A surprisingly complicated tuna

I was in Vienna last week with work, staying at the Meridien hotel just opposite the Opera house. I arrived late and checked out the bar for dinner, but it was drinks only and empty. Rather than go out again I settled on the hotel restaurant ‘Shambal’. In contrast to the exterior, the hotel was furnished in a remarkably modern style. This modernity also extended to the dinner menu.

To begin with I was given an amuse-bouche of salmon tartare, served with lime cream and parsley. For the main course I thought grilled tuna steak would be a safe option, but it wasn’t. The fish itself was fine, slightly crisp on the outside, dark red on the inside, and melt in the mouth. If it had been served on a bed of dressed rocket I would have left satisfied.

Instead it came on a dish with yam chilli purée, nash pear, bits of chilli, ginger, and other things, all of which was surrounded by a large quantity of green tea foam. It was quite bizarre, and I can’t say any of it enhanced the flavour of the tuna. At least the beer was good, a locally brewed Ottakringer, which I read is the last remaining large brewery in Vienna. 

The following evening I ventured out for dinner, and will report soon on a rather good find.  

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