When my friend Andy first suggested that I try some authentic Viennese tafelspitz (boiled beef), I politely declined.
He was unimpressed with my decision to cross it off the menu.
It turns out that no self-respecting Austrian does not love tafelspitz and quite a few visitors have had a love affair with it.
Andy, a 30-year-Austrian resident, would not give up. He swore that I would change my mind if we went to a specialty restaurant in Vienna.
This whole discussion took place while we were dining at St. Peter Stiftskeller in Salzburg.
The restaurant is more than 1,200 years old, promising diners not only the country’s exquisite culinary tradition but also its rich history and culture.
It was the perfect stop for me for an upcoming gourmet tour.
Andy wanted me to try Plachutta, which has a branch near Mozarthaus Vienna.
I have to say this eatery is not to be missed for anyone looking to taste Viennese boiled beef.
And I’m glad I relented.
The secret sauce was superb and even the fried onions and bacon served on the side stood out on their own.
Then the piece de resistance — boiled beef — came in generous and delicious portions.
The waiter arrived with a pre-heated metallic plate and came back with a pot of Plachutta’s famous tafelspitz.
Once I started digging into the dish, I was completely taken by the tender meat and the intense aroma from a riot of juices.
Then I realized I was too busy savoring it I had said nothing during the meal.
Seeing me vindicate him, Andy kept plying my plate with two-inch-wide bones filled with fatty white marrow.
“You really should give it a good suck,” Andy said.
It crossed my mind immediately that I really should not have taken boiled beef off the menu.
But if I hadn’t done so in the first place, I might not have been able to enjoy the best version of it.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Aug. 10.
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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