Doe a Deer!

**Travelling Gourmand Sindy Chan Reports from Austria where she has recently experienced her first taste of venison…

Main Course:

Venison was never my first choice for meat dishes until I tasted venison from wild deer.

In 4-star Das Posthotel HeLeni Restaurant in Zell am Ziller, south Tirol of Austria, I tried Chef’s Menu from our own hunting – Leite or tender haunch of venison from hunted wild deer with parsnip puree, cranberries and savoy cabbage (€29).

The tender, sweet, juicy venison from wild deer was soooooooo good. Now I understand why Scandinavians living in the Lapland said to me “venison is the most tasteful meat”.

Dessert & Coffee:

DSC03525 Fluffy creamy fresh
DSC03348 ZillerSeasons blends coffee


I dined on Soufflé of curd with apricots and mint sorbet, completing our meal with a most aromatic cup of the hotel’s blends of coffee. The ZillerSeasons brand is jointly developed with world champion barista Goran Huber and coffee roaster Leonhard Wild from Upper Bavaria. Choices are extensive – from a strong espresso with a hint of fruit and cocoa, to a Verlängerter, or extended coffee with a chocolate flavour, to rediscover filtered coffee with  hints of apple and caramel.

Words by Sindy Chan – Photography Courtesy of Troy Nam

Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times Gourmet News – Food/Wine/Hospitality/Events

Follow us on Instagram: @tatgourmetmag

DSC03462_HeLeni Restaurant
DSC03587 Das Posthotel

Read on for Further Information & Pics on Sindy Chan’s Culinary Adventures in Austria…

The First Innkeeper

The Egger family was the first innkeeper in Zell am Ziller. Hans Egger Jr. and wife Luise had taken over the Alte Post from Theresia and Johann Egger to grow it into hotel Neue Post. Hans’ daughter Christina married to Reinhard Binder to become the Binder-Egger family. Christina and Reinhard spent a total of 7 years to build the 4-star Das Posthotel with heated pool and spa and gourmet restaurant.

Binder Reinhard’s family is one of the leading massive wood producers in Europe. The hotel is built with untreated pine, spruce and oak wood.

DSC03627 Binder-Egger family
DSC03896 Das Posthotel heated pool

A Carol was Born

Ziller Valley was not known to the world until Christmas Eve 1818.

In 1818 the carol Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht was heard for the first time in a village church in Oberndorf, Austria. The congregation at that Midnight Mass in St. Nicholas Church listened as the voices of the assistant pastor, Father Joseph Mohr, and the choir director, Franz Xaver Gruber, rang through the church to the accompaniment of Father Mohr’s guitar.” – Bill Egan, Christmas historian

Ziller Valley is an all-season destination. Yet, Christmas is still the best time to visit.

Join the Christmas Eve midnight mass at St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf where Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht was first sung, sing along the carol and feels the echo of history.

Go to the Pilgrimage, Parish and Silent-Night Museum in Mariapfarr where Joseph Mohr was a coadjutor, have a up-close-and-personal look of the figurines from around 1750 decorating the huge crib in the Silent-Night Museum.

Visit Joseph Mohr primary school in Wagrain and Mohr’s grave at the cemetery.

Joseph Mohr died penniless in Wagrain on December 4, 1848. He had donated all his earnings to be used for eldercare and education of the children in the area.

Take a 32-km steam train journey along the 115-year-old Zillertalbahn, a 760-mm narrow-gauge railway running along the valley of the river Ziller from Jenbach to Mayrhofen.

DSC03646_Ziller Valley

Tourist Tips:

To stay

ZillerSeasons Das Posthotel

Christmas time at Das Posthotel, 3 nights & romantic sleigh ride € 366 ($390) /pp

To eat

Restaurant HeLeni

To see & to do

Fügen – Wood Adventure World

Mariapfarr – Pilgrimage, Parish and Silent-Night Museum

Oberndorf  – St. Nicholas Church

Wagrain – Joseph Mohr primary school, Mohr’s grave

Arnsdorf – Franz Xaver Gruber Museum

Hallein – Franz-Gruber Museum


DSC03476 Homemade bread & shredded butter
DSC03479 Raw shrimp starter
DSC03513 freshly caught turbot from the north Atlantic