On a hill, on the edge of the city, is a restaurant that looks like it’s off the pages of a fairytale book, but instead it serves up monster Schnitzel rolls in a beer garden that inspires sighs, and in a candle lit villa, that inspires romance.
Villa Aurora carries an aura that is distinctly its own. It may be its idyllic setting that has something to do with it – The sweeping beer garden in summer that is scattered beneath trees you’ll want to string a swing from… and well… swing, and the scuffed and rugged dark-wooded insides lit by singular candles on tables, contained inside a glorious villa where somebody obviously once lived. A place made for fairy tales.
Now the food is not spectacular and we’re not going to pretend that it is. However, the experience of sitting in the somehow majestic garden, laid out on white pebble stones at your feet, leads one to not really give a shit.
They do specialise in one thing though that attracts fans of the deep-friend culinary delights – a pimped up version of a Cordon Bleu that is rolled up, and served in the form of something you could use as protection if somebody attacked on your way home. It’s called their ‘legendary’ Cordon Aurora, and hiding in it’s golden brown breadcrumb encasing is a Schweinsschnitzel combined with ham, cheese, almonds, and spinach. Served with a small salad for show, it goes delightful with a beer.
Accompanying this dish on the menu are other fried friends, like the traditional Cordon Bleu, and a beast of a creation (yet has kind of a fancy name) called the Cordon d’ancien Ottakring – a tasty schnitzel packed with Käseleberkäse, mildly spiced peppers, ham and a lashing of Emmentaler cheese. It curiously comes with a baked egg.
And while this menu might sound meat heavy, it is also surprisingly very accommodating to vegetarians, with 7 options listed, one of them being a filling vegetarian Palatschinken (filled savoury pancake).
The prices are above average, and if you’re wondering why a beer will cost you the strange sum of 4.23€, word on the street has it that they adapted their prices directly to Euros from schillings when the change of currency was made in Austria… and than obviously added inflation on top.
This is the kind of place that’s too perfect and idyllic to not have been lost to the tourists long ago, but while it does see the odd tourist, the murmur of chatter and the clatter of cutlery is mostly made by a local crowd.
Beyond the fried dishes that turn up on your table on huge metal plates, the menu stays true to its roots with other traditional Austro-Hungarian dishes like Paprikahendl (paprika chicken) and Beef Goulash. The deserts are also Austrian through and through, and damn delicious too (there’s something about this fairy tale place and us having the urge to rhyme, it seems) – from the Eismarillenknödel (ice cream in the shape of dumplings and filled with apricot) to the fluffy Kaiserschmarrn (scrambled pancake) with a delicious plum compote.
And to top this whole romantic picture off, if you walk across the garden (being sure to watch out for the people passed out on the lawn in an apparent state of food coma… ok, this wasn’t the case when we were there, but we could imagine it happening and wanted to do it ourself) you’ll catch one hell of a view over Vienna. Like we said, you’ve jumped onto the page of a fairytale book… with Schnitzel… and beer…