A rafting trip brought us to beautiful Salzburg (so many mountains….). We stayed in Golling, so why not make a small detour to Werfen – an amazingly beautiful village with a giant fortress watching over it. In the center of Werfen is one of Austria’s best restaurants: The restaurant and hotel Obauer.
We went there for dinner – from outside it didn’t say much to be honest. The restaurant is attached to the hotel, so you basically use the hotel entrance to get in.
We were welcomed friendly and brought to our place. The interior is….well…classic late 80ties, as you would imagine an upper class hotel-restaurant of this time. Not really cosy nor cool, to be honest. We had a table at the window, which lead to an (obviously later built) winter garden. Not really a view there.
The service is friendly and professional with a great and ressourceful sommelier. Due to the rather narrow place you see a lot of people running around though. They offer 2 different menues (6/4 courses). You can smell the density of russian oligarchs around – they offer for EVERY menue upgrades (truffle, goose liver and caviar), no matter if they fit or not. Strange thing – especially for the liver, which is a standard everywhere else. We chose the 6 courses. During our meal Karl Obauer came to our table, welcomed us and asked if everything was alright – a very nice gesture.
The cover (4€) was good, though not very special. Particularly the bread was rather boring and a little bit dry. The pâté had a disgusting color (berries in it), but tasted absolutely great!
The first series of amuse bouches was mixed. The croquette was nice, as was the aspic. The polenta didn’t have much taste and the caramel chip was way too big and thick for the small amount of cheese.
The second wave of starters was flawless – the tartar had the perfect temperature and tasted VERY fresh. The best starter was the potato cream, with it’s dense taste and the nice twist of oil and asparagus.
This dish was hard to image from the description only. The big junk of (supposedly wild) sea bass was amazing and flawlessly prepared to the point. The asparagus was tender (!) and very tasty. The most interesting part was the paste and sauce, with a very difficile game between sweetness and sourness that worked very good. The overall impression was very fresh and fruity – in a good way!
I am no fan of seabuckthorn – but this was great. The soup was very dense and intense. Together with the smoky aroma of the trout and the fishyness of the trout-caviar and was a great experience. The scallop was tender and it’s sweetness fitted well with the soup, giving a melting texture on the tongue. The only flaw was the lobster tail – evidently it was defrozen, which is no problem, but it was poor quality because the meat was rather stringy and hard. The should have left it out…
Very nice. Again with an amazing and well balanced sweet-sour contrast. The fruity twist of the cherries was amazing with the tasy liver. After that there was a entrement, which I forgot to photograph. It was apple compote with beef and sheep yogurt – not really to my taste.
Meat! The deer was very good, prepared exactly to the point with a dense and tasty gravy that was finger-licking-perfect. The asparagus pudding on the other hand was rather tasteless. The wormwood-berries had a great, natural and fruity taste and fitted perfectly with the meat.
The cheese selection for the menue is fixed. A shame, because they have a huge selection coming on a wooden platter, with chutneys, oils and pickles. The maître offered me to choose from the platter on request, but I don’t know if it would have been with surcharge. Anyway – the cheese was very good, mostly local but in great quality. I wouldn’t have needed the cress and the yogurt. After finishing I asked for a small piece of the most animalish, intense cheese which I had a tooth for – the waitress was very friendly and brought me a great, aged goat cheese free of charge. Thumbs up for that!
The dessert was very fresh and fruity, with a nice vegetal tough in it. With it came a selection of pralinés, that were ok. Especially good was the „caramel-tunnel“ – yummy!
The wine pairing was VERY good, with a good mix of national and international wines. I had a glass of a wonderful white wine from Côte de Beaune (Burgundy) with amazing nutty notes, also a glass of Solitaire the top-wine of the winery Feiler-Artinger from back home (Burgenland). They don’t really offer a fixed pairing but serve one glass to each course. So it was rather expansive, but worth it.
All in all it was a great experience, a restaurant with a distinct and unique cooking style and very sophisticated creations on the plate! Definetely worth a try, though you have to like certain traits of Karl und Rudolf Obauer’s kitchen. We payed 335€ for 2 menues, 1 aperitive and 9 glasses of wine.