Gasthof Knapp. A-6261 Strass · Zillertal
With the onset of Lent, many restaurants and eateries have begun featuring fish on a daily basis. Many faithful followers commit to fasting and abstaining from mammal and poultry meat throughout the duration of this period leading up to Easter. With many people requesting fish, it’s the ideal time to evaluate how Austrians serve up these aquatic creatures.
As is the case with nearly all menu items at Gasthof Knapp, the grilled fish plate comes with a mixed salad. The salad is exceptionally colorful and simply screams spring. A quartet containing potato salad, shredded carrots, and red and white cabbage form the base of the salad. Cumin seeds are apparent in the tiny mound of white kraut. A bed of lettuce leaves and a tomato slice rest on top of the foundation. There is a trio of diced bell peppers sitting on the tomato slice. Moreover, a few thinly sliced radishes appear in the salad. Crunch and acidity seem to be the primary textural and flavor components here. Out of all the visits to Gasthof Knapp, this salad is the most striking and flavorful thus far.
The fish plate arrives next. Presentation isn’t overly impressive, but instead it is simple and straightforward. The fish plate comprises two filets – Pangasius and pike-perch – and a generous serving of spaghetti noodles in a basic garlic and oil sauce. Garnishing the dish are sprigs of dill, a single lemon wedge, and a chunk of tomato. Chopped parsley is also scattered about. Tartar sauce is provided in a small glass bowl placed next to the coiled mound of pasta.
The two fish filets are flavorful, though a tad salty. Due to the unevenness of the fish, some parts are saltier than others. Both pieces of fish are grilled nicely, resulting in a crust that provides excellent flavor and texture. Individually, each fish has its own distinct quality. Whereas the perch is more crisp and crunchy, the pangasius fish is flaky and delicate. The contrast goes well with the pasta noodles. The pasta has a subtle garlic flavor that is hardly perceptible. This is good because it doesn’t take anything away from the fish’s delicate nature.
10.50 euros is a good price for such a filling and healthy meal. The fish filets are cooked properly, the pasta is flavorful, and the salad is wonderfully crunchy and refreshing. Though some bites are salty, the dish works pretty well overall.
The grill plate is not a staple on the menu, but often featured as part of the daily specials.
UPDATE (19 May 2012):
A hunk of grilled salmon makes its way onto the fish plate, indicating that the type of fish included remains a complete surprise! The price is still perfect for this meal and the accompanying elements spot-on.