It’s always hard for me whittle down my restaurant choices when deciding where I want to go, so a good recommendation is much welcomed. A fellow food writer told me that Michelin-starred Konstantin Filippou in Vienna was quite simply the best restaurant he’d tried in a long time so it didn’t take much persuading to include lunch there on my excel spreadsheet.
The dining room is simple, classic and unassuming because what’s really important is what’s going on in the kitchen. not only is there a window into the kitchen itself, viewable from each of the 35 seats, there are also chefs preparing food at the back of room. Meaning that you’re truly enveloped in the creative process.
There’s the option of a set three course business lunch or a more pricey à la carte with the options of four or six courses. Never ones to stick to the rules, we decided to go for three courses and mix and match from each.
With Krug being the house champagne, we ordered a glass each before feasting on the bread.
With the crispiest of crust and delicious chewy dough, it was totally addictive and we both loved the accompanying onion butter.
An amuse bouche of ducks liver was lovely but the berry and beetroot accompaniment actually meant it tasted more like a sweet, definitely an interesting dish.
The next nibble arrived as two egg cups with a creamy onion soup and flavoursome foam, just perfect to whet our appetites for what was to come.
My salmon label rouge starter was utterly wonderful, with a perfect firm texture and light topping of avocado and shards of pumpernickel bread. I’m not usually one to slather a dish in sauce but the mustard dressing elevated the dish to another level. This was one of my favourite dishes of the whole trip.
Theresa’s single scallop starter was deceptively simple but it was beautifully cooked and a crispy Mangalitza pork created a satisfying contrasting crunch while black garlic elevated the flavour. Inspired by both the sea and countryside, the chef loves combining both ‘worlds’ into his dishes.
Chef Konstantin Filippou origins had a great influence on his culinary philosophy, with a Greek father and Austrian mother, his parents both loved to cook at home, giving Konstantin an early start in the culinary world. He gained inspiration from Mediterranean cooking, which is evident in many of his dishes. Konstantin worked with many celebrated chefs including Heinz Reitbauer at Steireck, Gordon Ramsay in London and at the temple of gastronomy, Arzak in San Sebastian. He opened his first restaurant here in 2013 and was awarded the Michelin star in 2015.
Before my main course I was given the offal of the pigeon in a rich sauce. While I definitely appreciate the idea, I’m not a big fan of the texture of offal and I left most of this.
My pigeon itself was rare and I chose this dish as I loved the listed accompaniments eggplant and miso. My favourite ingredients did not let me down and the dish worked perfectly as a combination. It was slightly on the small side but the intention is to serve it as part of a set menu, not as a main course by itself.
Theresa loved the veal cheeks with pumpkin and bone marrow, though I didn’t find the fatty meat personally to my taste I did agree it was a good hearty, wintery dish.
Dessert was an absolute highlight or me as it was light and not too sweet. A good dollop of Mascarpone (to satisfy my cheese loving friend), juicy berries and a lovely crunchy crumble with nuts. A berry sorbet completed the delicious and pretty plate.
Completing the meal with a trio of petit fours; fruity, chocolatey and minty, left us feeling not overly full but satisfied with a lovely sweet ending.
We really enjoyed the food, service and the elegant dining room at Konstantin Filippou and I can see why it’s one of the best restaurants in Vienna. I do want to point out that it was very quiet there, but I’m going to attribute that to our visit being mid week at the city’s coldest time of year!
Restaurant Konstantin Filippou
A – 1010 Wien
+43 01 51 22 229