See What Happened @ Kollázs Grand Opening Event

  • 9 Jul 2015 9:00 AM
See What Happened @ Kollázs Grand Opening Event
The team at Kollázs, the new brasserie & bar at the Four Seasons, invited to their grand opening event, we accepted to give you an insider's view. Gresham Palace, with its iconic Art Nouveau style and deluxe hospitality, may not have been every expats preferred place to hang-out in the past. Most agree it is an impressive property with all its history and overall feeling of was just missing a certain je ne sais quoi.

Click here to see a photo gallery of the event

Now with the opening of Kollázs in the place of the former Páva restaurant, you can sense a new era beginning at the Four Seasons in Budapest. This brand new brasserie achieves immediate impact as you enter and are greeted by courteous and genuinely friendly staff.

The interior design reflects the artistic era of the 1910s and '20s. The materials used here indicate no compromise when it comes to the quality. Everything from the choice of chandeliers to the tunes on the sound system, from the tableware to the waiters uniforms, all create a feeling of comfortable and accessible luxury that was previously lacking.

A chic French feel rings true in the finer details, real leather seats, exquisite wood touches, Parisian-chic floor tiles, all combine well in a truly stylish harmony. It succeeds at being timeless yet fresh, glamorous yet relaxed, providing understated, cassual elegance.

This event featured a live band, for day to day listening staff claim, "Iconic French and Hungarian hits of the '50s and ‘60s are reborn on the Kollázs sound system". We went back to check, and the music here really helps to bring the venue to life in a hip and vibrant manner.

A wide range of truly delicious hot and cold dishes from the regular menu were showcased at the opening event. We really enjoyed the classic brasserie options, seved in rustic presentations, inc. escargots, and tender grilled meats. Signature dishes here are foie gras terrine, pork trotter, beef cheek.

In between live tunes and heavenly mouthfuls we had chance to chat with Yves Giacometti, the hotel’s GM. While we sipped Bollinger Champagne he shared a bit of insider info about the design by EDG from San Francisco.

The key creative concept was to present the multi-faceted character of Budapest: old fashioned + modern, luxurious + functional, bustling urban Pest + verdant Buda hills, Hungarian tastes + international inspiration...

The design phase took four months we're told, and it also took four months to finish the construction. Apparently it needed around 3 years for the GM's vision for the brasserie to finally become a reality. Today with contemporary art on the walls, including several collages by Júlia Odin Végh, the whole concept is complete, and it all holds together very well.

As the name suggests, Kollázs means collage, and it's appropriate in many ways… The place neatly brings together various F&B elements: a rotisserie, a bar, a patisserie, a terrace, and a wine cellar. It also brings together traditional and modern cuisine, and the elegance of Parisian brasseries and the former gusto of Budapest coffee houses. Plus it brings together local and international cultures through its diverse range of guests.

The restaurant is managed by consummate pro Mihaly Kartyas, the chef is Árpád Győrffy (formerly at Arany Kaviár), and Mátyás Szik the sommelier is twice winner of the Hungarian Sommelier Championship. Prices are more modest than in the previous Four Seasons fine dining restaurant. The quality is still exceptional yet the menu is in tune with a more everyday dining experience.

Cocktails are traditional with a chic, modern twist, based on a bar menu created by Jaime Jones, the London-based international bar consultant. The localised recipes, with names such as the Zwackapa, are brought to life with authentic Hungarian ingredients such as our favourite herbal liqueur Unicum.

Nearly 100 years ago, the Gresham Palace hosted the legendary Gresham Circle’s meetings, a gathering place for key figures on the Hungarian art scene. Apparently they enjoyed the lively café with its creative atmosphere, as well as the excellent food and drinks.

On 24 June 2015 around 250 guests attended this glamorous launch bash, including many of the local glitterati. While it's often quite easy to find something to complain about, most guests seemed to agree it was a pretty flawless and fabulous opening occasion. This venue once again adds something unique and totally gorgeous to the Budapest F&B scene, and so long may continue. A top tip for expats: Sunday Brunch for HUF 8,800.

Venue Details:

Kitchen Open: Breakfast: Mon–Fri 6:30am–10:30am, Sat–Sun 7am–11am, special lunch offer: 12pm–3pm, dinner: 6pm–10:30pm (kitchen closes at 10:30pm),
Bar Open: until 1am
Address: 5–6 Széchenyi István square, Budapest 1051 - the main entrance is on Zrínyi Street, and there is another entrance through the hotel lobby.
Smoking area: Allowed only on the Széchenyi and bar terrace
Pets: Only on the bar terrace
Dress Code: None
WiFi: Username - KOLLÁZS, Password - “kollazs2015”
Reservation: +36 1 268 51 84

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