Halmi has taken over the place of ‘Es gibt Reis‘ and opened instead a Korean fusion restaurant. It has a small terrace of about two parking places in front, which were well booked on that hot summer evening. But so was the restaurant, which only had a weak fan. Nonetheless the place was packed.

terrace @Halmi

The menu is small with only a couple of dishes. It comprises four fermented veggies, think kimchi, three starters, and six main dishes. Even the drinks menu appears longer. Regarding drinks, the available options all looked delicious, but on that really warm evening I didn’t want to start with drinks. That’s always a dangerous combination. I therefore ordered a large beer and stuck with that. Water was immediately brought to the table, something I appreciate immensely in hot weather, and steadily refilled during the evening.

In the end we decided on sharing three dishes. The starter arancini filled with kimchi, dokkbokki, and pork belly. As an afterthought we also got the fermented spinach, which was since there were not a lot of veggies anywhere else. The arancini is a fried rice ball and comes out of the Sicilian kitchen. At Halmi you get two large, lovely golden brown fried balls, filled to the brim with a kimchi, rice, and Parmesan mixture. Flaky salt on top and kimchi mayonnaise round up the dish.

kimchi arancini @Halmi

The aranci had a creamy texture inside and were lovely. I enjoyed the taste and the hint of spice on the palate.

Dokkbokki featured crispy rice cakes, a pickled egg, and hot sauce. The rice cakes were like Jenga pieces and stacked in a tower. There was a certain crispyness to them, but most of all I felt them growing in size while chewing. The hot sauce certainly made itself known, overall an interesting dish, but not one I would order again. The pickled half of an egg looked a little bit lost, but tasted okay.

Dokkbokki @Halmi

The pork belly came with a stack of white kimchi, which is usually an excellent addition to cut the fat. But here the fat had a great taste and just melted in my mouth, while the meat was tender yet crunchy. The kimchi was almost not needed to cut through the richness with a bit of acidity. I also loved the sauce on which the pork belly lay, a very good dish!

pork belly @Halmi

A great addition was the spinach. It added a much needed lightness to the otherwise spicy dishes. The spice levels were great, all different and not so hot that you can’t taste anything anymore.

spinach @Halmi

The service was really friendly and I liked how attentive they were in regards to the water. Still, they were struggling with the full place. So you need to have a bit of patience here. Halmi also jumped on the organic wine wagon, which is not really my thing but so popular at the moment. The white wine spritzer has a murky look, but was according to the neighboring table more than drinkable.

We stuck with the beer, but I would have wished for a greater variety of drinks. Not just cocktails and organic wine. Overall Halmi was a great experience and I will definitely come back again to try some more from the short menu. Yours, Pollybert


1080 Wien, Piaristengasse 15
Wed, Thu, Sun: 18:00-23:00, Fri-Sat: 18:00 – open end

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