Mama Liu and Sons, Vienna

Steamy dumplings meet simmering hot pots at Mama Liu and Sons

This restaurant, formerly known as LioUnge, has become so wildly popular with the hip crowds that just two months after opening its redesigned doors, Mama Liu and Sons could conceivably change the face of Chinese food in Vienna. And lord knows the scene could use a new look.

I immediately marveled at the spacious and elegantly designed interior. Gone are the days of Chinese clichés: Instead of paw-shaking fortune cats, plastic Buddha statues and cheesy music, I entered a dimly-lit room with green tiled floors and solid wood furniture. The modern Chinese murals adorning the brick walls and the subdued lounge beats add further to the smooth atmosphere. The main focal points are two large cubes which extend into the room, one covered in glossy steel that houses the bar and the showroom-kitchen, and the other covered in wood housing the lavatories. The restaurant was designed by Vienna’s architectural shooting stars Tzou & Lubroth.

Yong, one of Mama Liu’s sons is responsible for the show kitchen and the other, Feng, is in charge of the bar at the entrance. After ordering a refreshing soft drink called “Eastwind”, with ginger, lime and mint and looking rather confused at the menu for a couple of minutes I gladly accepted the offer of my waitress to explain the concept of the Mama Liu experience:

Take a mixed variety of dumplings and as a main course enjoy the hot-pot where a simmering stock (in one of four flavors) is placed on your table on a portable gas stove and all the raw ingredients are placed on a plate to cook yourself. So I did. For starters I ordered Xiao-Bing, crunchy Chinese pita bread filled with shrimps and vegetables, which, dipped into soy sauce, offers an unmistakable taste experience. The steamed dumplings filled with shrimps and wild garlic as well as the fried ones with chicken were delicious. For the hot-pot I settled for a stock of curry-coconut with a set of ingredients including chicken and a variety of fresh vegetables. The portions are ample and could easily satisfy two hungry costumers. Besides the fun DIY fondue experience, the flavors of the stock were well balanced and not overpowering. The dessert – coconut balls -made of rice dough filled with black sesame and handcrafted by Mama Liu herself, deserve high praise.

The Verdict:
If you’re looking for the hottest pot in town, Mama Liu and Sons is the place to go. Plenty of bang for your buck, so go hungry and get ready for the steamy goodness.

Mama Liu & Sons Click here

Gumpendorferstraße 29,
1060 Vienna, Austria
+43 1 586 36 73