Budapest: Karpatia Restaurant, a review

Photo courtesy of SpirosK
Photo courtesy of SpirosK

After perusing the Kárpátia Restaurant Web site, we were halfway expecting a tourist trap. Between the beautifully decorated vaulted ceilings and the shameless plugs for Sarközi and his Gipsy Band (the in-house band) the restaurant appeared to be a traditional Hungarian cliché. Thankfully, it was all that and more.

Our meal took off with a small glass of brandy, followed by a creamy appetizer platter and the Kárpátia salad with duck breast and wild mushrooms. It began to dawn on us that our best meal in Budapest was unfolding.

My main course consisted of a Mangalica filet mignon with clove-quince apple compote. My travel companion enjoyed wild duck with balsamic vinegar and wild grapes. We savored a dry, red Hungarian house wine between bites. The meal came to a bittersweet close with poppy seed cake and Somlói galuska, a rum-scented vanilla cream cake with chocolate sauce.

At HUF16,400 (€66; $90), the final bill for two certainly worth the splurge.

We were sold on the band as well, happily shelling out HUF5,000 (€20; $27) for their CD. Sarközi and band played up for each and every table, posing in perfect time for cameras and pulling out local favorites for impromptu tableside celebrations.

Wandering Cheapo Kari Hoerchler is a blogger, budget traveler, and science fiction novelist stationed on Planet Earth. She has recently been spotted on small stages of New York coffeehouses telling tall tales of a tropical island—and future vacation hot spot—in the Bermuda Triangle. Book ahead.

 

About the author

Kari Hoerchler
En junio 2000, Kari moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina and never looked back...until she ran out of pesos. After another round of bank riots, the travel lady bug moved to more stable financial ground: Wall Street. (Hey, no laughing!) Currently the Listings Manager for Over There Interactive for cold, hard cash, she is also a co-author of The Maneater Murder Mystery Series and Venue Goddess for Lit Crawl NYC.
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Cheapo Comments

2 Responses to “Budapest: Karpatia Restaurant, a review”
  • Doris and Anton says:

    What we found was indeed a tourist trap. The waiter drank from the wine glasses he later served to his guests (!). The food was “medium”-quality, reheated, with paprika everywhere (even in pumpkin creme soup). The somelier had no idea what wine to suggest (he did his best, but couldn’t even decide if a white, red or rose would fit to canard & salad).
    The only nice side is the room decoration.
    You can find way better restaurants in Budapest, e.g. Cafe Pierrot.

  • Michiel says:

    Yesterday evening we had dinner at Karpatia Restaurant. In short, it is an unbelievable tourist trap and rip-off place!

    The food is reheated, the ‘service’ is lousy and focused only on selling up and the prices are sky high in comparison with really good restaurants in Budapest. Last but not least, we were ‘kicked out’ at 23:00 because the restaurant was closing…

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