Dining

Try daytime delights at the Downtown Market – champagne, sushi and specialty coffee

Photo : Sándor Csudai / WLB

The Downtown Market is slowly but surely turning into a food court with more eateries than traditional stalls. Renowned chef Lajos Bíró initiated this gastronomic transformation, best experienced in spring, when grazing and browsing are convivial. We sampled sushi at Husikám, tried the champagne breakfast at Champoint 4 monkeys and got a buzz from the specialty brews at By Beans. Swedish coffee, anyone?

Champoint 4 monkeys

Photo: Sándor Csudai / WLB

It’s great that people like Lajos Bíró still exist, who show enterprise and constantly come up with new ideas. His culinary ventures are usually based on some fresh and modern concept, jazzed up with a touch of tried-and-tested tradition. On the ground floor of the Downtown Market, Bíró, Zoltán Forgács and Szabi Szabadfi have now opened a breakfast and champagne bar. Champoint 4 monkeys is the first place here to offer both breakfast and champagne, so connecting the two, as they do in Madrid or Lebanon, is a natural fit.

 

This multifunctional venue has an excellent drinks selection focusing on high-quality sparkling wines, such as Taittinger or Deutz, but also featuring many other premium tipples, such as a great range of gin. Those who refrain from starting the day with alcohol can choose home-made smoothie and coffee concoctions courtesy of nearby By Beans.

Photo: Sándor Csudai / WLB

Mouth-watering breakfasts include pastries from artisanal bakery Panificio il Basilico and a variety of egg dishes, omelettes or poached eggs (from 1,100 HUF), as well as the chef’s special cold-cut sandwich (1,100 HUF). We sampled many items on the diverse menu, which lists yoghurt and muesli, along with oysters from the market fishmonger and gastro bar Vörös Homár. This kind of co-operation characterises the healthy relationship between tenants, including Bíró himself. Sourcing ingredients from experts is another part of his modus operandi.

 

Champoint 4 monkeys also has tapas, ie Hungarian cold cuts, olives and vegetables, many kinds of grilled sandwiches with premium cheeses, and savoury French toast with a twist: they add shrimps and spinach to this staple breakfast favourite.

 

All menu items are ideal for a princely breakfast or brunch – especially if chased down by a glass of fine champagne, of course.

 

Champoint 4 monkeys 

District V. Hold utca 13

Open: Tue-Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 8am-4pm

 

Husikám

Photo: Attila Polyák / WLB

 

Anatoli Belov is a chef who knows his own mind. Instead of relying on temporary trends and yielding to popular dishes, he stays true to his own style. He started his culinary ventures in Budapest by opening Zoltán 18, and now continues with Husikám, a haven for meat lovers.

 

To dine here you have to be spontaneous, since there’s no set menu. Each day’s gastronomic attractions are presented to guests on a blackboard. Husikám offers fusion dishes and many of the recipes have their roots in Asian cuisine. They serve a lot of meat and fish, and they’re not shy with spices either.

Photo: Attila Polyák / WLB

We decided to let the staff choose for us. We received many kinds of sushi, a beef goulash, red miso soup, teriyaki chicken, schnitzel, spätzle, potato salad and cucumber. The teriyaki chicken came first, which was tender and spicy. The kimchi on the side was a refreshing addition, harmonising with the main dish.

 

The inside out sushi rolls came on a big plate with sauce on top, an unconventional serving compared to Japanese minimalism. We liked the flavours and the freshness of the rolls, may have preferred fish or shrimp to surimi. Dishes cost from 3,000 to 5,000 forints, and should definitely satisfy most appetites.

 

Husikám

District V. Hold utca 13

Open: Mon-Sat 11am-4pm

 

ABC by Beans

Photo: Sándor Csudai / WLB

The only café in the market, By Beans is also excellent, offering delicious coffee concoctions and a heavenly hot chocolate. Since many guests have taken a shine to their drinks, they also decided to open a speciality store next door, ABC by Beans, where you can buy and take home the basic ingredients and other relevant equipment.

 

The primary brand they purvey is Per Nordby, created by a Swedish roastery, but they also offer books, cups and barista gadgets.

 

Besides all the accessories, the shop also sells capsules of specialty coffee, making delicious, light-roasted brews accessible for anyone with a matching machine at home.

 

By Beans

District V. Hold utca 13

Open: Mon 7.30am-5pm, Tue-Fri 7.30am-6pm, Sat 8.30am-4pm