In a green leafy suburb just outside the centre of Vienna, inside a working winery with a hidden vaulted cellar with exposed brick walls, Chef Juan Amador and his team are waiting to indulge your tastebuds with flavours and cooking styles from all over the world.
As this is the only 3 Michelin-starred restaurant in the whole of Austria, it is hard not to walk through the doors of Amador with the highest expectations… And in this case, the wow factor is most certainly there:
The service is amicable yet professional, and the ambiance lovely. The set menu consists of tapas-style starters, a six-course tasting menu, and an array of desserts that is priced at 285€ per person.
The Menu at Amador Vienna
The experience starts with tapas and snacks which, in our case, included:
- Free Range Beef Tartar | Ginger | Beeftea – a gorgeous little starter with a heartwarming broth
- Walk in a forest – a delightful little treat with mushrooms
- Le Macaron ‘N25″ – with N25 Caviar
- Pastrami | Gherkin | Horseradish – the most elaborate yet tasty pastrami sandwich you will ever have
- Balfegó Tuna | Wasabi | White Bean – the perfect combination of cherrywood smoked tuna, anchovies and wasabi
- Langoustine | Moro-Orange | Cinnamon
The Tasting Menu
Before the tasting menu, we are served a delicious little bread basket, with a side of butter and Finca la Torre olive oil from Malaga, and of course, lomo.
Then comes the six-course tasting menu which consisted of:
- CARABINERO: Melon | Walnut | Coppa Iberica – served with a delicious little croqueta on the side
- FRENCH ONION SOUP: Black Hake | Saffron | Comté – with Hollandaise, caramelised onion and Comté cracker, it was one of the night’s best dishes!
- BRETON TURBOT: Jerusalem Artichoke | Boudin Noir | Lovage – beautifully cooked and served with divine artichoke foam. I don’t think the dish needed the boudin noir (a type of blood sausage), but then again, it’s never been a personal favourite of mine, so I might be biased.
- BREAST AND LEG: Bresse Gauloise | Winter Asparagus | White Truffle – a two-part dish which was tasty, but I could probably live without.
- FOIE GRAS FROM EDUARDO SOUSA: Sauternes | Grapes | Sainte Maure – we’ve been told Eduardo Sousa is the only farmer in the world who makes foie gras without gavage (force-feeding).
- DES KAISERS SCHMARRN: Quince | Tahitian Vanilla | No Raisins – an Austro-Hungarian dessert that often contains raisins, which in this case were not included as ‘the chef hates raisins’ said our kind host.
There was an option to add an additional dish of pigeon to these as well, but we thought it might be a bit too much with everything else on the menu (and later found out, it was absolutely the right decision to make).
The journey continues with pequeñas locuras:
- Sunflower | Passion Fruit | Chocolate
- Blueberry Cheesecake
- Matcha | Kalamansi | Ivoire
- Yoghurt | Blackberry | Baiser
- Homage to Jackson Pollock
- Happy End
There was also a wine pairing option (155€) which consisted of Austrian, French, Spanish and Italian wines, but it didn’t particularly appeal to us. So we opted for some Joh. Jos. Prüm Riesling and an Austrian red instead, before finishing with some sweet wine.
The Final Verdict
If I were to respond à la Joey: Food? Good! Service? Good! Atmosphere? Good!
But was it really a 3 starred Michelin experience, like say in The French Laundry? I would have to say no.
The food was delicious but we couldn’t help but feel there were perhaps a few dishes that could be removed, so as to not feel like we were about the explode in the end. And the service, although pretty good, was not quite what you would expect from a restaurant of this calibre.
Having said all that, overall, we had a lovely evening at Amador, and if you’re ever in Vienna and in the market for creative dishes in a unique place with a bit of oomph, it is undoubtedly well worth a visit.
If you do, prost to you my lovelies and let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Photo credits: Tom Dymond © 2021 – www.tomdymond.co.uk