Hummus is truly trendy in 2017, and now we all know that it’s not something vaguely familiar from geography lessons, but a flavorful and filling Middle Eastern dip made of chickpeas. However, we have to admit that Budapest has a funny way of integrating Eastern cuisine; although there are numerous restaurants that make Mediterranean/Middle Eastern meals, only a few of them are particularly good. However, District VII’s newest and coolest food bar recently burst into fame, specializing in friendly feasts with a selection that stretches from Atlas to Ararat, and from the Bosphorus to Gibraltar.

We wouldn’t be surprised to soon see CoolHunting or Matador praise Dobrumba in an article about the beauty of Budapest. This new eatery has an amazing atmosphere, both at the back and in the front seating areas. The style of the furniture and the warm brown-gray-yellow colors are signs of sophisticated taste. Considering its quality, Dobrumba does not fall far behind any trendy New York bistros. Its name is catchy, and we really like it, even though at first it was only a nickname for this new project. It is two street names merged together: Dob and Rumbach Sebestyén Street, as the eatery is found at that intersection. As the restaurant is the shared dream of artists and creative minds, there is plenty of experience and taste behind this project, which eliminates any fear that after a period of immediate hype the magic of the place will disappear, as Dobrumba definitely has great potential.

Dobrumba’s graphic art was made by a talented Budapest-based artist, Eszter Laki, who is actually the only girl in the management. However, we can definitely see a woman’s touch in the logo, and in the decorative menu.

Hungarians generally like Mediterranean cuisine, especially the tastes of Spain, Italy, and Greece. Instead of entire meals, Dobrumba is rather Mediterranean in terms of the ingredients and techniques they use; plenty of olive oil, citruses, grilled ingredients, and luscious vegetables instead of pizzas or paellas. These are paired with the flavorful spices, mouthwatering meats, yogurts, vegetables, and dining habits of the Middle East. Here we share a meal, feasting with friends, dipping and tasting various courses while taking our time. This is a lifestyle that feels great to try, even if it’s just for one night. It is obvious that the whole place was inspired by travels and globetrotting. They strive to be as authentic as possible at all times, and we think that it works very well.

The service is very friendly, as the staff is always glad to guide everyone through the menu; they give recommendations, not in a pushy way, but rather personally. Dobrumba’s executive chef is András Berényi, whose name might be familiar from Urban Tiger. They also offer lunch special: two courses cost 1,500 forints, and three courses are 1,900 forints. These can be ordered between noon and 4pm, and they always include a daily soup and a hearty main course. We tried harira soup (lentils, chickpea, tomato, yogurt, Arabic bread) and baked lamb sausage with hummus dip. It was perfect with basboussa, that is, grits pie with orange-blossom syrup and almonds.

Naturally, we also tried meals from the à la carte menu, especially because we can order courses in various variations: we love mezze selections from the Middle East, so we put together a plate of five different dips. Before our meal arrived, they served us some marinated olives, which is a typical Mediterranean move that is so easy to get used to on a lovely holiday. We also got some from the place’s own coriander pesto that is slightly spicy, but is so energizingly fresh and flavorful that it is impossible to stop dipping. It comes in a small bowl decorated with tulips that was brought to Dobrumba from a trip to Lebanon.

Tapende (olives with capers, anchovies, and garlic), slightly spicy paprika hummus, labneh (Arabic cream cheeses with plenty of spices), muhammara (Syrian roasted paprika with roasted walnut, honey, and pomegranate), and roasted beetroot with pomegranate, walnut, baby spinach, and yogurt – these mezzes all came served on huge metal plates with plenty of Arabic bread. We were speechless, and had no idea how we were going to manage all of this… but we discovered so many exciting flavors that slowly, we cleaned all of the plates. The beetroot and the muhammara were so great that we strongly wished they would last forever. This generous mezze selection costs 3,500 forints, and considering its quality and quantity, that is a very friendly price.

We didn’t have any room left to try more hearty meals with meats and fish, but we definitely will upon our next visit, which probably will be very soon, as Dobrumba has instantly become one of our favorite eateries in Budapest.