Review: BaBar Bistro Budapest, Hungarian With A Twist

  • 5 May 2016 12:45 PM
Review: BaBar Bistro Budapest, Hungarian With A Twist
In an ordinary goulash soup you will find normal beef chopped in bite-sized pieces, potatoes, onions and paprika. However, the restaurant at the corner of Huszár and Munkás streets doesn’t offer a lot of ordinary things. The traditional, usually rather boring dishes are presented here in a renewed way, with a modern international flair.

Italy, India, France, Thailand, Morocco: each country has its own traditional cuisine with spices, products and ways of preparation that are typical to them. If you are thinking about Italy in this context, you may imagine the smell of a freshly prepared Penne all’Arrabiata. India fans would prefer a fiery chicken curry. When the characteristics of different traditional cuisines are combined with each other it results in unique flavours and culinary delights.

Restaurant with history

The neighbourhood where the BaBar Bistro is located used to be a lively part of the city in the 1970s and 1980s. “On the street between the Keleti Railway Station and Ferenciek tere there were many shops,” Péter Farkas, the owner of the restaurant explains.

The building in which the restaurant can be found used to be part of the Dreher brewery and was used as storage. There was a restaurant at the spot earlier. “It was very popular in the communist era but it only offered traditional Hungarian dishes,” says Farkas.

After years of renovation BaBar Bistro was opened in November 2004. Today there are some hotels nearby and this is why he compiled a more international menu card. They still offer the traditional Hungarian dishes but with international, modern impressions.

So if you are looking for traditional Hungarian dishes with a little extra, you are at the right address. Goulash soup and companions are not only cooked and served here; they are conjured and artistically presented.

Besides galuska (Hungarian gnocchi) with spinach and eggs you can find Thai chicken soup on the menu. The dish stays down-to-earth by using typical vegetables, such as carrots and zucchini. Combined with ginger, coriander, lime and hazelnut the soup gets a distinct sharp note.

The already mentioned goulash is also quite special: the restaurant does not use just any kind of beef, only the meat of the Magyar szürke szarvasmarha (Hungarian Grey Cattle), which is leaner and healthier, so it makes the dish a pleasurable experience.

Something for the eyes

The guest space has a cosy atmosphere thanks to the dark wooden furniture, the music and the dimmed lights. A large, noble bar sets out the central point of the room. The seating around it can house up to 70 guests. In spring and summer diners can also relax on the restaurant terrace. In addition, there is a chill-out-lounge next to the dining room, with beanbags where diners “might relax after a rich meal”.

Rich is the key word here. “Nobody will leave my restaurant hungry,” Farkas says. “Hungarians expect big portions when they are eating out.”

The presentation of the dishes is equally important, since this is what turns each dish into a unique experience. Although the menu card is rather simple with only 11 main dishes served, it still has something for everyone, offering a wide range of products and creations.

The green salad with grilled cheese is made exclusive by being paired up with strawberries in a balsamic-vinaigrette dressing. The pork served in BaBar Bistro comes from Hungarian mangalica pigs. Guests can enjoy the paper-thin fillets – among others – with a composition of hash browns and a sauce made of red pepper.

The caterer hid a special highlight in the back part of his restaurant: another guest space, which can be reserved for any kind of party and event. In Budapest “it’s not easy to find a location for a birthday or wedding party”, our host says.

By using the extra space BaBar Bistro can house up to 200 guests at once. It does not matter whether it is a birthday party, cocktail evening with friends, lunch with colleagues or a cosy dinner with the family: this is the place.
This is Farkas’ motto: “We are trying to fulfil every wish of our guests.”

BaBar Bistro

7 Huszár utca, District VII,
Open daily from noon to 11pm
Reservations: (+36) 20 919-7979

Soups: HUF 850-1650
Salads: HUF 1490-1790
Appetisers: HUF 1390-3190
Mains: HUF 1550-4900
Desserts: HUF 750-1100

Source: The Budapest Times

Republished with permission

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