The cafes of the ol´ era have always been a closely associated to poets, writers, and artisans as they encourage such artistic greats with new inspirations like no other. CAFE VIENNA
Having a modern yet quaintly evocative ambiance does help cultivate self-reflection, nurture day-dreaming moments, and encourage the glorious pastime of watching the world go by.
While such establishments are common in Vienna, as well as around Europe and the US, it is very rare to find one outside these regions that accurately emulate the charming environment of a traditional cafe.
Even in KL, an epicentre of food culture, it is not easy to find a traditional Viennese cafe.
That changed when Cafe Vienna - a local cafe that modelled itself on famous cafes of Vienna - opened up its doors. Being true to its name, the proprietors paid attention to every detail in their efforts to recreate the tradition and culture of a Viennese cafe, showcasing what the real deal is like - unobtrusive, inviting, and homely.
Complementing the authentic cafe ambiance and setting is the choice variety of Austrian dishes that are present in Cafe Vienna´s menu - some of which, being the best-sellers - are picked for the review.
The evening meal started with the Bohnen Suppe (Bean Soup), a refreshing broth that is surprisingly flavourful as it had the right balance of Cannellini beans, turkey ham, potatoes, and a great dash of paprika to give it that spicy kick.
Following the agenda, the kitchen staff decided to forego appetisers as they churned out light meals and mains instead. First to arrive were the light meals: the Vienna Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich and Pita with Spinach and Cheese.
Both have contrasting flavours and palate-satisfying effects. The crowd-favourite sandwich takes the common deep-fried breaded chicken breast fillet and adds a twist by slathering tomato sauce, melted Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese, and dusted herbs onto it. Still piping hot, it is then packed with lettuce and fresh tomatoes into a Panini bun, and is served with salad on the side. Presenting itself like a meaty-pizza in a bun, the sandwich is satisfying to the very last morsel.
The pita, meanwhile, is a special flaky spiral pastry made out of Filo pastry that is stuffed with spinach and Ricotta cheese. Served with yogurt and a small portion of Greek salad, the pastry makes for a good appetiser that can be shared and is best eaten fresh out of the oven.
Not to be outdone, the three mains came out next. Consisting of a pasta (Kaesespaetzle), and two meat dishes (Tafelspitz and Wiener Schnitzel), all three are very popular with the lunch crowd.
The spaetzle is a true Austrian dish as the pasta is traditionally hand-made like how it is done in Austria and tossed in a cream-cheese sauce - very unlike its Italian counterparts that prefer using tomato- or oils-based sauces. Using Gorgonzola-Gruyere cheese with sauteed mushrooms, turkey ham, onions and even more spinach, the pasta is rich but not overly so that it puts-off the palate.
As for the other two mains, both are meat specialities that are done up in very different styles. The Tafelspitz is a simple beef dish that is reminiscent of a slightly saucy stew. Thinly sliced simmered beef that is served with balsamic reduction and horseradish cream sauce, it takes a while to fully appreciate the sweet/sour elements of the sauces that complement the very tender yet slightly dried-tasting meat. It is definitely different from the usual grills and stews.
For those who want a more wholesome meal and don´t mind veal, then the Wiener Schnitzel is a more suitable choice. A choice cut of veal, which is pounded till it is tender and thin, is breaded and deep-fried to a delicious crisp to seal its juices in. Served with a choice of two sauces: Anchovies-Capers or Cranberry, this scrumptiously mouth-watering dish is the highlight of the evening as it is represents the finest in Viennese cooking.
Desserts for the evening had two of the cafe´s house specials making an appearance: the Schokoladen Kuchen (Chocolate Lava Cake) and Topfeen Palatschinken (Crepes filled with Vanilla ice cream chocolate sauce, strawberries and cream). Both are delightfully sinful and enough to satisfy that sugar craving. Interestingly, the vanilla ice cream used in both desserts stole some of the attention as it is exceptionally creamy and smooth. One may make the mistake of presuming the desserts as the accompaniment to the ice cream instead.
3rd Floor, Suria KLCC
Tel: 03-2161 8268