As told we entered the bed with pretty round and full bellies on Saturday evening. You can only eat so much and we are always surprised about people who can jaw down starter, main dish, dessert and a coffee. I usually try to go with a starter and main dish or main dish and dessert. Sunday was about to be a big test for our bellies.
We started the day with a short work out at the state of the art gym. Some running and cycling, some exercises, then shower and off to breakfast. I was so hungry again. The breakfast was nice. – It was every day nice. Unfortunately.- After that we went out to explorer Budapest, esp. the Pest side a bit more.
and other buildings
We were a bit cold so we decided to visit a cafe and had hot chocolates, a white one for me and dark one for M. Those chocolates were more like puddings, really thick and just nice.
Then we started to head to the Cyrano restaurant where we were supposed to eat the lentil ragout. We arrived very early at the Cyrano but it didn’t matter.
We got seated and a glimpse on the menu before it was taken, because “you want to eat the lentil ragout right? Was it with the fried goat cheese on top? Good.” And the menu was gone. Some 20 mins later we got a big deep plate with dark lentil ragout and some fried goat cheese. We digged into it and enjoy every single spoon. At the end I found out that the secret of the dark color is the balsamico vinegar they add. It plays nicely with the sweetness of the carrots, scallions and garlic (tons of garlic!).
We thought that we would have some space in our bellies for a dessert. M got a chocolate fondant with sour cherry puree and vanilla ice cream and I had homemade apple strudel with vanilla ice cream. Both were good, but our dessert stomachs are way too small. We found our way back to our hotel and room and had to take a little longer nap and to swim a bit before we could head to the Costes for dinner.
“Black train” chocolate fondant with sour cherry puree and vanilla ice cream
Homemade apple strudel with vanilla ice cream
We took the tram and walked the rest of the way to the Raday utca a street with a lot of different restaurants. On Sunday night it was very deserted, but that was due to the missing tourists. It just wasn’t tourist season.
The Costes looks modern and stylish from the outside but it awaits you with an interior of brown and warm colors, luxurious furnitures and materials.
The waiters have studied their choreography carefully and each of them plays his/her roll precisely. In the end that is one of the things which makes the difference between a starred restaurant and non-starred. M decided to order the vegetarian tasting menu with accompanying wines and I went for the same menu but with homemade lemonades. The menu started with two amuse-bouche followed by 5 different courses, each delicious and surprising and ended with a surprise because we had a coffee in the end. It was totally worth it, the money and our again aching bellies.
Second amuse-bouche: fennel foam, lentil soup, macaroon with goat cheese and curry coconut marshmallow
1st course: celery puree with raw and cooked veggies and crumbs of beer pasta
2nd course: broccoli soup at room temperature with homemade curd salmon
3rd course: hand-rolled agnolotti with pumpkin, goat cheese foam and black truffle
4th course: orange Baba, yuzu parfait, kumquat confit and lemon cream
Last course: coconut mousse, lime yoghurt, passion fruit curd and mango sorbet
Coffee surprise: physalis with chocolate, pumpkin seed oil jello with pistachio green tea macaroon with lemon mousse, homemade yoghurt with raspberry jelly
We promised to do better on Monday, which we did. Again we worked out first, before we went out to see and do things among others a boat trip on the Danube. For lunch we went simple: Penne all’arrabbiata for me and Pizza Margherita for M. It was simple, but ok. Then we found coincidentally the big food market. We bought some Hungarian peppers, which we were proud of, we had found the place but on Tuesday we found out that they had fooled us with half rotten peppers and half ok ones. Good that everything is so cheap in Hungary compared to Norway.
For the evening we had tickets for the classic concert with the conductor Sir Simon Rattle and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightment at the Palace of Arts. We had planned to have some dinner before we got to the concert but we ended up the other way around because we couldn’t find the Indian restaurant which we had planned to visit. At the concert house we got some soft bavarian bretzels. They were good. The concert was amazing, they played three Mozart symphonies: symphony in E-flat, in C major and in G minor. Mozart had composed them in about 6 weeks in 1788. Amazing. We really enjoyed the music. I had gotten us seats only 11 rows away from the orchestra. When we entered the big concert hall first we were taken by the huge hall with the really high balconies at the sides and the huge pipe organ. Another surprising thing was the Hungarian audience. Every one tried to hold the coughs while the orchestra was playing. After each movement the audience coughed or changed their sitting position, just to be ready and quiet for the next movement. And the only applauded after the end of each symphony. That was so nice and I wish Norwegians would have more sense for taking care of each other. Here they cough, rustle etc if the music is playing or not. And well Norwegians can’t wait to applaud. They applaud after every single movement. Pretty annoying! Every one who has played an instrument himself knows that…
The Palace of Arts
The National Theater
We ended the evening with taking pictures of the Palace of Arts and then having a late dinner: Spaghetti in a juicy tomato sauce with mozzarella di buffalo. It was ok and filled our empty stomachs.
Tuesday, our last day in Budapest, had arrived, already. M had suggested to take the tram into the other direction until after the Parliament and walk around on Margaret Island before we would try to find a place for lunch. It had snowed the night from Monday to Tuesday so everything looked like coated with powdered sugar which made the walk on the island nicer and more beautiful.
To find a place seemed to be more difficult than we had assumed. At the end we found a trattoria with a big wood fired stone oven for baking pizza. M had a pizza with buffel mozzarella and basil and I had one with parmesan, arugula and cherry tomatoes. Those were very good.
A few hours later we already were at the airport to fly back to Norway. The flights were a bit bumpy due to the hard winds. Our first flight landed with some 20 mins delay and we had to hurry to catch our next flight to Trondheim. We managed and our suitcases too, which was the biggest surprise. Around midnight we sat our feet into our apartment and then we just fell into our beds.
Our conclusion of the trip: Budapest is definitely worth to visit. You can see the glory of the old days in a lot of buildings, it has beautiful and history rich sights and the Danube river is charming. The people we met seemed all nice and helpful. But Hungary is still a very poor country which will still need quite some time before all the worn down buildings are in a better shape. The communism has left its traces and those aren’t too easy to get rid off.
Our Ecky came back today. M picked him up. He is very happy to be back at home. But he had a very good time at our friends place. She takes very good care of him and Ecky likes her a lot. We had missed our boy a lot and are happy to have him back.