My mother always told me to not judge a book by its cover. (For the record: that advice didn’t come in handy when I bought my first book. I thought it was a fairytale, it turned out to be hardcore midget porn.) When visiting the vegan restaurant Landia, this is sound advice. At least if you’re not the biggest fan of crowded spaces and bric-a-brac cluttering up a room.
But if you’re like me, you’ll come to the Landia for the food rather than for interior design inspiration. Landia is a veteran in Vienna’s vegan/vegetarian scene. Almost eight years before the vegan “trend” really started out in the city, Martin Kränk said to himself: “Fuck it, I’m going to do my own thing now.” Kränk, a vegan himself, had been a chef for over ten years before this epiphany – and if you look at the menu, it’s clear that he knows his way around global cuisine.
At the Landia, you won’t only get the Viennese classics like baked champignons or cordon bleu, but also Asian and Mediterranean bits and bobs like samosas with tahini sauce, or pita bread with grilled soy sticks and eggplant salad. We settled for something out of the seasonal menu: “venison” steak (made from soy with a perfect sweet-savoury marinade), on a bed of orange and red carrots, nicely accompanied by two dumplings and cranberry jam. The second dish was our favourite (yeah, we switched plates half-way through dinner): creamy cabbage, topped with a potato strudel filled with “greaves” (made with soy – crunchy and salty, just like my Austrian grandma would make them… if I had one). Now, I would’ve loved to show you how great Landia’s desserts are, but after finishing our main course, we were both so stuffed that even the tiniest mint would’ve resulted in a Monty-Pythonesque catastrophe. Still, the three cakes on display looked mouth-wateringly good. We highly recommend you try one. Given that you find the way. Coming from the East of the city, the location feels a bit hidden. Just stay on Neubaugasse and take the secret path at Reformhaus Buchmüller. Good luck!