Jul 7 2012

Ostas Skati


Over the last few years quite a few restaurants have opened up in Riga that offer a great view of the city or the main river that flows through it – Daugava. This is very common in other cities but in Riga it feels like only recently people have started putting that extra emphasis on the view. Ostas Skati is a restaurant located on the shore of Daugava, on the western side of the river and offers great views of the city, which is mainly located on the eastern side of the shore. If you want to appreciate how beautiful Riga is, this is the place to go to especially during the summer, when you can sit outside. I am Latvian and even I was amazed how beautiful the city looks from this angle. The other reason why a lot of Latvians like Ostas Skati is because it is considered to sell good value food, as it charges you slightly less than in other restaurants for the same things. Note because of the price some people tend to have the perception that the food is not very good, but I would tend to disagree a bit, I think the food is good. Ostas Skati offers European food with a Latvia slight influence. I went to Ostas Skati on a beautiful and sunny Saturday during the summer for lunch with my friend Guna that I had not seen in a while. We both had taken our boyfriends with us, so they could get to know each other better and talk about their common passion - running. I was feeling very summary and I had had a big dinner the nigh before so as my starter I opted for a light salad of cucumbers and tomatoes topped with olive oil, something I guess that foreign people may find strange, but something I used to have a lot when I was a kid (topped with sour cream as opposed to olive oil though) and therefore this dish brought back nice memories. I also tend to find that the quality and taste of vegetables is usually much better in smaller eastern European countries, like Latvia, so I always tend to eat a lot of vegetables when I am there. Guna had the Avocado salad with cucumbers and prawns and it looked great, I was actually a bit surprised how nicely it was presented and how large the portion was, as it could be something you could have in a pricey London restaurant. My boyfriend did not have a starter and Guna’s boyfriend Arturs had a Roman salad with Caesar dressing, Parmesan cheese and croutons topped with salmon. The salad was quite large once again and could have easily been a main course for someone that was not too hungry. I did not try it but it looked great as it had a huge chunk of salmon and big crisp lettuce leaves sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. As for the main course my boyfriend ordered beef and he wanted it medium/ rare. Unfortunately my Latvian seemed to be a bit rusty at the time of ordering and I did not know how “rare” was in Latvian (I have ever since asked this to a few Latvians and people in general don’t really know mainly because we being an eastern European nation still worried about meat disease never really have anything not properly cooked and usually at home people like my granny totally murders the meet and cookes it for about an hours too long, maybe an exaggeration but you get the point). I did however manage to explain my boyfriend wanted to have medium steak, but they did bring it super well done, so beware here and in other Latvian restaurants that you need to really explain if you want your meet rare or medium as you do run the risk of having it well done. Feeling healthy and on course to eat vegetables, I ordered the Refreshing summer soup with tomatoes and avocado “prepared by a recipe discovered in Spain” as my main course and it was absolutely delicious. I could have eaten much more had they given me more (the portion was average size). It was much better than a lot of cold soups I have had elsewhere. Guna also wanted to eat vegetables and she ordered the Grilled vegetables saganaki with feta sheep's cheese, olives and fresh herbs as her main course. In case you did not know (I did not and had to google) Saganaki refers to various dishes prepared in Greek cuisine and is named after the single-serving frying pan in which it is cooked. Guna’s dish looked delicious, although this was the only dish that I thought did not offer great value for money as it was LVL 6.10 (around £6.9), and you could have had a few more vegetables for that. Guna’s boyfriend had the river trout, which looked beautiful and cost much less than you would pay for a whole fish in London (and I do think restaurants are quite comparable in terms of the price, gone are the days when Latvian restaurants had much cheaper food than London ones), and the trout was served with a nice side salad. As for the desert Guna’s boyfriend was the only one that had something (he is an ultra marathon runner so can definitely afford to eat these) and he had a chocolate cake. I tried some of it and it was delicious. Altogether we paid LVL50 for a couple for the meal, so LVL25 per person (£28) which considering we had good food, a bottle of wine between us and 2 jars of sangria is great value for money in my mind. So apart from not knowing how to cook meat, I thought we had a lovely meal there with the most amazing view (and the view gets Ostas Skati an extra small m).  

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Ostas Skati
Matrožu iela 15 LV-1048
Ostas Skati Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3.5