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Image 1: The restaurant is located inside Vienna's city park.
Image 2: There is no parking available so we had to park at the hotel across the street. It was an unpleasant long 10min walk on such a rainy and windy day!
Image 3: Even though I was getting wet, I still had to capture the restaurant entrance on camera for my dear readers!
Image 4: www.steirereck.at Chef: Heinz Reitbauer
Menu Steirereck (7-course): €128
À la carte: About €30 first course and €40 main
Closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Image 5: We immediately spotted Chef Reitbauer in the kitchen once we entered.
Image 6: Wow! Modern dining area yet retaining the garden atmosphere of the park. Looking up you have a beautiful artwork of flowers and leaves, and looking outside, you also have a beautiful view of flowers and leaves!
Image 7: What a surprise! The centrepiece of our table was actually an amuse bouche of sunflower chips!
Image 8: More surprise -- a snail croissant "on its shell" with fennel cream!
Image 9: Cool! Buttery puff pastry stuffed with snail!
Image 10: The tasting continued with a loin of pork wrapped in lettuce. Treats kept on coming even before we got the menu! I like it!
A whole trolley of bread!
Image 12: Plain and seaweed butter. Having two types of butter was nothing special, what I didn't expect was these precisely aligned white strips on the plate were actually butter too! SEE VIDEO HERE
Image 13: And one last amuse bouche of vegetable salad.
Image 14: Our server said this tiny salad composed of 12 different vegetables - carrot, radish, apple, basil, rocket, peanut oil, etc. etc. Whoa! If you are still not amazed at this point, this will...
Image 15: I WAS SHOCKED! For EVERY single dish they serve in this restaurant, they provide you with a small card filled with DETAILED description of the dish, interesting notes of the ingredients, and sometimes definitions of culinary terminology!
Image 16: For example, this course has: "Beta-Sweet-Carrot marinated with olive oil and lime juice; cooked baby carrots in apple vinegar; white radish boiled in carrot juice emulsified with peanut oil; green apple jam with vanilla and basil infused apple juice"
Image 17: AND "Beta-Sweet-Carrot is a hybrid of ancient purple carrot varieties with common carrot. Sweet, juicy and aromatic and contains 50% more beta-carotene (a cancer fighting antioxidant) than regular carrots". THIS IS WHAT I MEANT BY DETAILED! Never in my fine dining experiences had the chef devoted that much attention to detail!
Image 18: First course, a long rolled Sea lettuce garnished with diced cèpes, marinated foie gras, and crunchy wakame seaweed. Salty sea lettuce and strong vinaigrette - quite a strong course I have to say!
Image 19: A colourful dish of cured young Chamois goat loin decorated with grape in monarda syrup, amaretto-infused pumpkin, parmesan cracker and hazelnut powder. A complex dish but great combination of fruit and meat. Nice aroma too. Excellent course!
Image 21: Second course - Resting on a sheet of cabbage pasta were fried stout fish with marinated and steamed cabbage. What's remarkable about this course was the sauce, which was made using only vegetables but had a great depth of flavours!
Image 22: An organised plate of Sturgeon confit garnished with tempura balls and candied lemon peel...
Image 23: ... Paired with pressed seaweed, carefully topped with small cubes of avocado and Riesling-preserved tomato. Flaky filet, crunchy tempura, creamy avocado - incredible textural contrast!
Image 24: Third course - Another fish course. Pan-fried tench sitting on braised artichokes and steamed French Horn mushrooms finished with a flick of passion fruit sauce. The fish was slightly dried out but the mushroom was superb!
Image 25: A thick filet of Catfish - pan-fried on the top but poached in sour milk at the bottom! Haha, it was like having suckling pig in terms of the texture with crispy skin on top but soft and moist below. Brilliant idea and perfect execution!
Image 26: Next to the fish were lightly sautéed minced turnips and peach in sesame butter covered with a paper-thin radish, and on top of the whole thing was a delicately arranged salad of trumpet mushrooms, bean sprouts, milk curd, and basil cress! Wow, that's a lot of ingredients in one bite!
Image 27: A short break before the meat courses. Look at this 2-floor stack of plates!!! SEE VIDEO HERE
Image 28: A very stylish vivid toilet area! This "drum-set looking equipment" consisted of sink, automatic soup dispenser, hand dryer, and bin! Cool!
Image 29: Let's continue with our fourth course. This vegetable with concentric purple circles is called Chioggia beet, marinated in saffron along with slices of rat-tail radish. Chef Reitbauer has a farm where he sources most of his ingredients. He definitely grows some unusual stuff there.
Image 30: Hidden underneath was oyster mushrooms on orange and apple purée with a touch of mustard. So far, we have tried three types of carrots, three types of seaweed, and four types of mushrooms here! I am sure vegetarians would love this place!
Image 31: An arrangement of cucumber infused in ginger ale and candied lemon in limoncello! The balance of freshness, fruitiness, and alcohol were finely judged. What an exquisite combination!
Image 32: Boiled best-end of lamb.
Image 33: Refreshing cucumber with a hint of sweet lemon together with fork-tender lamb. A very light meat course with subtle but sensational flavour!
Image 34: A very awkward fifth course - mixed grains with chard, and a spinach-like leaf vegetable. It was like an omelette made with corn, wheat, and sesame paired with a pepper and chili ragout with cardamom. The whole dish just didn't work!
Image 35: But the other choice of the fifth course was one of the best on the menu - Venison with "forest aromas"! Perfectly roasted loin of venison with maple syrup.
Image 36: On the side were wild mushrooms and raw ceps in walnut oil together with mushroom plant leaves. Don't underestimate these green leaves, it was them giving out the intense "forest aromas"!
Image 37: To conclude our main course was roulade of steamed bread on venison liver ragout with cranberries. Amazing sauce with deep flavour!
Image 38: Warm towel before we continued.
Image 39: As a transition to the dessert - an impressive cheese trolley, as Chef Reitbauer also runs a milk bar downstairs serving more than 150 types of cheese!
Image 40: I requested a selection from light to strong cheese.
Image 41: Of course they take good care of non-cheese fans as well - an edible flower Bergonias with watermelon!
Image 42: Came with a deep frozen big bowl of "blackcurrant snow"!
Image 43: A refreshing floral watermelon terrine with a distinct hint of kaffir lime!
Image 44: And paired with a chilled glass of Steirereck ice tea! This palate cleanser course was as elaborate as the cheese course!
Image 45: A table full of desserts! Knowing that we came a long way, his wife, Brigit, organized more desserts for us!
Image 46: Starting with the berries - wild Strawberries and chicory soaked in elderflower juice with meringue and yogurt ice cream.
Image 47: Gooseberries coated in star anise jelly, gooseberry mousse enclosed in almond crisps, warm orange almond cake, and almond and white chocolate cream covered in almond shavings. An interesting note from the info card - "in Roman time, gooseberry juice was used to cool fevers."
Image 48: Onto our final dessert, a pickled rhubarb filled with frozen rhubarb cream inside paired with a lemon balm sorbet.
Image 49: Saving the heaviest dessert for last.
Image 50: Warm Trinitario chocolate shortcrust tart with coconut milk ice cream and drops of coconut liquor next to a unique looking pineapple-pericon sorbet!
Image 51: Time for fresh infusion. Just like Robuchon, they have trolley for everything!
Image 53: Frozen sweets for tea - violet, lemon, apricot and cherry!
Image 54: Oh, a trolley for port and liquor too!
Image 55: From the beautiful dining room, to detailed description cards, to meticulous cooking, to flavourful dishes, to all the trolleys... What a complete dining experience!