In 1852, a Mr. Ekberg opened this establishment that still bears his name. The interior doesn’t do it for me, and as I’ve already made clear and will remind you of over and over again – I only write about edible things, and ignore the surroundings when doing so. So let’s move on to the cakes…
The place has pretty much the standard Nordic baked goods, the things you’d expect in any traditional Swedish, Danish, Finnish and Norwegian patisserie with some local varieties of course. There’s the Danish “Danish” behind the counter, the Swedish “Budapestbakelse” and even some French croissants, pains au chocolat and other French treats. Oh, and the international (i.e western) carrot cake. Considering it’s the third time I see the Budapest cake in Finland, in only 24 hours, I guess it’s as common here as in Sweden. So I go with the Budapestbakelse and the carrot cake.
The carrot cake is moist and well balanced. The cake tastes like you’d expect from a good carrot cake, plus a little extra. They’ve incorporated pumpkin seeds in it which not only gives it a really good texture, but also a wonderful flavor.
As for the Budapest cake, listen to this: it’s made from sugar and and egg whites (i.e meringue), hazelnuts, whipped cream and fruit – usually canned mandarins. It is said to have been invented by the sweet baker Ingvar Strid born in Sweden in 1926, but nobody can convince me that it’s not a derivative from the Austrian-Hungarian Esterházy cake.
The picture above depicts what a Budapestbakelse cake normally looks like. The one served at Café Ekberg looks a little more sophisticated. It tastes like it should, no surprises. Very sweet, and with enough pieces of fruit to get one every time you stick your fork in there.
So do I recommend Cafè Ekberg? Well, unless you’re passing on this very street in Helsinki, Finland, and feel the urge to sit down and eat some cakes, then no. But if you are, then by all means step in. Disregarding the bad coffee and cheap store bought tea, the edible things here are pretty tasty.