Bodeguita El Pulpo: A Bit of Spanish Food Experience


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Vienna’s oldest street corner on a rainy morning.

On a rainy and cold day, nothing’s better than having a warm bowl of soup and a good book for company…that, or you could fly off to sunny Spain to temporarily escape the wintry feel that’s blanketing the region. The second option proved a bit expensive so I instead went on with a plan to dine out with a friend. It was at a Spanish restaurant at one of Vienna’s oldest streets.

For a lot of times, I’ve brought friends touring the city to this street and the tin cans on the windows became a sort of attraction to me and whoever I take there.

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tin cans for that Spanish feel

Bodega is the Spanish word for cellar/vault (it is the same with my mother language, Tagalog) and bodeguita is the miniature term thus, Bodeguita El Pulpo’s smallishness defines the restaurant very well. Situated at the basement of one of Griechengasse’s old buildings, an almost vaulted ceiling, bit low – designed like how a wine cellar should.

The interior represents everything Spanish, a bull head mounted on the wall speaks for this. Small tables were arranged neatly for twos and fours but it’s not a problem if you come as a crowd, just sitting close to each other would do the trick.

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very “bodega” look

Truth be told, I didn’t read reviews before going to this restaurant. It was an offer of a 4-course meal over and if you’re often reading the eating adventures on this blog, you would know how I rely on Groupon to point the rather unpopular places in Vienna.

After having confirmed our reservation, we were seated immediately. It was a neat corner just near the entrance and by the window. It was rather cold, we thought a heater could have helped but since we still had our jackets on, we didn’t mind.

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cold antipasti

We were served first with apple and orange juices according to our requests, it was followed with a platter of ham, chorizo, cheeses, and breads (white and black) along with butter, marmelade (strawberry and apricot) and herbed tuna that were already on the table before we sat. This set looks promising and we were excited what would come after. It was a good set of antipasti, props up to the herbed tuna spread. No, we didn’t finish all of these.

Next comes potato omelette with grilled belle peppers on the side. We thought it too small for a serving but later on agreed that it was just the right portion for each of us. It was rather filling, despite being a bit bland but nothing a dash of salt and pinch of pepper cannot remedy.

Potato omelette

Potato omelette and grilled bell peppers

Our servers were very nice, following us up politely. One of them can speak Spanish so I was able to practice a very few of the words I remember from class. Next to come to our table is a plate of paella and some calamari. I said some because there were only 3 pieces. We thought they might have forgotten the other plates…but, we didn’t care to ask if we are really to share a plate. Thank goodness, since I am not such a big eater, we were still able to fill up ourselves with everything that’s been served along with a lot of laughter and chatting despite the scarcity. The paella only had chicken for meat, no seafood in there. :/ As for the calamari, they were good enough but nothing worth raving about.

Chicken Paella and Calamari

Chicken Paella and Calamari

Finally, dessert came. We each got a slice of chocolate cake smothered with Catalan creme or more commonly known as Crème brûlée and caramel on top. We agreed that it was the creme that gave this luscious dessert the right for a thumbs up. The chocolate cake itself tasted bland for our liking but if I ever go back, I’d have this slice again.

Chocolate cake with Catalan cream

Chocolate cake with Catalan cream

All in all, this meal adventure lacks the kick and enthusiasm I would recommend readers to visit. I was thinking, since it is a deal offered on Groupon, a usual meal without the discount might be far different. Reviews around the web though won’t agree.

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El Pulpo




Bodeguita El Pulpo

Hafnersteig 6


Griechengasse 7, 1010 Wien, Austria
+43 1 2934243


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Trattoria Ristorante Spumante: Italian Goodness in Vienna’s Charming District


#trinkets and #corners

little shops and pots

One of the more charming districts in Vienna I don’t get to explore as often as the first is Gersthof, the 18th. It has a lot of little stores selling trinkets and whatnots, it’s quieter than the usually busy streets of other districts. When I dine in one of the restaurants there, my day gets better having had good food with good company.

The recent trip there was no different. It was a summer lunch all too perfect…(but probably too much). I went with a friend around 11:30, a bit early for the usual patrons so we were the first to arrive. We were seated on a table for two just where we could see the food being prepared…sweet! A handsome cook and a friendly looking lady were there, carefully crafting our plates. We had each a four-course meal waiting to be devoured.

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That cozy feel to it.

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We were served a basket of bread while waiting along with our ordered mango juice. The appetizers came shortly and it was already a promising a start. A plate of cheese, grilled eggplant, tomato, zucchini, dried tomatoes and some shrimps already made me feel full even when there was still a lot left on my plate. My friend and I were exchanging a lot of banters while finishing the appetizers and dared if we could actually finish all the meal.



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Our second plates were consisted of gnocchis on preferred sauce, I had tomato based sauce while my friend had cheese. It looks very little on the photo but they were big servings. I forked some from the other plate and liked both. No competition on which sauce is better. 😀 The gooey cheese on gnocchi though is very entertaining for cheese-lover me.

Our dare seems to be a loss now for me…lol. I couldn’t even finish all this dish, no matter  how good it was.

Grilled seafood platter

Grilled seafood platter

The next platter came, a humongous dish of grilled seafood and vegetables, particularly potatoes and bits more. There’s salmon, halibut, shrimp, squid and butterfish. This was the best,  I would say, part of the meal…well, that is if we were able to finish off dessert. Fish is like my favorite of all meats, that’s why the claim.

Like what was previously mentioned, my day gets better after having dined in one of the restaurants at Vienna’s Gersthof, that day I had a wider smile on my face….and also because I took home the tiramisu we were supposed to have for dessert, it was snacked on later that day. Yummy!

mango juice

Mango juice


Trattoria Ristorante Spumante

Gersthoferstrasse 71

1180 Wien

Telefon Telefon: 01 4791138




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Thank God it’s Friday – on a Thursday…


chilly vienna

Chilly afternoon

No winter is complete without experiencing Vienna’s biggest iceskating rink! As long as we have our thermo-gloves on, we’re good to go. The cityhall is filled with stalls selling treats, hot chocolate, coffee and teas and all the hot goodness to give you warmth as you move about on icy grounds.

kids skating, wiener eistraum

Customary pose

So off we go to the big rink, Wiener Eistraum…or Vienna’s Icedream (Wiener Eistraum, click for more). It is a yearly event transforming Vienna’s cityhall grounds into a massive ice skating rink open to the public.

Last Thursday, we went with a friend and her family to enjoy the ice. Three hours of cold could prove too much for our hands even with gloves on. Even with hot chocolate and cappuccino, we gave up!

foggy night

This foggy night.

We tagged along dining at T.G.I.Friday’s, as my friend would like to treat their daughter after the first school term for really good grades.

There are a lot of American restaurants in Vienna nowadays and I’m still in the process of visiting each. 😀 (That’s when I get back to the diet of eating a lot of meat). This particular branch is very in demand, one has to reserve seats weeks before. Situated at Vienna’s center, the restaurant can be reached by a number of trams passing by or walking from the train station Karlsplatz and viewing a mix of old and modern architecture blending together.

I’ve already forgotten the menu offered on certain T.G.I.Friday’s branches back home, in Manila but I remember them to have never been disappointing. This branch is the same, great steak, yummy ribs, awesome burgers (no photo) and crunchy calamari were served generously.


waiting for food

The baby back ribs were tasty, finger-licking good! Served with french fries and coleslaw (no rice around here ^_^ ), the size of it is enough for two people to burp!


Baby backribs

The steak cooked medium rare was a pleasure to bit on. It was served with mashed potato with parsley and gravy.


fine steak

I shared the calamari with my youngest, with my bigger boy picking some from our plates. He loved his burger but really liked the crunch calamari. Served with tartar sauce, it proved all too much for us with small appetites.



T.G.I.Friday’s will always be a favorite. I look forward to dining there every time I get invited or when I myself gets a reservation. It’s sometimes a bit forgetful of me to call. 😀


T.G.I Friday’s



T.G.I. Friday’s, Schubertring,

Vienna, Austria
 +43 1 7148995


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Homecooked Japanese Cuisine at Kuishimbo


Winter finally manifested itself in our region…though it depends on the person wanting to view it as fortunate or otherwise. We have had an inch of snow for a 3-day downpour…and as they say it’s like winning 10 cents in the lottery! ^_^ Not much snow photos to show this time around then. And as the kids’ semestral break came, I had planned for us to go about the city, eat and explore museums. Unfortunately, I fell sick on the first day the snow came (bummer!). So the kids and I only had the chance to visit a hole in the wall restaurant serving home-cooked Japanese goodness! The restaurant, called Kuishimbo, is owned by a Japanese couple who acts as chef (husband) and server/cashier (wife) and they are with their 2 sons who help overall as well.


very dry winter – I imagine Tokyo’s food joints like this too

Before actually going, I researched and called the establishment. A lady answered the phone and I asked if it’s alright to bring the children along as I’ve read that it’s not a good place for kids, she said yes. I was surprised and I understood why it was so when we arrived. The place is very narrow, only 9 people could be seated inside – in the cold season. In summer though, they have outside seating. The lady I had talked with earlier greeted us upon entry and I greeted back in Japanese…from what little I know of. The place smells very Tokyo, well how I imagine it to be with the small space and the interior – very Japanese!


outside and inside view ^_^

We had to wait a bit to be served…as soon as we did, we ordered from the menu (adorably plastered on one side of the wall – in Kanji, romaji and German). As certain as the sun rising in the morning, my daughter ordered miso soup…I asked if they might like takoyaki and I was answered with a resounding “yes!” So we got two orders of it (5 balls each).


Miso Soup

The miso soup came in first…just hot enough for one to start sipping it soon and not wait long…I guess it was calculated by the chef so guests will not stay longer inside and make way for other customers….hehe. Like she always would, my daughter edged me to try her soup, that is when she was already feeling half-full…it was the first time that I had such silken tofu in a bowl of miso soup. I can’t remember at all if the ones I had before had the second-grade type of tofu or I was just not paying attention then. This bowl, I think, could be perfect as a Seme no Ryori (builds up the physical side of the human body) by One Piece chef Sanji…I was so full of energy after! 😀



Now, the takoyaki we’ve had before are the ones bought around Manila…bland and breaks down easily…those in Vienna are frozen ones I buy from the Japanese shop. I can distinctly taste the ginger, the octopus, the katsuoboshi and what else on first bite…so good…that’s all I can say.

The takoyaki came with hijiki, a type of seaweed salad. It tasted so good I could eat it a whole day and probably get to be slimmer as how much I want to in no time! But, there’s another side dish that’s equally tasty  – the sauteed spinach! It came with son 2’s chirashizushi on a bowl of rice.


hijiki no aemono (seaweed salad) and horenso no goma-ae (spinach with toasted seaweed)

Freshness right off the bat! The slivers of salmon, tuna and scallops were so ace, my little boy finished all these save for the scallops which he find a bit too salty…this may look small in the photo but it’s quite a big serving – pardon that I wasn’t able to take photos with my camera…the space around the restaurant made it impossible for me to pull it out of my bag so I only used my phone.

I love how they served food on this tray along with the condiments…gives a lot more Japanese feel to it.


Chirashizushi don

My choice would be teriyaki chicken. Mind you, I haven’t eaten rice for a long time now and was really  happy that I could mentally go on through the day without it…haha. But being sick made me prone to eat just about anything that I had avoided – rice, sweets, meat. Yes, I was on a raw diet for some time…so do forgive me and let’s get on with the menu.

Who could say no to tender, tasty chicken with teriyaki sauce? Double this yummy rice-meal with the hijiki and you might forget how long you haven’t had rice. ^_^ My daughter and I shared this meal – she said she loves how it doesn’t taste the same as the ones we usually have when out. With her two thumbs up, she was saying she got all full easily.


Toriyaki don

Next comes son 1’s bowl of kitsune soba (fox soba). He originally wanted ramen but they unfortunately don’t serve it there…mostly udon and soba in different dishes. This bowl had vegetables, aburaage (deep-fried tofu) and naruto kamaboko in it – much to son 1’s delight. It was a rather big bowl that we took home more than half…enough for one with a big appetite! The soup  went well with the soba, much different than what I would have with ramen so I recommend to try this one if you’re up for soup.

I had to tell the friendly Japanese lady that my son is not a “Kuishimbo” (glutton – someone who eats a lot) and in Japan, parents lovingly call their kids as that…thus, the restaurant’s name…perhaps.

soba, naruto, tofu

kitsune soba- yasai to atsuage no soba

Since there’s very few seating at the restaurant, we were like eating hurriedly to give way to other diners who were building up in line…but, it didn’t stop us from having dessert. Seeing there’s matcha ice cream (green tea) – I made sure  that I’d have extra space for it. We also got the black sesame ice cream, having had both from another restaurant before.

And who can resist these two yummies even on a winter day? I know, sounds crazy but a japanese dining experience wouldn’t be complete without them…had they serve mochi ice cream, I’d have them too but these two are totally a sugoi (awesome) way to end a meal. Gochisousama deshita!

goma ice cream (black sesame ice cream)

goma ice cream (black sesame)

matcha ice cream

matcha eis


just outside



Linke Wienzeile 40/6
1060 Wien

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Größere Kartenansicht


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Traditional Bolognese Fare at Ristorante Nicola


Walking in Bologna was like visiting the past and seeing present Italy in a whole new light. It is home to the oldest university in the world, the University of Bologna, which was founded in 1088 and is still functioning to this very day. Surviving many wars and reforms, it is a great feat that the city has been preserved and its rich cultural heritage can still be seen today.

Known for its architectural and artistic history, Bologna’s towers and medieval gateways are must-sees. There might be little compared to before but the towers still represent Bologna’s top spot in many arenas back in the day.


Asinelli tower (the higher twin of the Due Torri)

So we didn’t have a plan that day on where to go…we wandered aimlessly, ending up on streets with graffiti much elaborate than the one below, on abandoned cobblestone streets, passageways with a lot of parked bicycles and tables outside pizzerias waiting for their diners.

It was a lovely walk back in time…a feast for camera snaps and cultural drinking. And just as hubby predicted, we will find a lovely restaurant from a string of them and have authentic Ragu al Bolognese.


graffiti defines Bologna’s inner streets

Zigzagging here and there we ended up in a restaurant full of outside diners. It was fully-seated alright, but just outside, in the inside there was only a whole family dining to their heart’s delight, a couple diners and a lonesome mister who seem to be a writer so engrossed in his reading material…with all the pens and papers laying on the table along with his plate.

Where we’re seated, we could see how busy of a night it was. One pizza after the other gets  stacked on them plates…brought to their respective tables along with other dishes. It’s a good sign – means a lot of people trusts that they serve good food. Right? A server came to us and took our orders. Hubby got Bolognese but in spaghetti…normally, bolognese is served with thicker pasta but this one was with spaghetti so all is good. It was served with complimentary bread, different from the ones we munched on while waiting.


Bolognese sauce on spaghetti

For so many years I haven’t had one of my favorite fish on my plate – spada, or swordfish. I was torn at having salmon or this but knowing I can have salmon when we get home I went for the grilled swordfish and I was not disappointed. Grilled to  perfection, squeezed with lemon and sprinkled with some herbs on a bed of arugula…the buttery, melt-in-the-mouth texture brought back childhood memories – then when we often had this… And hey, it was a big serving too…so I was overall happy! ^_^


spada (grilled swordfish)

And to finally cap everything off, I wanted to compare the panna cotta I’ve known to the authentic one. So I asked for it as dessert. Didn’t disappoint! Creamy goodness and a hint of chocolate for every spoonful…it was rightly sweet – not overbearing that you’d ask for more. Well, I didn’t – I’m already full.

panna cotta

panna cotta


setup – look for the eager reader :)

Nicola’s Pizzeria
Piazza San Martino, 9
Bologna, Italy
+051 23 2502

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