Budapest: Menza Restaurant

1061 Budapest, Liszt Ferenc ter 2. +3614131482 http://www.menzaetterem.hu

Since a couple of years now, Im a big fan of The Menza restaurant, which is located next to Andrassy street- fashion and cultural center of Budapest. It was always hipp and trendy, Young hungarians and also the foregniers living here liked to hand out at this restaurant, which had a very much decent menu, with decent price and nice service.  I was never dissapointed, only nowdays its better to have a reservation, You cant just walk in and aspect a table, this only shows the popularity of the place anyway. But in the last couple of months something happaned. Few of my friends, who were having lunch there frequently started complaining and moaning, about how bad the food was, and etc etc. I thought im going to check this out for myself, and i managed to dine there twice in a row this week for lunch.

The experience:

First, its a tuesday, with a friend of mine around 1 pm, the place is semi-full, there are only tables inside we dont mind. The service is tip-top they pick up our drink orders everything is going smoothly.  My friend is picking a meal from the lunch offer menu, im having a spring vegetable cannelloni. I picked that as not too many places in the city (even italian ones) have it on their plate so i thought i give it a go.

The soup my frined ordered was nice, a bit too watery but nice (potato and sausage soup). The main, “hentes tokany” with pasta. Tokany-is also a hungarian speciality again i coud say out somewhere between a stew and a ragout. This one looks decent, tastes decent, but its really not my cup of tea, neither my friends. This one is a bit sour made out of pork, ham, and gherkins. Dont get me wrong some poeple love it. He struggles but eats it, but i warned him before he ordered.  And, my cannelloni, which was nothing like a cannelloni. I very much think it was made out of lasagna sheets, also it was very very oily. The taste was so-so, but the spring vegetables in it, more or less reminded me on the ready cut vegetable mix ones can by frozen is supermarkets. Big dissapointment to be honest, also it wasnt a good choice on my side as well as its about 35C outside, and the dish is increadibly warm as well. Anyway, we decide to come back tomorrow for an other test run and to try the lunch, which sounds very promising.


Wednesday, 1pm again, four of us this time. No tables at all and people are already on the waiting list inside. The girl at the door tells us we can take the corner table outside, but its right at the sun, or we can wait a littlebi. We take the table. The drink orders take a bit more time today and some waiters are just helplessly running around, trying to deal with the crowd. Theres no more lunch offer! At 1pm! I find that unacceptable. Not even an alternative choice for that prise. One of my friend backs off from eating there, as he had way too many dissapointing moments nowdays, im ordering a goose-lover pathe with vegetables, i figure if yesterday the warm food didnt do well, some cold will be better.  Theres alos a cold fruit soup order and a “Hagymas rostelyos”-also hungarian specialit which incoled beef stake, fried onions, brown sauce and potatoe wedges. The overall experience this time is nice, everything tastes good. The pate is a decent portion with enough bread and vegetables. Also its lot better to eat that in this heat then a complete meal.  My friends “rostelyos” is massive, and he likes it. I had that once there myslef and it tastted fantastic, also, then it was winter.

So thankfully, the food we got was nice, but Menza puts a lot of pressure on the costumers now. Will there be lunch deal? My food is going to be cooked? Is it going to taste nice?-these questions never came up before. Hopefully everything will go back to normal soon,till then im keeping an eye on them!

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