Steirereck in Vienna

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I just watched Helen Miren’s drama “Woman in Gold”.  It is based on a true story of Maria Altmann, a Jewish woman taking the Austrian government to court in order to recover several Gustav Klimt’s paintings that her family owned, specifically this one.  Interesting enough, I find the film’s depiction of the Viennese’ attitude to outsiders, nonchalant and unhelpful, somewhat accurate to what we had experienced when we were there.

That said, I love Vienna for its history, art and music.  And if I do find myself back to this former capital city of  the Hapsburg Empire, I would not miss a meal at Steirereck, a Michelin two-star restaurant in Stadtpark, No. 9 of the world’s best restaurants.

It is worth mentioning that the restaurant building was renovated in 2014.  Its exterior is fitted with reflective materials that give it a misty and dreamy feel and help the building blend into its park surroundings. Inside, each table is backed by a curvy, wooden screen and a sash window.

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This review is based on a four course lunch menu with dessert.

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Our first course is Char with Beeswax, Yellow carrot, ‘Pollen’ and Sour cream:

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Here we have char from the Styria Alps region of Austria, cooked in beeswax.  This process slightly poached the fish keeping it tender and moist.  The beeswax is gathered from the hives of honey bees. For the bees to produce their wax they must consume eight times the amount of honey by weight.  It is estimated that one bee would have to fly 530,000 km to produce 1kg of wax.

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Next we have Pan fried Grayling with Golden beets, Sharon fruit, Horseradish & Capers:954835_698534290275560_3562596244151233187_n

The Grayling comes from Lower Austria.  When fresh, it carries a delicate fragrance of wild thyme.  Golden beets are cooked with mead, apple juice, judiper berries and verjus.

Our last entrée is Braised kid goat with Peas, Wild garlic shoots & Morels:

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The kid goat, from a farm in Dörfl, is braised with spring onions, sherry, kaffir lime and ginger.

We had a choice of cheese course or dessert:

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We both opted for dessert:

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Rice pudding Soufflé with Rhubarb & Sorrel:11377198_698534530275536_5899407216503430986_n

The Soufflé, light and creamy at the same time, pairs perfectly with sorrel sorbet.19198_698534560275533_6533639560651699040_n

As with any Michelin restaurant, this four course meal took us almost 4 hours start to finish, and costed 85 euros.  Great ambiance, attentive service and delicious food with locally sourced ingredients.

On a separate note, if you are in Vienna during Spring or Summer, don’t miss this ice cream at Tichy Saloneis – weil eis nicht eis ist:

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Eismarillenknödel it is called, a vanilla ice cream ball filled with soft liquid apricot in the center and rolled with abundance of crushed hazelnuts.  I would go back to Vienna just for this!!

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