This is my first post about Viennese food scene. I love to cook, but equally much we like to eat in Restaurants, Beisls and so on. Vienna has plenty to offer, especially if you are willing to look outside the holy trinity of Plachutta, Figlmüller and Sacher.
I want to start with a restaurant that is probably a bit off the beaten track. It is located in the 10th district, in one of the streets meeting Reumannplatz. This is an area normally not very popular with tourists, unless they want ice cream from Tichy. And that only happens between March and October. Don’t let it fool you though. The reservation is definitely necessary, especially around November, when the goose time is in full bloom (7 weeks in year). And let me tell you, their goose is amazing. Couple of weeks ago Piers told me he has just the place to have goose but after our dinner here he said this is so far the best goose he had in town.
Don’t judge the book by its cover
When you come in it is hard to expect such great food. The place has the typical Viennese old Beisl flair. It is laid back, cosy and simple. The wooden tables and chairs are old. There is wooden wall panelling, plank flooring, and an old-fashioned bar. When the weather is nice, definitely try to sit in the inside garden and enjoy your meal with a glass of spritzer.
Zum Alten Beisl offers classical Austrian cuisine in the best possible way. The Chef, Metin Yurtseven, is not only handsome, but also already very accomplished. Former Chef in Meinl’s restaurant, awarder with two hats and tree forks, thrives here and offers you absolute heaven on the plate. He interprets the Austrian kitchen staying true to the core, and makes you moan out of pleasure throughout the whole meal. Yurtseven puts strong accent on Austrian and use of seasonal products. According to many opinions his Tafelspitz can put many others to shame, but this I have not yet verified.
The atmosphere is cosy and friendly. No famous arrogance from the waiting staff. They are always ready to help you with the menu if you don’t understand German. Just the other day the waiter translated nearly the whole menu to English for one of the guests without even batting an eye.
Come hungry, very hungry
We went there after whole day of strolling through Christmas markets. Luck was on our side as it was the last day with the goose in the menu. My Mum had Gansl Gröstl, Piers had Goose with lentils, sauerkraut, red cabbage, and two types of Knödel: bread and potato based. I went for Backhendlsalat (guilty, I just can’t live without my Potato salad). We have also ordered a bottle of Zweigelt – Allach from Neusiedler see. We finished with Hazelnut schnapps. Without the help of heavy liquor I would not have been able to even roll home I am afraid.
Culinary heaven on our plates
Goose was tender, juicy, with crispy skin. Portion was more than enough, especially as it came with creamy green lentils, sauerkraut that I was shamelessly stealing, red cabbage and two dumplings. Here comes the only tiny disappointment – dumplings were gone to soon, one or two more would have been great. Red cabbage was one of the best I had. I am in awe how it can be made to taste so sweet and at the same time not lose its bite.
Ganslgröstl was on the spot – small pieces of goose, including a bit of liver, mixed with perfectly roasted potatoes and on the top perfect waxy egg. It came with a mix of green salad with excellent vinaigrette. My Mom had a hard time finishing it. I am not a fan of liver, but in this set up it worked perfectly, providing you with a bit of smoothness among the crispy potatoes and tender meat parts.
My Backhendlsalat consisted of a small hill of potato salad, Vogerlsalat and chicken fillet fried in breadcrumbs. Not in many places in Vienna you can get a salad that hits the perfect balance between vinegar, salt and broth. I could have a bucket of this salad if only I could develop a couple more stomachs. It did not need any salt, any pepper, nothing. Chicken sprinkled with a bit of lemon juice was absolutely fantastic. The crust was the perfect shade of gold, crunchy in the first bite, and chicken inside juicy and full of flavour. Vogerlsalat with pumpkin oil is just an addition that gives you a portion of green on the plate. In many places they tend to pour half a bottle of pumpkin seed oil on this salad, but here they know better. It was just enough.
Total bill was 71,80 euro and three people were more than full and happy afterwards. Goose was the most expensive item but rightfully so.
Zum Alten Beisl,
+43 1 602 78 79