Posted on Mon 30 January 2012

First things first. When writing my Cuisine Notes I’m never entirely sure if I’ve translated the names of food properly. If you feel like you know better, don’t hesitate to contact me. Also the German version is included, see the footnotes.

Just last week I was again at one of my favorite local restaurants in Graz: The Rondo is mostly a restaurant and less of a bar or a café, though a little of both. While I admit never having been there in the evening it certainly is a nice location to have dinner or a drink while calming down from an exhausting day. Rondo is the spot you want to visit to taste things you don’t know yet, whether it’s something Austrian that you’ve never had the chance of eating or something very exotic that they just happen to offer on a day you have some spare time.

The atmosphere is great and laid-back, not too relaxing, since it’s not some kind of lounge, but comfortable. The restaurant is located on the ground floor, with its entrance easy to miss when visiting the first time since you have to turn sharp left when entering the building instead of heading towards the main area where several offices are. The side facing the street is completely transparent due to immense glass windows. Finding the restaurant is not a problem because of big decorative labels spelling out the restaurant’s name on the huge glass front. (Yes, Pete, I was also tempted to walk straight through the glass wall…)

I’ve been there about four times now. For a restaurant I enjoy that’s actually quite few but unfortunately I live in a completely different area of Graz. Rondo is near the Central Station. I usually get there by bus but it’s still kind of a long ride, so I don’t go there unless I’ve a lot of time available and there’s some kind of dish on the daily menu1 that I really enjoy (or have never tasted before for that matter).

Last time I’ve been there was together with Pete and Thomas, two colleagues from university. We went there because of the daily menu (Grilled Salmon-Trout, according to wiki a trout, with horseradish potatoes and a bouquet of vegetables2) but Thomas and me ended up ordering the grilled salmon filet with sheep’s cheese risotto3. Now, acknowledging that it was about twice the price of the menu and didn’t have soup with it, it was absolutely delicious. Not a lot on the plate though. Pete stuck with the daily special and was equally delighted. It’s a pity he wasn’t quite able to identify his soup. I’m a little sad though that they didn’t up the price for the menu but decided to exclude the desert from the regular menu instead since 2012. Which makes me a sad sweet tooth.

The other times I was there I mostly went because I wanted to try something special they had for the dailies.

  • I had Styrian Chili4 with Polenta. (not my taste)
  • I had Vegetables in Tempura5, sweet chili dip and salad. (great)
  • I had pork steak with BBQ beans and baked potatoes. (incredibly delicious)

I have yet to encounter a dish that doesn’t fit my taste there, but it’s rather easy to say that if you’re planning your meals there according to the daily specials. That, however, is rather easy since the Rondo is offering its menu for the current week as newsletter (also has the current week’s popular dishes aside from the specials). I’ll definitely keep visiting Rondo and obviously recommend it to those seeking food that’s a little more on the exquisite side.

PS: They have pictures on their site.

Should you visit this place? Yes.

Update: Updated to new rating system.

  1. The daily menu is either 7,60€ or 6.90€ + either 1€ for desert or 2€ for desert and coffee. Have I mentioned I dislike coffee? Anyway. Lunch hour is from 12:00 to 14:00, afterwards the menu is probably available but more expensive (or was that the coffee? Never mind.) 

  2. Gegrilltes Lachsforellenfilet auf cremigen Krenkartoffeln, Gemüsebouquet 

  3. Gegrilltes Lachsmittelstück auf cremigen [sic.] Schafkäserisotto 

  4. Steirisches Chili 

  5. Gemüse in Tempurateig 

Rondo is part 2 of Cuisine Notes:

  1. Rox (opening)
  2. Rondo
  3. Torona
  4. Rox (follow-up)
  5. Propeller
  6. Tribeka: Graz's young coffee culture