In the heart of Budapest, where the city is full of tourists all day long, very close to Bazilika, life is colorful and exciting. Along the historical streets all kind of restaurants and cafes are inviting the tired, thirsty and hungry guests to have some refreshments. But if You would like to taste not just a standard good tourist food but something special, escorted with some brilliant wines, find Winekitchen Restaurant is Sas utca where you are going to have real culinary art on your plate.
I have heard about Winekitchen a couple of months ago, when my friend Kriszta (she is a real gourmet with infallible taste) advised me to go visit this lovely place when I’m in Hungary again. Reliable as she is her choice was perfect again! Same as most restaurants in the City this one too is quiet between 1 and 5 pm. But once the work is finished at the banks nearby and many business diners start, Winekichen gets full with guests. Reservation is strongly recommended.
The restaurant was launched about two and a half years ago. Their aim was to establish a restaurant with a bistro feeling in terms of food and interior as well. There are no white lined tables, no silver cutlery, no luxury. But the restaurant is really nice with a very friendly atmosphere. When you enter you will face a long counter inviting you for a short stay and maybe an aperitif before you are guided to the table.
Chef is Ákos Sárközy has been working here since the beginnings. He combines modern techniques with traditional Hungarian cousine. He had staged in two Michelin starred restaurants before this and won several culinary competitions.
Menu card is not too wide: there are usually 5 starters and 6 mains, but the chalkboard is always something special… Mainly filled with seasonal products and constantly changing dishes. What to order? It’s not an easy decision at all, especially if I go out with Krista whose taste is quite similar to mine …. But we can‘t order the same dish and miss the opportunity to try as many different ones as we can. Right?
Usually at a restaurant I will for some reason order something that is not my cup of tea. Not in the least bit. But just in order to challenge the skill of the chef and test if he/she can cook that food in the way for me to suddenly start loving it, which is why I went for a Cold, creamy marrow soup with grilled shrimp. Marrow is always on my dislike list. I am well with the flavor, but dislike the texture. When it’s raw and crunchy – that’s fine, but when it’s overcooked – disaster. About 10 minutes later a white, silky soup arrived, my plate garnished with shrimp. Shrimp was fine, not chewy at all. Soup: Wow, it was cold to have a much more intensive effect and really delicious to me who has never liked the marrow…. Well done, guys!
The other starter was a Crunchy duck liver with toasted nuts and tomato. Duck and goose liver is always a tricky choice. And to have it crunchy is more than difficult. But it was creamy enough inside and crunchy enough outside. Tomato and nuts are an interesting combo but they worked well together overall.
My main was a stunning Risotto with pink pork fillet and tomato water….. sounds terrific, doesn’t it? Pork fillet was cooked with souis vide, rice was cooked al dente. A bit too al dente to my taste…. And what about tomato water? It’s a really fine stuff and easy to do at home. Tomato is chopped, mixed with salt and basil put in a sieve cloth and left to hang for a couple of hours. Keep the liquid.
The other main was Sea bass with sweet potato puree and pak choi. Fish is often served with a sweet side even though I wouldn’t serve them together. But I am wrong because they were really harmonizing and well balanced.
We ordered Raspberry variation with honey roasted red onion and quark cake.
I think it’s absolutely unusual. Red onion in a dessert can be just crazy. An it is, it’s a bit crazy, and most of the guests‘ favourite won‘t bethis desert but it’s a really good way to get closer the vegs and fruits in one dessert. It’s another dimension.
To be on the safe side I ordered Bitter chocolate with sorts of citrus. Bitter choc is a forever love, presentation was really stunning, flavors were absolutely amazing.
All in all Winekitchen is a very attractive destination if you want to have fine food with a good bottle of wine.
Service was efficient, knowledgeable and friendly. I loved the place, and was blown away by the quality of the food. Even though the portions and prices were not bistro-style, the ingredients and the innovative preparation were far closer to what you’d expect in a more formal fine dining restaurant at even higher price. Akos‘s confident cooking is evident in every dish, both in classics and in the more local and seasonal Hungarian creations. I hope they have plenty of plans for the future and can keep the direction they have appointed themselves. Hopefully we’ll meet next summer again!