If there is one thing in life that I truly love, then it is the art of good food. It doesn’t have to be fancy to be great (although I’m not opposed to that!). Sometimes it is the simple dishes that you remember the most.
The Hubby and I spent a day and a half in Vienna on a short little weekend break. Not only did we walk for miles on end, we also ensured that we consumed way more calories than what was needed to sustain life…
Here’s a little taste of our adventurous weekend:
Our stay was very delightful in Hotel Regina. First thing Saturday morning we were ravenous and we couldn’t wait to sink our teeth into the buffet breakfast. I’ve already mentioned in a previous post how much I loved the avocado butter during this breakfeast.
Read: A Taste of Vienna
Right from the outset we knew that this would be a very memorable place to sit down and have some sustenance to get us going for the rest of the day. Palmenhaus is a greenhouse where one part is a cafe and another is a butterfly house. If you’ve read some of my other Viennese posts, I’m sure by now you are familiar with the fact that it rained. A lot. Having a sit down in a greenhouse not only provided shelter from this torrential downpour, but also allowed us to still appreciate the pitter patter of the raindrops on the glass roof. It really added to the ambience of the setting.
One cannot go to Austria and not try Apfelstrüdel. So this is exactly what we did.
The pastry was flaky, yet soft and buttery. The filling was truly generous and just the right balance between the sweetness of the sugar and the tartness of the apples. It was served with vanilla ice cream, chantilly cream, berries and a mango coulis. What a taste explosion in a magnificent venue!
Late afternoon we were truly tired of walking and even more tired of being wet. We strolled into the first coffee shop we saw and were lucky enough to be seated by a window. The table was tiny – almost as if it is meant for one person only, but the chairs were delightfully comfy. They were truly made for relaxation. What made this coffee shop even more special was the fact that there were soft piano notes gently filling the air, whisking you away to a time gone by.
Next item on our list of food-must-haves were Sacher Torte. The history behind this Viennese chocolate cake is bizarre; almost like it should belong in a movie: Two very traditional Viennese institutions’ fight for the ultimate title: Home of the Original Sacher Torte. A seven year long legal battle have been fought not only for the ingredients of the fluffy chocolate sponge cake invented by Franz Sacher, but also whether it should be apricot jam or marmalade, contains butter or margarine and whether or not it should be cut through the middle… Nail biting stuff! Eventually the matter between Hotel Sacher and Demel Bakery was settled, both institutions keeping their recipe for their version of the torte top secret.
We couldn’t get into either of the above-mentioned as the queues for Hotel Sacher alone literally stretched around the block! We did, however, had to have the torte and was delighted to find it on Cafe Museum’s menu.
Since I’m in love with the cherry-chocolate combination my choice was quite obvious: Cherry Sacher cake. The Hubby wanted to stick to the roots and ordered the Original Sacher cake. The cherry jelly provided a little tartness to a very sweet dish, unlike the original that was very sweet. The slices were very generous and, dare I say it, perhaps a little too big for the richness of the cake. Nevertheless, it was really delicious.
Also here at Cafe Museum, I ticked another foodie-must-have off the list in the form of a Mozart Kugel. Granted this one was mass-produced in a factory, but still something I wanted to try. The hot chocolate selection in Vienna is insane. There is every possible flavour combination you can think of! I settled for the Mozart Hot Chocolate (don’t think I can survive another shot of Ströh Rum in this lifetime…) and hence the little Mozart Kugel on the side. Delectable!
If you are only going to be in Vienna for one night then there should be no question as to what you should have for dinner. The only real question here is: where?
Rosnovskyundco is a little gem. A rare find on an unassuming, quiet dark road away from the buzz of the city centre, yet close enough to walk. This quaint little restaurant was dripping with charm. It felt homely yet exotic. Familiar yet curious.
I started the evening with Rindfleischsuppe – a clear beef consommé that really packed a flavour punch! The Hubby had his eye on the Beef Carpaccio. Both of these dishes left us wanting for more.
We both chose Wiener Schnitzel for our mains (it just had to be done!) and it came served with the most delicious potato and lambs lettuce salad I’ve ever tasted – and that with no mayo! So much so that I’m going to try and recreate it at home.
I was very stuffed, but the waiter convinced the Hubby to go for the Chocolate Mousse Rum cake to round off the meal. He brought two spoons. The Hubby was lucky if he had three spoonfuls of that delicious beauty… Wow!
On Sunday morning (after our breadfast buffet) we headed to the Donauturm Tower. Since I’m very afraid of heights, I needed a little something to calm the nerves once firmly back on Mother Earth.
What better way to celebrate life than with a final slice of Apfelstrüdel before we head back to good old Blighty! This time the pastry was not as soft and buttery as we experienced in Palmenhaus, however, it was still a very good apfelstrüdel. I washed it down with a very Instagrammable Raspberry Lemonade. A very refreshing drink after the whole Help! I’m a foot above ground and now I’m going to diieeeeee! episode of moments earlier. I really dislike heights…
Of course we left the best for last! A bratwürst (not quite the size of my arm) bought from a sausage stand near Rathausplatz. Whenever we go to the German Markets in England near Christmas time we never pass up the opportunity to eat a Bratwürst – actually a Käsewürst for me (with cheese). I always wonder why in Britain the sausage is so big and the bun is so tiny. Here, in Vienna, things are a little different; for starters, the buns actually fit the sausage. The ratio of fried onion to sausage to bun is nearly in perfect harmony and they didn’t prick the sausage for all the juice to run out before taking it off the grill (why do people to that?!).
The soft bun envelopes the sausage, almost fooling your tastebuds that you have just bitten into a cloud. Then there is a slight resistance as your teeth found the edge of the sausage. With a bit of force it breaks through the protective wall; a satisfied crack that can only come from a good-quality sausage. Juices are dripping down your hands and chin as the delicious bite comes to a crescendo on your tongue. You go back for more, again and again until all that is left to do is to lick your fingers clean. Napkins are totally overrated.
Can you tell which hotdog was bought in England and which in Austria? Let me know in the comments below!