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Peppers Marriot

2013.12.12. 15:45 | czdorka

I had already written about Sunday Brunch and it has been my favourite since then. This is an "all you can eat" category but with much better quality food than usual.If you get it by a'la carte, you can not decline. The popularity of Sunday Branch has increased massively due to the article so we were invited to try a menu compilation in the Marriott, called "Kostoló" - the Taster.

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So the main concept of the dinner was creating a mixed menu in the Marriott's Peppers restaurant which is a little bit a'la carte as well as the Sunday Brunch. The point of the idea is having starters and dessert on a multi-storey tray but the main courses are choosen from the menu, including St. Jacob mussels with shrimps, duck, tenderloins or grilled lamb.

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The starters are fantastic! Creams, pates, prawns with garlic saice on the third level of the tray, goose liver with dried plum in red wine sauce on the first, and one of my favourites; smoked trout with horseradish on the middle tray; sensational.

It is a particularly strong commencement of your meal to have these straters, home breads and baguettes are provided continuously, served with olives, tomato sticks and variety of sauces.

After this, nobody thinks that a pumpkin soup could be competitive, but I have to say - even though I don't like pumpkin - it is perfect, with strong creamy taste, not to mention their sorbet between the starters and the main course.

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I ate steak for my main course. I enjoyed the mushroom Burgundi sauce with the medium rare meat.
The first time when I was there, I had lamb with pepper stew and I could not fault it. I tried prawns too, you will love it!

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On the first level of the tray there are variety of delicious and special cheeses, supplemented by great toppings such as mustard with fig jam.

Unfortunately I wasn't happy with the desserts, they were characterless. But you can ignore my opinion because when we complained about it, they took our advice and changed the whole menu.

My last comment: The menu is 8100 HUF. This is not much for such quality and quantity. It is incredibly filling too.
But I think it is a shame that this price doesn't include the wine. A galss should be included in the menu.

Some of the guests - who ordered wine - complained about it and said that the wines did not complement the food well and it would have been better if they could have had free choice. I annoyed the Marriott until we came to a compromise; now if you say "Best of Budapest" when you book (you always have to), a glass of wine will be free of charge. So cool, isn't it?

Peppers Restaurant,

Budapest Marriott Hotel
1052, Budapest, Apáczai Csere János utca 4.
Tel.: +36 1 737 7377
Booking: reservations@peppers.hu


SEMMI EXTRA restaurant

2013.12.03. 12:31 | czdorka

 

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There are two relevant facts I can tell about the 11th district. It is full of green and there are only few places with good food, even though it is the biggest district in Budapest. I mean that finding a cool restaurant - where you can meet your friends or just pop in for short lunch or dinner and have good quality food - is very difficult. 

Fast-food restaurant line up around Móricz Zsigmond körtér, offers hamburgers, Vietnamese soups, Greek or Hungarian menus, but these are typical "eat and go" places. Szatyor could be a nice shelter in the evenings, but unfortunately I cannot place its style among the restaurants... I live in 11th district and was so bored with going out in the city each time I would have liked to meet up and eat with friends.

So if you asked me about restaurants in 11. district, I could say: NOTHING SPECIAL. And this is the name of the restaurant in Hungarian; SEMMI EXTRA.

Semmi Extra exploded into this area with these two words and suddenly brought a big change for the residents of this district. 

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The interior is imaginatively designed, the waiters are very friendly and the restaurant offers delicious meals at a good price. The building use to be an old cinema, so the place pays respect to this, with a style reflecting those times. An open kitchen and a few tables welcome the guests, but the main part of the restaurant is beyond this. Stepping down on some stairs, we enter a more airy space with big mirrors which also makes this area more spacious. You feel like Uma Thurman and John Travolta in Jack Rabbit Slim's in Buda.

During lunchtime, a cafeteria is on, with variety of soups at 300-500 HUF and main courses around 650 HUF. Otherwise, hamburgers, pastas and salads are on the menu.

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One of the most important speciality of Semmi Extra is their duck burger. The ingredients on top of their simple burger are the following: roast duck liver, red onion jam, roasted pepper, goats cheese, green salad and honey-mustard sauce. You can easily feel that the shef has experimented with each ingredient and tested the tastes in great detail, to see how these foods behave in the mouth. The whole flavour is sweetish, but they also offer a suor celery-onion sauce in which you can dip your chips, providing you with the perfect balance between sweet and sour. The price of this burger is 1090 HUF but you can get it at superb rate of 1490 HUF with chips and a drink.

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Gastro manager, Bori Sinkó, obviously knows that turning to fast food respectfully should alike turning to exquisite cuisine. The best burger could only be made with this attitude as well as fresh and tasty ingredients. 

The restaurant is full all day. We went there at 2pm and had to wait at the bar. Then we tried another time, this time at 8pm but the situation was the same. However, it never took long to get a table.

Even if it is always busy, there are some mistake I have to mention. Sometimes the upstairs area smell of oil. They open the windows to let fresh air in, which also lets the cold in from outside. It is not rare for the electricity to be off because "they have problems with the Hungarian Electricity Works" - according to the nice waiter.

Movie chairs are so cool and comfortabe when you are leaning backwards, but it kills your spine whlist you are eating.
So take my advice, stay downstairs.

For those who live in Újbuda, Semmi Extra is a must-see!

Tags: Címkék


In the search for the best Hungarian food: Kívánság étkezde

2013.11.20. 12:56 | boussa

We are fighting on with the fried fat in bread crumbs: we are visiting another Hungarian restaurant, but this time we are not moving on the axis of Kispiac-Pesti disznó. We have rebooted the series and now we are getting back to the basics like Kádár and Norbi étkezde.

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The Kívánság étkezde is located in the seventh district but not around Kazinczy tér, but far far away from that, beyond Nagykörút where you cannot see tourists, not even from Eastern Europe. This means that there aren‘t so many foreigners like in Kádár, but thetypical Hungarian checked table cover and the honor based cash register is the same. The guests are mainly regular guests, everybody knows everyone. Workers and intellectuals can be found inside, so they are not the same guests you can see in Costes. Though I can be mistaken because when I have been there the guests were talking about the benefits of double-entry bookkeeping, which could also be an interesting topic in the Michelin star restaurants.

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So the place is engaging and entertaining even from outside and inside. I think Paris could have been like that when Saint-Germain-des-Prés was THE Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Or the writers misled me or I misunderstood them.


Anyway the Kívánság gives the kind of atmosphere we know from the Hungarian films made in the first half of the 80s. That’s why we feel comfortable in it and do not really want to check facebook and e-mails on our smart phone: we just lay back and enjoy the atmosphere.

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But not so long because my food arrives really quickly. I start with a bean soup, this is the small portion for 520 HUF, haha:

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The soup was not a small portion, it was rather huge, particularly for this money. At other places this takes 7-800 HUF. I'm not saying that this was the best bean soup I have ever eaten, but the bean and all the other ingredients were well-cooked, the smoky taste was good, bacon cubes were alright, though not excellent just simply good. Altogether it was rather good than great but it took 520 HUF and in cooler restaurants you can only get a bottle of mineral water. You know, mineral water, but not 2 liters, but 0,33 l. This soup contained around half liter of liquid, which is worth more than the refreshment!


Then came the pork chop fried in potato served with garlic and cheese. One of our readers suggested trying it with French fries. With homemade French fries. I think it is cheaper than buying frozen potato, but at the end we get a fresh and edible side dish no matter if the reason is the latest trend or the economics. But how nice it is that if someone would like to serve cheap food, one gets to the same point where quality is the most important thing. But between these two worlds the rest and most of the world is feeding us with frozen junks.

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Otherwise oil was dripping from the food, maybe because I have been there on Tuesday and maybe they take care of it, but it was neither stale, nor stuffy, nor tasted like fish or any other food, it was simply oil. Richly. Otherwise in connection with the pork chop and the bean soup my statement is the same: not the best one, but good. And huge. It kills me. It defeats you no matter who you are or where you are from. The toff starts in to eat and the food laughs out it loudly. After having eaten it I haven't simply left the restaurant. I had to crawl out of it. And it also takes less than 1000 HUF. That is still just half a liter of mineral water in a Michelin star restaurant - or a quarter- but it means that t is Italian. So it is not the same, but Italians are really good in making pizza so you can imagine their mineral water.


In this league Kádár is still on the top, but Kívánság is quite close to it by looking at the portions and the taste. Though according to the last one Kívánság is a little bit weaker, but the sadder, darker and touchable atmosphere compensates us for everything. If not the atmosphere, then the lower prices.


Kívánság kifőzde
Budapest
Alsó erdősor utca 36.
Tel: 0613521450
Mo-Fr: 11:45-16:00

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Tags: budapest gastro city go-out hungarian cuisine


Soup Culture: we need soups more, more, more!

2013.11.15. 12:15 | boussa

If I remember correctly, the place has opened in January, but I don’t know what happened to me because I’ve only visited the place to eat some hot soup in the early summer in April, instead of the persistent winter at the end of March. So to make up an excuse they also had cold soups.

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I’ve been there several times but the daily menu written on a sheet of paper couldn’t convince me. I got used to the board and chalk so much, these sheets of paper discouraged me from trying the food. Later on I've read some negative reviews on Foursquare and I've also seen that the guys react the same lame way to the negative comments like we do with Adam, so I've decided to try their food.

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It was around 28 degrees Celsius, when I arrived to the Soup Culture and I immediately ordered a Souse’s soup which is really good against hangover. And I didn't even have a hangover.

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But the food was great. Really. I loved it. My plan was to eat with half a cup plus a sandwich, but I wasn't even hungry and the weather was hot. I thought that I’d give it to the poor or I’d throw it out because I won’t eat it.

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But I ate it. What for more: I sipped every last drop of it. By the way it was pretty hard to get to sipping phase because it was so thick and rich, I almost had to bite the 80% of it. The sauerkraut, the sausage and the smoked bacon was good, I loved it so much, I wouldn’t even mind if a foreigner should judge the Hungarian cuisine based on this soup.

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The sandwich wasn’t that good. I liked the homemade aubergine dip, it was great, but according to the crazy ideas of the Bors Gasztrobár I felt that the concept wasn’t that good and the implementation was a bit poor, although it was tasty. And the soup with the sandwich for 780 HUF was absolutely worth it.

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Quality fast food is spreading to the north and moreover several other good places are about to open in the neighbourhood, so we are going to have interesting topics for the next weeks. You have to try Soup Culture if you are around, because they are really good in soups.


Soup Culture
Budapest, Október 6 utca 19,
Mo-Sa: 11:00-19:00

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Tags: cult gastro city go-out hungarian cuisine


The two faces of the beersanctuary in Budapest – Élesztő, Léhűtő

2013.10.30. 13:00 | boussa

Last weekend the place called Élesztő had its grand opening and we could read some really brilliant buzzwords hidden in its facebook invitation (highlighted by me):

This week we are going to open the ÉLESZTŐ – the first ever ruin pub with craft beer in Budapest in the Tűzoltó utca! The place is located at the former place of Tündérgyár and going to offer 17 types of craft beer, and only craft beer – Hungarian ones in the beginning and later on imported ones.

The Élesztő as a pub is part of a bigger initiative, in which the whole building is going to operate as a gastronomical centre, so to make the 100 year old courtyard a non-official tiny walking street, with cafés, restaurants, breweries, bars and guestrooms.

We simply couldn’t miss it.

So we are in Ferencváros (IX. district) next to the Trafó. It is not the centre of the city, although we can see a lot of people, who come here mainly for the beer, and to go to the Trafó. You cannot see people who are lost and just pop in.

Getting closer to the entrance, at the doorway we can hear the soft murmur, which shows that we are at the right place. Inside we can see a truly cozy interior, a ruin pub with trees, flowers and with low music and a long queue. It is the thirsty crowd.

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Finally after ten minutes we get to the counter. Behind it we can see Dániel Bart, one of the owners of the Élesztő. He is also the author of the blog called Folyékony Kenyér and the organiser of the Főzdefeszt (craft beer festival). For those, who don’t know his story, briefly: he has started as a wine drinker, and later on he received a request from the Gösser to write their sponsored blog, so he started to deal with beers so much, he declared the revolution of beer, organised the Főzdefeszt and embraced the case of craft beer, so now we get it from him even in a glass (in the picture on the left hand side).

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As we take a look above the counter we can see why they have the huge interest.

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So these are the craft beers. 17 types (on Saturday only 16), which is quite confusing and what for more, they are specialities. We have altbier (old beer), cherry beer, brutal, millet, elderberry, and everything else. At the beginning only Hungarian craft beers, but later on they are going to import barrels from London.

So we get our beer which is a ’Hopfanatic Splash’ and a ’Távoli Galaxis’. As we take a walk to the back, we can see another room with armchairs in the shade. From here we can get to the frightening cellar, where the freshly painted toilets are.

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There are still some remains of the Tündérgyár and right now the Élesztő couldn’t really move from the stoned and weltering atmosphere to the laughing and pubbing feeling. It is clearly visible that they didn’t really had money for that. Daniel told us that they could simply make up the budget by using DIY invoices.

So this is not the final look of the place. As it is written in the invitation the owners would like to create a kind of gastro walking street where the courtyard in the middle becomes a street and you can go to places to the right and to the left. They would like to spread the concept bit by bit in the 100 year old building, which originally was used as a glassblowing manufacture and then later on as a parking lot, so nobody took care of it.

So soon there will be beer tasting, brewery school, theatre hall, presentations, home restaurant, beer dinners and a café next to the entrance.

Now let’s see the beers. I’ve started with a ’Hopfanatic Splash’ which is a light, lager type of beer, but do not think about the world of tasteless, draught watery beer. It was an exciting beer, rich in aroma, from the newly opened brewery in Kiskunhalas. 

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But what really surprised me was the ’Távoli Galaxis’. It is from the ’Legenda’ brewery which became the Grand Champion at the 2nd Hungarian Homebrew Competition lately, and according to this it is an unbelievably exciting beer. First it hits the smell of the elderberry into your face. After that comes the intense aroma with the first sip. You get a real strong character but not the bitter one what you can bite. It is absolutely easy to drink and pleasant. Its aftertaste has its own afterlife. It remains in your mouth quite a long time. It is sweet, with pleasant aromas. It is brilliant. When I finished, I was told that the place ran out of it, not only for that night, but absolutely, because only this amount was made of this beer. This is what craft beer means. A brewmaster brews a few hundred liters of beer, what we quickly drink and it is over. And then comes the word 'please' to ask the brewmaster to make more, because it was so good.

 So I would like to say the same to Zoltán Róth, to the brewer of the beer.

So the Élesztő is a great place with great beers and cool atmosphere, although the interior needs some improvement, but if they can realize their concept, there won't be any problems in the future. You can also see the prices, and if you would like to have a little bit more expensive industrial beer than the usual ones in downtown Budapest, you have to pay the same. But the experience is way better than that.

After the beer we've also visited the place called Léhűtő. It is also a pub, where you can get quality craft beer, one of the owners is the same, Dániel Bart, but it is totally different. It was opened in a basement lately, only a few meters from the bustle of Gozsdu udvar, but after the atmosphere of Élesztő I didn’t feel like sitting down. It was quiet, stuffy, and even the candles couldn't convince me to stay.

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Although I also suggest everyone to visit the place, because you can also have seven types of craft beer, the prices are a little bit higher than in the Élesztő and you don’t have to leave the focus of the city’s nightlife.

Élesztő
1094, Budapest, Tűzoltó utca 22.
Opening hours: Mo - Su 15:00 - 03:00
elesztohaz@gmail.com

Léhűtő
Budapest, Holló utca 12-14.

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Tags: fun budapest old city go-out best pubs craft beer