1 Michelin Star in 14 Courses. Budapest. Hungary.

my slow Budapest Michelin Star Babel entry (5 von 1)

Budapest, the capital city of Hungary just a two and a half hours drive from Vienna, is a vibrant metropolis that has thrived since the fall of the iron curtain in 1989. In many aspects there is a close link to Austria since the great Austro Hungarian Monarchy (1867-1918): architecture, literature, music, and also culinary.

So off I went to indulge in high end Budapest cuisine. Babel, right in the center of the Old town, has one Michelin Star. The ambience feels very cosy, much like your living room at home.

The menue – which can be studied via a huge magnifying glas turned paperweight – reflects an interesting blend of local Hungarian and traditional Austro-Hungarian monarchy dishes. Service staff tell entertaining yet eductional stories about every course.

After smoked eel with caviar the chain of courses started with this “Schnitzel with Sweetbread”.

In “Layered Potato” – a traditional Hungarian dish newly interpreted – the Mangaliza lardo perfectly mingles with cucumber carpaccio.

Trout and oyster on fennel in a subtle vinaigrette. I love oysters!

Next is the signature dish called “Casino Egg”. A posh dish for the upper class during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it features an egg boiled at low temperature with creamy egg white, topped with sturgeon caviar.

The fish soup with local turbot from the domestic lake Balaton with kohlrabi is interesting, as the fish was pan-fried beforehand.

Stuffed cabbage with savory. Traditional Hungarian style this is stuffed with minced meat, now during lent it is a vegan version.

Dry cured ham with sourdough bread. The true star component of this course for me was the mushroom consommé. A blend of 6 mushrooms heavily reduced to a thick, delicious broth. Wow effect #1.

I love braised cheeks. These come from Mangaliza pork in a tasty, multiple reduced jus. Generally, one of my favorite dishes.

Hot and cold Foie Gras. The cold part was iced – a new experience on my side.

Wow effect #2: Apple sorbet on a bed of apple & honey. The sorbet was the best I’ve ever had: incredibly intense flavour, absolutely perfect texture. Unbeatable.

“Laurus, quince and hazelnut” tartelette. Laurus is the Latin name for bay leave. A great combination with the fruit and hazelnut.

Michelin Star level interpretation of an Esterhazy cake. As Hungarian a dessert as can be, also very popular back home in Vienna. What a perfect finish of the chain of 14 courses.

Having been to Budapest several times, I very much enjoy the atmoshpere, people, cultural heritage of this city. Now I have completed my impression with a memorable experience of local haute cuisine. I will certainly return.