Kádár Étkezde

Klauzal tér 9 [map]
Pest Centre, VII, Deak ter (M3), 8 min
Cuisine > Hungarian


Rating: 9.4/10

If the seventh district of Budapest were a soap opera, there’d be no better choice for its Rovers Return, or Queen Vic, or Woolpack than the Kádár Étkezde.

Sitting at one of the restaurant’s red-checked tablecloths, there’s plenty to take in - for example, the endlessly watchable owner and head waiter, Uncle Tibi (who bears more than a passing resemblance to the endlessly watchable Ernest Borgnine). There are the regular customers who kiss the waitresses and slip tips into their pockets. And then, there are the confused tourists who gingerly push open the door and look around the room, before stepping back outside to thumb through their guidebook again just to see how/why they ended up here.
This restaurant might not look like much but appearances can be deceptive, and… Kádár’s appearance is more deceptive than it looks. From the outside, there’s very little to see. A simple sign and some half drawn curtains, as if Kádár is doing its best to shut out the 21st century. In fact, I doubt much has changed in the last 30 years, save maybe, a new cash register from around 1992... and a number of additions to the set of autographed pictures which adorn the restaurant‘s walls. It’s refreshingly authentic - take us or leave us, seems to be the message, backed up by the limited opening hours (from 11.30 to 15.30, Tuesday to Saturday).

Personally, I’d take Kádár over most other restaurants in Budapest. It's traditional, (non-kosher) Jewish/Hungarian cuisine and as a friend of mine put it, is the only restaurant in the world where the food reminds her of her Grandmother's cooking. There are two menus, one fixed, and one daily. The later it gets the less choice you have - when Kádár's waitresses sit you down, they'll cross through items on the menu as the food starts to run out.
Mostly everything I've eaten there has been very good but admittedly, it can look a little underwhelming. From the daily dishes, the turkey with lecsó is excellent, the meat is always beautifully cooked. And, if you flip the menu over, you’ll see the ‘Roast Pork with Caraway Seeds, Boiled Potatoes, and Cabbage‘. Even though I've never found a single caraway seed, this is the only Hungarian dish I really miss when I‘m away from the country.
Old-fashioned and full of character then, Kádár Étkezde is the antithesis of the new bars and restaurants which are opening for business elsewhere in the area. And as far as I‘m concerned, this humble place is all the better for it. In fact, if I were Kádár's owner, and modern, soulless swank holes such as that started turning up in my neighbourhood, I’d shut the curtains completely.


Food: 9/10
Service: 9.5/10
Atmosphere: 10/10

Value for money: 9/10


hub choice
Andy T.

3 comments:

  1. lucy said...

    I like the spinach főzelék with a big lump of roast pork on top, which somtimes appears on the daily menu. Looks like a horrid glurk, but it's the tastiest thing ever - lovely and garlicky.  

  2. napjaim said...

    "Uncle Tibi, their head waiter" ... he is the owner  

  3. hub eating said...

    Just noticed this, thanks for the heads up napjaim. It's been changed on our review.  


 

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