My first post is dedicated to reviewing our breakfast experience in the restaurant “Meierei im Stadtpark” which we visited while staying in Vienna. I reviewed the restaurant in regards to the following aspects: Location, Ambient, Service and Food. For the lazy ones, here´s a TL; DR: Meierei is a restaurant which offers you the distinguished Viennese style with a modern touch, centrally located, with a mean breakfast to offer. The food was (mostly, as I didn´t like some stuff – and remember, a food review can not be 100% objective) delicious and visually appealing. The only thing that wasn´t up to par was the service. We would go there again, without a doubt. If you want pictures you are going to have to scroll down 🙂.
One thing you should know about me is that I love everything food-related: cooking, eating, watching cooking shows or just thinking about different meals, flavors and how to combine them. If we have to choose between two destinations to travel to, I´ll put all my energy into voting for the place that has the more appealing food to offer.
So once while I was watching “Chef´s table” (an amazing show – would highly recommend) on Netflix, I stumbled upon the list of “the worlds 50 best restaurants” and saw Steiereck, which placed 10th in 2017.
As the trip to Vienna was already planned and booked, I wanted to treat ourselves with a dinner there, but unfortunately the cheapest tasting-menu costs 142€ (add 79€ if you want paired drinks with every course; the menu consists of minimally 6 courses), and at the moment, because of the wedding preparations, we aren’t able to afford that. But on the website of Steiereck you will find a link to the restaurant “Meierei am Stadtpark” (I assume they have the same owner, the same kitchen as they also share the same adress). When I saw that they have a breakfast menu, I immediately knew that this would be a perfect Christmas gift for D – my fiancée loves breakfasts. You can book a table online without a problem, and when you finish your reservation you´ll get a notice that the table is yours for two hours.
On the morning of the 2nd January 2018 we got on our way to the Viennese city park, where Meierei is located (Am Heumarkt 2A). It´s located centrally in Vienna (7-9 minutes away from the central metro station Stephansplatz). The restaurant is located on the canal of the river Wien, which flows through the city park. You are going to recognize the restaurant with the help of a giant statue of a milk bottle.
When you enter the restaurant you´ll get into a circular room which is pretty dark, and you will find nothing except the doors for the male/female restrooms. We were a little confused that the restaurant doesn’t have a reception, so we walked into this giant, with daylight bathed room (the light is to be attributed to the giant glass panes/walls, which are facing the river). However, nobody really payed attention to us there, and as we had a reservation we decided to wait on someone to seat us at our table. This awkward, staying-in-the-middle-of-the-room-situation lasted for about 2 minutes until a young waiter asked us (in German, which wasn’t a problem as I am fluent in it) if he could help us. He then switched to English, which I still don’t understand why, took our jackets and showed us our table.
We had a table, which was located in the outer right corner of the restaurant and because of that we had a clear, unhindered two-way view on the park. The distance between the different tables was perfect. The only negative thing about the ambient was that some of the equipment was worn out (for example a leather chair had a big rip in it).
We got 2 Menus which were pretty simple (I enjoy simplicity – if you give me too much of a choice, my brain shuts off): a drink section, a section for classic breakfast or for upgrading your course-breakfast, and a section for course-breakfasts (which range from 3-5 courses). As I decided I wanted stronger, more distinct flavors I choose the Steiereck breakfast (pumpkin pancake, char tartare, soft-boiled egg, I switched the gammon ham for a 3-cheese-variety and for something sweet you get a lemon tarte), whilst my significant other choose the more classical version named Meierei breakfast (FruFru – fruit yogurt, a cheese omelet, curd cheese, a 3-cheese-variety and a curd-cheese strudel). For drinks we got 2 cappuccinos. The waitress offered us some freshly squeezed orange/grapefruit juice, which we refused.
The kitchen didn’t need a lot of time to prepare our food, but the procedure of serving the food on a table was a little inefficient. Here´s what I figured out for myself (keep in mind this could be miles away from the reality): one employee, a bigger dude, carries your order from the kitchen to a serving table which is somewhere near your table and leaves it there. You then wait on the waitress/waiter to serve it to you. Because of this we had to sit next to our food and look at it for 3-4 minutes. The waitress also seemed to be under stress, as she forgot that I modified my menu a little bit. The biggest minus for me was when we got our 3-cheese-variety – we just got 2 plates with 3 cheeses without any explanation. As the cheese selection changes, I assume daily, and I really wanted to know what we are eating, I had to ask the waitress what we got served. We still got a pretty lackluster description: “you got a goat cheese here, this is an alpine cheese and this is a camembert” (I will give my opinion on the cheeses later on). I think the waitress was a little exhausted/overworked as only 2 waitresses were serving a huge area, and she simply didn’t have the time to explain it to us. Personally, I found her pretty pleasant, so I can´t really put this one on her, but rather on the staff management.
I first ate the soft-boiled organic egg which was accompanied by a cauliflower cream and foie gras. Visually it looked nice – it was served pretty simply in a glass. The taste was ok, but it wasn’t something I will get cravings for. It was a little to cold for my taste (even the egg-white wasn’t totally warm, which I attribute to the complicated serving process). The dish was unbalanced in flavors – I wasn’t able to taste the cauliflower cream, and even if I love the taste of foie gras I was just overwhelmed with the serving amount. The duck liver covered up the other dish components flavors. My fiancée started with the cheese omelet, and holy moly, it was perfect – fluffy as a cloud, with a superbly tasting slice of melted cheese in the middle. If I could choose again I would definitely take the omelet.
The next course for me was the pumpkin pancake with homemade sour cream and radish, which (as have all meals except the cheeses) looked really nice. You could see it was prepared with a lot of diligence. Served with a couple of horseradish slices, pumpkin seed oil, a scoop of sour cream and a couple of pumpkin seeds – it was a highlight for me and I will be definitely trying to recreate this dish. I was especially intrigued by some kind of germ which I couldn’t recognize, but it gave the dish the “kick” it needed. D got a curd cheese with herbs, marinated salmon trout and lemon savory-milk jell, which was, next to the lemon tarte my absolute favorite. The marinated salmon was, I estimate, made in-house and could be a dish on itself. Absolute must-try!
My 3rd course was the char tartare with bittersalads, buckwheat and sweet potato – my lowlight on the menu. I like the taste of raw fish, but I wasn’t prepared for the caviar (I suppose it was char, but I really don’t know a lot about caviar) ant it was just too much raw fishy flavors in this dish for me. I couldn’t taste the sweet potato cream/sauce/foam, and the bittersalads didn’t really harmonize with the fish. The two positive things about this course for me were the freshness of the fish and the buckwheat crackers. D went over to the sweet part of her menu (I didn’t taste this one) – the black currant FruFru with walnut and granola. Even if visually really pleasant and served with a separate jar filled with the granola and walnuts I can only get excited to a certain degree about fruit yogurt. But the granola had a heavenly smell to it!
The cheeses: My favorite one was the goat cheese which was creamy and had a savory aroma to it (maybe it ripened in a crust of it). The camembert wasn’t really spectacular and the alpine cheese didn’t have a distinct aroma, but the cool part about it were the cheese crystals in it.
The last course was amazing, and my mouth waters just thinking about it. It was one of those desserts which throw you into a “bon vivant” mood with every bite you take. An absolute stunner! I was on the verge of becoming Tom Cruise as I wanted to jump on the table and scream “I love life!” The caramelized meyer lemon tarte was perfectly balanced in sourness, sweetness and something D identified as lavender. Just plain and easy – amazing. D had a warm curd chees strudel with elderberry compote which was pretty tasty, but it was just plain boring in comparison to the lemon tarte.
The portion seemed small, but it was more than enough to satisfy your hunger. The price/performance ratio was excellent (my menu was priced at 23,90€, D´s was 19,90€), but the accompanying food (bread, butter) were a little too expensive for my taste (half a slice of round brown bread, something like half a slice of this costs 1,80€). One more thing I want to address was the lack of soap in the toilets.
All in all we would recommend going to the Meierei, as it surely is worth its money, but if the service was better, you would even get more bang for your buck.