Couscous takes centre stage in Budapest’s District XIII, where tiny KuszKusz cooks up plentiful varieties of this typical North-African dish. Overseen by chef András Berényi of Dobrumba fame, this recent addition to Budapest’s healthy-yet-tasty eateries serves couscous with meat and in the form of a vegan tagine in an eco-friendly box to takeaway.
At recently opened KuszKusz, the chickpea chicken, vegan tagine and fruitcake have one common feature: they are all made with those soft-yet-filling semolina granules, couscous, the base of many a North African staple. Found on Hollán Ernő utca in the happening part of District XIII, this pocket-sized eatery is the latest venture by Ádám Berényi, whose name is also linked to the popular Dobrumba, a Middle-Eastern restaurant deep in party central.
Currently operating in an initial test phase, KuszKusz provides a welcome addition to the nearby Hungarian-style lunchtime offerings, usually served at old-school, inexpensive eateries dedicated to the midday trade. However, KuszKusz is part of a prevailing gastronomic revolution involving an increasing number of health-focused places in Budapest. Around District XIII, the same trend is represented by hangouts such as Tökmag and Nemsüti, both committed to catering for those who avoid meat in their diet.
At KuszKusz, both carnivorous and vegan diners can tuck into something substantial and tasty. Veal, chicken and vegetable-based tagines all feature with their own characteristic flavours. A special menu offer comes with a daily soup and a main course. Some dishes are available in gluten-free versions, where quinoa substitutes couscous.
Here the ragout comes with spices, vegetables and pickles. The meaty dishes are also enhanced with eggs and yoghurt. Carob brownie and couscous-based fruit bread complete the dessert selection at what could yet well become a coveted alternative destination for the never-ending queue of customers at sister eatery Dobrumba.