A destination restaurant on Lánchíd utca, Meat Boutique has unveiled a brand new image, proving that inspiration can be found even in the midst of this unpredictable situation. Original taste pairings, complex kitchen technology and revamped pricing all await visitors to the new and improved restaurant by Clark Ádám tér. The interior and drinks menu you might recognise, but the gastronomy options are new and waiting to be enjoyed!
Following the loosening of curfew restrictions in the city, many restaurants reopened immediately, hoping to make up for the weeks-long hiatus. Meat Boutique, on the other hand, waited. Due to its location below Buda Castle, 80% of their guests were foreign tourists, in whose absence they thought it more expedient to rethink their operations during this time, and adapt to new conditions. Which, primarily, means targeting the Hungarian audience, whose needs and wants require the kitchen to modify and readjust to meet many different aspects.
The long menu, full of different meat dishes, has been reassessed, and replaced by a shorter, more streamlined series of options. Thanks to these changes, prices have become even friendlier to local wallets, while portion sizes have actually increased.
The entire menu is also focused on acquiring ingredients domestically – nothing is ordered from abroad. From fine dining, Meat Boutique is now orienting the concept to a fusion bistro kitchen, with heartier food, and two new chefs to make the changes possible. “Without their help,” says the restaurant owner, “we probably wouldn’t have been able to reopen”.
The new chefs, Dávid Strider and Dávid Demián, represent an impressive combined experience in gastronomy. Strider previously worked at Fáma, Costes Downtown and Laurel, and Demián spent time in restaurants abroad, as well as locally, at Innio. Last year, he ran the kitchen at Babka as chef. Together, they explain the new direction for Meat Boutique, describing it as “honest, no-frills, tasty cuisine. We don’t put anything unnecessary on the plate. It might seem simple,” they add, “but there’s a little twist to everything”.
As it turns out, the twist is not so little after all: thanks to innovative taste composition and complex kitchen technology, traditional Hungarian flavours are supplemented with Asian influences to create something truly spectacular. Among the appetisers, for example, is hummus with roast cauliflower (1,890 HUF) – slightly spicy, lighter than usual, and topped with a classic egg on top, cooked to perfection at 65 degrees for 70 minutes. Pineapple and tomato highlight the characteristic taste of the cauliflower, with mint and parsley diced on top for an extra, refreshing addition.
In the case of the beef tartar (2,790 HUF), we turn from the standard to the extraordinary, with the addition of a special Japanese citrus-soy sauce, baby peaches with truffles and a thinly-sliced radish salad. Beef features in more than just one dish by the way, which is largely a result of their connection to a reliable Hungarian supplier from the Balaton Uplands. The star of the menu is made from excellent Angus meat, with the juicy beef ribs cooked sous vide for 30 hours, and served with creamy mashed potatoes and plums soured with rice vinegar (3,990 HUF).
Speaking of beef, we must mention their goulash soup as well, such an excellent example is not all that easy to come by in Hungarian restaurants: the thick, creamy soup is filled with beef shank, fried bell peppers, highly recognised aranyszalagos (‘Golden Ribbon’) paprika spice from Bezdan, a soupçon of coffee, as well as Moroccan salted lemon and celery. It might sound very complex, but the experience is not overwhelming at all: it’s still the good old goulash soup, just with a bit more sophistication, and a few unique aromas.
The new chefs are enthusiastic and committed, and there’s no limit to their imagination. They pay attention to every little detail, with each one of the sprouts and green leafs having their own specific spot on the plate. Their chicken stew (2,990 HUF) is even a bit difficult to recognise: the sous vide cooked chicken leg is served with a creamy chicken stew gravy created in a complex way with four types of peppers, as well as homemade egg noodles rolled in parmesan foam, and a cucumber salad with fish sauce.
The slight touch of Asian cuisine can also be detected on the dessert front: the brownie is accompanied by toasted hazelnuts, vanilla ice-cream and salted caramel miso (fermented bean purée) for 1,690 forints.
We should also highlight the aranyszalagos trout with pumpkin stew and butternut pumpkin spaghetti (3,690 HUF) among the main courses. Thanks to the refreshing raspberries, the dish reveals another exciting flavour combination, and the high-quality fish meat is processed in the restaurant. Three fan favourites from the old menu have remained, and can be found in the new selection as well: the burger, the ćevapčići and the rib-eye. It’s highly likely that the schnitzel will make a comeback, too – knowing the chefs, it will not feel like a standard Sunday lunch, but something unexpected and memorable.