The Marktachterl on the Karmelitermarkt used to be a worn and friendly Gasthaus that was a favourite for breakfast. Next door was a little fish market that too has since shut its doors, meaning an end to fresh fish in the neighbourhood. It seems like a lot to regret. But according to Georg Schilhan, one-half of the creative genius behind the “new-and-improved” Marktachterl, what has resulted is far more than the sum of the parts.
Today, after much time and renovation, the Marktachterl has combined with the Fischviertel to offer a selection of fresh catch and modern Viennese-international cuisine in the Karmelitermarkt, “der beste Markt in Wien” (the best market in Vienna) according to Schilhan, who joined us as we settled in at our table. I glanced at my companion; surely our host wasn’t going to stay? “Probably only for a drink or two,” came the whispered response. But stay he did, and proved a very attentive and gracious host, lending us his company throughout the meal, and enlightening us on the specifics of the local and international bio-fish world of the Marktachterl.
But first, our cocktails – an essential foundation to any culinary experience, and mine especially so. The Market Fizz, as it was dubbed, was a summery drink of gin, Aperol, homemade white wine syrup, lemon juice and soda water. Schilhan expressed his satisfaction with the first sip, provoking our waitress to look up in surprise. “That’s something new for you!”