With only one full day in Vienna, it was an absolute must and on the top of our list to visit Steirereck in the stunning Stadtpark. Being both a Two Michelin Star and in the top half of the S. Pellegrino’s Worlds 50 Best Restaurants, it’s safe to say bookings are definitely recommended well in advance.
ATMOSPHERE & SERVICE
Being a Two Michelin Star restaurant, I came here with high expectations on all fronts. The restaurant is housed in a gorgeous glass cube building, which was once a ‘milk pump room’. Sophistication and elegance is exactly what I felt walking into the restaurant.
Walking through the large glass doors, the space was brightly lit, with several different dining spaces to create the perfect intimate setting. The space doesn’t provide an open concept to the kitchen, however there are sections you walk past with large glass windows to see all the action.
Walking in, we were the first table to arrive in our section. There were maybe ten tables, all with white linen draped to the floor, linen napkins and a pop of colour with a single flower on each table. The concept is simplicity, not to distract from the flawless service and impeccable food presented.
The service was professional yet relaxed. There were several waiters that looked after each table, to ensure a flawless experience was given to each customer.
The mastermind behind the menu is Chef Heinz Reitbauer, who has earned his reputation for innovative creations, using local produce. The team have created a tight bond with a select few local suppliers, who provide exceptional ingredients to Steirereck. Herbs come from the restaurants roof top garden, which is maintained by the Reitbauer family.
The menu offers everything from simple dishes, to more complex dishes using several ingredients and cooking methods.
Since we were dining for lunch, we both decided to go with the 4 course lunch, which also included a few welcome bites from the chef. Although these were rather simple ingredients like figs and cucumber, they were all designed to refresh and clean the palate for what was about to come.
While we waited for our food to come, our waiter brought over a drinks trolley and shook up some amazing cocktails right in front of us. He explained all the ingredients he was using and how to prepare them to bring out the most flavour of each ingredient.
Once he was done, the bread trolley was quick to follow. With more bread than I even knew existed, the waitress went through each type, giving a brief description on taste and texture before cutting up a few of our choices.
Below are all the dishes which we enjoyed, with a detailed description provided to us for each course.
‘Wild Boar’s Head with Purple Haze Carrots, Pineapple, Tardivo Radicchio and Buckwheat’. Cured wild boar’s head in aspic with cloves, cinnamon and Tasmanian mountain pepper, celery marinated with braised pineapple and mustard oil, pineapple mustard, raw ‘purple haze’ carrots marinated with fermented carrot juice, jellied and fermented ‘purple haze’ juice, tardivo radicchio glazed with fermented ‘purple haze’ juice, galangal and Bouvier balsamic vinegar, crunchy buckwheat.
‘Peas & Kohlrabi with Rice and Daylilies’. Young peas and kohlrabi fermented with milk & Coriander, rice & pea creme, sautéed spring onions, pea shoots and snow peas, puffed rice, kohrabi & snow peas marinated with pea shoot oil & lemon juice, daylilies.
‘Gulash from Alpine Beef with Leek-Bread Roulade and Pickled Vegetables’. Cheeks of Apline beef slowly braised with peppers and spices. Toasted bread and leek roulade, pickled red and yellow peppers and shallots.
‘Venison Heart & Liver with Baby Carrots and Peanut’. Confit venison heart, braised carrots, roasted venison liver in white onion creme, pearl onions poached with honey, balsam vinegar and chilli.
‘Roast Pigeon with Chard, Parsnip, & Lychee Tomatoes’. Whole roasted pigeon with crunch cassave crumbs, pigeon crackling dumpling, parsnip cooked in apple juice, steamed chard stems, lychee tomatoes preserved in cumin oil.
‘Blossom with Honey, Pollen & Passion Fruit’. Spring blossom & spring herbs perfumed with bitter orange blossom or honey suckle blossom, pollen & linden blossom honey tuile, passion fruit creme, violet jelly, bitter orange blossom & yoghurt ice cream.
‘Warm Trinitario Chocolate with Pineapple & Pericon Sorbet & Coconut Macaroons’. Creamy shortcrust tart with chocolate, egg yolk, heavy cream, vanilla and rum, coconut macaroon, coconut milk, pineapple pericon sorbet, & salad, coconut liquor, fresh pericon.
Finally, there were some petit fours from the kitchen. All of which were light and simple, exactly what was needed after such a complex lunch.
Overall I was blown away by our experience here. Not only was the food exceptional, the level of service provided was something I have rarely found. This is definitely on our top must list of places to dine!