Little sister of acclaimed contemporary Hungarian restaurant and housemate SALT Budapest, SOLID Budapest has just opened its doors as a panoramic wine bar on the seventh floor of the same building downtown. Here also operates, between the two, the Hotel Rum. The selection of dishes and wines at SOLID perfectly complement the SALT concept – and provide guests in the Hotel Rum with the same wonderful view they admire over breakfast.

Restaurant manager András Kropf – who introduced himself as a young man in Pécs with wild virtuosity – was given a completely free hand in the make-up of the multi-page wine list.

It showcases the domestic and international world of organic and natural wines with taste and elegance, strive for purity and complexity without neglecting with the classics. Somló Kincse Winery’s 2019 Hegyek királya white blend and Austrian Nittnaus 2017 Altenberg Blaufränkisch provide fine examples.

Grower champagnes also feature, which means to say those made in smaller quantities from homegrown grapes on the same family estate, for example Agrapart & Fils 7 crus brut from Avize near Épernay. Though not wide, the range of spirits has been carefully selected in the same fashion.

To accompany, bar finger foods mirror the style and sophistication of the SALT kitchen downstairs. You can also taste SALT dishes in smaller portions, as a sample. Chef René Rába has been working alongside Szilárd Tóth since SALT first opened, but he first learned about natural foods in France, most notably, edible plants.

After returning home, he was drawn to the concept of SALT, as he saw potential in developing one of the most progressive contemporary Hungarian cuisines there. In addition, like Szilárd, René takes much of his inspiration from childhood memories – and presents each dish to guests in person.

These dishes reflect the tastes and eating habits of historic Hungary, all accompanied by homemade bread. Vajalja comes with caramelised brown butter flavoured with pollen and green lemon peel, typically consumed in the Great Hungarian Plain with sour cream. Here, it is accompanied by crumbly, warm salty croissants and green plums stewed in salt (HUF 1,650).

Szatmár hummus (traditionally a dip made of yellow beans and legumes from Szabolcs with lentils and lemongrass, here made with onion fat), burnt aubergine, bacon with pickled cucumber, and bacon bread with sour melon, are all priced around 1,700-2,000 forints. Served separately, a celery salad is tossed with lemon verbena, green strawberries and miso.

Poppyseed trout (HUF 2,850) comes with kohlrabi, the fish meat wonderfully succulent. And while duck can be a lottery in some places, here it’s worth the risk, and served with green beans, blackberries and almonds (HUF 2,950).

Fermented melon arrives on our table like a small bowl of soup, evoking memories of Hungarian grandfathers slicing up the fruit with their own knives, sat at the kitchen table – though in surroundings somewhat less elegant than these. Dessert is a simple but superb slice of completely traditional zserbó cake (HUF 1,650) with all the right ingredients in place.

It’s been a while since this space was vacated by the former Toprum, but it’s been worth the wait. From 5pm to 1am, Wednesdays through Saturdays, SOLID allows you to experience the quality of the cuisine at SALT, only with exciting wines and champagnes, and that winning panoramic view.

Alternatively, you can kick things off somewhat earlier, and enjoy a champagne brunch until noon when this rooftop venue operates as part of the Hotel Rum.

SOLID Budapest
District V. Királyi Pál utca 4