For Sale – Budapest, Hungary

SawdustThis restaurant is located right opposite the Central Market Place in Budapest, so it is probably popular with tourists.

Usually we try to avoid eateries that could be described as tourist traps but this one got mixed reviews on TripAdvisor and we were in the market place with two hungry JuniorTravelFreaks (JTF’s) so we thought we may as well give it a go.

The interior is basically cavern style with sawdust on the floor. The walls are adorned with pictures and messages written on the reverse of the paper placemats by previous guests and then pinned to the walls.

We were seated upstairs, at the first table at the top of the stairs. Tip – if you do go, don’t sit here, it’s a bit draughty when the door downstairs is open – to the point where I considered putting my coat on as I was cold.

Each table has a large wooden barrel of peanuts that you can help yourself to.  The idea is that you just put the shells on the floor with the sawdust when you eat the nuts.

The menu is extensive, there were over 150 choices ranging from mozzarella sticks and goulash, to turkey with rosemary potatoes, to frogs legs. Very diverse, but you do wonder with that many dishes, how many of them can actually be done well.

A warning on the menu advises that portions are giant and that women and children may want to order a smaller portion at 75% of the cost of the usual portion. The JTF’s and I took this advice.

We ordered chicken kiev for JTF  no.1, who substituted his salad for fries (no, I don’t approve), JTF no.2 had turkey and rosemary potatoes while I opted for turkey stroganoff with rice and MrTravelFreak had paprika chicken with noodles.

So my first comment will be that the portions are indeed huge, but they are only huge because everything comes piled up with the carb-laden accessories, so loads of chips, loads of potatoes (which are actually like non-crunchy crisps), loads of noodles (which are actually very different from noodles as we would know them). The actual meat portion is just a regular size. The chips and potatoes are also laden with salt, indeed the most salty I think I’ve ever tasted.

My turkey stroganoff was actually quite nice, MrTravelFreak reported that his paprika chicken was ‘ok’ but not at all spicy like he would imagine. The chicken kiev was nice, ‘really cheesy’ was the report! The turkey and rosemary potatoes consisted of just basic cooked turkey, the potatoes were left as they were too salty.

The service itself was good, there were several staff who offered more drinks, checked on orders etc. The restaurant was overpriced for Budapest though. There are much better eateries to be found that have nicer food with better value.

For Sale, Vamhaz korut 2, District V, Budapest 1056, Hungary.  Website

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