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Dominican Restaurant
in the Hilton Budapest

Article added on November 20, 2005
 
As in Spain after the end of the Franco dictatorship, the culinary culture in Hungary has a long way to go to catch up with the best in Europe. However, Spain has proved in the 1990s that dramatic improvements are possible. Hungary is only at the beginning of this road.

T
he Dominican Restaurant in the Hilton Budapest is situated on top of the hill Buda. It offers one of the most spectacular views of the city, located on the shores of the Danube. It is a particular romantic place for dinner.

Unlike the Hilton Budapest WestEnd, the Budapest Hilton is owned and run by the Danubius Group as a Hilton franchise. Previously a government controlled spa-tourism company, Danubius is now owned by an English investor of Austrian descent, Sir Bernard Schreier.

Dominican Restaurant is not a Michelin-starred gourmet place. Still, it is the hotel's fine dining restaurant, offering - measured by Hungarian standards - a solid-superior cuisine. On the menu are always several vegetarian dishes. In addition, on request, the chef can create special menus.

Dominican Restaurant is very suitable for vegetarians. It of course also serves many traditional Hungarian dishes, which unfortunately are not vegetarian. Other courses on the menu include lamb, pâté de foie gras, zander, saddle of venison, roast duck, etc.

A vegetarian dinner at Dominican Restaurant 
Tested in 2005 by Louis Gerber

As an aperitif, I chose a Szamorodni, a typical Hungarian dry cocktail from the Puszta region, suggested by Sándor Béldi-Betegh, the food and beverage director at Dominican Restaurant. A Szamorodni consists of three elements, an aperitif wine from the Tokai region, an apricot schnapps produced by Zwack Unicum and a dry bitter-sweet schnapps from the Mecsek region in southern Hungary.

As a starter, the chef served me one of his own creations, a boletus cappuccino with truffles. He calls it cappuccino because the boletus is stirred up with a mixer, creating a froth soup. The truffle slices swim on top of the soup. A delicious dish.

On the suggestion of Mr. Béldi-Betegh, I chose a regional Budai Chardonnay 2003, a dry, light and fruity white wine, to accompany my first of my two main courses, a vegetable lasagne with tomato ragout on a white wine sauce. In France, this Hungarian wine from the Nyakas Ernö winery, recommended for fish and meat, has won a silver medal at the Challenge International du Vin 2004.

It was followed by a potato pastry (Kartoffelstrudel) with layered vegetables - eggplants, zucchini, tomato and mushrooms - on a cheese sauce, served together with two baked cheese slices; not for people on a diet. This time I chose a Pinot Gris Balatonelelle 2003, another dry and very light white wine, this one however with a light taste of apple and apricot, chosen to accompany my potato pastry.

My dessert consisted of Somlóigaluska, a traditional Hungarian "sponge cake". It is made of sponge biscuit, rum, whipped cream and raisins, brought into its spherical shape with an ice cream spoon.

A final word on the mineral water Theodora, named after a Byzantine Empress, whose favorite water is was. Theodora comes from the northwestern region of lake Balaton. Unlike most still waters, it is not "dead" as an Evian, but still has some life and taste in it. You may better understand what I mean once you have tried it.

Overall, Dominican Restaurant offers a solid cuisine and, when you have a place at a window like me it offers one of the city's best views as well which is ideal for a romantic dinner.
 
Chef István Juhász

Born in Budapest in 1950, István Juhász began training to become a chef at the then Hotel InterContinental in Budapest (now a Marriott) in the late 1960s. He joined Hilton in 1976. The company organized some special training for him, abroad, for some two years. He gained experience at Hilton restaurants in Australia and Vienna, where he worked under Werner Matt, who was named "Chef of the Year" by Gault Millau Austria. In 1978, István Juhász joined Hilton Budapest as sous-chef. Since 1983, he is the executive chef at Dominican Restaurant.


Dominican Restaurant. Photo © Hilton Budapest.


Executive chef István Juhász. Photo © Hilton Budapest.

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www.cosmopolis.ch
No. 65, November 2005
English edition  Archives  Politics  History  Art  Film  Music  Lifestyle  Travel
Edition française  Archives  Politique  Histoire  Arts  Films  Musique  Art de vivre  Voyages
Deutsche Ausgabe  Archiv  Politik  Geschichte  Kunst  Film  Musik  Lebensart  Reisen

© Copyright 2005  www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.