What do you picture when you think of Hungarian food? For me, it was meat, potatoes and meat. Well, I was half right.
My first Hungarian food experience was in an underground restaurant with wooden everything and stain glass windows. But no, we weren’t eating off pews.
The atmosphere was warm, busy and homey, which perfectly complimented the food. I had what I can only describe as an Everest of duck, potato and onion. Delicious as it was, I managed about a quarter of the above average sized plate. I think this is where the stereotype of a burly Hungarian builder comes in…
Market food is always a winner. It’s cheap, authentic and fresh. Just walking past the food stall at the Christmas market in December was enough to take the chill out of my nose. Wherever I go I try and eat the traditional food of the country. So, when in Hungary, eat…Hungarian sausage. It’s rich, dark and satisfying – just what I’m looking for on a winters day.
In Budapest there is a bistro to top all other inferior bistros. That bistro, is Gerbeaud’s. Their hot chocolate, I am convinced, is quite literally melted chocolate. Their cakes, pastries, home-made chocolate and macaroons are food of the God’s. It’s the sort of place a 1950’s rich Parisian goes when buying a gift for his wife.
If you need something a little lighter, or even if you’re vegetarian, do not despair! There are plenty of restaurants that err on the right side of modern. One in particular I visited was called Menza. I felt as if I had walked straight into an eighties disco with orange and veneer geometrics on the wall. Where is your full length playsuit when you need it, eh? In the bin.
My boyfriend ordered Wiener Schnitzel (an escalope). Pfft, boring. I went for the Pumpkin and Blue cheese Risotto and what a good choice it was. It was bright orange with a wedge of blue cheese plonked on top. As well as matching the decor, it is also my favourite colour: double win. Anyway, kudos to Hungary because it was delicious. Creamy and tasty, it ticked all the boxes for prize winning risotto.
You will notice I have left out any Hungary-hungry puns. Yes, it was on purpose.
My conclusion from this, is that eating in a foreign country is whatever you make of it, but I find that variety is best, and makes for great blog topics!