Labstelle offers breakfast but also something called flying brunch. Breakfast is not really special, it’s one dish with a couple of extras possible. If you come to Labstelle, you want to order the flying brunch. Us and probably 95% of the other guests ordered the flying brunch. Actually, just the table next to us had a regular breakfast. Beware though, the flying brunch takes way longer than the estimated 2.5 hours from the website. Rather make that three hours to be on the save side for any plans you have later on. What’s lovely about the brunch at Labstelle is the service. Most brunches I’ve been to at restaurants have self-service. Not so here, which probably adds to the time frame.
We started into our eight course brunch meal with regular Austrian breakfast fare. Three different kinds of bread, ham and bacon, cheese, Liptauer (a savory paprika spread), butter and jam. The only thing that’s missing was a soft-boiled egg. But don’t worry, it will come later. We ate with gusto, already hungry since brunch only starts at 10am. Everything was delicious, the quality of the products shined, and we even ordered a second bread basket. Definitely a beginner’s mistake, because there was so much more to come.
The next course was already an interesting surprise. Red beet salad with cranberries, pear, and pumpernickel. The color alone was a hit. So vibrant and shiny. Underneath this dark pink was the red beet salad mixed with cranberries, the white pear, and the roasted pumpernickel crumbs rounded up this dish nicely. I loved the taste and the presentation. Really so pretty to look at.
After that we got a fresh water fish tartar. Upon asking what kind of fish it was, the waiter repeated that it was fresh water. Still, I insisted upon knowing, so he had to go back to the kitchen and ask. It turned out to be a mix of pikeperch and sheatfish. The fish was seasoned with yuzu, and mixed with amaranth and cucumber. Pickled red onion sat on top. The seasoning was outstanding and I loved the light tart taste. So, so good but it did look a little bit lost on that big plate.
With course number three the egg showed up. A soft-boiled egg hid underneath a blanket of pumpkin seed sauce Hollandaise. That sounded liked something I would really enjoy. But the sauce was bland and I didn’t like the pumpkin seed oil here. I missed the usual buttery flavor of sauce Hollandaise and there was not enough acid in it. Very bland!
Next up was a risotto with mushrooms and Burrata on top. The risotto itself had no distinct taste whatsoever. This felt more like a course to get some carbohydrates into people. The leaf salad on top had nice citrus aroma, which gave this dish some depth. Overall quite nice, but nothing special.
A fabulous surprise was the fish course. At first glance it looked like a Zwiebelrostbraten (roast beef with fried onions). It even smelled like meat. But underneath the fried onions a piece of sheatfish hid. There was even a pickle. What a wonderful creation! I loved it!
The meat course on the other hand was good but too much of the same. I would have preferred something with more finesse and less traditional. We got pork roast with a tiny potato dumpling, which was heavenly, and white cabbage. It was a good dish, but too much after everything else.
After three hours we were still waiting for dessert, so I had to ask for it to be served and to bring the bill at the same time. Compared to the previous couple of hours, the service was suddenly quite quick. We got a small slice of pear cake with crumble and vanilla cream on the side. The portion was well seized and it was a nice enough end of our meal. By then was already so full, that I was just happy that there was not more to eat. Yours, Pollybert
1010 Wien, Lugeck 6
Tel: +43 1 2362122
Mon–Fri 11:30–24:00, Sat 10:00–24:00