Autumn 2021. In theory we could travel to other continents, but destinations we had in mind such as Japan or the United Kingdom were impossible to plan ahead. Instead we organised a rail trip to Eastern Europe, travelling to Berlin, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Karlovy Vary, Pilsen, Bratislava, Poprad, Vienna, Linz and Salzburg. By travelling to Germany, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Austria, we explore an area which was in the (not too distant) past bonded together by the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and by Austria-Hungary.
“At Steirereck we are constantly searching for the aromas and flavors of Austria”, the restaurants presents itself. “Join us in the world of Steirereck, share our passion and let us present our country’s harvest in the most delicious light.”
The restaurant is listed at one of the fifty best restaurants in the world. “On paper, it all sounds fairly traditional: the restaurant has beem family owned for generations, with a menu that leans heavily towards Austria’s rural Styrian region and its delicious but simple produce”, the The World’s 50 Best Restaurants website says. In 2021, Steirereck was ranked 12th of 50.
“However, set in revolutionary surrounds and guided by chef Heinz Reitbauer, Steirereck has become a byword for cutting-edge cooking rooted in the Austrian landscape.”
“Reitbauer’s signature says everything you need to know about his outlook, being equal parts culinary theatre, precision and reverence for local ingredients. The freshwater mountain fish, char, is cooked at the table in hot beeswax before being returned on a plate with yellow carrot, pollen and sour cream.”
Steirereck is situated in the Stadtpark in a very modern setting. My recollections of 2009 where shades of white and springfully green. I can be very wrong.
In 2021, semicircular curtain-like partition make it very cosy. Colourwise think brass, gravel tennis court oranges, shades of pink and crisp white linen. The bathroom is out of this world.
The set menu was original in the sense you still had to choose one dish out of two per course. You can have six or seven courses. The 7-course menu is €185 and the wine pairing is €105. Wenn schon, denn schon.
We took the wine pairing. The sommelier leaves the bottle a few minutes so you can make photos.
Danny and I had almost the same. We just opted for a different dessert.
- The Amur carp.
- The sunflower with curry plant.
- The Altersee pike.
- The artichokes.
- Danny went for the spaghetti ice cream; I opted for the ‘Pompoen’ pumpkin.
Add to the official seven courses amuse-bouches and sweets accompanying the tea and coffee.
Every dish was exquisite and perfectly executed. The sunflower stood out for originality.
But for us, the gastronomy itself is not what elevates Steirereck, who has ‘only’ two Michelin stars, to a higher level.
The experience does. Steirereck staff has the perfect mix of good manners and a sense of humor.
But even more impressive is their love of carts. A cart for bread, a cart for cheeses and a cart for tea. And just carts to bring you the sparkling wine or some dishes. You just want to try every type of bread, every cheese and every tea leaf.
Those carts make me fall in love.
If there’s one thing which could be ameliorated? I’d use less the gimmick of adding sauce or jus at the table.
If you’re in Vienna. If you want to dine really well. If €330 or more per person doesn’t scare you, go to Steirereck.
Food, gastronomy and restaurants
- REVIEW | Restaurant Ventrus avec vue, La Villette, Paris.
- REVIEW | Restaurant De Godevaart in Antwerp.
- REVIEW | Restaurant SELSation in Hemiksem.
- REVIEW | Breakfast at the 5-star superior Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp.
- REVIEW | Dinner at DINS Santi Taura in Palma de Mallorca.
- REVIEW | Restaurant 273 in Utrecht.
- REVIEW | Restauracja Ritz in Gdańsk.
- REVIEW | Carlton President Hotel Utrecht Maarssen ft. Restaurant One24.
- REVIEW | Van Der Valk Hotel Hoorn.
- REVIEW | Restaurant La Grange aux Canards in Paris.
- RIDE & DINE | Orient Dining Express by Stoomtrein Maldegem-Eeklo.
- Afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason in London.
- The German Gymnasium, Kings Cross / St Pancras, London.
- Hoftrammm, the tram dining experience.
- An airline meal for the holidays.
- More than, but also sausages: rich cuisine of Germany’s heartland Saxony, Franconia and Bavaria.
- Bars and drinks package on Majestic Princess.
- Restaurants and food on Majestic Princess.
- Food and drinks on board Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas.
- Comparing Royal Caribbean to MSC Cruises.
- Culinary, food and drinks markets in Antwerp.
- 5 (surprising) hotspots in Stockholm, Sweden.
- 8 food hotspots in Madrid for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- POLAND | 3 hotspots of gastronomy in Kraków.
2021 Rail Tour of Imperial Europe
- POTSDAM 2021 | Schloss Sanssouci.
- 1945 Potsdam Conference’s Cecilienhof Palace.
- Potsdam 2021.
- REVIEW | InterContinental Berlin.
- BERLIN 2021 | Pergamon, ‘Das Panorama’.
- BERLIN 2021 | Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace.
- BERLIN 2021 | The Bundestag in the Reichstag.
- Berlin 2021.
- By train from Berlin to Gdansk via Szczecin.
- Stopover in Szczecin.
- REVIEW | Restauracja Ritz in Gdańsk.
- REVIEW | Holiday Inn Gdansk.
- GDAŃSK | Museum of the Second World War.
- GDAŃSK | European Solidarity Centre or Europejskie Centrum Solidarności.
- A walk through Gdańsk.
- Gdańsk 2021.
- POLAND | PKP Intercity Gdansk to Wroclaw via Warsaw.
- Wrocław Museum of Architecture.
- The Dwarfs of Wrocław.
- Poland 2021.
- By train from Wroclaw to Karlovy Vary.
- Karlovy Vary.
- REVIEW | Hotel Imperial Karlovy Vary.
- Czechia’s Great Spa Town of Europe Františkovy Lázně.
- CZECHIA | Pilsen Historical Underground Tunnels.
- CZECHIA | Pilsner Urquell Brewery Tour.
- CZECHIA | Pilsen.
- CZECHIA 2021 | Cheb and its castle.
- Hotel room for one.
- By train from Karlovy Vary to Prague via Pilsen.
- Czechia 2021.
- RegioJet from Prague to Bratislava.
- Bratislava Castle.
- REVIEW | Crowne Plaza Bratislava.
- Bratislava on a rainy Monday.
- ZSSK Fast Train Tatran from Bratislava to Strba.
- The Tatra rack and electric Railway from Strba via Strbske Pleso to Poprad tatry.
- SLOVAKIA | AquaCity Poprad.
- REVIEW | Hotel Seasons AquaCity Poprad.
- Slovakia 2021.
- Poprad – Bratislava – Vienna with ZSSK’s intercity train.