Salzburg is one of Austria’s most beautiful spots ever. Amazing nature, friendly people and interesting local culture are the ingredients of a splendid time in this great place. Of course there are great restaurants (like Obauer) around. One of most most renowned in the last years has be the Genießerrestaurant Doellerer.
The empire of Doellerer is situated right in the middle of Golling, a small village near Salzburg city. It actually is a real empire, since it deals with all channels of tourism: They own a hotel, a normal restaurant, a high end restaurant, a butcher’s shop and sell a lot of branded merchandise and souvenirs. Sounds odd, but is quite charming once you see it for yourself.
We went there for dinner. You immediately realize how the staff is dressed in traditional garb and very friendly. Entering through the lobby, on the left is the „normal“ restaurant (that serves amazing beef soup!) and to the right the backdoor of the butcher’s. The fine dining restaurant seemed to be a breakfast room for the hotel decades ago and is situated in the very back of the complex. It was renovated 2 years ago and persuades with a cool, yet comfy look.
Our table was somehow in the middle of the room, so we politely asked to change it – which was granted very friendly and easily. They offer 3 different menues, which have only slight differences and are named – as it is fashionable now – after their duration (e.g. big journey – 3.5h). I went for the 12 course degustation menue and after some informations on the wine pairing also for that. Our waitress was very friendly, although she already had been in the restaurant at midday when we had lunch. Respect for that!
First, the amuse bouches: A cigarillo with smoked trout mousse, a wonderful intense fishyness with the twist of the cracking strudel dough. Remarkable a small bowl of bread cream on cabbage with fried chicken skin on top. The bread cream provided an intense, malty sweetness that was balanced by the freshness of the cabbage. The chicken skin added some fatty crunch. Amazing how the parts played together in this small dish. The last amuse was a rice chip with some raw arctic char from the Bluntautal (a valley nearby). Nice waxy texture, clean taste and perfect temperature.
Another char – this time the local variation. The meat was very nice marinated with beautiful waxy texture and perfect temperature again. The jelly of pear and rhubarb was really fitting, adding some acidity to the composition. The peanuts (cream and whole nuts) were basically a good idea, though their intense nuttiness didn’t fit with the other rather subtle aromas. All in all a nice dish, that was paired with a 2010 Sauvignon Blanc by Domaine Stürgkh (Winkler Hermaden, Styria) – a wine with notes of cassia, yellow fruit and some astringency.
Char the third: The piece of fillet was fried on the skin and unfortunately a little bit dry. The fermented garlic and the miso cream contributed soft umami notes, the tapioka (sophisticated popcorn and fermented berries) was funny, but more an optical than a sensorical delight. It was accompanied by a fabulous aged Riesling Terassen 2002 by FX Pichler, that was the highlight of this course.
Have I mentioned that I LOVE goose liver? This one was a nice praline of liver – I was very thrilled how it would work out with duck greaves. But to be honest, there wasn’t much happening – the fatty notes of the greaves and the liver somehow drowned each other. The macadamia and especially the iced red currant with it’s fruity acidity were an amazing partner though. Solid. The course was paired with a very interesting italian sweet wine, a Ramandolo 2007 by Il Ronca, that reminded me a lot of a nicely aged VinSanto.
Until here I was wondering why there was no bread. It turned out that the „side“ was promoted to a „main“ here. A cob of wonderful, freshly baked rye bread was brought to the table on a wooden platter. It came with whipped butter with bacon, some salted potatos and rye seeds. The bread was shere perfect, steaming hot and full of taste. A great idea to honor this wonderful product!
Pikeperch is a wonderful fish, this one was wild catch from the Chiemsee: Amazing product quality, that you could taste. The fillet was perfectly prepared, though a little bit too salty. A shame that 4 scales found their way in our mouths…that’s poor cleaning for a restaurant of this league. The overall combination was kind of weird: The dish cited an austrian beef classic – tongue with horseraddish and spinach. The parts were excellent (especially the half breaded piece of tongue was WONDERFUL) – but the fish didn’t quite fit in. It came with a Capomartino 2010 from Friaul, a beautiful white.
Not much alps until here. UNTIL here: A platter with a brown, sculpture-like form in the middle of grey sand. As the waitress explained, the sand was the abrasion of a growing glacier. Out of it they made a dough, in which a whole fennel was baked as presented on the platter. The abrasion is supposed to give the fennel some minerality and saltiness. So far for the presentation – then the actual dish was brought: A piece of this fennel with apple and sturgeon caviar (from the wonderful Walter Grüll), topped by „glacier ice“ – actually a sour cream ice. A quite sophisticated presentation! The fennel was very nice and perfectly prepared, with a slight touch of minerality and coal – hardly to realize but still present. It went very well along with the overwhelming taste of caviar. The ice added some cool freshness, although it melted quickly and left the rest of this exquisite dish in a strange rather tasteless liquid. All in all an amazing and entertaining dish! The sommelier paired it with a breathtaking Carillon Puligny Montrachet 2010 with wonderful minerality, fruit and length.
Two hip trends in one dish: Fermenting AND burning stuff together on one platter 🙂 In my view two overrated trends…. Well, the leek was nice – with just the right amount of scorchedness. It was topped with a „charcoal“, a small crispy cruller colored with sepia ink. Nice to look at, but rather neutral in terms of taste. The combination with beetroot didn’t work out for me. I mean, I get the idea – balancing the burnt notes, the fermented umami notes with some vegetal sweetness. But it just didn’t taste right for me. What made it even worse was the pairing with a Loacker (yeah, the guy with the cookies) Gewürztraminer. The wine’s aromatic sweetness doubled with the beetroot and got into a serious fight with all the rest, leaving with a terrible astringency. Not nice.
A very pleasant chicken dish – flawlessly prepared and very juicy. I liked the combination of asparagus, morels and peas. The intense vegetable stock was a perfect combination – yes! As wine pairing they served a very well balanced Morillon (chardonny) Schusterberg 2007 by winery Maitz in Styria.
Then, after a long long break, we were served this nice piece of lamb. The meat was surprisingly firm to the bite, yet juicy and tender. It was topped by an amazing fat crust – a real tastebomb. They used the stem of broccoli as a side, quite fitting with the interesting texture of the meat. The broth and the bernaise were nice additions, as well as the cest of buddha’s hand lemon that was rasped over it. This great and balanced dish was paired with a 2005 Passopisciaro from Sicily, an extraordinary wine with both cool fruitiness and fresh acidity.
Up next a very interesting variation of the traditional cheese platter. I liked the idea of creating a seperate dish from cheese very much. It brought together three things meant to be together: cheese, nut and something sweet. The cheese was aged „Bergkäse“ (mountain cheese) and it went perfectly with the nutty notes of pistacchio (sponge and chopped) and the sweetness of the carrot (cream, sliced). Some fresh anise brought green notes into play – very nice. The cheese came with a German Riesling, a 2012 VanVolxem Rotschiefer, that supported the intense taste of the dish perfectly with its minerality and sweet-sour balance.
As a small pre-dessert we had a very refreshing cream of goat cheese, that actually tasted more like strained yoghurt, topped with braised rhubarb and a granite of sorrel and coriander. Good stuff!
The main dessert cited a dish, often served to children in Austria – „Grieskoch“, a semolina porridge. It was perfectly prepared with just the right consistency. A huge portion, but it was so finger-licking good that we finished it. It was paired with apple, cinnamon and caramel and some citrus fruit in different textures, that made the heavy porridge a bit lighter. An absolutely wonderful dessert 🙂 The wine pairing was a Johanneshof Rheinisch Roter Veltliner Auslese, not too sweet with present acidity and buffering the intense notes of the dessert quite well.
By this time it had become after midnight – more than 4.5 hours had passed (so much fo the menue’s name). The room was almost empty, the waiters seemingly tired but our dinner just had finished. One girl came over and more or less openly asked us to take our coffee at the bar. For me this was a bit blunt, but understandable. However, we just wanted to sleep too – so we asked for the sweets and the bill.
The „hiking farewell“ was presented very beautifully, I especially liked the look of the rocks. We ate the fries, which tasted quite weird – not sweet, not salty – and came with an even stranger version of ketchup and mayonaise. The pralinés and the chocolate rocks were packed for us and we enjoyed them at home the day after.
During the evening our service was ok – the waiters were very attentive, though they couldn’t reply to some questions concerning the ingredients and also didn’t bother to get the information elsewhere. The maître was an excellent sommelier, trying to present the wine pairing to every table himself and giving a lot of background detail about the wines. Funny though, that he always poured half a glass while the other waiters poured a full one 🙂
I would say that Doellerer is absolutely worth visiting. Andreas Doellerer has a distinct handwriting in his dishes, concentrating on excellent local products and preparing them in a both unusual and recent way. The wine pairing is highly interesting and presents a lot of aged vintages and international names. We payed for this wonderful experience 410 Euros for 2 pax (12 courses/8 courses + wine pairing).