Holiday Foodsteps: The Treat Trail


I think that no matter where you go in Europe, you'll find something to satisfy a sweet tooth - this is just a little collection, a photo trail, if you may, of where I took my sweet tooth when my family came to visit.

Macarons in Paris



 
 Absolutely gorgeous, aren't they?


Little tubs of joy in Switzerland

 
Those guys over at Movenpick really know how to make espresso flavoured ice cream. Amazing.


Ice cream for breakfast in Vienna

Zanoni & Zanoni
Burgring  1
Wien, 1010


Because being on holiday means you can do whatever you want.


Iced coffee at a 72 year old cafe 
  
Cafe Hawelka
Dorotheergasse 6
1010 Wien 


Pricey, yes, but there will always be a special place in my heart for my very first Viennese iced coffee.

Holiday Foodsteps: Ribs of Vienna

After getting a taste of ribs on our very first day in Vienna, the brother wanted just one more round of ribs before saying goodbye to Vienna. That meant consulting the all-knowing guidebook again. It was one of those "Bingo!" moments - there's no better outcome than actually finding a place called "Ribs of Vienna" when looking for a place for a place for ribs in Vienna

Ribs of Vienna
Weihburggasse 22
1010 Vienna, Austria




We started off with a platter of three different kinds of spareribs - ribs of Vienna (naturally), hot and spicy Diablo ribs and Dijon ribs. The ribs of Vienna became a favourite very early into the meal and we ordered a serving of just those ribs even before we were done with our mixed platter. The other two types were good but at the end of the day, the simplicity of the Viennese-style ribs kept us coming back for more.



Barbecue platter for two persons - spareribs, pork, turkey, mushrooms and two dips. It's a barbecue platter for two that can feed four or five. The pork and turkey were very much like schnitzels but without the crunchy breadcrumb coating with the breadcrumbs choosing instead to appear on the mushrooms.

It wasn't all meat for us, we had a large mixed salad and a variety of soups to make us feel just a tiny bit better about all the meat that we were ingesting. Out of the trio of soups that we ordered (Hungarian goulash, French onion and a simple Bouillon), the French onion was my favourite.

I think ribs are the perfect thing for a family meal - the whole concept of sharing and being comfortable enough to get your hands dirty. Ribs of Vienna definitely has satisfying ribs, spareribs with a bit of bite and a lot of flavour. I must say though, that after a meal made up almost entirely of spareribs, I'm still partial to baby back ribs, something that Ribs of Vienna unfortunately doesn't have on their menu.


The little brother, with a satisfied grin.

Holiday Foodsteps: Gulaschmuseum, Vienna

"It's a Goulash Museum!"

I couldn't help but exclaim as I came across the name in our trusty guidebook. Having had both the Hungarian and Czech versions of this dish earlier in the summer and finding them to be quite different from each other, I was eager to experience the Viennese interpretation of the popular dish. I thought - where better to sample goulash than at an eatery called the Goulash Museum.




Gulaschmuseum
Schulerstra├če 20
1010 Vienna, Austria
   
The restaurant is located a short walk away from Stephansplatz - the great thing about is that it's situated on one of the smaller, quieter streets so it's got great accesibility and a pleasant, less touristy atmosphere. Armed with our map, we found the restaurant with no trouble at all and soon, we were comfortably seated outdoors, skimming through the menu and enjoying the lovely weather. 




A nice variety of rolls arrived at our table soon after we placed our orders and it took quite a bit of willpower not to completely devour our little basket of rolls before the main dishes arrived.
My personal favourite was the sesame seed-topped brown roll, but then again, I'm always partial to sesame seed-topped anything.





Goulash of pork mixed with sauerkraut, "Szeged style. The first of our two goulash dishes arrived and let me tell you, holding off on the rolls is worth it - they are the perfect vessel to get all that flavourful gravy from the plate to your tastebuds. 




Goulash of turkey with boiled salted potatoes. This was my favourite of the two, another one of those dishes that hints of curry power. We all know that's the key to any Malaysian's heart.


 
Dad regaled us with stories of how he used to dunk hot, crispy fries into goulash and how they made the perfect pair. The little brother was so taken by the yummylicious descriptions that he decided the meal wouldn't be complete without a serving of, yup, you guessed it - fries. Fries and goulash are definitely a guilty pleasure, terribly addictive whether quickly dunked and taken out to retain crispiness or left in the gravy to soak everything up.

I love the concept of a goulash - just simple, hearty, comfort food. The ones that we had at Gulaschmuseum were exactly that, great for a family meal. I have to say that out of all the goulash dishes (and soups!) that I tried over the summer, these ones were my favourite. Perhaps it was the hint of curry spices, or the fact that they fit my idea of how a goulash should be - whatever it is, Vienna did the trick for me.

Holiday Foodsteps: Aida Cafe, Vienna

Think about Vienna and images of classical music, history and beautiful architecture get conjured up. It really is all that they say it is and if you love music from days gone by or if one of your favourite composers is Mozart or Schubert (like me), it's an absolute haven. My favourite spot in the city, though, isn't Stephansplatz or The Schonbrunn Palace, it's a huge pink cafe right by Stephansplatz. 

I remember walking past the cafe on our way to lunch and being immediately attracted - I put it down to the girlish pink that called out to me. We fueled up at Wienerwald and asked the waitress for a recommendation on where to go for dessert. 

"Aida! Many, many, many types of cakes!"

I was sold.  

 

Aida Cafe
Singerstr. 1
1010 Wien
Neighborhood: Innere Stadt

If you've never sat at a counter at a bakery or patisserie with too many cakes to choose from right in front of you, I highly recommend that you try it sometime - trust me, it's fun. We sampled a variety of cakes and pastries and these are some of my favourites:



Mozart Cake. Created in memory of the musical genius on the 250th anniversary of his birthday, this is a simple chocolate cake made intruiging by the layer of pistachio marzipan in the middle. I noticed that all confectionery with Mozart's name on it had this common pistachio-marzipan theme running through, even the little chocolate balls in the supermarket. As much as it is a novelty, you probably can't go to Aida without ordering a slice of this. 

 
Apple strudel. I'm always a bit apprehensive when it comes to apple strudel - there has been far too many a time when the strudel pastry has been rubbery and rather unpleasant. This one had nice layers and could easily be cut with a fork, always a good sign!

 

I'm a nutty nut-lover so when mum picked out a walnut-topped hazelnut slice on one of our visits to the cafe, I was thrilled. I had high hopes for this one, and I wasn't disappointed. Light, fluffy, and yes, nutty - it was the perfect foil to all the choclate that we'd been having.




This is why Vienna will always have a special little place in my heart - iced coffee. Say "iced coffee" anywhere else in the world and you get well, coffee and ice but in this city, you get 2 shots of espresso and a generous amount of creamy vanilla ice cream. I daresay that out of all the iced coffees that we had while we were there, my favourite one was Aida's. You'll probably recognise it as affogato and really, that's the only form of iced coffee that the Vienna knows. My dad attempted to order a glass of black coffee with ice and our poor waiter was rather confused at the concept. I'm all for iced coffee being just the way it is in Vienna. In fact, I think they should make a little amendment in the dictionaries: iced coffee = affogato!

The cafe also serves some light savoury snacks but you'll know at once that the cakes and pastries are the real stars. Oh, and the coffee, of course.