Only a few nations in the world are as obsessed with quality food as the Japanese. In Austria „japanese restaurants“ are mostly bad sushi bars run by Chinese people. So time for some real deal: A visit at the tiny Kuishimbo!
The Vienna Naschmarkt is a quite touristy area with a lot of mediocre shops and restaurants. But at the far end near Kettenbrückengasse, right at the front of the beautiful Majolikahaus you find a tiny entrance with a few chairs outside.
To sit outside for lunch you have to be quick – it starts at 12:00 sharp. Inside there are a few chairs with wall-view. On the walls though, you find the extensive menue (mostly in japanese, with some german and english hints). The restaurant is run by an immensly friendly and nice japanese family.
There is a lot of beautiful starters to enjoy. For example:
The silk tofu is amazing, it melts on your tongue with it’s milky and creamy but amazingly fluffy texture. It comes with a thick and intense sauce. The edamame are a standard, very fresh and green. Then we also had two kinds of seaweed salad – the left with strong notes of umami, iodine and sea. The right salad was more crunchy, with nice nutty accents of sesame.
Very nice Kimchi, very spicy. The Maki were quite good (maybe not THE thing to go for here, but still solid), the rice being not too hard neither too soft.
One of my favorites: They have soups with udon noodles and different additions (vegetables, meat). The soup was very taste, a great experience to have the different taste sensations of fresh vegetables, tender meat and those weird noodles.
Fermented soy beans are really something. They smell like cheesy feet and they also kind of taste like cheesy feet. The even look cheesy, literally. Not for everyday – but definetely worth trying. Below another favorite of mine, that I’ve already made at home: A carpaccio of king oyster mushrooms (or porcini), sea scallop and lemon. The scallops were quickly burnt with a blowtorch and then arranged with the other ingredients. Very basic, very beautiful: The mushrooms and the scallops offer a nice contrast of taste and texture.
Weird to have something like this at a Japanese restaurant. But actually very nice. Inside seemend to be some potato-based curry.
And finally the main course: Again they used the blowtorch to burn small fillets of salmon from one side. The so half cooked fish is placed on a bowl of rice, sprinkled with some seaweed and served with some wakame salad. Easy but effectful. Sprinkled with some soy sauce this is just a wonderful dish!
Kuishimbo is definetely a place to visit, they also have some crazy japanese soft-drinks and very nice tea. We paid approx. 40-50€ for 2 persons. For a quick bite not cheap, but you enjoy amazing food with high quality ingredients, unique taste and of course genuine japanese hospitality.
PS: Thanks again to the one and only Babsi for this tip!