What makes traveling so fantastic (besides discovering new places) is tasting all kinds of new food. But this can also be done in Vienna and on a recent weekday I met with friends at Elvira’s restaurant.
Elvira’s is apparently the only Ukrainian restaurant in Vienna. Eastern food is never light and on this warm evening it might not have been the best choice. but here we were and we just wanted to try what the Ukrainian kitchen had to offer.
We started with the bacon mix for all of us and unfortunately no picture exists from it. We were famished and in no time it disappeared. The dish consisted of three different kinds of bacon, lard, and pickles. Maybe not the starter I would choose for myself but shared between four people it’s not to heavy to begin with.
As starter we had two kinds of soups, one Borscht and one Solyanka, and two kinds of herring, one Shuba and one plain with salt potatoes. The Solyanka tasted great, full of flavour and promise while the Borscht was on the boring side and rather bland.
The herrings were both lovely. I really loved the Shuba. Such a creative dish and so full of flavor. Of course you can also eat the Shuba as a main dish with a bit more bread. Caloriewise it gets you there.
The plain herring was fresh and mild and with the potatoes also more like a main dish.
Since we all wanted to try something new of course we didn’t stop after the starters. Instead each of us ordered another main dish. First off was Chicken Breast Kiev with mashed potatoes. I had it one before as a child and I remember I loved. So this dish has to always measure up to my memory. Unfortunately the one at Elvira’s couldn’t keep up. The chicken meat was ground and then formed into this ellipse like shapes. The filling was garlicky butter and tasted okay. Not at all like I remember but I am also sure that I never ate it at a real Ukrainian restaurant. So maybe this is the real deal. But then I am just not impressed.
Another main dish was a mixed plate for one person with all kinds of small dishes. Too bad though that this fell completely through. None of it tasted interesting. And of course these are all not light snacks. So after the bacon plate to start with it rather too much already.
I of course didn’t have these problems because I ordered Vareniki with potato mushroom filling. They came in a little pot with sour cream and were exactly like I wanted them to be. Perfect and tasty.
Last but not least was Zharkoe. A pork stew with potatoes and a carrots served in a clay pot as well. The benefit of it staying warm in the pot was a problem in the beginning. It was so hot that my friend couldn’t eat for at least 10 minutes. We all waited for her to try the first bite. When I was allowed to taste it had cooled a bit. The taste was there but nothing special. It was good just not overwhelming.
Since it is the only Ukrainian restaurant in Vienna there is nothing I can compare it with. I have been to Russia though and the food is similar. So trust my judgment when I say I had better. I loved the Vareniki though which are really typical. So that’s definitely something you can always eat here. The dining room had a very homely atmosphere and the service lady was super friendly. During summer months there is also outdoor seating available. Yours, Pollybert
1030 Wien, Seidlgasse 39
Tel: +43 1 890 80 81
Mon-Fri: 10:00-23:00, Sat: 12:00-23:00