Not even a hundred skyscrapers could outweigh the beauty and magnificence emanating from the curves of Buda Castle: the emerald-domed royal residence is an iconic element of the Budapest skyline, gently looming above the river Danube. It’s a view you can never get really tired of, especially if coupled with a brilliant culinary experience and a luxurious, cosy atmosphere. We’re talking about, of course, Spoon The Boat Restaurant.
Docked in front of the Vigadó and nestled between Erzsébet híd and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, constantly evolving Spoon has been a staple of the Hungarian capital’s gastro scene for well over a decade, with their international fusion kitchen providing just as strong a case for choosing this stationary boat as your place to dine as the awe-inspiring view revealing itself before you.
Boasting 3 restaurants, 5 bars, 2 summer terraces and a total of 600 seats on 1,600 square meters, Spoon is a generous and grand floating eatery, with the colours grey, white and pastel blue dominating the interiors and sporting what is possibly the city’s most amazing lavatory.
We arrived during lunchtime on a clear but chilly January day: greeted by an experienced-looking, smiley-faced staff, we were walked to a windowside table by our waiter, who, before we could’ve even opened the menu, returned with two glasses of delicious, fizzy Kir Royal, setting the mood for the following two-hour long tour de tastes. The menu is made up mainly of French, Hungarian and some Oriental dishes. The ingredients are procured worldwide: for example, the sirloin comes from Uruguay, the foie gras from France, while the vegetables, fruits, artisan cheeses, fishes, veal and duck legs are obtained from Hungarian suppliers. While thoroughly examining the menu, we learned from the waiter that they’re running a French kitchen – a subtle indication of the modest portion sizes. Emboldened by this bit of important information, we decided to go all out with our orders.
For starters, we went with Kapia pepper soup with goat cheese and green herbs, and Marrow bone, garnished with chanterelle and scampi. The tomato orange coloured soup engulfed the pieces of cheese as if they were two dairy-based islands. The white coldness of the cheese proved to be the perfect match for the red warmth of the creamy, thick soup, the sweet softness of which was counterbalanced heavenly by the crisp green herbs hiding inside the cheese. The two halves of our marrow bone arrived packed with pieces of chanterelles and cleaned scampi: what’s really surprising with this dish is how harmonious the relationship between the three components is. The creamy nuttiness of the wobbly marrow, the fruity tenderness of the golden-brown chanterelle, and the smooth scampi culminate in a light, texturally homogeneous dish.
For mains we ordered Gnocchi with Angus beef and horseradish, and Hungarian paprika veal stew with dumpling soufflé. Spoon’s version of the Italian pasta dish is a fun little twist on the traditional idea of a gnocchi: the plate was filled with Angus pellets the size of an eyeball, while the pink gnocchi looked like as it were ham. The veal stew came out in a little grey cauldron, accompanied by large chunks of soft dumplings and wheat germ, doused in a paprika-based sauce. There were no twists here, just your beloved and hearty Hungarian dish with all the familiar tastes: an excellent dish in its simplicity.
Saving best for last, we decided to max out our stay at Spoon and taste their legendary Chocolate orb: the gold-coated sphere was 3-4 inches in diameter and looked like a Christmas decoration, right until our dear waiter poured some hot chocolate on it from a sauce boat and started counting down from 5: when he got to 1, the ball collapsed into a pool of chocolate, revealing the delicious coconut-mascarpone filling in a theatrical fashion.
In case we tickled your fancy and planted the seed of spending a romantic night-out with your S.O. aboard this resting river cruiser of culinary delights, then make a reservation for the Valentine’s Day dinner and let all your senses be pampered! Also, make sure to sample the collection of neat little spoons donated to the restaurant by grateful patrons on your way out. via funzine.com
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