Friday, April 27, 2012

Steirereck im Stadtpark

After meals of sausages and schnitzels we thought it was time to check out Vienna's fine-dining scene. Steirereck im Stadtpark seemed the perfect choice.  Situated in the middle of Stadtpark we could imagine how popular it would get in the summer.
A celery amuse bouche. We were not sure if we were supposed to eat the whole celery?  Or the little marinated sliver of celery wedged in between.  I suspected the latter.
Loved the crunchy breadsticks.
Another amuse bouche with cucumber.
Another one with pears.  I have to say none of them left a lasting impression.
Now the bread cart was a different story.  We tried a number of them and everything was delicious.
We even liked the butter arrangement.  It made more sense than a slap of butter or half melted one which I avoid usually.
A complimentary appetizer with fish.  I can't say I remember what it was like.  
Finally our starters.  Warm marinated brown trout with baby Chioggia beets and crudites (€39).  The dish was so beautiful we didn't want to ruin it.  Trout was slowed cooked in beet and radish marinade. It therefore had that succulent slowed cooked property which worked quite well with the texture of trout.  Chioggia beets are originally from the north Italian city of Chioggia and its beautiful pink and white marbled tones have made it popular worldwide.
Crayfish with parsnip custard strudel and limes (€42).  The local crayfish from Dornau estate was sweet and tender, it had that melt-in-the-mouth texture to it.  Perhaps they were also slow-cooked?  The custard strudel was made with thyme flavoured milk jelly and parsnip cream with dots of currants.  It was very tasty on its own and it added a refreshing yet somewhat creamy compliment to the crayfish.  It was a good match as supposed to the lime butter on the side which I found too tart.
I should find out why they seem to set their cutlery upside down in Vienna?  We saw the same thing at the palace's display.
Turbot with lamb tripe, razor clams, wild broccoli and chestnut mushrooms (€46/person).  The turbot was so big it serves two.  While we were impressed with the excellent tasting turbot which was confited on the bone in brown butter, we didn't really understand the dish.  Yes the addition of razor clams made the dish more interesting in taste and texture but what was the point of lamb tripe and bitter wild broccoli?  We thought some of the more exotic ingredients were probably added to impress and they didn't really connect to the turbot itself.  And to be honest the presentation could be a bit nicer.  Having said all that the turbot was probably the best we had had, and it didn't need all the fuss and complicated distractions.
We liked that each of the courses came with a little card with explanations.   It's a good call given how complex some of the dishes were.
Viennese violet souffle with champagne ice cream, blackcurrant and calamint.  Our first upside down souffle and we weren't sure why.  We loved the faint and refreshing violet taste and the champagne ice cream was a perfect match.  Unfortunately the half-frozen black currant creme was way too overpowering.  They were like Ribena cubes and we didn't think they were necessary.
Loved the light and zesty petits fours.  

 Am Heumarkt 2A, im Stadtpark, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.  Tel: 01 713 3168

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