Muusu ("ours") opened in 2014 and is located in a pretty 18th century townhouse in the historic centre of Riga. It is set over three floors. The top floor is used for banqueting functions, and the main dinIng area is on the ground floor, with an attractive room at the back of the house having plenty of natural light. The head chef is Kaspars Jansons.
At lunch there was a three course menu for €15, with a broader a la carte choice in the evening. For dinner, starters were €7 to €12, main courses €13 to €26, side dishes €5 and desserts €7. A nine course tasting menu was available at €70. The wine list ranged in price from €30 to €225 and had labels such as Penfolds Koonunga Hill 2014 at €35 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for about €15, Planeta Cometa 2014 at €65 compared to its retail price of €24 and the lovely Guigal Hermitage 2008 at a very reasonable €88 for a wine that will set you back around €61 in a shop.
We went at lunch and so had the cheap lunch menu. Bread was made from scratch in the kitchen, a choice of a sweet and sour loaf and bread made with sun-dried tomatoes, tomato and carrot. Both had pleasant texture and flavour (13/20). I began with a salad of golden beetroot and feta goat cheese, with walnuts and honey vinaigrette. The beetroot, grown locally, was good and worked nicely with the cheese, while the leaves were fresh and the dressing nicely balanced, the walnuts adding an extra texture (13/20).
Chicken was supplied by a local farmer and had quite good flavour (a far cry from the tasteless birds that pass for chicken these days in most London restaurants), having crisp skin and carefully cooked flesh. This came with celeriac purée, roasted celeriac, and a sauce made from celery stalks and cream. The earthy celeriac in its various forms worked nicely with the creamy sauce and good chicken (13\20).
For dessert there was a white chocolate sphere with a liquid raspberry centre, a classic flavour combination only marred by the sphere being served just a touch too cold. It was also a little large to comfortably eat in one mouthful (12/20). I also tried vanilla bean goat cheese cream with fermented walnuts, with raspberry yoghurt sorbet and raspberry gel. The raspberry flavour came though fairly well, despite this not exactly being the height of raspberry season, though the vanilla seemed subdued and I was not convinced about whether the fermented walnuts were really a positive addition to the dish (12/20). Coffee was Illy and was fine. I was being taken here but given that we were drinking water the lunch bill could only have been around €20 with service. At dinner, with moderate wine, a typical cost per head might be around €65 (£55).
Although I was only trying the cheaper lunch menu here, there was clearly some skill in the kitchen. Flavours were clean and ingredients quite good, and it was only at the dessert stage that things sagged a touch. Nonetheless, at €15 for three courses lunch here is a steal, and I would happily return to try some of the more elaborate courses at dinner.