Das kleine Paradies has garnered a lot of praise and publicity since its opening a couple of months ago. So it was time to go there myself and see what the fuss was all about. The restaurant is beautiful and fully deserves its name as such. It comes across as ‘little paradise’ or rather a reprieve from what’s happening in the world. The former typewriter shop kept the glass front and window displays as well as its wood paneling. It’s definitely a pleasure to enter the restaurant.
Instead of the table in the middle of the aisle and the first one to the entrance, we opted to sit down a some kind of community table. So despite five people already sitting there, it had enough room for three more. And what I like best was the acoustic. We could still talk privately without overhearing anybody else. Really lovely!
But not only the interior of the restaurant, also the kitchen has been praised. I am just not sure if I can join the chorus. The menu, despite being small, offers a range of vegetarian dishes. Which is great since the meat dishes didn’t sound so interesting (steak, chicken, fish and sausages). In the end we got a starter each and shared a vegetarian main dish and two side dishes. All main dishes come without one. These you choose separately out of more than half a dozen.
I opted for the lentil salad with smoked eggplant cream. It was tasty, but overall I wasn’t impressed. The consistency was less like a salad and more like something solid. I expected the lentils to still move around but they were encased within the cream. Still not sure about the whole thing.
Way better was the other starter. A mix of beets on horseradish cream. Loved the red and yellow beet and in combination with the tangy cream an excellent starter.
Our main course was oven-roasted celeriac with porcini almond sauce and celeriac crumble. As a whole I liked the dish. The oven-roasted celeriac was soft without being squishy, the sauce and the crunchy crumby worked well in combination. Couldn’t have said anything about porcini though. But never mind. I am not sure how the kitchen prepared the see-through slices of lime, but they looked exquisite.
Browned cauliflower with capers and mashed potatoes were our side dishes. The mashed potatoes were perfect, I loved the hint of nutmeg in it and there was also the taste of butter. The fried skin elevated the dish. Lovely crunch and unexpected in this perfection.
The cauliflower on the other hand was boring. Not brown enough to have any roast aroma and overall lacking in seasoning. Too few capers to give this dish any depth and the fried kale carried no taste at all. A real disappointment overall.
As much as I liked the place, the food overall didn’t convince me. My friends liked it though but I found it bland in way. That’s the problem when a place is too hyped. The expectations soar and are hard to fulfill.
And one more thing. The bread basket comes with roasted onion butter, and of course it is whipped butter. That tasted awful. Really, I don’t get this trend. Why don’t they serve margarine? It would be the same thing.
The service was attentive most of the time and brought bottles of water to our table. There was a lot to discuss that evening and when you talk a lot, the drinks flow. Which is what I liked best. The drinks are good and reasonably priced and the converted shop windows give this place a living room atmosphere. The right place for a drink. And this is what I will come back for. Yours, Pollybert
Das kleine Paradies
1080 Wien, Blindengasse 3
Tel.: +43 664 388 23 87