Both my parents and I really enjoy food and cooking, so our first stop on Saturday was the food market on Vaci utca.
In the market hall they had lots of meat (including chicken heads, pig’s trotters, pig’s ears, big blocks of lard etc.), seasonal vegetables, lots of Hungarian sausages (the biggest brand is called Pick) and of course paprika powder. I also found saffron really cheap!
On the Saturday we made sure to eat our lunch outside and found a nice café on a square. There were mainly tourists eating there, but despite that it was a nice place. Dad enjoyed an Hungarian platter, while mum and I had regular baguettes. Afterwards we treated ourselves to amazing caramel sundaes! 🙂
For dinner on Saturday we went to Central Kavehaz on Karolyi Mihaly utca, an old style café and restaurant. The interior was amazing in grand old style and a band were playing classical music throughout the evening. The menu was Hungarian with French influences, so to start dad chose the Goulasch soup, mother had smoked trout and I chose a platter with their own cured ham, bacon and paté. The ham was excellent but the paté was only liver and I like mine mixed with other flavours, this one was a bit too ‘livery’ for me, but otherwise good.
For main course we all had different things again. Dad had duck breast with red cabbage and potato dumplings and said the duck was cooked to perfection, pink inside and crispy on the outside. Mum chose pike-perch with mashed potatoes and interesting spinach crisps, that were really nice. I had forest mushroom ravioli with spinach and ricotta with an amazing velouté. One of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever had. The ravioli wasn’t the neatest ones I have ever seen, but the taste was amazing. The mushrooms really came through and was supplemented well by the spinach and ricotta, but the veluoté was what made it so classy. Subtle in sweet flavour, silky smooth and enhanced the other flavours.
On the menu they only had three desserts and they didn’t seem to exciting, but then we discovered the pastry counter we could choose desserts from. Mum had a raspberry mousse cake, I chose the passionfruit and coconut cake (not knowing it was coconut in it), I am not a fan of coconut, but it went well with the passionfruit. Mum’s rasberry mousse was even nice but dad was the winner with his lime, mango and vanilla pudding.
We could see one chef working the whole time from our table, but the music drowned out the noise from the kitchen which was good. The waiter also misunderstood when I ordered the starters because the band (although they were excellent musicians) played so loud it was difficult to hear each other, but the quality of the food definitely made up for that blunder.
All restaurants only had Hungarian wines in the wine list, and to be honest we didn’t know much about white and red Hungarian wines. At the Central Kavehaz we tried a dry riesling which was really really good, so will try to see if I can find it outside of Hungary. With our desserts we of course had a glass of the local Tokaji.
The following evening we went to another restaurant recommended by Spotted by locals. Gerlöczy restaurant was just off the main centre (on the street with the same name), and looked very cosy and bohemian from the outside. This restaurant was also a grand café style place, but a bit more run down than Central Kavehaz. The bar was on the ground floor as well as the smoking section, whereas non smoking was upstairs where it was slightly less cosy. We only had two courses this evening, as it felt like we were constantly eating. Mum and I decided on the guinea fowl with mash potatoes and it was very rich in flavours. The mash was nice and glossy with lots of butter in it, and there was herb butter wrapped in the quinea fowl that was then wrapped in parma ham, so the butter was all nice and melted and contributed to the juicy meat. The plate looked simple, but the food was delicious. Dad had steak with peppercorn sauce and fried potatoes, he though it was really good, but a tad too much pepper in the sauce and not enough potatoes. For dessert mum and I chose the same again, a pear tarte, even though my mum really wanted an apfel strudel, but they were all out. The tarte came on its own with only a little raspberry coulis, but it would have been nicer with custard or icecream. The pastry was nice and soft though. Dad chose the creme brulee which I thought was too runny but dad liked it.
It was easy to find Goulasch soup, dad had this one our first evening when we just walked into the first restaurant we saw. We were dying of hunger and really tired because (both) our flights were delayed. It wasn’t as easy to find langos, but they sold them on the Margrethe island. 🙂
At the airport they had a good selection of the Tokaji wines, which was great as we only had hand luggage and therefore couldn’t buy it anywhere else. The left one is 5 puttonyos and the right one was just a really cheap (€6) one to try.