21 Hungarian Kitchen in the Castle District
15 years of tradition, modernised and minus clichés
In fact, much water had already passed under the Danube bridges by the time it opened, almost two decades.The Zsidais bought the premises opposite the then family-owned Pierrot restaurant at 21 Fortuna utca in the Castle District in 1991, at the persuasion of an Austrian family friend, Peter Strauss, who saw the potential in the building.
It took 17 years, after many changes of profile, before 21 Hungarian Kitchen opened its doors in 2008. It was the idea of the head of the family, Péter Zsidai, to open a Hungarian restaurant here but not a “cliché Hungarian” one, a so called “magyaros”, but a bistro with the flavours of the real Hungarian cuisine.
The concept of 21 Hungarian Kitchen required determination at the time, as a place suggesting an Asian-European fusion could sooner be seen as exciting than a restaurant promoting Hungarian cuisine in peace, in the wake of the waves of gastronomic inspiration that were finally pouring in from everywhere. Old school, yet fresh and modern, inventively modern yet respectful of tradition – these were the plans, and the restaurant offered only Hungarian wines to accompany the dishes, a rarity.
When it opened, the menu was created by András Wolf and the Hungarian wine list by Attila Tálos, then later Zsolt Litauszki created the delightful Hungarian dishes, and last year Lajos Bíró helped revamp the 21 menus.
21 Hungarian Kitchen has made no secret of the fact that it wants to appeal primarily to the domestic audience. Taking the great recipes of previous centuries as their starting point, they have built the menu on the culinary art of today.
The concept has remained unchanged for 15 years but the interior of the restaurant has already been refreshed, and now, in January 2024 to be precise, the kitchen will be completely replaced and a modern working environment will be created for the staff.
21 Hungarian Kitchen
1014 Budapest, Fortuna utca 21
Open: Daily noon-23.45
Phone: (061) 202-2113