While there are a handful of German restaurants and bakeries around town, the cuisine from neighbouring Austria has never really come into its own in the UAE.
That looks set to change with the opening of Sisi's Eatery, an all-day dining Viennese restaurant at Dubai Hills Mall. The restaurant, which had its soft launch in September, will officially open next Wednesday.
Sisi's serves authentic dishes with a twist — including a kaiserschmarrn station — alongside traditional baked goods, speciality coffees and plenty of cake.
On the menu
Breakfast is a large part of the offering at Sisi's. The aforementioned kaiserschmarrn, for example, is a popular dish to start the day with, especially in cooler months. Made from shredded pancake, fruit compote and hazelnut spread, it satisfyingly ticks both the breakfast and sweet boxes. At Sisi's, a dedicated kaiserschmarrn station will serve up the fluffy pancake all day (and, we suspect, lure in passers-by with an irresistible aroma).
Other breakfast options include smoky eggs in a jar, served with hollandaise sauce and a crusty Vienna roll; and green shakshuka, made with a kale, spinach and herb base. Also expect plenty of cold cuts and Austrian cheeses, jams, butter and honey.
The weiner schnitzel is the star dish from the menu’s savoury section. The breaded and pan-fried cutlet is offered at Sisi's in veal, turkey or chicken and is served alongside a traditional potato salad.
Last, but certainly not least, Sisi's serves a great selection of desserts — including 50 varieties of cakes. A must-try is the classic Viennese sachertorte, reinterpreted here into a sacher dome, and presented in a glazed chocolate shell with a home-made apricot filling and topped with edible wildflowers.
Other dishes include apple strudel, Linzer torte and a black forest "pull-me cake".
The story behind the name
Sisi was the nickname of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, a tragic but glamorous figure from the 19th century. She was thrust into the life of the Habsburg court at 16 following her marriage to Emperor Franz Joseph I. She was a sportswoman, keen fashion follower traveller and poet.
Known for her beauty, rebellious spirit and love of cake, legend has it that the empress had an ornate spiralling staircase built in her chambers in order to indulge in her penchant for sweets in privacy.
In homage to the empress, the restaurant's interior is dominated by a majestic staircase rising to the ceiling. Elsewhere, Sisi’s adoration of nature is also incorporated using greenery and florals, including inverted wildflower bouquet chandeliers.
Sisi's Eatery is located on the first floor in Dubai Hills Mall, close to entrance 3, and is open from 8am to midnight; www.sisiseatery.com.