Trattoria Pomo D’oro, Budapest – Hungary

After Dinner Drinks at Pomo D'oroI had been in Budapest for a weekend with MrsTravelFreak and the 2 youngest JuniorTravelFreaks (JTF’s). As our flight home was late evening, we had planned for a late lunch. It was a bit later than ‘late’ and much later than both the JTF’s and myself would have liked, however MrsTravelFreak had her heart set on visiting Trattoria Pomo D’oro that she had read about online. I was thinking of the best possible method of inflicting pain upon her as we had had been walking for what seemed like an age, when luckily for us all, we turned the corner and could make out the flag for Pomo D’oro.

MrsTravelFreak and I had discussed whether we should book, but decided that as we were arriving late it wouldn’t be necessary. That was the wrong decision. As we entered the establishment we quickly realised that it was very popular. There was a brief moment when the knives on the table seemed like perfect implements of torture, however this moment passed when we were allocated a table, as the guests who had booked hadn’t arrived.

Our table by the door

This was definitely going to be an upmarket eating experience; think crisp white tablecloths and waiters suitably attired in white shirts and black waistcoats.  The décor was also pretty cool with lots of bottles of wine, paintings and other artefacts on the walls.


I was very excited about the table of after-dinner drinks that greeted us on arrival, and even more exited about what lay ahead; I was famished!

The menu here was formal Italian style with starters, first plates, second plates and desserts along with some side dishes. There was also a pizza menu, which seemed to offer surprisingly good value for money, although I got the impression that this was almost exclusively to keep the children happy while mum and dad enjoyed the main (and substantially more expensive) menu. This actually worked really well for us with the youngest JTF being a bit fussier than we would like.

Service here was a bit…unusual. It certainly wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t friendly. It was efficient but I didn’t feel that we were made overly welcome.  Perhaps as British tourists we weren’t!  No matter – we had a table and we were ready.

I ordered a glass of Prosecco (1090 Ft) each for MrsTravelFreak and I and then immediately wished that I had ordered a Hungarian equivalent.  We also ordered some sparkling water (990 Ft) – San Pellegrino of course, it’s that sort of place – along with a couple of fruit juices (380 Ft) for the JTF’s.

After grabbing a basket of bread from the nearby till (perhaps this added to the slightly unwelcome attitude from our server!) and devouring it fairly promptly, the urgency to eat had faded long enough for us to actually examine the menu.

For starters I opted for homemade tortellini stuffed with cheese and spinach and served with a tomato sauce (2550 Ft) while MrsTravelFreak had a Burata salad which was served on a bed of crisp leaves along with some sun-dried tomatoes (2290 Ft). For mains I ordered chicken stuffed with Toma cheese wrapped in Parma ham served with carrot crisps (2990 Ft), while MrsTravelFreak ordered Italian sausage in a pepper sauce from the ‘Chargrilled’ menu (2490 Ft). The fussy JTF had a plain and simple Margarita pizza (1790 Ft) while the more adventurous one opted for another pasta dish – strigoli pasta served with Italian sausages (2950 Ft). We ordered sides of rosemary potatoes (650 Ft), mushrooms and roasted vegetables (both 990 Ft) to share.

Knowing that sustenance was on the way, I indulged in a brief moment of people watching. All of the patrons at each of the tables that I could see were drinking wine…by the glass. That might not sound so strange but while the glasses were, the amount of wine inside was very limited; perhaps no more than 125ml.  I decided to see what the fuss was about and ordered the first Hungarian red in the menu (using all of my willpower not to order a glass of Brunelo Montalcino – yes it was available by the glass!). The Hungarian red was pretty good, although there really wasn’t a lot of it left after a gulp of two!

A magician visited us!Our starters arrived pretty quickly along with the pizza. My pasta was just the right size for a starter and it was pretty tasty without being too heavy. MrsTravelFreak’s starter was awarded top marks and deemed simply “delicious”. The pizza was enormous but very thin and, we were informed, tasty too. The adventurous JTF felt a bit left out here and ideally, the pizza would have been brought out at the same time as his pasta to save him drooling over everyone else’s meals. Just as a minor tantrum felt immanent, a magician visited our table! He performed a few tricks with cards, balls and (cuddly) rabbits much to the amazement of the JTF’s!  I felt this was an excellent addition to what the restaurant offered and I hope that it continues.

It was only one more glass of excellent Hungarian red before the magic was completed, the starters were finished, and the mains brought out.

I consider myself pretty nifty in the kitchen and I make a similar chicken dish to what I ordered here at home, using mozzarella and pesto. Unfortunately for me, this just didn’t compare. The cheese in the chicken had a fairly strong taste that worked wonderfully well with the ham and chicken. There was a very light mushroom sauce, which along with the crispy carrots, made the dish truly delicious. The rosemary potatoes were pretty tasty too although despite my best efforts I didn’t manage to finish them all. MrsTravelFreak’s sausage was devoured, as were the mushrooms. I felt that the roasted veg was a bit bland but MrsTravelFreak managed to finish them without complaint. The pasta was deemed tasty and almost all was eaten although, imagine the horror, there were some small pieces of tomatoes in the sauce which put him off a bit.  We are working on tomato acceptance but it’s a long road as any parent will know.

Another glass of Red and an empty bottle of San Pellegrino and the mains were gone, along with half of the pizza, which was a good effort for this JTF!

Puddings were the talk of the table now and while I was happy with a coffee (550 Ft), it transpired that I wasn’t getting away without buying something sweet. The JTF’s opted for a couple of scoops of homemade ice cream (300 Ft each) while MrsTravelFreak ordered a piece of almond chocolate cake (1190 Ft) which was served with ice-cream. The deserts offered great value and were perfectly acceptable, although I felt (having stolen a taste) nowhere near as good as both the starters and mains.

Having decided against a lemoncello (I was still nursing a bit of a hangover and I knew it was still a long time before I could sleep!) all that was left for me to do was pay the bill. At 30,000Ft or (about 85 GBP) it wasn’t a cheap lunch but it was a very memorable one.

If we find ourselves back in Budapest anytime soon, we will certainly pay Pomo D’oro another visit…booking ahead of course!

Trattoria Pomo D’oro, 1051 Budapest, Arany János u. 9.  Website

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