Launched at a press event amid the artwork in its recently opened AQVA Room, the spring menu at the Michelin-recommended FELIX Kitchen & Bar showcases the dexterity of newly arrived executive chef, Dániel Katona.

The fin-de-siècle splendour of Miklós Ybl’s counterpoint to his ornate Várkert Bazár opposite are apt surroundings for the new art collection on display in the AQVA Room, given the English-language title of I, Without a Face.

Here, in this elegantly disguised former pumphouse by the Danube, the FELIX team presented the spring menu by new executive chef Dániel Katona.

The exhibition theme of masks and anonymity contrasted with the clear features of Katona’s Med-inspired combinations. Having recently worked as head chef under Spain’s Jordi Cruz, the world’s second-youngest recipient of a Michelin star, at the La Fortalesa de Sant Julià de Ramis in Girona, Katona brings plenty of Spanish influences to the table. Gallic, too, as before then, Katona was chef de partie at the French-owned Sofitel in Budapest.

Katona’s approach is a straightforward one, illustrated by a maximum of three to four ingredients on each plate, a balance of creaminess and crunchiness wherever possible. This could be seen in the first combination to arrive, a trio of tuna, ponzu and avocado and the subsequent one of red-salmon tartare with fennel and dill. Strong, clean flavours, without no showing off.

The highlight was the beef carpaccio, the extremely elegant, sophisticated and lingering slightly smoky taste perfectly integrated into the overall picture.

Here we should also mention the head sommelier, Tamás Czinki, whose exclusive selections excite as much as the food itself.

The menu then took a more global turn towards burrata, pistachio and tomato, duck bao, a bison mini-burger and squid-ink risotto. The risotto, for example, is not the stodgy variety Hungarians might have been raised on but one that was creamy outside and gently crunchy within. The desserts provided a sweet, fresh farewell to the whole experience.

All in all, there was no experimentation, no fusion, no over-thinking, no horseplay, no attempts to dazzle, just an honest menu presented in subtle fashion with no smoke and mirrors. In short, everything a quality fine bistro should be.

Venue information

FELIX Kitchen & Bar
1013 Budapest, Ybl Miklós tér 9
Open: Daily 11.30am-11pm