Philipp Prascer opens his new restaurant "Augenweide" near the Danube Canal. There are steaks, pasta and sushi. With this unusual "crossover" he wants to solve a well-known problem.
by Christoph Schwarz
Malicious tongues could claim that Philipp Prascer has not found a proper concept for his new restaurant – it is already his ninth one.
When the "eye candy" opens today, Thursday, the menu will feature the surprisingly peculiar combination of the finest dry-aged steaks, extravagant sushi – and traditional pasta. The new restaurant on Obere Donaustrabe is also visually overflowing with curated stimuli.
The tube-like guest room is bathed in red, pink, blue and green light, there are mangas on the wall, some guests are allowed to sit on old barber chairs.
Manga motifs on the stone wall
The accusation of conceptlessness, of course, is not true. Quite the opposite. The pub was born from an idea that is wonderfully taken from life: “Everyone knows the discussions from their friends or family. One person wants a steak, the other prefers Japanese,” says Prascer in an interview with KURIER. “Now there is the solution: you just come to us.”
Prascer is not sparing with superlatives in his new “crossover restaurant” – as the technical term goes. Steak icon Steven Pegg, who has cooked at the Ritz Carlton, on cruises and in Spain, is responsible for the meat.
His grill (right next door: a glass, illuminated, walk-in dry-ager) sits enthroned right in the center of the place.
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So that it does not become bland
At one end of the restaurant is the bar, at the other end sushi and maki are prepared. And also from someone who can: Walter Sidoravicius learned his craft in Japan, usually found at his beach club in Ibiza. "He brings sushi to Vienna in a quality that has not been available in this form in the city before," says Prascer.
Between the three stations bar, grill and sushi counter are more than 50 meters and an incredible amount of exciting furniture. "You don’t get bored looking at it," Prascer says. "You can come to us three times a week and eat in a different ambience each time." Waiters rush back and forth between areas. Because here everything is served everywhere.
The glass front is one of the highlights
A highlight: a glass front runs the entire length of the restaurant. It’s not only good to look in, but also to look out of. On the passing cars, for example, that’s wonderfully urban. Or the “Motto am Fluss”, which is located exactly opposite on the other side of the Danube Canal. (The “Spelunke” in turn is next door.)
Thus, “there are only good seats in the whole restaurant,” says Prascer. Another superlative. But he is right.
So much for the interior. But what about the cuisine?? “Your palate will make eyes” is the slogan of the restaurant. A promise that is already being well fulfilled on the first days of the trial run.
The selection of steaks is large.
The menu is peppered with exciting dishes. The selection of steaks is large and ranges from the 1.2-kilo tomahawk to Wagyu rump steak to filet ladycut. The filet costs a fair 28 euros, the waiter recommends aioli (good) and mashed potatoes to it. (The latter is not as creamy as you’d expect from upscale restaurants – but a bit chunky, like Grandma’s.). No mistake.) The food is served on wooden boards. (Admittedly, there are also burgers. More courageous would have been without.)
The selection of nigiri, sashimi and maki is impressive. Four salmon sashimi start at 6 euros. Eight hamachi maki rolls with yellowtail, avocado, yuzu and Japanese plum gel cost 14 euros.
And the pasta? Trenette – narrow, square spaghetti – are served, for example as original carbonara (16 euros) or in a crab-prosecco-lemon sauce (18 euros).
Soon also breakfast
Corona-conditioned, the "eye candy" opens at 4 p.m. for the time being; later on, breakfast will also be served. Eggs Benedict are served at 10 euros, omelettes at 9 euros. And instead of "Ham& Eggs," the chef offers "Steak&" Eggs": The 100 gram fillet with a thyme polenta and fried eggs is available at 18 euros. The bread comes from the offerl, the cheese greeting from the Naschmarkt.
Prascer, who with his Litus Group owns the "Blumenwiese" on the Danube Canal and the "Stadt.Allee" on the Mahu, with the "Augenweide" the "hearty Viennese, who works hard and therefore also wants to enjoy". Means: "The upper middle class."
The fact that the restaurant is opening now, during the crisis, should also be a signal, he says: "We want to get things moving again, that’s good for the heads."First impression: It works.