Friday, January 08, 2010

Karpatia (Budapest) 01/10

One enters this excellent Hungarian restaurant, they are members of the Relais de Chaine de Rotisseurs, through an entrance
which gives no clue to the splendid interior. Passing by a bistro through an arch we were faced with an eighteenth century room with painted walls and vaulted ceilings. Tables are well spaced, set with fine cutlery and crockery and glassware on crisp white linen.
A group in colourful local Gypsy dress played a variety of Gypsy and light music. Their leader had completed a degree in music and demonstrated great versatility to our considerable pleasure. I'm not sure why they paid particular attention to Sandra.
We set out to experience an indulgent meal by ordering copious amounts of foie gras.
I started with a foie gras d'oise, two large slices of pate served with a balsamic sour cherry sauce, balsamic jelly and toasted pistachio bread. 4,900 Florints (there are about 15 florints to the $A at present. )

Whilst Sandra had the classical Hungarian foie gras with red onion salad, green peppers and home made brioche. (5,500).
Sandra then had a green pea soup with horseradish with home made bread rolls (1200), which was not photogenic, while I had a spicy gulyas with nipped pastes (1600). Both of these soups were short on seasoning. The pea soup was rather bland. My hopes for something special from the Hungarian gulyas were not realized. We've had many in Melbourne they would have been jealous of. My main was Hungarian style goose foie gras with fresh 'lesco' - Hungarian ratatouille, potato chips and celery puree.
Serving on potato crisps was a great idea and went well with the foie gras which had been perfectly prepared, cooked, but only just cooked. It was as tender, and delicate a dish you could ever find with two very large slabs of wonderful foie gras, something we never get in Australia. Sandra had roasted foie gras on fried brioche with Tokaj wine sauce, grapes and sultana raisins.
Despite one piece of foie gras being slightly over cooked this was another gourmet delight. The delicacy on the palate and the taste sensation of barely cooked foie gras cannot be over emphasized. It is an experience you have to have for yourself. If you get the chance don't miss it. Vegetarians will never know what they are missing! An unexciting cheese tray followed.
before we shared a piquant sour cherry strudel with a cinnamon mousse

The little orange fruit next to the strawberry, called Ochoa and originating in South America, is ubiquitous where ever we traveled in Europe. It is used as edible decoration for cocktails, entrees, mains and desserts.
The musicians did a hard sell for their CD's and played up to the patrons in the hope of extra gratuities which detracted from the overall quality of the place and the servers were prominent when not required but often absent when we needed them!


John Salisbury said...

I can almost hear the theme music from "The Third Man"

Would that be as cutting edge as you would find in hungary?

Elliot & Sandra said...

There are a few excellent restaurants but we had only one night and wanted to pig out on foie gras.

Elliot & Sandra said...

Neil pointed out in an email that the currency in Hungary is Florints. The exchange rate is as quoted but the price did not deter the patrons who were mostly tourists. I'll edit it shortly,
Thanks Nei