The third stop on our week-long travels was Vienna, also known by its official German name Wien. The city renown as the birthplace of classical music, as many great composers such as Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven had all stayed in Vienna at some point in their career. The great Austrian Empire that once dominated almost half of Europe is no longer, but the city of Vienna still bursts with a lively culture.
Our first afternoon stop on our first day was the Sisi Museum and the royal silver collection. It costs €9.50 for students and €6.50 for 18 and under. Sisi is the nickname for Empress Elisabeth, the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph I. She was known for her beauty, trendy fashion sense, and fit figure. According to the museum audio guides, Sisi required a gym in every castle for her daily exercise routine. The royal silver collection is also gorgeous; I wish I could have owned some of the china sets.
After the Sisi museum, we walked around the city just to explore. As it drew towards night time, we weren’t sure where to go to eat because we weren’t that hungry. I recommended Café Einstein, but my warning was that it was known for its desserts and not its real food. No one minded skipping dinner and just having dessert, so off we went.
I had found Café Einstein on Tripadvisor and confirmed its popularity through blogs. Staying true to its name, the café has pictures of Einstein everywhere. Be careful, though, the place has no English menu. Therefore, we just randomly picked three desserts using our limited German. Basically, we only knew the words for chocolate and whipped cream. The waitress was really nice, though, and told us not to order two of the three that we had originally picked. In broken English, she recommended other desserts. We ended up ordering the mascarpone cream with strawberry pieces (€4.90), the “Mohr im Hemd” chocolate ring cake with chocolate sauce and whipped cream (€4.90), and the dumplings “Malakoff” with whipped cream (€4.90).
The strawberries with mascarpone cream were tasty. Even when we ran out of strawberries, we just dug right into the mascarpone. The cocoa nibs on top of the mascarpone cut some of the sweetness and gave texture to the otherwise soft cream.
The chocolate ring cake had a good flavor but was a bit dry. It definitely needed the chocolate sauce, but after a while eating them together was too sweet. We ended up finishing this dish reluctantly at the end just for the sake of finishing it.
The Malakoff dumplings were chosen because we were intrigued by what the “Malakoff” would entail. The dumplings turned out to be fried, airy pieces of dough. There was a generous amount of powdered sugar on top, a bit too much for my liking but easy to dust off.
We also ordered drinks. Someone ordered a dark moccachino, made with dark chocolate (€4.20). Another person ordered a cappuccino Viennese (€3.60), and the third person ordered a Don Alonso, another cappuccino-based drink (€3.60). Pictured below are the cappuccino and Don Alonso.
I can’t really comment on the other drinks, as I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but everyone enjoyed what they ordered. I ordered a hot chocolate (€3.60), the best I had during my travels. I was given an unsweetened chocolate block to dissolve myself into hot, frothy milk. Sugar cubes and whipped cream were put on the side and could be added to your liking. I liked the DIY aspect because I could control how chocolaty or sweet I wanted my drink. All drinks came with water to cleanse our palates after all that sugar and coffee.
We didn’t regret skipping a savory dinner and going straight to Café Einstein. Other than the slightly dry chocolate cake, all the other desserts that we had were delicious. I also appreciate that the waitress’s sincere attempt to give us good recommendations despite the language barrier. If anything, go for the hot drinks to wind down after dinner; I highly recommend the hot chocolate.
1010 Vienna, Austria