A casual lunch canteen serving something out of the ordinary: a tubular Transylvanian pastry called kurtőskalacs, or ‘chimney cake’.
This novel canteen at Arts et Métiers serves kurtőskalacs, or Transylvanian chimney cake. A popular pastry in Hungarian-speaking regions, the chimney cake consists of sweet, raised dough, rolled onto a spit and baked over charcoal cinders. Like the French crêpe, it can be savoury or sweet: sprinkled with meat, cheese, veggies, chopped fruit or granulated sugar.
Alma offers six fixed menus, with a ‘lunch and dessert’ option set at €9. All the restaurant’s produce is organic, baked into a wide selection of savoury cakes: fig and goat cheese; Roquefort, tomato and walnuts; Comté and black olives; cheddar and bacon; sweet pepper, courgette, onions, cheddar and mustard. We tested the fig and goat cheese as well as the Roquefort, tomato and walnut. Golden, crisp and lightly caramelised, the cakes tasted like sweet, doughy pizza crust, baked with chunks of cheese, fresh fig and tomato. A bit too heavy for a hot day, the pastries come with a leafy side salad, helping to balance a very dense, carb-heavy meal. The dessert cakes are fairground sweet – only for true sugar addicts.
The restaurant, though rather small, is extremely well-positioned on Rue Réaumur, in a breezy niche formed by two adjacent façades. And although chimney cake is perhaps best enjoyed when the weather’s cooler (it is a Hungarian delicacy, after all), during summer months a very pleasant makeshift terrace is set up against an empty sidewall. With picnic tables and giant white parasols, it’s the perfect place to stop off for something more original than salads or sandwiches.
|Venue name:||Alma the Chimney Cake Factory|
22 rue Réaumur
|Opening hours:||11am-6pm, Closed Monday|
|Transport:||Metro: Arts et Métiers|