Vienna Adventures

After a three-hour train ride from Budapest, we finally arrive in Vienna, Austria. 2PM and we’re just about starving so we hit one of Vienna’s most popular shopping districts next to the Opera House for some street eats because reality check: we all know that’s where all the real food’s at.

Found ourselves a nice looking street vendor and ordered a sausage with mustard and ketchup, something we’ve been eyeing ever since we stepped out of the train station.

Sinfully juicy and oily ground meat, just the way we like it; comes with a crusty Kaiser roll (a traditional Viennese bread roll) and all washed down with a can of their local beer.

Of course by now we’re craving our fill of Asian food, after all, we have been eating European food nonstop. Lucky for us noodles are a huge part of their street food scene – we opted for the Fried Noodles with Veggies and Chicken.

Ain’t home food, but we’ll take it.

Lastly, we got their Kebap Wrap. 

Juicy meat sliced from a vertical rotisserie paired with lettuce, onions, tomatoes and yogurt sauce, sprinkled with chili peppers and wrapped in a tortilla flatbread. Mouth is burning and eyes are watering from the spiciness, but sometimes you gotta sacrifice for the greater good. These kebaps are hands down my favorite eats in Vienna and I highly recommend you stop by any street stand to try one.

Ending on a sweet note, we treated ourselves to some gelato.

A scoop of vanilla and a scoop of blueberry gelato makes for a very happy food blogger. 

Alright, alright, I’ll admit we occupy ourselves with more than just eating. After our meal and some shopping around the Stephansplatz area, we made our way to the ever popular Stephansdom, known as the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna. We were lucky enough to attend one of their masses since we were there on a Sunday, which start at both 6PM and 9PM (if I remember correctly).

 Shopping around the Stephansplatz area

Shopping around the Stephansplatz area

 Stephansdom Church 

Stephansdom Church 

I would also highly recommend visiting Schönbrunn Palace, which was the summer residence of Austria’s royalty. Opening times are 8:30AM to 6:30PM from July 1st to August 31st, but times are subject to change so please visit their website for more information. You may have to wait an hour before being able to enter the palace if you aren’t with a tour group because they only allow a certain amount of people in the place at once. But do take time to visit because this was by far my favorite historical destination and the audio tour is very interesting and concise (go for the Golden Palace tour, I really think it’s worth seeing all the rooms).  



Budapest Adventures Part III

New York Café

Open Hours: Mon-Sun 9:00AM-Midnight

Phone Number: +36 1 8866 167

Address: 1073 Budapest Erzsébet krt. 9-11.

Website: www.newyorkcafe.hu


Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I just found the most beautiful café in the world – literally. Located in the Boscolo Hotel, New York Café is a culmination of ornate décor from all over the world, with its ceilings covered in frescoes done in the mid-XIX century and columns adorned by golden stucco work.

Of course we flipped right to the dessert menu seeing as they well known for their afternoon tea drinks and cakes. Our first order was the Cheesecake with Apricot Preserve.

Thick and creamy cheese filling, but the crust was a bit lacking.  

My cousin ordered the Opera Cake.

The combination of ganache, chocolate glaze, coffee syrup and buttercream was a bit too sweet to handle, definitely suited for someone who’s got a sweet tooth for coffee and chocolate flavoring.

Next we had the Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream.

Sweet apple and cinnamon filling a with a scoop of melting vanilla bean ice cream on top – would recommend.

Lastly, for dessert we ordered the Summer Ice Cream Cup.

This order comes with one scoop of passion fruit, one scoop of raspberry and one scoop of lemon ice cream topped with fruit and whipped cream. Probably one of our favorite orders – would recommend.

As for drinks we had the Americano that came as a set, which was quite standard.

We also had the Créme Brulée Iced Coffee.

Overall, their desserts seem to be nothing out of the ordinary, but the ambiance/environment here is absolutely stunning. Do make a trip down here if you're ever in Budapest even if it's only for a simple cup of coffee (prices here are also quite reasonable) because the decorations here are definitely worth enjoying. Although this place has a lot of seating, it’s always safer to make a reservation ahead of time or else you may be asked to wait 10-20minutes.


 

Budapest Adventures Part II

Ruszwurm Cukraszda

Open Hours: Mon-Sun 10:00AM-7:00PM

Phone Number: +36 1 375 5284

Address: 1014 Bp, Szentháromśag utca 7

Website: www.ruszwurm.hu

During our stroll around the Buda Castle District, we stumbled upon the famous Ruszwurm Cukraszda café, founded by Ferenc Schwabl in 1827. Now rich in history, Ruszwurm is not only a traditional Hungarian pastry shop favored by locals, but also a protected monument by the government. 

Our first order was their Croissant.

Not as fluffy and buttery as we would have liked, but we enjoyed the lightly glazed honey on the pastry.

Next we had their famous Tiroli almás rétes (apple strudel). 

Crispy outer shell with a thick filling of cooked apple flavored with cinnamon and sugar. Don’t let looks deceive you, portion is extremely filling.

We also had their Tiroli túrós rétes (cottage cheese strudel).

A bit too thick and cheesy for my taste - pass. 

Lastly, we ordered one of their Palmier (Pálmalevél).

Yes sir, we have winner. Delicate and flakey puffed layers lightly coated with sugar that melt right in your mouth. Would absolutely recommend if you make a trip here.     

We also had their Iced Coffee (Jeges Kávé).

The shake came with two scoops of ice cream, whipped cream and a rolled wafer. A lot of sugar in one cup so do intend to share if you don't have much of a sweet tooth. 


Gundel 

Open Hours: Mon-Sun 12PM-Midnight  

Phone Number: +36 1 889 8111

Address: 1146 Budapest, Gundel Károly Street 4

Website: www.gundel.hu/en/

Ever wonder how the royalty dine? Founded in 1910, Gundel has earned a notable reputation among travelers for its hospitality as well as artistic traditional Hungarian creations. Queen Elizabeth II, all Hungarian Presidents and Pope John Paul II were known to have graced this eatery – I mean if the Queen says it’s good…

First our waiter started us off with two pieces of bread each.

 Carbs = lightyears of happiness 

Carbs = lightyears of happiness 

I know they say don’t fill up on bread before the main course, but these were just so soft and freshly baked that I finished mine, stole my dad’s and had to ask the waiter for more (oops my bad).

For our appetizer we had the Gundel Salad.

 

A mix of chopped asparagus, tomatoes, cucumber, baked bell peppers, green beans, mushrooms and salad leaves. Lack flavoring, nothing particularly memorable.

For our first main we ordered the Filet Mignon of Mangalitza Pork and Lecsó with Fried Potatoes.

I didn’t try the dish for myself, but from my brother and aunt’s reviews, it seemed like a solid choice.

We also ordered the Sautéed Strips of Beef Tenderloin Gundel Style 1910 Grilled Goose Liver, Forest Mushrooms, Green Beans and White Asparagus.

 

Juicy strips of meat that barely had to be chewed seasoned with their demi-glace sauce and a side of grilled foie gras. Highly recommended if you are here to try their specialty.

Lastly, we had their Paprika Chicken Duo.


I’m not usually a fan of chicken, but Gundel’s definitely won me over with their drumstick braised so tenderly and their baked breast so juicy over a bed of chewy nokedli (egg dumplings). Sauce has a kick of paprika, which is made from chili peppers and can be found in many traditional Hungarian dishes such as goulash soup. Do give this order a go if you’re not feeling up for beef because I quite enjoyed the way it was seasoned and prepared. 

Before you leave the restaurant, make sure you also check out their fine collection of porcelain on display in their cabinets in the front. We purchased a lovely tea set with the signature blue and white Gundel porcelain design for a very reasonable price so do take a look on your way out. 

PS: I highly recommend making reservations ahead of time, as you can guess their seats fill up quite quickly. 


Budapest Adventures Part I

If I didn’t refrain everyone from touching their food for twenty minutes while I took pictures, then did a Euro trip really happen?

The entire two weeks were a whirlwind so I can’t recall every restaurant we tried (especially since some of the best food we had were street food). Instead, the following posts on Budapest, Vienna and Prague will cover the different ethnic dishes unique to each city with honorable mentions of restaurants/cafes that I thought were particularly memorable. Of course, there are many dishes I have yet to try (guilty: when I get hooked on one thing I like to eat it again and again like it's the last meal I'll ever have), but that’s just more of a reason to visit again in the future.   

meat 

If you’re a meat lover, then welcome to your new favorite place on earth. No matter if it’s filet mignon, ribeye or sirloin steak, Budapest knows its way around the grill. Finding yourself a nice plate of steak should be easy considering every restaurant lists beef as their main course. Fried potato wedges seem to be a popular side, but do beware that most main course meats will lack a portion of veggies; more often than not we had to special order it as a side dish to get our fill. 

 Grilled meat covered in tomato and onion sauce with slices of sausages

Grilled meat covered in tomato and onion sauce with slices of sausages

But don't get me wrong, when I say Budapest knows their meat, I mean every kind. Here we also got to try their grilled chicken and salmon tartare. 

 Tender and juicy, covered in their homemade pesto sauce

Tender and juicy, covered in their homemade pesto sauce

 One of my personal favorites; unlike your traditional salmon tartare, this mixture of salmon and spices was rather thick and its flavoring was light and zesty, which paired along nicely with their homemade slices of multigrain toast and pesto. 

One of my personal favorites; unlike your traditional salmon tartare, this mixture of salmon and spices was rather thick and its flavoring was light and zesty, which paired along nicely with their homemade slices of multigrain toast and pesto. 

goulash 

Goulash (Guláys) is a traditional Hungarian soup made mainly from beef, potatoes and paprika (a spice made from chili pepper). It originated from Hungarian cattlemen and is now known as one of the nation’s most popularly consumed meals. The soup texture is rather thick and is often paired with bread to act as a main dish.  

 This was my aunt's favorite dish; we personally liked the seasoned and thick goulash soups better than the oilier/thin ones. 

This was my aunt's favorite dish; we personally liked the seasoned and thick goulash soups better than the oilier/thin ones. 

KURTOSKALACS

Kürtőskalács (also known as chimney cake) is hands down my favorite Hungarian pastry. Made from sweet yeast dough and wrapped around a cone-shaped skewer, the pastry is painted with melted butter and baked above charcoal until golden and rolled in granulated sugar. Other toppings that can be rolled onto the pastry include almonds, cinnamon, coconut shreds and walnuts.

 Still drool when I think about this

Still drool when I think about this

TOKAJI

Tried, but not featured is the popular Hungarian dessert wine Tokaji. Extremely light and goes down easy for those of you looking for something to pair with your cake after dinner.