Edvard - 20Vienna reminds me of Paris, its greatness and imperial image, its luxuries and exclusive hotels, a certain unique glamour and of course, excellent restaurants, in a mix between Central European Haute Cuisine, French Cuisine and the new trends – ahh, the prices are much nicer in Vienna.

Speaking of one of those exclusive hotels, particularly the Palais Hansen Kempinski, is where we find Edvard, one of the most recent additions to the Vienna Red Guide and one of the sensations of the new Viennese cuisine.

Heading the kitchen is, since the beginning of the year, Anton Pozeg, the former sous chef who succeeded Philipp Vogel. 

Edvard - 18But history aside, let’s talk about our experience. We arrived early, there was only a guest in the room and we were heartly welcomed by the staff – Edvard is not the typical hotel restaurant, with over a hundred seats and a giant team – and guided to our table. Cozy environment, with the whites prevailing in the room, with classic walls and some more minimalist and contemporary details. Wide tables and properly spaced, with chairs that left us prepared for the hours of service ahead.

Edvard - 17Amuse Bouche

Right after seating down, we are welcomed by the Sommelier Marcel Ribis (who would be of extreme importance in this dinner) accompanied by a brilliant Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart Brut 1999. A great Champagne, with one of the best quality/price ratios of the region. to entertain also came up some appetizers, a sort of amuse bouche“Bloody Mary” – the freshness of the celery and the different textures were a nice awakening for the taste buds and the Quinoa with Pike and Coriander, which surprised mostly for the quinoa crunch.

Edvard - 16Amuse Bouche

Followed two butters, a classic without salt and another aromatized with onion and prosciutto, if none of them was worthy of the spotlight, the bread that came with them was probably the best we had in our trip around Central Europe – and we ate excellent artisanal breads – a sourdough created by Joseph Brot, the most famous Viennese baker. Brilliant!

Edvard - 15Amuse Bouche – Oyster, fennel, yogurt and lemon 

To finish the welcoming of the chef, the last amuse bouche,  Gillardeau Oyster with fennel, yogurt and Amalfi lemon foam. Breaded oyster, cooked on spot, well accompanied with laminated fennel and the creamy textures creating a delicious explosion of freshness and sea.

To go with and to start the meal itself, a glass of no other than a Riesling Nikolaihof Vinothek from 1997. A unique wine and one of the most interesting and complex white wines I ever tasted, on the nose it flies between flowers, citrus and brioche (the wine is in contact with the lees for 17 years before being bottled). In the mouth its minerality and freshness conquered on the first contact. An extraordinary wine.

Edvard - 14
Trout, Eggplant, watercress and grapefruit
For the first starter, a slightly smoked trout, of flawless flavor and texture, well accompanied with some more earthy notes like the eggplant cream, the tomato cream and the two textures of watercress. An elegant dish, with a nice nuance of flavors and texture game between the several elements. The freshness and acidity of the grapefruit sphere elevated the dish even more.

To harmonize, Marcel suggested a Sake Horin, of fruity nose and delicate mouth with an excellent ending that was a good company to the fish.

Edvard - 13Madai, topinambour, herbal tea 
Madai is a commonly used fish in Japan, a fish of the seabream family, here presented exactly in the form of an elegant sashimi, over boiled topinambour, with the skin on, and a clear and flavored herbal tea connecting and complementing the elements. A dish of oriental inspiration revealing the subtlety of flavors of the Japanese cuisine.

In the glass was a TLZ Lysegrön N° 2 of Strohmeier, a natural wine, made with 100% of Weissburgunder. A long wine with excellent acidity that conquers even the most reticent of the tasters, concerning natural wines. I warned you the sommelier would be of great importance in this dinner!

Edvard - 12
Black salsify Root, chicory, ria, trevisano, honey and herbs 
This was probably the least interesting of the tasted dishes that evening, with the earthy flavors of the root not receiving enough company to elevate the dish, whether with the bitterness of the chicory and trevisano or with the honey and herb sauce.

Harmonizing, a Pommard Vieilles Vignes 2010 from Domaine Joseph Voillot, a wine with the classical soul of a vigneron from Burgundy, with an elegance and structure that worked very well with the earth notes of the dish.

Edvard - 11Chicken, egg, spinach and potato
As protein they used the noble part of the chicken known as “chicken oyster”, a darker meat on the back of the animal next to the tights, considered to be the most tasty and tender part. A light preparation, nicely involved by the potato foam, the greasiness of the egg yolk and of course, the freshness of the spinach cream. To give some crunchy texture was a “sand” of fries. Comforting and full of flavor!

To this dish the choice of Marcel Ribis went to a less likely wine, a Bollinger (yes, they do more than Champagne!), La Côte Aux Enfants Coteaux Champenois 2012, obviously produced in the region of Champagne and showing the other side of the Pinot Noir caste, quite different from its predecessor. A precise wine, rare, complex and with a structure that was the best of companies to the dish.

Edvard - 10Roquefort, Pata Negra and Polenta 
A fusion of flavors from three different countries, with the roquefort dominating, very well accompanied by the greasiness and notes of the pata negra (prosciutto iberico), as well as the different textures of the polenta. Very good!

If the dish had a mix from three countries, on the glass came the fourth, Portugal, and to our surprise a fantastic Port, the exclusive Cask 33 from Sandeman, more accurately the bottle number 23 of the 685 produced. An harmonious wine, with a complex nose and an elegant ending.

Edvard - 8
Pumpkin, Taleggio
A dish that wasn’t on the “program” of the tasting menu, coming up from a challenge I gave to the sommelier and the chef, to harmonize one of their dishes with the wine I took on this trip, a Niepoort Redoma Branco 2014. A fresh and mineral wine, with a singular complexity to the good image of  Dirk Niepoort.

As to the dish itself, excellent game of pumpkin textures, from the leavened pumpkin to the gnocchis, passing through a crumble. When tasted alone, the texture of the gnocchi was a bit hard, but it made sense tasted in combination with the other elements. The herb sauce gave freshness to the dish, connecting very well with the pumpkin and adding some other details to the dish, as well as the Taleggio that gave us greasiness and flavor, elevating the dish quite a bit. Very good!

Edvard - 7Veal, plum, pumpkin and dumplings
Succulent meat, cooked correctly with a nice touch of pepper. The sides transported us immediately to the autumn, with the pumpkin textures and the plum complementing the meat perfectly. The dumplings brought substance and texture to the mix. An excellent main course!

To go with, an excellent Austrian red, Blaufränkisch Mariental 2011 of the producer Triebaumer Ernst aus Rust, a complex wine filled with ripe fruit on the nose and an intense mouth that revealed to be an excellent company to the veal.

Edvard - 6Pre-desset

As pre-dessert arrived at the table a cheese cream with prickly pear and peanut ice cream, being not only an excellent pre dessert, but could’ve perfectly been the ending of the meal, being so good, an excellent cheese cream with vanilla (cheesecake style), nicely combined with the sweetness of the fig and the amazing peanut ice cream.

Edvard - 5Quince, Lemon, jasmine and nougat 
To finish, an ingredient that in Portugal is a bit despised (only used in marmelada, a quince jam), the Quince, an autumn fruit than when used right serves both as great side or a great dessert, like this one. Several textures of quince, from the boiled thin slices to the ice cream, very well combined with a jasmine gel that flavors the dish, with the freshness of the curd and lemon zest, and also the nougat that brings even more texture and flavor to the dish. A delicate and fresh ending, like it should, for a long meal.

This time we didn’t finish with a Port, but with a Riesling de 2010 of Leitz Weingut, produced in Rheingau, Germany. A wine with a good body and structure and some citric notes that worked really nicely with the dessert.

Edvard - 4Petit four

When you think everything came to an end (and what a nice ending!), arise the petit four for the true goodbye, toffee macaroon, grapefruit madeleine, mini kiwi with mango and chocolate with dried fruits. All of them very well executed and presented.

As digestive, the Rolls Royce of Schnapps, Rochelt Wachauer Marille 2007, produced with apricots, carefully selected and fermented according to the tradition. On the nose it is intense and in the mouth is concentrated and full of fruit. Great class!

And just like that a few hours passed by (I told you about the importance of the chairs), with an intense parade of food, where the sommelier provided us one of the best harmonizations I ever experienced, not only because of the obvious quality of the wines served but for the assertive way they were pared with the dishes.

The Service was also singular, in opposition to the clichés of a classic Michelin restaurant or an Hotel restaurant, associated to an excellent professionalism and know how, with more relaxed and fun moments, providing a global experience much more interesting than if focusing just on the food.

Edvard - 2

Final Remarks
Edvard is a restaurant that flees from the typical Hotel restaurant, focused in a more personalized service and a gastronomic offer that combines the technique from the Central Europe with some more mediterranean influences. Despite the change of Chef in the beginning of the year, and taking in account the work we saw from Anton Pozeg, the dishes and flavors presented combined perfectly the respect for the ingredients with flavor and technique. The restaurant will continue for a long time on the charismatic Michelin Red Guide for Vienna.

For sure one of the best experiences we had in our last trips. If you like wine and fine dining this is absolutely a place to visit in the city!

Palais Hansen Kempinski
Schottenring,nº 24 – Vienna
+43 1 236 1000

 Versão Portuguesa

Text: João Oliveira | Photos: Flavors & Senses with Sony A7S

We stayed at Edvard by invitation from the  Kempinski Group, whereas this not alter our work, being the opinion and the text of the exclusive responsibility of the author.

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