If you want to spend a lot of money and be disappointed in the end, then this the place for you to go. But let’s start at the beginning.
Spontaneously we found our way to Tian restaurant. As one of the few world-wide vegetarian restaurants with a Michelin star this is the place to expect the unexpected. In our case it was a fully booked restaurant that turned out to have a table for us five “walk-ins”. The evening menu consisted of a choice of 4 to 10 courses meal and not much else in between. Not everyone of my friends wanted to have full treatment and we asked if there was á la carte available. A hand-written menu was soon presented with prices so high that the 4 course set dinner appeared to be bargain. I went for the 6 course dinner, because how often do I go to Michelin star restaurants? And anyway, once you settled on the fixed menu the more courses you took the cheaper it got.
The menu offered two cold starters, two soups, two warm starters, two main dishes, two kinds of cheese and two desserts. Since the choice overwhelmed me (there were only vegetables to chose from) I asked the waiter to recommend something which he did with aplomb.
We started the menu with three different kinds of olive oils, butter and bread as well as pepper cress which was beautifully presented on a bed of stones. Here you have to work for your money and have to cut it yourself. From there we moved on to the amuse gueule which was cucumber times three. Quite tasty and gone in seconds.
The cold starter, my first ordered course, was parsley in different variations which was tasty and also really well presented. Although it looked beautiful and big there was next to nothing to eat though.
The soup was a ‘cream’ of turnip (I use cream for lack of a better word) with a roll of turnip (probably), stuffed with turnips and mushrooms and decorated with thinly sliced mushrooms. It was definitely the best course of the ordered meal and even though the color was not exciting the mushrooms looked perfectly symmetrical.
The warm starter was something with sauerkraut and potatoes and it was really sour. Maybe because two of us had this dish and my friend got a little bit less of the juice and so the waitress just poured the rest over mine. It was just not to my liking which I even told the waiter when asked (didn’t get a reaction though). Also the coloring was a little bit bland.
Then we menu eaters got another amuse gueule in form of something cold and made of pear or quince or something, probably more of a palate cleanser. I can’t remember it anymore. Also mine was served after the main course since the waiter served it by mistake to the á la carte eaters. Really, one would assume at a place like this they remember who ordered what. since the main course was already being prepared int he kitchen my palate cleanser was served later.
Finally the main course arrived; I had ordered the egg noodles with truffles and really the truffle portion was more than generous. But as I found out, I am just not into truffles (by no means the fault of the restaurant). The whole dish was just too buttery and rich and I almost felt sick after it. Who would have thought that this could happen to me? Seriously, I was not impressed.
For the cheese course I had ordered the Munster, which has a really strong taste. No bread was brought with the cheese and upon asking for it, I had to wait to get some. Anyway the cheese didn’t impress me either. By then I was probably annoyed by the service and the food. The cheese was really beautifully presented, almost like a piece of art. The best bite I had all evening was the sour cherry with a ‘stone’ of brittle that came with it. This was one bite of pure bliss!
Last course was my dessert, a Sachertorte with a twist. It was amazing to look at, very lovely and so inviting that I wanted to gobble it all up right away. But of course another sauce was added first which made the chocolate melt a bit. And then I tasted it and was like “no, no, no”. How could this happen to this beautiful arrangement? Definitely not a good taste but rather like something soapy that gets more and more in your mouth. And not just the cake but also the chocolate had an off-putting flavor. The fruit arrangements on the cake were delicious even though it couldn’t help the overall impression. I stopped eating after two bites, that was not for me.
Interestingly enough the overall best course was another amuse gueule from the kitchen. A “cigar” for all of us at the end of dinner. The chocolate roll was made from dark chocolate (it tasted different from the chocolate before) and ashes made from candied ginger and poppy seed. Such a neat combination and taste-wise absolutely on the spot.
So while the food was always superbly presented, some dishes fell short and a only few were outstanding. The service meanwhile was so-so and the price for the whole experience was just way to steep! This is one place that will definitely not see me again. Yours, Pollybert
1010 Wien, Himmelpfortgasse 23
Phone: 01 8904665
Tue-Sat and public holidays: 12-14:00 and 17:45-21:00 (kitchen)
dinner starts at 91€ for 4 courses
á la carte available on request, main courses start at 36€