Café Ansari – Vienna

Oriental cuisine will be one of Webster’s restaurants on Praterstrasse to choose from

Fifty meters from Palais Wenkheim, walking towards Schwedenplatz, is the so-called ‘small Parisian’ area, with French buildings that create such atmosphere. In one of these, lies a café-restaurant which, when looking through the large glass windows, at first sight almost gives the impression of an art exhibition.

Café Ansari is a modern Georgian restaurant that offers professionally prepared oriental cuisine.

The decorations are different than what one sees in a typical restaurant. The interior was conjured in 2012 by architect Gregor Eichinger, developer of the Palm House, in the first district. This bistro in fact is very particular, and allows a different interpretation than all other Viennese restaurants: the tables, the lamps, the flower adornments and the newspaper stand. Everything is there. Every single detail is very hospitable and lets the guests enjoy their meal in a warm, both elegant and sympathetic, atmosphere.

One of the detailed decorations – a lamp made with a paper bag

“I am actually an artist but I always enjoyed cooking, and opened my first restaurant in 2005 at the Karmelitermarkt named Madiani,” said Nana Ansari, one of the two owners.

The cuisine is Georgian as expected, but offers also oriental plates. However, not always are the dishes presented the way they are described on the menu, but that does not really bother one. The food for sure is exquisite.

The menu is a fusion between the typical plates of these two cultures. Every day of the week it offers a different variety of specialties. The most requested starters are the parsnips-pear-soup and the slightly spicy lenses soup with Tahina-yogurt cream. The main spices are saffron, cardamom and cumin, which are found in most sauces and salads. Whereas for the main dishes, the chicken is cooked to the perfect point, allowing it to melt directly in one’s mouth. Lamb chops with vegetables and a side dish of rosemary potatoes is also a right choice. As for dessert, chocolate cake with chili-cumquat and rum raisin ice-cream is a must-try.

Chicken with mashed sweet potatoes

The menu is offered both in English and German. The staff however, which comes from Germany, Austria, Poland and Georgia, is extremely polite – kinder and more warm-hearted than most of the waiters in Viennese bars and restaurants – and are always ready to give suggestions. The Ansaris, owners of the restaurant, are also in direct contact with their guests.

In terms of prices, they tend towards the ones of the restaurants in the first district, but are still relatively fair taking into consideration the quality of the food and service.

Pitabread filled with vegetables and a spicy pepper dip

Although the Ansaris did not specialize in gastronomy, it seems that their restaurants are very successful. Reservations especially for dinner are highly recommended, whereas for breakfast or lunch it will not take longer than a five-minute wait.
Café Ansari
Praterstrsaße – 1020 Wien
+43 1 276 51 02
Monday-Saturday 8.00am – 23.00pm, Sunday 9.00am – 15.00pm, closed on holidays
U1 Nestroyplatz, U1, U4 Schwedenplatz.

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