For someone special...
Bock Bisztro (Budapest, Hungary)
Member Name: Diane3
Bock Bisztro (Budapest, Hungary)
Advantages: delicious meals, fantastic wines, kind staff
Disadvantages: a bit expensive
Bock Bisztro is my favourite restaurant in Budapest. I have been to this restaurant for about 50 times with my managers as it was 3 minutes away from the bank I worked for. The restaurant won almost all the Hungarian prizes in 2009 a restaurant can win. However there is a restaurant already in Budapest which has a Michelin star this is not the one.
Bock Bisztro is located within the Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal, which is one of the top 5 Budapest hotels, however it is completely independent of it. The entrance of the restaurant is left from the entrance of the hotel however you can access it from the hotel too. The restaurant's address is 43-49 Erzsébet körút, Budapest. So the restaurant is between Oktogon and Blaha Lujza tér. You can access it quite easily by public transport or by car, however it is difficult to find parking place in the nearby.
When you enter into the restaurant on the left you see a wall covered with wines, opposite to the entrance there are boards with the daily menu, on the right there are picture on the wall. The restaurant is quite light as its fourth wall is covered with windows looking at Erzsébet körút.
There are two counters in the restaurant area which is not very usual. In one of them they have different smoked hams and cheeses while the other is for the drinks. The tables and chairs are simple, remind me to a French café but they are comfortable. The tables are a pleasant distance from each other so you can talk to your friends.
As I was there loads of times and at different times I found that at lunchtime the restaurant is quite empty. Occasionally they play some background music but not all the times. By the afternoon there are more people in the restaurant and in the evenings it is full. Despite its high prices it is a very popular place as its cuisine is so brilliant.
I really loved having lunch here and I liked the warm atmosphere of the place, the kind service and the premium quality food I had.
The restaurant operates with a not to large fix menu but their daily offers are so tempting that you hardly choose from the fix menu. They put the daily offer on the boards and these dishes are made mostly of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
When you arrive to the restaurant to have a lunch or dinner they bring a free starter which is fresh bread and Mangalitsa grease or/and cottage cheese with onions and hot pepper. The cottage cheese is similar to ricotta but is sourer and what the restaurant serves is spiced with pressed garlic, red ground paprika, salt and ground caraway seed. It looks like a Moroccan humus but tastes differently of course and we spread it on the bread not use it as a dip. The Mangalitsa is a Hungarian pig and its grease is said to contain more unsaturated fatty acid which is generally not true as the pigs are not grown on acorn nowadays.
I can't choose a favourite dish as I had almost all the times something different and all of them were brilliant. What I can recall was a fantastic sweet corn cream soup with grilled sweet corn. I had divine potato soup with mussels. They make wonderful stakes, fish dishes and of course vegetarian meals too. The dessert offer of the restaurant is not very large but they have divine brownie, tiramisu and a great variety of pancakes and ice creams.
Usually I had a soup and a dessert or a main course as the portion they serve is so big that I couldn't eat all of it. They pack the rest of your meal for you if you ask it. Usually I paid 15-25 pounds which is not cheap for a lunch. The quality of the dishes is really good and they use fresh raw materials.
I was hooked on their lemonade for a while but once they offered elderflower squash which is my favourite and I switched to that one. These are not the usual drinks you are looking for in a restaurant, I know, but as I had lunch there we rarely drank wine.
This restaurant is famous for its wine selection. One of the owners is interested in producing premium quality wine under Bock brand name. I have tried a few types of wines from their range and they were really nice.
Where would I invite someone who is special for me? To Bock Bisztro, of course. This restaurant maybe is not the most romantic place in the city but you feel treated very well as the staff is very knowledgeable, they are polite, kind, speak foreign languages and can offer you matching wine/drink to your meal.
The dishes you get here are delicious and huge portions. If you are used to the UK prices you may think Bock works with average prices. Well, regarding the Hungarian restaurant prices this place definitely belongs to the expensive category. Despite the high prices I visited this place quite often as I liked its atmosphere, the dishes they offered and the kind and relatively quick service. This restaurant never let me down.
If you want to have a dinner here I definitely recommend booking a table well in advance. The telephone number table bookings is +36 1 321 0340. The opening hours are Monday to Saturday 12 a.m. - 12 p.m., on Sundays it is closed. They have a Hungarian webpage at http://www.bockbisztro.hu.
The restaurant is mostly for adults but as you could see they have squashes and lemonades too so you can visit with the whole family. The restaurant is clean. The toilets are common with the hotel and are up to the 5 star standard of the hotel.
Summary: Worth trying if you are in Budapest