I have eaten well in Budapest. Extremely well. Hungarian cuisine is peasant food in the truest sense-rich, heavy and deeply satisfying-and I've loved every bite. However, after a week of (wonderful) chicken paprikash and old-school goulash I was ready for something different. Enter Borkonyha, one of only four Michelin starred restaurants in Budapest, to show me another side of Hungarian cuisine. This 'New Hungarian' style of cooking, championed by Budapest's new guard of young chefs, respects tradition and honors local ingredients but keeps things fresh, light and infinitely exciting.
Chef Ákos Sárközi started the meal with white asparagus topped with a meltingly light white asparagus foam and toasted hazelnuts. Crispy duck livers with kohlrabi + crispy sage were next followed by tarragon cream puffs with a rhubarb-strawberry compote. It was a meal that showcased local, spring ingredients but also the chefs simple, soulful sensibility. It was also the perfect way to end my time in Budapest.
Now is really the moment to go to Budapest. There's a new scene emerging-not just in the food- but in the art, the music and the culture. Things are moving forward but there's a real interest in and respect for the old traditions too. It's also highly underrated, off the radar for most tourists and an incredible bargain (especially in comparison to other European capitals) at the moment. Definitely deserves an add to your bucket list.
I'm sipping on one last glass of Tokaji then it's off to pack for my flight home tomorrow morning. Until the next adventure!