Émile: A Culinary Gem In The Buda Hills

  • 28 Oct 2016 12:55 PM
Émile: A Culinary Gem In The Buda Hills
I’ve passed this Buda villa several times, and was intrigued to find out what it was like inside as I'd asked friends and no-one I knew had visited. So recently, rather than go to one of my usual haunts, I ventured over to leafy Buda - and was definitely not disappointed to make the trip across the river. Set in the leafy 2nd district, it felt like being in South Kensington at a place exuding an exclusive yet relaxed ambiance.

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Opened in April 2015, Émile effortlessly provides an intimate sense of friendliness. Regardless of what takes your fancy, be it a stylish breakfast; a cosy business meetings; a tiptop lunch or a light afternoon snack; even a banquet in a private space, or just a take-away pastry or cake, Émile has it elegantly covered.

This place really has everything arranged down to a fine art, and I’m told there will be new treats to come in the form of special events it will start to host. It has a history of elegance too, as its part of Gerbeaud - one of Europe’s oldest coffee houses, now over 150 years old - in fact the name is inspired by the first name of the famous Mr. Émile Gerbeaud.

Also worth knowing is that Budapest’s Michelin starred restaurant Onyx is also part of the same group, located adjacent to the flagship Gerbeaud café on Vörösmarty Square in downtown Budapest.

Inside Émile’s entrance there is a classy counter with cakes and desserts, which makes picking up a tasty take-away almost too easy. On the ground-floor is the main restaurant, with its open kitchen, which caters to those who appreciate fine dining in a relaxed setting.

Great news is that Émile offers first-class breakfasts, such as eggs benedict, as well as exceptional lunch and dinner dishes all at very affordable prices considering the quality.

Upstairs is a perfect place for coffee and business meetings anytime of the day, plus afternoon tea treats between 3:00pm and 6:30pm which includes savoury and sweet bites, plus one glass of sparkling wine or a tea ceremony for HUF 3 950 /person.

The bar provides a cosy spot for a glass of champagne, or something stronger at the end of the day. Outside the garden is a lovely way to spend quality time when it's warm.

Customers range from couples to families to business people.

The villa is under the direction of Anna Niszkács and Attila Niszkács, who, in addition to Émile, maintain their duties at Gerbeaud House.

Émile’s restaurant manager, Herr Péter, previously worked at Heston Blumenthal’s iconic Fat Duck in the UK. He passes on the guest-centric perspective he acquired at that world famous Michelin Starred restaurant to his colleagues here at Émile.

International experience abounds here as the chef Gergely Kövér many years working abroad as an expat working in numerous Michelin Star restaurants. Also worth knowing about the quality of the team is that sous chef Ferenc Jóvér joined the team from the local Michelin Starred restaurant Costes.

A permanent fixture of Émile’s menu is a revamped version of traditional chicken paprika. It’s creatively concocted by Chef Kövér, whose international inspiration comes from five years working in Spain, three years in Holland, and some time in Ireland. At home at Émile he sources local ingredients using the same system and quality control of the Gerbeaud group.

He and all the team have created an atmosphere that’s less formal than say Onyx, yet it’s still very stylish and the pricing structure is significantly more moderate in line with the primary target group of Budapest residents: locals with taste and expats rather than tourists.

If you and yours are in the mood for a lovely lunch, or romantic dinner for two, or if you like to take close friends out to somewhere with sparkle, then this is a wonderful place to go to given its impeccable quality and great value. As the autumn leaves fall, your guests will feel like you shared with them a culinary gem hidden away for a select group to savour.

By the way, the pictures here are were all taken during my recent visit, and unlike advertising images they were taken without filters or any special lighting effects in order to show you exactly how I experienced this special villa - which I hope you may fall in love with too for its natural charms, elegant creations and graceful service.

Émile Restaurant, Bar, Cafe, Confectionery
Address: 1026 Budapest, Orló u. 1.
Phone: +36 30 585 0602

Words and photos by Russell Skidmore for XpatLoop.com
After an extensive career in advertising - as an Art Director & Creative Director in London, Paris and Budapest for leading agencies - Russel transferred the skills and knowledge gained to the development of his own successful company covering wedding, event, PR and portrait photography: www.russell-skidmore-photography.co.uk

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