Baltazár’s interior still radiates the same atmosphere as on its first day: a colourful mixture of different influences ranging from red leather sofas in colonial style to vintage wooden tables and ceiling lamps that ought to belong to a film studio. While the soda bottles, retro radios and an old birdcage still conjure the charm of grandma’s country home, the colourful graffiti – which you could just as well put on the cover of a hip indie rock band – give Baltazár a daring touch.

Despite the obvious stylistic inconsistencies, all this versatility, this creative chaos falls into its place and creates a coherent, even if somewhat rebellious, concept, which you would describe (especially with the eyes of a person from our year) as “typical Zsidai”.

The winged elephant, the restaurant’s landmark, is seen all over the place still. Already as you enter, it seems to whisper to you: “Be yourself, with all your dazzling quirks.”


International public

In addition to the strange interior, from April onwards the guests can use the cosy street terrace of Baltazár, which accommodates up to 16 people. It offers a view on Kapisztrán Square and the ruins of the Maria-Magdalena Church, which today is only composed of a bell tower and a reconstructed stained-glass window. This is a very comfortable seating especially in the Budapest high summer season, when a lazy wind is blowing through the alleys and the closely standing buildings offer refreshing shadows.

Baltazár Grill is visited by people from all around the world. If all the tables are occupied, the conversation almost becomes a Babylonian language mess. Its popularity among the international guests is explained by the fact that the restaurant is also catering for the well-being of visitors at the boutique hotel located in the same building under the same name. But while the Castle District is one of the greatest tourist magnets of the city, Baltazár also does quite a lot to attract domestic guests. For instance, the restaurant pays the parking charges for the entire time of your meal.


Josper grill still the star of the kitchen

Just as with the interior design, Baltazár lets in a lot of different influences in its menu card: Hungarian classics such as paprika chicken and goulash soup mix well with modern burger delicacies. As a pioneer among the Budapest restaurants, Baltazár already declared the streetfood classic as socially acceptable a couple of years ago. Instead of the usual meat patty-bun combination, as is known in fast-food joints worldwide, they serve a gourmet product here. You can find both piquant tuna fish burger with paprika, spring onions and wasabi mayonnaise, and blue mould hamburger with porcini mushrooms.

Besides this, Baltazár offers a lot of grill specialties. Thanks to the quality wooden coal grill from the Catalonian manufacturer Josper, these dishes are the undisputed strength of the restaurant. The luxury appliance not only grills at an especially high temperature, which cuts the total preparation time and allows roasting without drying out, but it also gives the meat its aromatic smoky taste – produced by the Argentinian grill coal – and a uniquely spicy note. Besides BBQ ribs, rib-eye steaks and Iberian pork loin, they prepare fish and poultry on Josper.

Thanks to the restaurant’s open kitchen, the diners can catch a glimpse of these gems being prepared.


Almost 200 wines on stock

Besides the grill specialties, visitors can enjoy the enormous selection of the wine bar. The house cellar has almost 200 varieties and presents a cross-section of the colourful versatility of the Carpathian Basin. Baltazár places emphasis on offering products from organic farming, which, as they state in the introduction on the wine card, enhances the authentic character of a good wine in particular. You can taste the unique influences of the soil and the climatic circumstances.

One of their suggestions is the 2016 Syrah by Weninger winery in Sopron. With its light herbal note and spicy aroma reminding of black olives, this red makes a great match with the heavier meat dishes on the menu.

Baltazár places another accent on the topic of gin. Not only do they sell blueberry brandy in different variations from famous producers, but they also have a special cocktail offer: you can mix your own gin tonic. It might sound simple at first but it means a creative challenge, because you have to select not only the right one from the many different gin brands, you also have to find the matching tonic and the right garnishes too.


Evaluation

Even almost six years after its opening a visit to Baltazár is a real feast for both the eyes and the taste buds. Whether you visit to discuss business ideas over a light lunch, or plan a lavish dinner with family and friends, or come all alone to enjoy the atmosphere with a piece of meat from the famous wooden grill accompanied by an excellent wine, Baltazár is the right choice.

In terms of pricing Baltazár falls into the upper medium category of the Budapest scene, but this buys a reliably high quality.


Baltazár Grill
Budapest, District I, 31 Országház Street
Open daily 07.30-23.00
Reservations at (+36-1) 300-7050
See https://baltazarbudapest.com


Prices
Breakfast: HUF 940-4200
Snacks: HUF 1840-5120
Soups and salads: HUF 1980-4240
Main dishes: HUF 3260-9840
Desserts: HUF 1940-2940


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