Vienna is filled with musical history and talent, but my main excitement for visiting the city was to try Sachertorte at Hotel Sacher. It’s a dense chocolate cake with a layer of apricot jam on top. The cake is then drenched in chocolate icing, giving it its glossy look. The cake was originally created by Franz Sacher for Prince Wenzel von Metternich, but then there were debates over who could claim to have the original, authentic Sachertorte. Sacher’s son perfected the recipe while working at a bakery but then later served it at Hotel Sacher, which he established. Today, Hotel Sacher is legally allowed to say that its cake is The Original Sachertorte
Café Sacher, located inside Sacher Hotel, is decorated in an old style, and the waiters and waitresses are also dressed in maid and butler outfits. The music sheet stands on the tables contain pamphlets outlining the story of the Sachertorte. Clearly, the hotel was prepared for the influx of tourists. All the cakes were €4.90 each.
First off, the much anticipated Sachertorte. Already, one can tell that its presentation was given much more care and detail than the other cakes: it has a special fork, whipped cream, and even a heavy duty napkin. I was ambivalent about the cake. It wasn’t overpoweringly chocolaty, but it was a bit dry. This wasn’t a fault of Café Sacher, however; it’s just a characteristic of the cake. What makes Café Sacher’s version special is apparently the chocolate glaze, and it certainly didn’t taste like your typical chocolate frosting.
The second cake we ordered was the nuss torte, chestnut cake. Chestnuts must have been in season because every café we visited had some sort of chestnut offering. I liked the combination of the white chocolate and chestnut, but I couldn’t eat more than a few bites before feeling overwhelmed by the chestnut flavor, which was present not only in the cream but in the sponge and bottom crust. The bottom nut-based crust gets bonus points for providing much needed texture. The sponge part was dense, a good choice since the layers of cream were pretty thick.
The yoghurt cake, in my opinion, tasted the best out of the three. However, I was disappointed that the bottom sponge had become soggy from sitting out too long. The cake has an inner layer of strawberry gelatin and a strawberry mirror on top. Therefore, the cake was overall very light. But I just couldn’t get over the soggy crust.
I’m not a coffee drinker, so I was essentially the official hot chocolate taster during out travels. The one at Café Sacher was pretty standard and made with dark chocolate. There was nothing noteworthy, but I wouldn’t say it was the worst that I had. I definitely did prefer the one at Café Einstein, though. Apologies, I completely forgot the price of the drink.
Café Sacher certainly had a lot of pressure to live up to its claim as the place to eat Sachertorte. The ambiance was a little gimmicky, but cute nonetheless. All the cakes were passable and beautifully constructed, but none of us felt that they were delicious enough to want to eat again. I wouldn’t say that Café Sacher was overrated; its Sachertorte is definitely unique. However, if not for the historical value, Café Sacher would have been a bit forgettable.
Vienna A-1010, Austria