In Vienna there are neighborhoods and hoods. In one of the latter you find a big door with a sign „Please ring“ and a peephole. Could be a nightclub, could be worse. But behind the door is one of Vienna’s finest restaurants: Mraz&Sohn.
The restaurant tradition of the Mraz family goes back for generations. Currently Markus Mraz is the head chef, who is famous for his experimental cooking and his fancy presentation. Coming in, we were welcomed friendly by maitre Peggy Strobel and brought to our table. The interior of the restaurant is mostly grey and modern, I found it very comfortable (especially the chairs!) – the reduced interior lets you concentrate on the real deal: The food…
First the „water menue“ is presented, which is in fact really cool – feels like a waterbed. You can select from international and insanely priced waters, but they also were comletely friendly offering tab water, that was brought in a measuring cylinder. Throughout the evening our water was always refilled.
With the food menue they also presented to hors d’oeuvres: A filled kalamata olive and something with avocado 🙂
The couvert (4.9€) included this beautiful bread selection with poppy oil and cheese shaped butter (they actually cut holes in it!), three starters and one sweet surprise. The bread was very fresh and aromatic, but the best thing was definetely the oil with it’s nutty and fruity taste.
We went for the „No risk no fun“ menue, including 9 courses for 99€ with an optional wine pairing for 55€. The wine degustation was amazing, actually one of the best I’ve ever had: It was nicely presented my the young sommelier Pascal Kopetzky, who presented an international and very interesting selection of characterful wines! And off we go into the evening with three starters:
The snowball was refreshing (though I forgot what it actually was). The first highlight was the „fly agaric“: A perfect example for the distinctive presentation style. The stem was made of goose liver, topped with a raspberry macaron – a beautiful combination of mellowness, sweetness and fruit acidity. And of course, fun to eat!
Also an amazing idea: A deconstructed beef tartar. The traditional ingredients (anchovies, capers and the like) were presented on the toasted bread, along with a very dense beef consommé. You you basically ate the ingredients and drank the soup like a tea – the amazing thing was, in your mouth it really tasted like beef tartar. And like a good one!
Then the actual menu started:
A rather silent, but nice start into the evening: The rib meat was minced to a very aromatic purée. The crab meat didn’t come through but the cabbage and beans were a nice accent to the smoky and fatty taste of the ribs.
A beautiful dish: It was served like on the picture. As a first part we had those great and aromatic Carabineros. Their intense taste was supported by the vegetal accent of the palmitos and the sourness of the passionfruit mousse. As we’ve finished the waitress turned around the bowl. On the inside sticked a thin slice of raw wagyu beef. Additionally a warm prawn fond (made of the Carabinero’s shells) was poured. The beef was just amazing, tender and very intense, personally I wouldn’t have needed the shellfish taste with it. But anyway – a creative and well balanced dish.
An absolute highlight: This chicken dish was presented like a fortuneteller’s crystal ball and opened in front of you. On the left side was an incredibly dense and tasty eggnog cream, topped with a piece of fried chicken skin and truffel. THIS WAS SO GOOD! The muddy aroma of the truffel gave the eggnog a wonderful kick. On the other side we had greaves in maybe the best chicken soup I‘ ever tasted, such a clean and pleasant taste. Wow!
I love goose liver – and this was goose liver lover’s paradise. The plate for this dish shows a lot of planning… On the big warm plate there was a piece of roasted goose liver with a fluid core (!), which was breathtaking. The small frozen plate had chilled liver and a goose liver ice cream. The three consistencies were accompagnied by three different forms of rowanberries: A chip, jus and whole marinated berries. The fruity sourness of the berries was an amazing contrast to the intense and mellow taste of the liver. The lentils were boiled to the point and al dente and formed a perfect texture contrast. Sommelier Kopetzky presented a wonderful Chateau Coutet with it, which was a revelation. PA-RA-DISE.
Having lobster as a main course is old school. And this was a huge chunk of lobster, that tasted great – cooked to the point and inside a little raw. It came with a rather boring fried sweetbread nugget. I liked the variations of cauliflower with it and the intense aroma of the Dashi. Again a great winepairing with an unusual white from the French Jura, that actually tasted like rocks!
Meat, baby! The venison was without a flaw – tender, intense and prepared to perfection. It came with black salsify that was lacquered with tonka beans and puntarelle. Very nice combination of aromas and textures. But the actual star was the side dish: Venison heart, that tasted just perfect!
So far for the main courses, now it was cheese time. The cheese was presented with a selection of homemade raisins, truffle honey, vinegar nuts, chutneys and of course bread:
The cheese was really good, I especially liked the wine pairing: The sommellier brought four glasses and presented to each cheese another wine. This was really great, considering that the cheeses had different intensities and styles. The best cheese-wine pairing I’ve ever had.
The first sweet: Amazing presentation, but rather boring taste. Very harmonic, but no real highlight. This is wining on a high level, though.
The second dessert: Again amazing and thrilling presentation, but I didn’t like the combination here (especially the sponge was strange). Maybe not really a sweet-place.
This was my favorite sweet – a burning lantern was brought every one of us. Then the wick was removed and when it burned down, we had a very nice and tasty crème brulée. A great finish for a breathtaking evening!
After all, this is one of my absolute favorites in Vienna: Amazing food, wonderful presentation, great wine pairing, very friendly service in a familial atmosphere – everything is just right here. The have a different menue every season of the year…so see you again in spring 🙂 I paid 180€ for couvert, 9 courses, wine pairing, and a glass of champagne including tip.
PS: Cheers to Jan&Babsi for the great company and the wonderful evening. And Babsi for her Photo skills 🙂