With the end of November approaching, the number of restaurants serving goose has shrunk to a handful. Today I crossed the whole city just to visit two places that closed their Martinigansl season (a stupid mistake that I could have avoided by simply checking the restaurants’ websites beforehand). Zum Schinakl is one of the last remaining goose bastions, but it was not very high in my list of options. Not that the food there is bad, but for me Schinakl has always been a summer lunch restaurant, located next to the water of the Alte Donau and facing the Gänsehäufel island. I don’t even remember ever being inside it, having always eaten in its sunny garden.
It does not look especially nice inside, if fact. The building is pretty small, possibly having been originally planned as a single family house rather than a restaurant. The dining room is quite sparsely decorated and far too bright, so bright that most offices would look dark in comparison.
The expectations were not high, but the goose did not disappoint. Quite the opposite, in terms of quality and size, it was one of the better birds overall, and only the unbalanced use of salt (some parts very salty and some not at all) has stopped me from giving it an even higher score. There was quite a lot of fat, true, but since the skin was crispy and the meat part was thick and tender, the fat rather added to the taste than spoiled it.
The menu offered a choice between “classic” red cabbage and white cabbage with Speck. I went for the latter and it was average: slightly too sour and not crunchy enough. Unfortunately, there was no choice when it came to the dumpling, but the potato one they served was quite OK, having a slight taste of herbs.
For a competent Martinigansl at the end of the season, I would recommend Zum Schinakl straight away. If, on the other hand, you plan to eat goose only twice or thrice and don’t mind doing it closer to St. Martin’s day, it’s not difficult to find a better alternative.