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Jónás comes out of the Whale – top craft-beer bar moves from Bálna to Bikás Park

Writers

  • Péter Blazsovszky

03/05/2022 2.42pm

Call it a craft-beer bar or a pub, Jónás has had its many fans on tenterhooks, unsure when they might be able to sip their fresh Reketye brews once more. After building a following at Bálna, ‘The Whale’ events centre by the Danube, Zoli Reketye-Trifán and crew have now moved to a lakeside location in Bikás Park, Buda. We took a look as they were opening up.

Zoli oversees Jónás together with his wife Szilvia and Gergő Bulóczki. All were in a relaxed mood when we arrived.

We Love Budapest: Can you tell me something about your new place?

Zoli Reketye-Trifán: Of course! The basic idea is to mix the dishes made from excellent ingredients in a light atmosphere that is not the same old thing, not so much, anyway… a happy environment in these beautiful surroundings.

Zoli Reketye-Trifán

Photo: Medgyesi Milán - We Love Budapest

WLB: Yes, like those ducks out there!

Z R-T: Yes, like those ducks! This bar is like us doing the butterfly, all light-hearted fun. I'd should also like to say that we have a brewery, and that brewery produces a fairly large amount of malt pomace. We found a nice little family farm in Nógrád – you know, four cows and 20 goats – and we’ll feed the lot.

Photo: Medgyesi Milán - We Love Budapest

WLB: It sounds like you’re going to make pálinka.

Z R-T: From the goats or the milk? After all, you can make it from almost anything. So the cheeses, purified butters and things that will come from nothing but beer can then be tasted to accompany the beer which helped make it.


It has long been one of our ideas to have such a lovely cycle in the synergy of food and drink. I have had this idea from the very beginning, only in the initial times of 2014, we simply did not dare to introduce it into a restaurant, because the local reception might not have ready to appreciate it.

WLB: You said you’re not only serving lunch and dinner, there’s going to be breakfast, too.

Z R-T: Indeed! The basic concept of the kitchen is that there’s are a lot of food that almost everyone loves, but they don’t necessarily like to make at home because it’s either tricky or smelly...

Boeuf bourguignon with beer – and dips

Photo: Medgyesi Milán - We Love Budapest

WLB: For example, French toast.

Z R-T: Exactly. For breakfast, there will be different variations of this, but the reverse fried egg or scrambled eggs with walnuts are also a huge favourites, those ground walnuts are just the business. But there will be, say, muhammara roast-pepper dip, chili guacamole, crunchy sausages or boeuf bourguignon made with beer, for example, and I could list more. The point is to bring back the things we love.

Photo: Medgyesi Milán - We Love Budapest

WLB: Will there be something special with the beer or just the usual?

Z R-T: Get out of here! Since 2014, we have introduced 250 different beers to the market and we were the first to come out with craft beer in cans to drink at home – but, to answer your question, I’m delighted to report that the Cute Beaver is back with us! This is a 6.5% top-fermented brown ale, which is an IPA-like hop variety on top of a semi-bitter. You’re tasting this beer now, and you don’t feel the hops at all, but back in 2013 when we first brewed it – wow!

Photo: Medgyesi Milán - We Love Budapest

Photo: Medgyesi Milán - We Love Budapest

In addition to the aforementioned Beaver, there will be their rye red beer, Horny Pony, Resolve Ukraine created in collaboration with a brewery in Kiev, session lager Arany Jónás (‘Golden Jonah’) on tap, pleasantly melon-tinged Heavy Mommy, as well as Brew Your Mind Keep Dreaming.

Photo: Medgyesi Milán - We Love Budapest

Fabulous beers, a top range of food, superb cocktails by bar manager Dániel Ujj, known from Kispipa, and a cool craft-beer atmosphere by the duck-filled pond of Bikás Park in Újbuda… It’s certainly been worth the wait for Jónás to come out of the Whale.

Photo: Medgyesi Milán - We Love Budapest

Venue information

Jónás Craft Beer & Food
1119 Budapest, Bikás park (100m from the metro station, by the lake)
Open: Mon-Tue 9am-9pm, Wed-Thur & Sun 9am-10pm, Fri-Sat 9am-11pm

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