It was going to be hard to beat our dinner at Essencia in Budapest, but our dinner at Babel was another 10 out of 10. We walked from our hotel using our gps to navigate and ended up on the wrong street in front of a dive bar. From there we stopped using google maps and went to apple map, which took us around the corner and up a few buildings and said ‘you are here’ but we stood there confused because it wasn’t, at the moment, obvious where the door would be. We asked the young man smoking a cigarette if he knew where Babel was and we were sure he did since he was wearing a kitchen apron — he laughed and opened the door for us and said right here. Of course the big cursive B followed with a-b-e-l (Babel) on the building wall should have been our clue but hey, we were hungry, so that’s my excuse for being a goofball!
We walked into a beautifully decorated and elegant restaurant. Built in a former high school, the Babel team kept the original walls working to preserve some of the history. The beautiful glassware and crockery is all exclusively made for the restaurant.
We had two menu options, the 13 course or the 9 course and we chose the 9 course with non-alcoholic pairings.
Each juice that was paired with the courses worked very well and though we did order one glass of white wine, we didn’t miss the alcohol at all. We loved that so many restaurants in Hungary offered non-alcoholic pairings, especially since it can get overwhelming when you have a lot of courses and we still needed to walk back to the hotel later.
The dishes were creatively crafted and it was exciting as each course was delivered. From the first course of smoked eel with salmon caviar to our lovely dessert “Laurus’ with quince and chestnut, it was the best meal we had in Hungary and we had some darn good dinners!
I am not a big pork fan and almost requested a substitute for the Mangalica but then it did have truffle and pear, two of my favorite foods, so I decided to give it a try. Perfection! If someone would cook pork like that for me all the time, I’d be a porker fan.
We were so happy that our last dinner in Budapest was at Babel as we left with happy hearts, full bellies, and great memories of a wonderful evening.