Der Wiener Deewan, eat as you can pay
The Wiener Deewan is a social restaurant, where they serve Pakistani food at the price you wish to pay.
Born out of a temporary project for refugees in 2004, the Wiener Deewan is now a full blown restaurant for the community in Vienna, Austria.
I was recommended to this restaurant by a Brussels-based architect, Antoine Streulens, who studied during six months in the city of Vienna.
I was making my way to the Freud Museum, when I recognized the façade from a picture Antoine showed me. I crossed the street and entered a room, with a basement floor, that was divided in smaller places by glass fences.
I noticed it was the quietest place I have ever been, I wanted to ask if we were allowed to speak. People sat one person for each table of four. And ate from a buffet cold and hot in the middle of the room next to the counter.
On every table there was a piché of water of one liter, everyone eats from the same modest white plates and with iron classic knife and fork.
The hot dished, you could chose between veggie, vegan and meat. The cold dishes was salsa’s with typical Pakistani bread and salad. If you wanted to drink something there was a price list. The rest is payed as you wish at the end of the meal. You pay for example two or twenty euro’s or something inbetween.
The only condition is that every month the restaurant has to get enough funding to continue.
In Sao Paulo, Brasil they found a good solution for this and they showed there costs on a cart above the bar. This is only possible to do if networks with strong cohesion come there. In this case it’s the refugee community and in Brazil it was the lgbti-community.
I ate a chicken curry, rice and two glasses of water and let 10 euro’s on the counter. Nice experience, but it was oh so quiet there…