As much as I hate that this lock down is going on since forever (restaurants in Vienna closed on November 3rd, 2020 and have not re-opened), there is a silver lining to it. Pop-ups have become a regular feature in the restaurant scene. In March we had Upper Austria in Vienna for a visit and now in April it is Lower Austria with the #stadtlandgenuss feature. It all started on April 16th and will be over by May 2nd.
Under the hashtag #stadtlandgenuss twelve chefs spoil the Viennese population with gourmet street food. Order online and then pick up your food at Joma, right in the heart of Vienna. Just make sure to order well in advance to have all menu options still available. I missed out on the first weekend, but definitely was ready to go all in for the second one.
So last Friday afternoon, right after work, I got my fix for the weekend. I ordered ‘Hot Morcilla’, an American hot dog with black pudding, kimchi, mushroom mayonnaise, potato straw instead of fried onions.
The first bite was delicious, intense blood sausage flavor, nice acidity from the kimchi, and a good crunch from the potato straw. Unfortunately it all got a bit much. There was not enough kimchi in the hot dog to lighten up the heaviness of the sausage. And the sweetness of the brioche toned down everything else.
A healthier option was the quinoa salad with rhubarb and fresh goat cheese, lovage, beans,and pumpkin seed oil. The beans were just barely on the cooked side. They had quite a bit of crunch to it, while the quinoa was more a meeting of wet clumps. Overall though it was a nice enough dish, but not really something I would order again. It made for a light evening meal though.
But of of course I also needed something sweet and this made me order ‘Milky Rhabarba’, which is milk cream and rhubarb pudding topped with a rolled sponge. A really lovely dish and I would have liked to eat another one right away. The sponge must have only been set on the rhubarb shortly before pick-up, since it was still fluffy and had no extra moisture.
All these dishes by the courtesy of Josef Floh chef at Gastwirtschaft Floh in Langenlebarn. A place I always wanted to visit but never managed so far.
I got another helping on Sunday. The fun part of #stadtlandgenuss is the mix of different cooks each day the pop-up opens. I met up with another household and we shared a couple of dishes from a variety of chefs. Like the asparagus ceviche with shrimps, jalapeno mayonnaise, and chive dressing. This dish was pure perfection. The asparagus with a slight crunch, the shrimp still translucent, and the vinaigrette to die for. I used a spoon to finish every last drop.
The asparagus ceviche made a perfect light starter, so the main dish needed to be a bit richer. We tried the spicy ground pork, with egg, rice, and spring onions. The looked a bit wobbly but had a waxy consistency, the meat nicely seasoned with a slight hint of spice in the back. Also the ratio of rice to meat was well balanced. A very good dish.
The crowning dessert was profiteroles with coffee cream and hazelnuts from Piedmont. The profiteroles must have been sitting for a while on the coffee cream, since felt a bit mushy to the touch and overly moist. The filling was delicious, the coffee cream less so. There was only a hint of coffee in the cream itself, and underneath it a liquid coffee syrup.
All these Sunday dishes by courtesy of Roland Huber, Esslokal in Hadersdorf am Kamp. Also a place where I have never been, but can’t honestly say if I ever even made it to Hadersdorf.
And last but not least we also got some dishes from Philipp Essl, chef of the Landgasthaus Essl. His spicy fish soup, with roasted white bread topped with chili mayo, had a French influence. A generous portion of fish and vegetables inside and a really great taste. Not the easiest product to bring home to.
His vegetarian Flammkuchen (Tarte Flambee) was not my favorite. I am not sure if that was due to the temperature, but there was no way to keep it warm. I found it a bit bland to be honest. The sheep cheese didn’t help to create a tasty base for the veggies. Only the bites with a lot of pesto had an interesting flavor.
My personal favorite, besides the asparagus ceviche, was the Scheiterhaufen (bread pudding) by Thomas Naderer, chef of Patisserie Naderer. The crust tasted more like sugary puff pastry outside, with apples and the bread pudding consistency on the inside. The accompanying custard had a great color and superb flavor. Really, this was the stuff sweet dreams are made of.
The #stadtlandgenuss pop-up opens one more weekend, so don’t miss out. There are a few inconsistencies, but overall it’s way better than cooking yourself. You can place your order here. Yours, Pollybert
#stadtlandgenuss pop-up @Joma
1010 Wien, Hoher Markt 10
Tel: +43 1 532 10 32