course, although it did feel more like a side dish than a meal in itself, although the portion size was definitely a full meal rather than a side!
Next, we were supposed to have a pea and bacon soup, but that never appeared. We could have said something but we were already starting to feel rather full and had another two courses to go, so we let this one slide, although it did sound nice.
We were instead served with our ‘main’ dish of fishcake with mashed potato. This was really nice, although the fish cake was very, very fishy, so if you’re not into fish, you really won’t like this. The mash was really creamy and smooth and the sauce it was all served in was delicious!
By this point we were popping buttons on our trousers, breathing deeply and feeling extremely full! When I have had taster menus before, the portions are normally considerably smaller, but there was nothing small about these dishes.
Without any time for a break, along came dessert. This was translated as ‘bread soup’ and I have to say both the translation and the look of the dish were less than appetising; however, looks can be deceiving! It was basically liquidised Christmas pudding garnished with chopped nuts and yoghurt. It actually tasted really good; I was just beyond stuffed by this point!
Overall, we had a really enjoyable meal at Province, although I am not sure if I would go again. It is somewhere I am glad I went to but it is more of a one-time thing. The restaurant was more of a tourist draw than a local eatery and it did lack a bit of atmosphere and was rather quiet, even though it was full! Although for a fun evening trying some local cuisine, it is worth a trip here!
You do however get a delightful photo to commemorate your visit, which much to my boyfriend’s dismay, I have included below for you to enjoy!
You can check out my other Riga posts here.