The centrepiece of my last full day in Budapest was a trip to one Michelin starred Borkonyha Wine Kitchen, just of Deak Ferenc Ter.
It was 33° outside so I was glad to be seated in their airy main dining space which had an agreeable buzzing informality about it.
I was brought a menu but I’d established that they offered a five course tasting menu with paired Hungarian wines for 40,000 forint (around £110) so was set on giving that a whirl.
Things started with an amuse bouche of marinated watermelon, honeydew sauce, peppermint coulis, and a prosciutto crisp. It was eye-catchingly pretty and a dazzlingly fresh start to proceedings.
The first wine was a Tokaji – not the late harevested sweet variety which came later – which was fresh and crisp. This accompanied marinated trout, sauteed scallops, courgetti and lemon veloute. Again this was fresh and deeply satisfying with the seafood elements beautifully prepared.
A Riesling was the next wine to accompany some kohlrabi with goose gizzards in a kohlrabi broth. The gizzards were soft and flavourful and the broth creamy and refreshing. It was another winner.
A pinot noir from west Hungary was matched with quail breasts with toasted quinoa and carrots. The carrot sauce dots were memorably good and the cooking on the quail was just splendid with skin crisp and meat succulent.
A sangiovese/cab franc/merlot blend, again from the west of Hungary, was up next with the main course of wild boar cheek, sirloin, girolles, beetroot and polenta cream. Again, this was beautifully balanced with the cooking on the meat different but very accurate and the vegetal elements bringing wonderful earthiness.
Then it was Tokaji o’clock, with some late harvest sweetness matched with a power-packed pre-dessert of lemon tart with rapsberries, then with an elegant chocolate, pistachio and red currant dessert that was again simply delicious.
So overall, Borkonyha was an absolute delight and richly deserving of its one star status. It provided me with an excellent final meal of my stay in wonderful Budapest. I hope to be back again before long and if so will definitely return for another meal at the excellent Borkonyha.
Blythe scores Borkonyha
5/5 for food
4.5/5 for presentation
4.5/5 for setting
4.5/5 for service
giving an overall 18.5/20
I ate: cured trout, kohlrabi soup, quail, sirloin with cheeks, chocolate pistachio cake
I drank: paired Hungarian wines, espresso, sparkly water
I wore: Hawaiian wear
Total bill: 45,420 HUF
Address: Budapest, 1051, Sas utca 3,