Salzburg isn’t one of my favorite destinations. But after a visit at Reinhartshuber im Gwandhaus I have to rethink my position on that. The restaurant was such a welcome surprise, I haven’t had such an interesting meal in quite a while. Besides the delicious food, Reinhartshuber im Gwandhaus, delivers great service, and an absolutely amazing view on the surrounding mountains. For a girl from Vienna it can’t get much better than this.
We sat down in the garden underneath a lush wisteria pergola. Even though it was not in bloom at the time, we had a beautiful flower arrangement just in front.
But let’s start with the excellent menu. Of course you can order everything á la carte but we decided to get the four course Reinhartshuber menu. It just sounded marvelous and we were not disappointed. There is also a vegetarian menu available.
The amuse gueule was brought to the table right away and I was more than happy with it. How lovely when an evening starts on a high note already. Oxtail with sea buckthorn on a rye chip. A very strong hello from the kitchen which had me in high hopes for whatever else would come my way. It was a really nice combination with the sea buckthorn, the acidity set off the sweetness of the meat nicely.
We also got cold cucumber soup, served in an test tube. While it was tasty, I was thinking more about how the washing of these things was done. Not sure why this popped into my mind.
When the bread arrived my first hunger was already stilled, so I didn’t need to attack it. The smell of anise and fennel made me reach for it anyway and it was heavenly. The bread gets prepared after their own recipe at a local bakery (I think it was called Leimgruber) and then baked on site. Nut butter and tomato fleur de del accompied it. While the nut butter was foamed and therefore an utter waste of good produce, the Fleur de del and the olive oil were great. To be honest the butter had a nice enough nut flavor but personally I found the taste of margarine overwhelming. Why hasn’t whipped butter left the earth once and for all?
Only then did we start with our first course. Variations of Fois Gras, part ice cream and part pâté with lots of rose hip purée. Decorated was more rose hip in form of bread foam and chervil bulb. The latter was fermented, dried, and powdered to look like soil. The paté was very rich, delicious, worked superb with rose hip purée. A very interesting combination. I didn’t fancy the green stuff so much. In my opinion it didn’t add anything, neither did the fermented slice of chervil bulb. The ice cream was smooth and had the just the right amount of Fois Gras in it. All this came with a warm brioche which also had rose hip powder inside.
My favorite course was the fish dish. A nice piece of turbot with picked Pomelo flesh on top as well as coriander cress got to bath in a very rich sauce of Tom Kha Gai soup. Lots of rich creamy coconut milk with coriander oil and it had a great spice level. So, so good!
The main course was venison tenderloin with hops asparagus, black sesame cream, apricot chutney, and a steamed bun with poppy seeds on top and some apricot jam inside. Think Baozi, the typical Chinese steamed bun.The bun was a spectacle to behold. Served in a small bamboo steamer with lots of dry ice ‘steam’, it was something to look at. As was the venison in its colorful presentation.
My friend called the bun neutral in flavor with the jam getting lost in translation. The venison though was so tender and overall just perfect in taste. With the sauce and the chutney it was a wonderful combination. The black sesame cream, with its salty flavor, was not needed. The hops asparagus was a lovely addition of vegetables on the plate. The steamed bun lived mostly from its presentation, but also added the necessary starch to the dish. I loved how it all came together and finished every last morsel of it. But I would have been identically happy without the bun.
Our waiter, a really charming and attentive host, suggested that we could get two different desserts. The one from the menu, Guanaja chocolate with strawberries and basil, and a typical Austrian dessert with cheese curd pudding/cake (in German we call it a Schmarrn). The Schmarrn was super delicious and fluffy, lightly caramelized and came with apricots as well as sour cream ice cream. It was absolutely delicious.
The chocolate dessert was good but didn’t measure up to the cheese curd Schmarrn. Strawberry ice cream and white chocolate ganache served as sidekick. The cake was crumbled and had a deconstructed look. Like it fell on the floor as my friend said. What I enjoyed was the salt note deep inside. Not sure where they hid it, but my taste buds felt it. The strawberry ice cream was sweet and in combination with the white chocolate ganache it all felt too sweet. The dark Valrhona choclate got lost in all of this. There were also some crispy (chocolatetey) parts inside, which livened up the texture. The basil added some more flavor. As I said, it was okay, but a far cry from the other dessert.
We finished the meal with coffee and right after hazelnut Macarons showed up. They were honestly too sweet for the end. The Macarons had a distinct marzipan flavor, can’t say I detected the hazelnut anywhere. They would have needed the coffee, but that was long gone.
Overall Reinhartshuber im Gwandhaus is an amazing restaurant. The service was exceptional and our waiter went above and beyond the usual custom. Also the chef showed up twice at our table, which is totally unheard of. I loved every minute of my visit to Reinhartshuber im Gwandhaus and will definitely return when I come back to Salzburg. What a great place! Yours, Pollybert
Reinhartshuber im Gwandhaus
5020 Salzburg, Morzgerstraße 31
Tel: +43 664 2225379