I’ve never cried over a cake… until today. It was so good. I couldn’t help myself. While in Budapest today my friend and I decided to venture over to the Hungarian National Art Museum. On our way there we walked into a little paper shop that sold things like postcards, journals and posters. Inside we met the curator of the shop who after a few minuets of conversation suggested a little local cafe and pastry shop. After we had spent about three hours looking at the seemingly endless maze of Picasso’s most famous works, we headed over to the place called Asztalka.
I can honestly consider this one of the most pleasant afternoons I have enjoyed in a while. The weather was perfect on this afternoon in late May. We bathed in sunshine. Flowers and spring foliage decorated the Buda hills. Across from Asztalka wedding bells rang and churchgoers flooded in to the chapel.
As we walked into the pastry shop there were only about five choices of cake, but they offered a full espresso and coffee bar. I decided to take my chances on a layered caramel cake accompanied by a strait espresso. My friend had a flat white and what appeared to be a very fluffy cheesecake with a layer of fresh fruit compote on the top.
Asztalka’s sitting room reminded me of something out of the book Alice in Wonderland. It looks like the aesthetic equivalent to a little girl’s imaginary tea shop. Drinks are served in mismatch teacups and pastries on crystal platters, lace curtains grace the windows, a pink area rug covers the floor and tiny armchairs beckon patrons to take a seat.
But, the best part of the entire experience were the pastries. My cake had over 5 layers of rich caramel, fulfilling even my wildest hopes and dreams. The crust which held it all together was flaky, buttery and absolutely delectable.
Needless to say, we will soon be back for more. I absolutely recommend Asztalka to anyone traveling through Budapest.