A destination for business and pleasure, MOM Leroy in the Buda district of Hegyvidék has long been the ideal meeting place. For 15 years, it has reliably represented everything the neighbourhood is: you can hold a business meeting here or it’s a great environment for friendly chatter, while at weekends, the focus is on cocktails and family lunches.
The Leroy brand has been present in Budapest since 1993. The first restaurant opened for a New Year's Eve party, and brought a completely new feeling to the capital. Something extremely cool, a bit American, global, even, which the receptive Budapest audience was hungry for once again. The brand became a mini network, each with different management, profiles and regulars. They still operate as autonomous outlets to this day.
You could say that MOM Leroy, celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, has always had a prominent role. The shopping complex in the hills was never considered a mall. Compared to the average shopping mecca elsewhere, it featured more select stores, with special services, and a gastronomy that the average customer jaded from browsing would not expect.
So here we have this teenage
bistro, which has already lived a very, very long life. It has served as a
discreet hideaway for celebrated actors or busy businessmen, a reliable meeting
place for ladies transformed from party girls into mothers, organised some
very memorable parties and served many tens of thousands of Caesar salads,
sushi dishes and cottage-cheese pancakes.
There are many stories and even more momentum, as the composition of the MOM Leroy team is special: they include several members who have been with them since the beginning. This is a telling fact, and it is rare in the hustle and bustle of the capital, where everyone is worrying where their favourite waiter or chef might be going next.
It is no coincidence that we said
that this is a strategic meeting place: several main roads enter or depart from
Budapest just a stone's throw away, so a arranging a meeting here is no-brainer. Why would a
businessman venture further, to a downtown location, when they can conduct their meetings comfortably and smoothly here?
You don't have to worry about parking, easily resolved with the underground car park, and you can also pay by card. There's no need to look any further for the ideal place. MOM Leroy awaits with coffee, lunch, sushi and dessert.
As for the range on offer, unusually, they have two menus: in addition to classic bistro, they have also put together a specifically Asian one. This is a great democratic solution, because it satisfies those happy to devour a giant Wiener schnitzel with Bavarian potato salad, and especially a Brassó roast, but fried chicken liver with parsley potatoes and sour-cream cucumber salad would also be close to their heart. This somewhat forgotten, let's say, retro dish is a real local favourite, which is completely understandable, as it's crispy on the outside and succulent within, and a generous portion at that.
They are also strong in salads – Caesar variations are popular, burrata with tomato and olive crumbs is also a
big favourite – and the Big Green Egg is handy if you're looking for the kitchen to prepare something on a charcoal grill.
The duck breast and rib-eye steak are also worth trying. The chef's suggestion also changes from time to time, the kitchen crew mostly expressing their creativity in these dishes, as they always put together something new, trendy, seasonal and fun.
The most popular dishes on the Asian menu are probably pho soup, wok noodles and rice dishes, including pad thai. The sushi selection is also prominent: you could easily think that you are sitting in a coastal bistro in California. Of course, basic maki and nigiri also await, but it's worth adding that little extra to your order: for our visit, the kitchen sent us a taster to get to know the style that the neighbourhood loves so much.
And talking about local favourites, we really should highlight MOM Leroy's parties and regular events: children's days and carnivals, when the little ones fill the interior or the terrace, the Saturday evenings with piano accompaniment by Uncle Gabi Fűzy, the organised parties with leading domestic DJs such as Nigel Stately, which always turn out to be memorable.
With the place soon celebrating its 15th birthday, we can only wish it that many more at least!