Posts tagged ‘Budapest’

September 7, 2010

Budapest: Sugar! review

Sugar! Shop Paulay Ede street 48 District VI, Budapest

If you are hungarian or live in Hungary you must have read about this place in some fashion magazine, or design page, or watched a program on the local culinary channel. Sugar! was a big hit among Budapest cake lovers a few years ago.  Even when it was hidden a IV. district residential area, which was hard to reach by public transport. Children, and adults went crazy when they saw the places design with M&M`s filled tables and colourful pies, heart-shaped mousse and even more magical wedding and birthday cakes. Even Sarah Jessica Parker received a custom-made Sex and the City gift from them. Oh and theres the shop, from wasabi tasting lip gloss to fluffy telephones and tones of jelly belly its a crowd pleaser. No wonder they were going to open a new shop somewhere in the city center, because nobody understood why it has to be so far-far away? The reason for its first location was the actual Hortvath cake shop and patisserie, which had a very nice name among the districts residents, and the owner and founder of sugar is a lucky member of this sweet loving family.

So, now in the heart of Budapest, on Paulay E. street just a few minutes away from the Opera House, or Octogon or Andrassy street, for a bout a year now, we can enjoy the Sugar! cakes.  So if you visiting, moving, studying in this beautiful city and you like your cakes, you should really check it out! Of course there are some things ou should know before you enter and you order.

Just as everything, Sugar! isn’t too perfect as well. My problem is sometimes that in the cakes they put more effort on the design then on the actual taste. So, this why please don`t buy cupcakes there..those are horrible! But, I do recommend the pies and the cheesecakes, pretty much all of them! especially the sour-cherry and the deluxe pie, or the strawberry and banana..or you know..any of them!:) If you are in for something special try any of the milk rice favourite is the vanilla based rice with sour strawberry topping! Most of the mousse look good, but we found them tasteless..such like the chocolate-chilli and the lavender mousse were good looking but empty a bad date! If you around maybe you can still taste some from their Tokyo collection monsters. They look so cute you don’t even want to eat them, but the treat you’ll find inside is really worth to destroy some of these blue or red japanese monsters. Of course there are shakes and lemonades, and yes, they are all fabulous. My problems with the lemonades are that there’s a bit too many things in them and not enough liquid.. so you can’t really enjoy it, not to mention when the fruit gets sucked in the straw and you can’t drink from the glass as you get hit in the face by falling mints and ice. So yes there are ways I can criticise Sugar! but there is a reason I go back from time to time. It`s good, it`s fun and tasty!

August 10, 2010

Budapest Restaurant: Vakvarju review.

Vakvarju Restaurant

Budapest, Paulay Ede street 7.

VI. district,

(There are 2 other locations in the city, You can find them on the website)

The blind crow funny or weird name for a joint, but it is worth trying it. Especially if you want to taste some good quality Hungarian food while visiting/living here. It`s located close Deak ter/Andrassy street, so very close to popular meeting points and tourist attractions, in Paulay Ede street. Vakvarju is the old slang name for a very simple dish which is like the all time favourite langos (fried dough) but it`s furnace baked little brother, which some people just call “The Hungarian Pizza”. If You out and about in the city and see some fairs or markets, you can easily run in to this dish, it`s pretty much the first time I see it on a restaurants menu.  But of course Vakvarju has lot more to offer!

The place is very casual the staff is very friendly. The design, well it is interesting. You can sit on a vespa at the bar, or punch someone in the male know, it`s completely up to you! By the way..the bathroom. The place is trying to get in the Guinness Book of records by collecting toilet signs from all around the world. If you bring them one, trust me it will be rewarding!:)

So, the food:

It was fantastic! Filling, tasty, interesting and the best about it cheap! I mean some places in the city which provide same or oven less service or quality food have this thing to over-prise their dishes. Vakvarju doesn`t do that. It`s very affordable, and nice quality food. They also do lunch deals as well, so for less than 1000Ft you can treat yourself with a 2 course meal.

We had pickle cream soup, with salmon. Oh dear it was fantastic. This cold and sour soup, was a real surprise. My forest mushroom-cappuccino soup was even better. Rich and creamy, it was gone in seconds really.  Also this pickle soup is very much trending among Budapest restaurants at the moment, as well among bloggers. No wonder as its easy and cheap to make, and it sounds interesting enough to attract foodie costumers.

The main dishes were very nice as well. Some of us had pullet in a parmesan jacket with spinach pasta. And it was a massive portion, we had to ask help from the male friends to finish it. Some of us had rose duck breast with cabbage pasta and pears. Or traditional pork hock “pekne style”- garlic and beer overdose. Or steak with liver filled cannelloni pasta. (it`s easy to tell tho that the chef likes his Italian influence). I have to admit there was no room for dessert. To be honest you can`t really go wrong with the orders. Thou none of us has ordered a “vakvarju” but some people confirmed those were delicious as well.

If you are in Budapest, try it, it`s really worth it!

July 23, 2010

Budapest: Menza Restaurant

1061 Budapest, Liszt Ferenc ter 2. +3614131482

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!

July 21, 2010

Budapest: Manga Cowboy

We are on Raday street, in Budapest, famous restaurant-pub-entertainment street in the heart of the city, close to universities and major attractions. There are restaurants right next to each other, also Budapet’s very first Michelin star restaurant-“Costes”. Also there are places in all kinds of price range, also providing daily lunch offers. With a friend of mine we picked Manga Cowboy (Raday street 33), to be honest only because of the name, i was wondering how they manage to infuse these 2 completely different kind of style and culture.

To be honest, the eastern part of the deal only appears in the name, and maybe in the wasabi-mayo, also the items listed on the menu, have “funny” and “cute” japanese names. Pretty much thats it. The decoration inside also reminds us the western world. On their website I find out, they would like to infuse hungarian-asian-american influencial cuisine. That sound interesting, also very dangerous. Because in this case they not only have to master 1 but 3 completely different and unique kitchens. And yes, many things can go wrong. Their menu is more or less american, with its cesar salad, burgers, and big sandwiches. Me, I dont mind burgers, if they are good, not necessarily thinking about fast food chain products. The burger itself can be hard to master, if we dont want to serv something dry and over-cooked for our costumers. And the creativity comes with the filling which can be anything from tomato to peanut-butter.

Also good to know about Manga Cowboy, they have all day breakfast, they have bagel which is very rare in this city. Also they have stand-up comedy night, also sometimes english stand-up as well.  They do lunch time offers, 5 days a week, and we can pay with ticket restaurant vouchers as well!

Our lunch:

Well the place started with some hickups, while i was waiting for my friend, i didnt even had a chance to look at a menu or a drink-list, for about 10 minutes nobody really cared if im ordering or not. In this heath i could have really used a bottle of water to be honest. Thankfully things speed up after my friend arrives. She is having a lunch deal, im having a burger. The lunch time offers are actually pretty good, the costumers can either choose from a soup-main or main-dessert variation, from 2 different mains a day. The price-range is very friendly as well, around 800Ft-s with a drink, which is about 3 euros.  There are also more asian and hungarian dishes on the menu, everything from the very traditional to the more creative.

The soup she is having (spring vegetable) is pretty nice, she gets it withing 3 minutes. The main “tokfozelek”-(fozelek is a traditional hungarian dish, made out of vegetables it can be anything from cabbage, potatoe, or in this case pumpkin. Its hard to find an english example for it, the best i can come up with is stew, but still, its nothing like a stew). Anyway, the tokfozelek, is a pretty nice portion with 2 meatloafs, very tasty as well. My burger comes with chips and coleslaw salad. It looks like a decent burger, nothing extra nothing new, with tomato-onion-gherkin-cheese filling. The loaf is a bit raw inside, but still edible. Costs 1800Ft-6,50 euros. Its nice and filling, theres not much more i can say about a simple burger to be honest. Our waitress is nice, so i dont really have problens with the service.

Manga Cowboy could develop a bit more, but if they serve decent good priced food im very sure will survive on the market. If im in the area, will very sure use it for lunch..or maybe stand up comedy?

Budapest, Raday utca, ettermek erik egymast mindections. n meteren. Mi, egy baratnommel a Manga Cowboyt valasztottuk. Igazabol tetszett a neve es kivancsi voltam, hogy ezt a ket egeszen eltero stilust, hogyan tudjak osszehozni.

A keleti oldala a dolognak, igazabol csak minimalisan jelenik meg az etelek kozott, esetleg leves vagy wasabi-majonez formajaban. Ilettve a legtobb etelnek “vicces” japan neve van. Ennyi. Belul a dekoracio is, a tehenmintas falakkal inkabb emlekeztetik a vadnyugatot. Honlapjukon megtudom, hogy az azsiai, amerikai, es magyar konyhat szeretnek otvozni. Ez szerintem eleg veszelyes probalkozas, mert mar rogton 3 teljesen eltero kulturat kell igen makas fokon uzni, illetve a vendegeknek talalni. Az etlapjuk tulnyomo reszt amerikai, szendvicses-burgeres-salatas. Igaz, en nagy kedveloje vagyok a hamburgereknek, is ilyenkor nem feltetlenul kell a gyorsettermi-lancok termekeire gondolni. A huspogacsa elkeszitese amugy igen nehez dolog, foleg azert, hogy ne egy szaraz, odaegett husdarabot adjunk a vendeg ele. A toltelek pedig a paradicsomtol a hummus-ig barmi lehet, szoval gondoltam ezt ki is probalom.

Tudni kell meg a Manga Cowboyrol, hogy egesz napos reggelit kinal, ami kozott szerepel a bagel-is. Ez mar kis hazankban eleg ritka, tobb ceg probalkozott mar a bagel-ek arusitasaval, de valahogy senkinek se jott ossze. Elo angol vagy magyar stand-up comedy esteket tartanak, illetve ebedkor menujuk is van (inkabb ezekben jelenik meg jobban a magyaros, es az azsiai vonal), illetve ebedjegyeket is elfogadnak fizetes gyanant.

Az ebedunk:

Nem egy jo pontal inditott szamomra a hely. Mig a baratnomre vartam, nem lattam se etlapot vagy itallapot, senki nem kerdezte meg,, hogy szeretnek e valamit. Igazabol ha nem lett volna ilyen meleg, vagy nem lettem volna ennyire szomjas talan meg nem zavart volna. A pincerek picit elfoglaltak, de igazabol korulottem mar mindenki megkapta az ebedjet, es nem mondanam, hogy nagy tomeget kellett volna kiszolgalniuk. Addig a menu ajanlatot bongeszem. Egesz korrekt, naponta valtozo, arban teljesen megfelelo. A leves-foetel-desszert triot lehet parisotani, napi ket fajta foetel kozul. Amin a palacsinta, vagy brownie, vagy a fozelek, es a brassoi ugyanugy helyet kap a Tom Yum leves mellett.

Miutan mar ketten vagyunk szerencsere felgyorsulnak az esemenyek, baratnom menut valaszt, a levest szinte azonnal megkapja. Szeretnem hozza tenni, hogyha kint foglalunk helyet, az asztalok nem a legidealisabbak a designos tanyerhoz es konnyen az olunkbe borulhat az egesz. A leves amugy finom. En hamburgert valasztottam, ami 1700 Ft, sultkrumpli es coleslaw salata jar hozza. Igazabol, semmi kulonos, de finom. Szerencsere sok zoldseg van benne, amugy a pogacsa, kivulrol picit egett, belulrol egy picit rozsaszin, de meg az “eheto-nyers” kategoriaba tartozik. A tokfozelek, egesz nagy adag, es az is es a hozza jaro 2 fasirt is nagyon finom! A menu araban szerepel meg egy pohar udito vagy kave, amit en egesz korrekt ajanlatnak tartok, keves helyen kinalnak ilyet. A pincernonk, aranyos, kedves, a kezdeti nehezsegek ellenere, kellemeset csalodtam a kiszolgalasban

A manga Cowboy jol vizsgazott, bar van min fejlodniuk, de igazabol az alacsony araik mellett nem nagyon szamitottam masra. Ha ismetelten a Raday utcaban jarok, valoszinu, hogy oket fogom valasztani ebedre!