When organising our perfect trip to Budapest, Mr S was keen to not only pick the perfect restaurants but also to visit them at the ideal times. Borkonyha Winekitchen is one of the four Michelin starred restaurants in Budapest but it has a more casual cosy vibe than Onyx Restaurant and is ideal for a fine dining lunch in the city.
Appearances are deceptive as you enter the restaurant which looks like an informal bistro, but the food is outstanding. The restaurant was the result of a decade long dream for owners Tamás Horváth and Zoltán Kalocsai whose concept was a French-style bistro, family-friendly restaurant offering the best of Hungarian cuisine and an assortment of over 200, mostly local wines. Chef Ákos Sárközi joined as soon as they opened bringing his experience from two Michelin star Vila Joya in Portugal and winning a Michelin star for Borkonyha Winekitchen in 2014.
Three different types of very good bread kicked us off nicely, my favourite being the squid ink. Our waiter suggested a fantastic wine, again a white from the Tokaji region of Hungary which paired perfectly with our food selection.
Our waiter explained that we had the choice of ordering from the à la carte menu or choosing a tasting menu that reflected some of their best dishes. I’m often wary of opting for a tasting menu especially at lunch time as I don’t want to feel overly full but I was reassured portions were small and the food wouldn’t be too heavy.
Kicking off with quail and carrots, it was a simple dish but cooked oh so beautifully and packed with flavour. The kind of dish I’d just order again and again.
A mushroom soup warmed our cockles and it was beautifully creamy but not cloying with the heady taste from wild mushrooms. Fresh ingredients are of the utmost importance at Borkonyha Winekitchen and though inspired by the cuisine of Transylvania (once part of Hungary), he also use ingredients from countries such as Spain, France and Italy in his cooking.
A well cooked sea bass will always please me and here it’s prepared perfectly. Unfortunately I never actually saw the menu so I can’t remember what it was served with but suffice to say Borkonyha Winekitchen does good fish and it was delicious with the wine.
Though I’m not a big red meat eater, I’m a big fan of venison which is lighter and leaner than beef or lamb. The quality of Hungarian free-range venison is well known throughout Europe and the very best is served, cooked perfectly and served with a beetroot sauce.
Dessert was beautiful as well as delicious and this gorgeous chocolate treat was enhanced with unicum plum, a Hungarian herbal liqueur. Dressed with a chocolate truffle and a macaron it was seriously good.
It may be relaxed and convivial but Borkonyha Winekitchen is a truly special place and I highly recommend visiting during your time in Budapest.
H-1051 Budapest, Sas utca 3.
+36 1 266 0835