Ideally located at the pedestrianized Deák Ferenc utca fashionable street where the Gastronomic Quarter Downtown Budapest on the ground floor street level catches all the eyes from the passer-by and captures the hearts by its carefully crafted gastronomy in the heart of Budapest. Mylifestylenews writes.
Walking into ÉS Bisztró is such a buzz, as it is always busy, inviting and exciting to be there and every diner is engaged in lively conversations. Not only does the modern and contemporary chic design enlighten the entire atmosphere, the vivid red hue table top and two back-to-back semi-curved cushion lounges leaning against the curvy mirrors create a more dramatic effect juxtaposed with the hanging lamps adding more oomph to its ambience vigorously. This is how a kudos dining concept should be and thanks to its delightful creation by a renowned celebrated local restauranteur Zsidai Zoltan Roy and his team.
The casual ÉS Bisztró combines Kempinski’s values with a gastronomic expertise of the local Zsidai family. With its laid-back yet stylish deco motif since 2013, ÉS Bisztró is full of character and leave another mark on the Budapest culinary scene. Partly because it also comes from the staff, with their great knowledge of know-how by making everyone feel comfortably at home while dining in especially our charming wait staff, Arkos.
Breaking with traditional restaurant routine, ÉS Bisztró serves typical Hungarian-Viennese dishes, steaks and even one of Budapest’s best burgers at its best and encompasses a hint of spice from the ingredients used from local producers. Herbs are grown on the rooftop of the hotel in the summer to reduce carbon footprint, grilled meats and fish dishes are also part of a carefully curated menu of monarchy-inspired meals that are complete with a spectacular selection of wines and artisan beers.
There are blackboards for some dishes to instantly catch your eye and then once you start perusing the menu you realize that you probably will want to try just about everything! Asking what would be a locally inspired dish is recommended, so you really get a taste of what hearty Hungarian food is all about. The waiters are quick to point you in the right direction but are also listening to assess what might suit your mood and palate.
We were not sure where to start as everything sounded tasty, but we were quick to hone in on a couple of dishes that will get the taste buds dancing. We started off with a charcuterie sampler, as Hungarians are renowned for their cured meats and the salami and farmhouse pate was sensational, with elements of spice adding subtle layers in the mouth.
We were on a mission this trip to sample goulash soup at every stop on the way, so the pressure was on the kitchen to surprise us with their goulash soup with home-made nipped pasta and they passed with flying colours. This was a rich soup with flavor that upped the happiness factor. The small portions of tender meat gave a bit more substance to the overall effect, but the soup itself was divine.
Now don’t ask us why, but we were drawn to the traditional fried chicken and it hit the spot with perfectly crispy coating and juicy tender meat inside. The food speaks by itself.
One menu item was described as “Our legendary Tafelspitz served in three courses”, so we had to test the legendary description and after our first taste, the description was well deserved. Our road trip through Eastern Europe had us tasting Tafelspitz at every opportunity to see what differences there are between the countries and this one was equal top of the list (along with a famous one in Vienna). The presentation is so rustic and as expected, comes with beef broth, marrow with toasted rye bread, a generous portion of succulent meat and some garnish. The broth was akin to a consommé with a great depth of deliciousness that was heavenly to taste, which followed through with the tender meat as well.
We couldn’t go past the Hungarian veal paprikash with potato dumpling. It was just like your mother’s best cooking, as it was served simply and cooked with passion – you could ascertain this from the first mouthful. The sauce had a beautiful unctuous consistency and the paprika was the perfect foil for the rich tasting meat.
At this point of the evening we felt we were in gourmet heaven, as the food was so consistently superb in all regards. Arkos (our waiter for the evening) had recommended some wonderful local wines to pair with each dish and they too were such a welcome surprise and had us reaching for superlatives with each sip. As you can probably ascertain by now, the evening was rather weighted to meat dishes, so we had not left any room for dessert, but maybe another time, as we were destined to return after having such a flawless and enjoyable evening that bowled us over with such Hungarian charm. In case you wonder why and how ÉS Bisztró was named, as the dining concept in ÉS encourages you not to limit your choice of preference when comes to deciding on what you would like to eat and enjoy. Why would it have to be Either/Or when it can also be & ÉS. Indeed, there is always more to come when dining in ÉS with such unique gastronomical experiences and the excitement never ends.
Tried & Tested:
Design & Decor: 5/5
Food & Beverage: 5/5
Value For Money: 5/5
Hungarian veal paprikash
Erzsebet ter 7-8
1051 Budapest Hungary
Tel: +36 1 429 3585
1051 Budapest Hungary
Tel: +36 1 429 3585
Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.