The concept is not completely new. And with that I don’t mean the tablet part but the part where you have a restaurant and you order small portions and by doing so you can order more different meals. That was many many years ago when a restaurant opened in Vienna called “Lustig Essen” (Funny eating translated). There were two restaurants of that brand in Vienna and they both had to close because it did not work out.
But the generation 2.0 should change all that and since Saturday, 31 March 2012 Vienna has its first tablet restaurant. The concept of small meal sizes remains the same but the difference is that you order everything with a tablet. That is probably the reason why this restaurant is called “Viereck” (rectangle – translated).
Restaurant Viereck close to U4 Stadtpark
And since I was curious I had to check that restaurant out on the first day it was open. My fear at the beginning: small meal sizes might result in me ordering more and then the bill would be much higher than if I would just eat one dish and have something to drink and then leave.
The interior is quite classy
But first impressions first. My first impression of the restaurant was: it totally fits the 1st district of Vienna. It is fancy but not snobbish (something I was afraid of before as well). The interior smelled very new. There is a ground floor and a second floor as well. On the second floor you have both dinner tables and a lounge part.
The lounge part of the Restaurant Viereck
Maybe because it was the first day you could feel the excitement among the team members of the restaurant. The owners are quite young – all at the beginning of their twenties. Something that amazes me. One of them got me a tablet and introduced me to the concept and how the tablet works. But as it is with tablets the handling was pretty easy to understand.
What they serve is mainly Italian style food. Whether it is authentic – I am not the one to judge. I would say not completely. The sizes of the meals are smaller than in regular restaurants so the prices are four to five Euros per dish on average. But as I said above: be aware don’t get fooled by these low prices – in the end you need to eat more to be full and then it adds up.
The advantage is that you do not need to wait for the waiter to order. You choose the dish you want on the tablet. You push the “Order” button on the tablet and then the kitchen/waiters know what you want to eat, prepare the food and serve it. And that is the part I definitely like. You are completely independent. Because: how many times do I sit at a restaurant trying to catch the attention of the waiter so that I can order? A hundred times at least. Here, you don’t need to do that. It is much more relaxed. It is also the case that if you are in a group not everybody needs to know immediately what he or she wants to eat but you can order whenever you feel like it. If you want to know more about the food you eat you use the “info” button and you can read how the dish is prepared and a little background story about e.g. Spaghetti Carbonara, which I find nice.
They don't serve regular coke but fritz-kola ... be aware that the caffeine content is much higher
So I was checking out the menue for drinks first. Ah: no coke, no regular soft drinks but great they have Arizone Ice Tea and some very interesting stuff to drink: there is rose lemonade for example. But fritz-kola made the race this time … something I really like. For the starter I decided for the bruschetta with tomatos and mozzarella and I took the optional garlic as well. I decided that I would first check out how big the portion was before I ordered anything else. The time I waited for the starter was decent and I heared the waiter running upstairs and there it was. It looked yummy.
Starter: Bruschetta with tomatos and mozzarella
I definitely liked the taste, the ruccola could have been fresher but ok. So I was thinking this little starter was definitely not enough and since they serve fish as well, and I love fish, I was browsing through that menue part. And I did not need to browse far since they had my favorite dish right on top of the menue – grilled calamari (I know this dish polarizes but I love it when it is done right). So I had to have that one. When they served it it looked as delicious as the first course. The calamari was grilled just right – we don’t want to eat chewing gum.
The grilled calamari were really yummy
And then of course I did something you would not do when eating Italian food I ordered the spaghetti after the main course. But that is the luxury you have here. You just order whatever you like and in what order you like to. So I had to have the spaghetti carbonara – a dish which is kind of a test case for me at restaurants: doing that dish right and that in the original version is for me a criteria whether this restaurant is authentic or not. I have to admit though that I am not an expert in Italian food but that is how I measure it. Do they make the sauce with cream or with egg as it is meant to be. And although it says on the menue that they use egg it was pretty much more cream than egg. But I should not be too critical. The taste was great especially of that grilled bacon on top.
Spaghetti Carbonara - there was thin grilled bacon on top and that was a highlight
After that three courses I did not feel hungry anymore. But I did see the mousse au chocolate variation at someone else’s table and so I decided I need a dessert and chocolate mousse is what I want. It came as white, milk and dark chocolate mousse each in one separate glass. The presentation was soo appealing I loved it.
The dessert: mousse au chocolate selection with white, milk and dark chocolate mousse
The white chocolate was a bit too sweet for me but the milk and dark chocolate mousse were absolutely great. It was the perfect final course for a perfect meal. This is definitely a restaurant I would come back to. It is also perfect if you want to grab a bite but are not that hungry to want to eat a lot. In the end I paid 20 Euros – yes, it was pricey as I expected but in the end you are not eating low-quality food here. So the price is definitely worth it and it is certainly not over-priced. And yes, I would recommend this restaurant to everyone who likes to meet with a group of friends and have a nice and relaxed evening because the tablet concept fits that very well.
Info: Restaurant Viereck at Johannesgasse 16, 1010 Vienna; website: http://www.4eck.at; mail: email@example.com; phone: 0043 1 997 44 788; Opening Hours: Mon – Thur 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Fri – Sat 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., Sun closed; all major credit cards; you can reach the restaurant by taking the U4 to Stadtpark the exit Johannesgasse and then walk five minutes on Johannesgasse direction city centre and there you find the restaurant at a corner on the left side of the street.