One of the most exciting new restaurants I had the pleasure to visit in the last couple of weeks is Hausbar. Their plan of opening a bar got derailed by Covid-19, but they made the best out of it. They switched gears by opening a restaurant with a set menu and instead of wine accompaniment they offer cocktails. What a pleasant surprise!
The outside dining area of Hausbar is small, but provides a cool and pleasant atmosphere on even the hottest evening. I loved our place next to the exposed brick wall.
We started with sour dough bread and unfortunately whipped miso butter and dandelion. Honestly, I am so fed up with the whipped butter. Isn’t the kitchen ever tasting this before serving it? It just doesn’t taste like butter anymore. Please, please, please take that away. The miso provided a salty taste.
The amuse gueule from the kitchen was an outstanding truffle tarte with truffle cream, parmigiano, and fresh black truffle on top. As much as I dislike truffle, this little tarte had finger-licking qualities. Really, really good.
For our first course came a trout, marinated in lime, horseradish, and chive, with a fennel sorbet and fennel cream. The accompanying drink was buttermilk mixed with sloe Gin, horseradish, and red currant jam. Besides the butter the fennel sorbet was the only thing I wholeheartedly disliked this evening. The taste was just off-putting. And it was not only the anise inside. There was some after taste I thoroughly disliked. But the rest was pretty amazing, especially the drink!
Next up was another amuse gueule from the kitchen. With a glass of dark beer the waitress served Beuschel (a classic Austrian dish made of heart and lung), with a creamy potato espuma on top as well as potato crumble. Beuschel is a dish I never order, but here I loved it. With the potato espuma it was just to die for.
With the next course, which was carrot from the charcoal grill, with bulgur and mint, carrot foam, oil from the carrot green, and puffed bulgur, we got an Aperol drink with carrot, bergamot, and rosemary. The charcoal flavor was intensive but not overwhelming and overall harmonious with the sweetness of the carrot.
The fish course brought a Pisco drink with Limoncello, Prosecco and olive oil. A very intersting combination which drank itself like a dream. The confined char laid on a bed of tomatoe dashi confit with ginger, pine nuts and a basil fragoni on top. This might sound like a lot of chichi. But it was super tasty. I ate each bite of fish with a morsel of the basil fragoni and the flavor explosion was awesome.
Before the meat course arrived a palate cleanser in form of a pear sorbet with apple and pear cider. This small dollop of sorbet worked its magic and we were ready for the last savory dish.
Our main course was rabbit in three variations. The first one was the rabbit wrapped in lardo with puffed mustard seeds, the second variation was the rabbit mixed with a nut espuma, and the third one was the rabbit in batter. The rabbit came with artichokes, artichoke cream and cherries. The accompanying was brandy with rose lillet, lemon, and Amaretto. The vegetarian variation came with eggplant.
Finally we had reached the desert and also the end of our drinking stamina. The cheese curd dumpling with gooseberry filling got its crunch from macadamia, quinoa, and hemp seed crisp. The dumpling swam in a Granny Smith apple and sorrel sauce, with gooseberry mousse and almond and white chocolate crumbs around it. The drink of choice was another gin. But this one was mixed with apricot juice and Chartreuse.
The whole meal was perfectly seasoned and not once did we ask for salt and pepper. But not only the food was fantastic, also the service was equally delightful all evening long. It started with a personal hand disinfection and ended with a shot of something clear. In between we got jugs of water without needing to ask, and had super friendly servers who didn’t tire of repeating drinks or food information for me (as well as one friend who has the memory of an elephant, thanks!).
If you want something special, then this is the place to go. And please, do yourself a favor and order the accompanying cocktails. They just elevated this menu into stratosphere. Yours, Pollybert
1010 Wien, Karlsplatz 5
Tel: +43 664 75010417