We came across the Steirereck Restaurant when we were researching what to eat in Vienna. It is listed No. 14 in the Best 50 Restaurants in the World 2018 and has two Michelin Stars in the Michelin Guide Vienna 2018. It is also a member of Les Grandes Tables du Monde, an association of the top restaurants in the world. The Singapore restaurants represented in this group are Les Amis and Odette. Steirereck Restaurant is certainly in good company. On TripAdvisor, it is listed as #36 of 3,862 restaurants in Vienna. It was an easy decision to include it as one of the top restaurants to try during our visit to Vienna.
Steirereck Restaurant is located in a public park known as the Stadtpark. The restaurant is housed in a stand-alone modern building. The exterior of the building is clad in glass and metal and looks like the HQ of a superhero (or super villain). The interior is less edgy. The use of natural wood adds a touch of warmth to the place. The zigzag wood panels alternating with fabric panels probably work as acoustic dampers to keep the sound levels under control. It is a very clean, classy interior which had a Scandinavian feel.
Service was prompt and welcoming when we arrived. A trolley containing a selection of aperitif was available very soon after. We asked for a cold white wine to combat the hot heat wave in Europe. The temperature in the high 20s in September 2018 made it feel like a long summer. The fruity white wine served (9 euros/glass) was refreshing.
Steirereck Restaurant Menu (lunch)
For lunch at Steirereck Restaurant, we had three choices – the 6 or 7-course tasting menu, the la carte menu or make a 4 or 5-course meal out of the items in the a la carte menu. We elected for the ‘budget’ option – the 4 course lunch meal (98 euros).
As usual the most interesting part of these fancy modern restaurants was the amuse bouche. These bite sized snacks amused us for the first part of the meal.
The next part of the meal was almost as interesting – a large trolley packed with all kinds of bread was wheeled in front of us. They all look good and wonderful. We had to restrain ourselves and made a selection of a few types to save room for the actual meal. The breads were as good as they looked.
The first course
For the first course of our meal at Steirereck Restaurant we chose the mountain trout with cucumber, melon & pea shoots and char with beeswax, yellow carrot ‘pollen’ & sour cream.
The char dish is considered a must try item at Steirereck Restaurant. The first part of the preparation was done at the table. The piece of fish was placed in a mould, into which hot beeswax was poured.
After some time, the wax cooled, solidified and turned cloudy. The fish had been delicately cooked. It was then taken to the kitchen where it was plated and served to us. It was certainly a good fish with a clean fresh taste. The creamy paste provided extra flavours for the fish.
Our other starter – mountain trout is a more regular fish dish without the table side theatre.
The second course
For our second course we selected the aubergine with watermelon, bell pepper & rose iboza and pike with courgette flower.
An Austrian Riesling (15 euro/gl) was recommended to go with our second course.
The baked courgette flower was the star of the pike dish (above). It was stuffed with capers, polenta and orange blossom. The steamed pike was very plain by comparison. The aubergine dish (below) was pleasant and light.
The main course
It was time for the main course and to roll out the heavy artillery. An Austrian red wine, Patriot was recommended. Having no knowledge of Austrian wines yet wanting to try local flavours, we accepted all the wine recommendations. The Patriot was a wonderful, robust red wine. Subsequent research revealed that the 2008 Patriot was made with an Austrian grape Blaufränkisch by producer Weingut Tesch. At 14.50 euro a glass it was a good accompanying wine for our main courses which were prepared with strong tasting meats.
The roasted lamb shank with aubergine and lychee tomatoes (above) and the milk fed piglet with porcini mushrooms (below) were good but (like the main courses in many other restaurants) just did not taste as distinctive as the starting dishes.
The chef’s creativity became evident again when the desserts were served. The desserts and the petit fours signalled an end to a two and a half hour lunch at Steirereck Restaurant. The restaurant appears to rely mainly on the natural flavours of the food and so there was really no magical or unusual tastes encountered at our lunch. Where the restaurant scores highly is its beautiful premises and the creativity in the presentation of its dishes.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Steirereck Restaurant, Vienna
Am Heumarkt 2a, im Stadtpark
Tel: +43 (1) 713 31 68
Mon to Fri, 11.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m.
and from 6.30 p.m.
Closed on public holidays
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog