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Kelsen At Table in the Parliament

Wednesday, February 22 2023
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Opening Times

Monday to Friday. 8:00am - 11:00pm

Saturday: 10:00am - 11:30pm

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Kelsen
Dr. Karl Renner-Ring 3
1017 Vienna
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+43 1 226 11 11
.www.kelsen.at

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Since the beginning of the year, the Austrian parliament has been resplendent in new splendour. In the course of the five-year construction work, the attic was also converted. Where there used to be dusty cables and tangled wires, there are now elegant seating areas, large windows and a kitchen where a team of 50 cooks for guests and staff every day.

Kelsen is the name of the gastronomic concept in the parliament - named after the jurist Hans Kelsen, who is considered the architect of the Austrian constitution. It begins with breakfast in the morning and ends in the evening with a four- to eight-course fine-dining menu (89-132 euros).

At lunchtime, there is a self-service lunch buffet in the Cantina, and the Bistro serves classic-modern dishes: lots of organic, fresh vegetables, everything homemade. The menu is correspondingly short - a handful of starters, three main courses, and two desserts. However, here things get more affordable; a lunch menu with two to three courses is 19 to 25 euros for vegetarians and 23 to 29 euros for meat or fish.

Except for the Wiener Schnitzel, the Kelsen menu changes weekly. In mid-February, there is pickled pike-perch with red beet and a spicy Chinese cabbage salad. Spicy, thanks to pickled ginger, and garnished with wafer-thin, neatly crunchy sesame crispbread. The starters are accompanied by fluffy bread, not made in-house but sourced from the best, in this case, Joseph Brot.

Kelsen Kulinarik GmbH ©Marcel Drabits (5)
Kelsen Kulinarik GmbH ©Marcel Drabits (7)
KELSEN Bistro ©Marcel Drabits
Kelsen Kulinarik GmbH_©Marcel Drabits
Kelsen Kulinarik
Kelsen Kulinarik GmbH ©Marcel Drabits (6)
Kelsen Kulinarik GmbH ©Marcel Drabits (3)
Kelsen Kulinarik GmbH ©Marcel Drabits (8)

The main courses all sound tempting. First, there's the bœuf bourguignon made from cows from BOA cattle that are allowed to spend the whole year outdoors. (A specially hired butcher cuts the animals on-site, where they are then processed on a nose-to-tail basis).

From Italy, there is a warming ribollita with black cabbage and - in keeping with the fish, meat, vegetarian triad - a tender pink salmon fillet from the water. The risotto is creamy, the salmon tender, and the skin crispy. You've probably never eaten better on a visit to a parliament.

For dessert, head to the café next door, where sweet bites and pastries from the in-house patisserie await, as well as armchairs to sink into. In the evening you can also have an excellent aperitif here. The view of the conference hall or the Hofburg is free of charge.

A visit to Kelsen can be wonderfully combined with a tour of the parliament. Or not. The Austrian parliament is probably the only one you visit just to eat.

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