In a beautiful building in Oberdorf Dornbirn you will find this lively martini bar
accompanied by an intimate restaurant serving up the most amazing food.
I was invited to come and have dinner at Rätschkachl by co-owner Patrik and I couldn’t wait to visit after hearing good things. We had a table booked two weeks in advance (which is advisable, as they get booked up quickly). Both the restaurant and bar are tucked away below street level making you feel like you are being let in on a local secret hangout as you make your way down the stairs into the dimly lit series of rooms.
We arrived in plenty of time and were offered to have a drink at the bar before we were seated at our table. The bar is located under a huge arched ceiling, making you feel like you are deep underground. It has a few bar tables, and a few places directly at the bar, or just simply prop yourself up against the wall and enjoy the bustling atmosphere. The bar is a popular location with locals and they are happy to serve you food there from the restaurant menu.
The restaurant seats about 30 people and is really cosy and atmospheric with lots of hanging lights, mirrors and candles and one single window near the ceiling giving you a just a peak of the outside world and the legs of the people wandering by oblivious to the delights being served below.
They have a small but refined menu which changes about every eight weeks. However a staple item, and what they are well known for, is their steaks and while we were there a lot of the surrounding tables ordered them and I do not think I saw one plate going back to the kitchen that was not completely clean. A pretty clear indicator of the quality of the food.
Even though steaks are their speciality they also had fish and lamb on the menu, the two dishes that we both absolutely love and really miss eating regularly from Australia. Therefore we defied the norm and I ordered their salmon served with truffle tomato risotto and vegetables and Roger the lamb with a mint herb crust served with rosemary potatoes and vegetables. Even though we didn’t try their speciality dish, I can openly say that after the delicious dishes we sampled, I can’t wait to taste what they are really famous for.
We both started with a soup, me the Thai inspired orange and coconut cream soup, and Roger the more traditional boullion from Tafelspitz (boiled beef) with beef and herbed pancake strips. Mine was lovely and creamy however with the addition of orange it was not too heavy and was a great start to the meal. We also got to sample their marinated tiger prawns served on a celeriac puree. Both beautifully presented and cooked.
Then came the mains and these were decent sized portions. My fish had a lovely crispy skin and was perfectly cooked and went really well with the creamy tomato risotto. The vegetables were also served in a creamy sauce, so this dish was extremely decadent, but that I feel was a true indicator of this restaurant, and I would worry about over indulging the next day.
I also tried Roger’s lamb (again a very decent sized portion) which was full of flavour and again extremely well cooked (medium/ rare, as it should be).
Seeing tiramisu (but with a twist) on the menu for dessert we decided to share one as this is Roger’s favourite dessert. Here they offer a mango tiramisu which I have never seen offered before on a menu. I have to admit that Roger was not a huge fan and prefers the traditional version but I actually really enjoyed it as the addition of the fruit (like with the soup) made the dish a lot lighter. This also meant that I pretty much ate the whole dessert and so I had to roll to the bar afterwards for a drink and scheduled in a long run for the next day.
It was a Friday night and the bar was packed and we thoroughly enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere. Even though it was busy the staff were attentive to all customers and no one was left waiting to order a drink, even those not at the bar. I enjoyed sampling their red wine and gin and tonic while Roger took one for the team and was our designated driver.
One problem you may have is locating the toilets. They are hidden behind a wall of mirrors, which I think is pretty cool and means that they blend right in with the rest of the restaurant, but also means you might wander around aimlessly for a bit before the staff put you on the right track.
Since our visit I’ve had two other people recommend this restaurant and bar to me, so it is definitely one to add to your list either just for drinks, or plan your visit in advance and make a reservation in their restaurant.
Our meal ended up to be courtesy of Rätschkachl, with us paying for all of our drinks. Regardless of this, after such a good meal and overall evening we will definitely be back soon as full patrons to try their steaks.