Cafe Vienna
Lot 305 & K31, 3rd Floor,
Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2161 8268 and
2nd floor, Lot10 Shopping Centre
Tel: 03-2141 7858

Café Vienna brews up a taste of the Austrian coffee culture and its classic cakes in Kuala Lumpur.

Veteran food and beverage entrepreneur Catovic Zicrija (better known as Zek in the F&B industry), who is known for his Bavarian Bierhaus and formerly Piccolo Mondo, is so enamoured with the vibrant Viennese coffee culture that he brewed up a whole new venture in Kuala Lumpur, modelled after the famous cafés of Vienna.

2096B3504BCF492A96904544CFABDB68Catovic Zicrija a. k. a. Zek.- CHINGYEE SING

Determined to give Malaysians a taste of the real coffee culture from Austria, Zek aims to get local city folks to relax and linger over their cuppa at Café Vienna.

“It took me two years to study, plan and execute the entire concept,” he says.

“I opened the first Café Vienna in Lot 10 after I shared my idea with (YTL Corp Bhd managing director) Tan Sri Francis Yeoh. He was very supportive! Even former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad visited our café.

“Besides good coffees, our upmarket café-restaurant also serves freshly made sandwiches, salads, pastas, main courses and cakes.’’

Although Zek plans to open more Café Vienna outlets, he is very selective about their locations.

“In line with its exclusive brand positioning, I’m only keen on certain areas such as Bangsar and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Later, I may expand to Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong.”

The second and latest Café Vienna outlet at Suria KLCC has proven to be a hit since its opening. Most patrons obviously prefer to sit outside the café in a bright, airy “island” adorned with hand-painted ceiling frescoes overhead and furnished with bentwood chairs, plush lounge sofas and marble tables.

Its dark wood panelled, rose-and-striped wallpapered confines are better suited for intimate, private tête-à-têtes.

The Viennese take such pride in their cakes that disputes among chefs and establishments were quite common as they tried to prove the originality of their jealously guarded recipes. Zek is equally proud of his café’s sweet selection which is baked by a German pastry chef who specialises in classic Viennese cakes.

Chocoholics will adore the Sacher Cake (RM18) which looks deceptively dense and decadent but its texture is really feather-light and amply covered with a dark, velvety smooth layer of rich and subtly sweet chocolate icing.

Since apfelstrudel is one of Austria’s national dishes, it is only befitting that Café Vienna excels at this traditional delight. Served warm with vanilla sauce, the Apple Strudel (RM18) has a generous filling of crisp apple slices, chopped walnuts, raisins and cinnamon powder encased within baked layers of flaky phyllo pastry.

The Salzburger Nockerl (RM16) is a soufflé with a trio of miniature lofty peaks fashioned to resemble the three scenic mountains in Salzburg — the birthplace of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Drizzled with strawberry and chocolate sauce on top, the cottony soft, puffy cake comes with apricot jam inside.

The Balkans, Hungarians, Germans, Italians and even Turks have influenced Austrian cuisine. This is evident in the tempting Balkan speciality of Sarma (RM28) — a dish of rolled cabbage leaves with a hearty filling of minced meat, garlic and pepper. Topped with a tangy, chunky tomato sauce, this tasty yet light offering is substantial enough to quell those midday hunger pangs.

Slightly heavier on the palate is the Pita with Spinach and Cheese (RM26); a crisp phyllo pastry roll with spinach and ricotta served with sour cream and Greek salad on the side. The meatier version known as Balkan Pita (RM28) has minced meat, onion, garlic and herbs in it.

Hearty eaters will find ample sustenance from the outlet’s extensive pasta and main dishes. I find the Fettuccine Truffle (RM45) a tad overcooked but the saving grace is the creamy sauce that’s distinctly scented and flavoured with black truffles.

You also can’t go wrong with the Greek Salad (RM24) that consists of fresh romaine lettuce, cucumber, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, capers, black olives and vinaigrette.

Other Viennese specialities available include Wiener Schnitzel (RM62), thinly pounded veal fried cutlet with boiled potato, mixed salad, lemon and a choice of anchovy-caper or cranberry sauce; and Kaiser Schmarrn (RM14), a fluffy, shredded pancake with apple and plum sauces that was specially created for Emperor Franz Joseph.

The best way to round off your meal here is with a cup of Melange (Viennese coffee with foamy milk, RM12), Kurzer (espresso, RM7.50 single/RM10.50 double) or Wiener Eiskaffee (hot mocha over vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, RM16).

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