Apartment restaurants aren’t anything new here, it’s been a few years since the appearance of these “underground” gastro sanctuaries. The genre can be led back to Cuba, where after the victory of the revolution, Fidel Castro shut down the “imperialist” restaurants. Locals started to cook for themselves, and with time, for their neighbors and tourists as well – the latter liked the idea so much that they brought the invention home. Well, in the recent years, apartment restaurants became popular in Budapest, too. We already wrote about them, but there are still an increasing number of new initiatives. We set off to discover the newest apartment restaurants.
12bé – Experimental kitchen
Since last September, 12bé is a place where a variety of exciting evenings take place on a regular basis, with friends and friends of friends. Every occasion has its own theme and there’s always a little game – it’s much more than just a plain dinner. The owner, Anna is full of great ideas, her creativity is just amazing. The flat’s interior shows that she has good taste. In the guest room, there’s a huge ‘family’ table; the lampshade and the corkboard’s decoration on the wall is always determined by the specific theme of the dinner. Anna likes opposites, so a lot of the dinners she guides have the theme spicy vs. piquant or light vs. dark. We went to a dinner with the theme Intergrowth, where the guest chef was the vegastromaniac Bede Anna. We ate from the vegetables stacked on the table, kneaded and tasted veggie sausage, and then topped it all off with some brutal beetroot chocolate cake. Cool program, nice people, friendly atmosphere – we recommend it everyone open to gastronomy and curious of what’s below the surface.
Flavors, scents that sweeten our days or make it bitter, spicy, or sour, but certainly not in a bad way – but what is Béterv? The owner is Bíró Botond Boldizsár, who’s not an actual chef but loves to cook and incidentally works with perfumes. He told us a bit about his apartment restaurant when we went to a ginger themed ‘scent dinner’. There are no recipes or rules, but instead there are flavors, scents, colors, feelings, and no two identical dishes. Béterv is a place for ‘scent dinners’ (and occasionally for gastro-literary nights) with cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, lavender, rosemary, vanilla, and many more. In every such dinner’s focus is a certain scent and flavour. The ginger dinner’s guest chef was Bíró Norbert (Baraka Restaurant), he and Boldizsár assembled the menu. The six-course dinner was phenomenal, especially the slowly cooked cattle neck with soy and ginger, and the St Jacques scallops with coconut ginger sauce, beluga lentils, quinoa, and sweet potatoes was a real specialty. It was a flavourful night.
- Booking: firstname.lastname@example.org, or +36 30 273 7532
- Next event: 2014. April 11 – Allspice scent dinner
- Price: dinner with wine 15 000 Forint/person, without wine 10 000 Forint/person
Romani Platni – Gypsy home dining
Romani Platni, Hungary’s first Roma communal restaurant, is like theninth district it’s located in: we had our doubts in the beginning, but the more time we spent in it, the more we grew to like it. The main principle is that recognition is reached through our stomach, and that the kitchen is every household’s foundation: no wonder that we found ourselves in the middle of it upon entering. We could look behind the counter and could marvel at the housewives who knew every dish of gypsy gastronomy by heart. In the dining room, the shelves are packed with the classics of world literature with works of lesser-known Hungarian authors and informative books. We tasted bodag (gypsy bread), strapachka with pickled cabbage and ribs, and cold-made cottage cheese dumplings with red berry sauce with authentic Hungarian gypsy music playing in the background – none of them disappointed us. The staff and the musicians seem to love what they’re doing and welcome everyone with a huge heart. All in all, they impressed us.
Szerecsendió - Gastro space
Szerencsendióis located above in Nagymező Street. Its owners call it a gastro space: not an apartment restaurant or a cooking school, but rather a place where quality gastronomy can become an inspiring social experience, and where we can get close to the foods and to the makers of those. Practically, it’s a beautifully furnished flat with a huge kitchen and professional tools. Apart from the usual apartment restaurant programs, there are also various private and public events held here. We recently went to Kereszty Gábor’s cooking party, named Gourmet pig slaughter, and didn’t regret our decision. It was as if we were at a friend’s dinner who bustles about in the kitchen while keeping up a decent conversation with each of his guests. We tasted liverwurst skewers, pork füle-müle, sausage with shallots, fried pig brain, pepper stuffed with black pudding, sausage ravioli, virgin pig and piglet, all this with some of Canaro’s tunes.
Capricciowas started in the May of 2011 by two well-known, professional chefs, Jenei Tamás and Magos Zoltán. They were the first ones among apartment restaurants and operated in Palazzo Dorottya for half a year, then after a detour in Lendvai Street, they found their current place in Városmajor Street’s Mezzo Kuzin, where Hunyaddobrai Csaba joined them last fall. Their goal is to make a professional, restaurant quality home dining place with a friendly atmosphere. There are apartment restaurant nights every month. In themes and ingredients they adapt to the season – for example, in fall they always use mushrooms and geese, in winter pork, and in March they bring some revolutionary flavours to life. Capriccio often has other events as well, for example, we recently went on an evening where they impressed the audience with golden food.
Meat-free Wine Dinners
- Next event: check their Facebook
- Price: 10 000 Forint /person