Food: host-cooking concept; the theme changes every month
Address: Hangar-7, Wilhelm-Spazier-Straße 7a, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Phone Number: +43 662 2197
Guide Michelin: 2 stars
Gault & Millau: 17 points
What I paid: 150 € (5-course lunch menu, beer aperitif, half a bottle of wine and coffee)
Visited: March 25, 2017
Ikarus is using an interesting and different theme for their restaurant, and they call it the host-cooking concept. This means that each and every month, a new top-chef (or team of chefs) hosts the restaurant and puts its stamp on the restaurant and its food. Diversity is important for this concept and therefore both traditional-, fusion-, molecular- and haute cosine could be on served and this from any region around the world. And, of course for a 2-star Guide Michelin restaurant, the quality of the food must be of top notch.
Eckart Witzigmann, Chef of the Century and patron of Restaurant Ikarus, implemented the concept successfully from 2003 to 2013, together with Executive Chef Roland Trettl. Since January 2014, the Ikarus Concept has been continued under the patronage of Eckart Witzigmann and guidance of Martin Klein, who for many years was the partner and Chef de Cuisine of former Executive Chef Roland Trettl.
For the chefs of Restaurant Ikarus, the guest chef concept means adapting to a new menu, a new top chef and a new philosophy each and every month.
Restaurant Ikarus is located at the Salzburg airport in a specially designed hangar, named Hangar-7. Created and sponsored by Red Bull, the hangar is also called the Red Bull Hangar.
One of the more modern tourist attractions in Salzburg, the Red Bull Hangar, is a stimulating display of historical airplanes, motorcycles, helicopters, formula one racings cars and exhibitions. The Hangar is also home to the 2-star (Guide Michelin) restaurant Ikarus (which was our main reason for visiting the hangar), two bars and a lounge. There are many things to see in the Hangar’s privately owned exhibition. The hangar was created by Dietrich Mateschitz, the founder of Red Bull and it’s open for all and the entry is free of charge.
The theme of March 2017 (when we visited Ikarus) was “Best of Vienna”. This meant that no less than four guest chefs from Vienna, with a total of 7 Michelin stars, were behind this month’s host-cooking concept.
Since we had a flight to catch from Munich, we were forced to leave, no later than 14:30 (earliest lunch to book was 12:00). As a consequence of this timing “constraint”, we were not able to order the “Best of Vienna” menu. However, we could opt for the largest lunch menu (i.e. the 5-course lunch menu), which contained two Amuse Bouche from the Vienna chefs.
5-course lunch menu:
citrus fruits | wasabi | turnip
This Amuse Bouche (on the lunch menu) was actually a dish from the “Best of Vienna” menu and was a really good start of this lunch. I especially liked what the wasabi added to this vegetarian dish.
The dish was created by Paul Ivic of restaurant TIAN. In China, ‘Tian’ means the heavens. In France, a vegetable stew. In Vienna, the only vegetarian restaurant to have earned a Michelin star. Tian promises ‘unique vegetarian cuisine’, a promise upheld by head chef Paul Ivic and his team, who brings together obscure vegetables, fruits and cereals to create never-before-seen compositions. Thomas Scheiblhofer, who was recently crowned ‘Patissier of the Year 2016’ by Gault & Millau, has been creating his confectionery masterpieces at Tian since 2011.
5 sorts of butter
Two different breads were served together with five differently flavored butters. The “round” bread (left in the picture) was the best bread. The leftmost butter was unsalted, the second (from left) was salted and the “middle” butter was flavored with yuzu (a Japanese citrus) and two remaining I do not remember…
cauliflower | pineapple salsa | caviar
The second amusement this lunch was crafted by Marcus Mraz of the two Guide Michelin starred restaurant MRAZ UND SOHN
Good taste is a family affair, or at least, it is at Mraz und Sohn restaurant. It all began in the suburban tavern of the father, Karl-Heinz. It was there that his son, today the chef Markus Mraz, first began to think outside the box. That thinking grew to a vision of modern cookery; something that looked anything but Austrian at first glance. After his initial experiments, the creative son took over the restaurant and turned it into a showpiece of Viennese cuisine. His cooking is a feast for the eyes and plays on the taste buds, yet retains a satisfying simplicity. This is evident even from the menus, which the unconventional chef has done away with entirely. His guests are instead given just one choice: four, six or nine courses?
Fermented asparagus with peas
mascarpone and morels
This was the first “formal” dish on the 5-course lunch menu. Fermentation has been popular among chefs for a while now and the same applies for peas. I think this was a good and well balanced dish.
Seafood with cream of elderflower
radish and rhubarb
Yet another good dish…
Roulade from sole and salmon with lemon thyme Beurre blanc
friar’s beard and crosne
Good, but for me, the weakest dish this lunch.
Black feathered chicken with smoked potato ravioli
egg yolk and wild garlic
Absolutely top class in regards to my taste buds!
Pineapple with curry and caramel
A very delicious dessert! Top class, again, in my book!
Coffee/tea and petit fours
Some tasty petit fours accompanied the coffee and finalized this very enjoyable lunch.
Summary: both this lunch at Ikarus and the dinner at SENNS restaurant, the previous evening, were really good experiences in Salzburg. Personally, I rate both those 2-stars restaurants higher than the close by 3-star (Guide Michelin) restaurant Überfahrt (south of Munich), which I ate at, some weeks prior to my visit in Salzburg. I like, what a call “combo trips”. What I mean by this, is a trip that combines many good and diversified things. On this combo trip, I combined good skiing with respectable sightseeing in Salzburg (e.g. Altstadt and Hangar-7) together with two excellent meals (at Ikarus and SENNS). Highly recommended!