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Outstanding lunch menu with perfect wine pairing: Restaurant Baraka (13. December 2016)

| January 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

I walked into an almost empty restaurant for lunch – there was just one other table where two people were seated. The rest was – astonishingly enough – empty. The reservation had worked out (but was unnecessary given the occupancy of the restaurant) and I was assigned my table with a view to the kitchen. The waiters were very attentive and had brought me the menu, a bottle of San Pellegrino (0,75L, 1’700 HUF) plus a “Kusmi Four Red Fruits Tea” (1’800 HUF) within minutes.

Shortly after I have placed my order, I was served “bread with cranberry and seeds served with butter”. The bread was actually delicious as it was a nice combination of ‘bread’, ‘seeds’ and the sweetness of the ‘cranberry’.

As a small amuse bouche, a “Salmon Tartare” was served – and frankly speaking, this was rather standard and the salmon was slightly chewy so I was not that positive after the first bite.

Luckily, when the “Degustation Menu with Wine Pairing” (41’900 HUF) started with “mezzancole shrimp coconut velouté, cilantro pesto, sweet potato, kaffir lime” (usually 4’200 HUF) I changed my mind. The velouté was aromatic and of an interesting taste. The cilantro pesto and the acidity of the kaffir lime gave it the little extra spike. The crab chip was very smooth and not as thick as mostly, and therefore, lovely in combination with the velouté.

The second course was an absolute highlight in its simplicity – the “home cured and smoked Scottish salmon, raspberry, wasabi, beetroot” looked nice but it was actually outstanding in terms of combination of flavours and textures. Especially the pumpkin added through its rough but smooth consistency to the dish. And the dried raspberry foam on top went perfect with the smooth raspberry sauce at the bottom of the dish.

The third course was a “foie gras seared, poached pear, port, peanut” (usually 6’500 HUF). The foie gras was quite a generous portion. The combination with the pear was good – and I especially like the pear chip. What really added though were the peanuts as they created a certain feeling of crunchiness. The most interesting element was the wine pairing – as usually you would have a sweet wine with the foie gras, the sommelier chose another route and went for a dry wine with a high degree of minerals. Something I was a bit skeptical at first but then figured that it was actually a perfect fit.

When I later discussed the fourth dish with, David, the owner, the “sweet potato and leek ravioli, green curry velouté” (usually 5’200 HUF) – which I considered the weakest dish in the menu – he told me that fpr quite a few of his customers, this is their favourite dish.

The main course of the tasting menu were “lamb chops maple crusted, butternut squash, chestnut, juniper, red cabbage” and while it did not only look lovely, the lamb chops were perfect in the way they were prepared. Despite the fact that the elements served with the lamb were typical parts for a game dish, like the chestnuts, the red cabbage, it went perfectly with the lamb.

Next in line would have been the cheese but somehow I asked them to change the order to serve the cheese at the very end – and without a single problem and without reminding them, the order was correctly adjusted.

The next course then was a “pre-dessert – a mandarin sorbet on a bed of coconut foam”. The combination of the light foam, the sweet mandarin sorbet, and the crunchiness of the chocolate pieces made it a great dish – and I don’t even like sweets much.

The last course finally was “white chocolate, raspberry, vanilla sake”. The raspberry sorbet in combination with the white chocolate foam and the white chocolate crumbles plus the crunchiness of the raspberry plates were delicious.

The final course – according to my changed order – was the “cheese selection with brie, Pierre Robert, and one local cheese I did not understand” (usually 4’300 HUF). Frankly, this was a weak ending. I mean, there is nothing wrong with these cheeses but compared to the other dishes, it was just somehow not able to compete. In addition, there was a chutney but it was not explained which one. Which was – frankly speaking – the only flaw in the service during the whole meal.

Overall, the service team did an outstanding job – they were always there when you needed them, they were not intruding or bothering but made sure you have everything at all times. The sommelier did a great job in picking the wines and explaining the story of them – and finished off the dinner with a nice “Palinka Apricot”.

The meal was then finished with the a “cranberry macaroon and a sablé with white chocolate”.

The atmosphere of the restaurants is nice, modern, but a bit sterile – which is though mainly due to the fact that it was almost empty.

If you manage to get a table with a view to the kitchen, enjoy it as you can watch the chefs throughout the entire meal how they prepare your dishes.

All in all, the Restaurant Baraka is definitely a can do when you are in Budapest – the dishes are generally very good, the service is exquisite, the atmosphere is nice, and the price is – at least for Western European standards – absolutely decent but rather steep for Hungarians.


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Contact Details:

Restaurant Baraka

Dorottya u. 6

1051 Budapest (HU)

Tel.: +36 1 200 0817

E-Mail: reservations@barakarestaurant.hu

Homepage: http://barakarestaurant.hu

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
52'080 HUF (incl. 12% tip) Filed in: Budapest (HU), Restaurants

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