Bangla Bufe

Akácfa utca 40 [map]
Pest, VII, Király utca
(T4/6), 5 min
Cuisine > Bengali/Bangladeshi

Rating: 8.0/10

There's something distinctly odd about seeing a map of Hungary next to a photo of Mecca's Holy Mosque but such is the decoration in Bangla Bufe. As the name suggests, this isn't an Indian restaurant - there's space inside for ten, at a push - but neither is it strictly a 'bufe'.

The city is littered with buffet-style take-aways. The kind of places that cook a load of food at lunch-time and then slowly run out as the day wears on. So go to a standard buffet at 10pm and you're likely to find it closed, or touting the hardier of leftovers.

Thankfully, Bangla Bufe is not of this ilk. It opens until 11pm and the food is fresh and cooked while you're there. Perhaps a modest selection of dishes is what makes this possible: 4 curries, 3 biryanis and a spicy Jhal Goru - that's the mains summed up in one breath. (Full menu here.) The current owner describes it as Bengali home cooking, and seems proud to be bringing a little taste of it to Budapest.

Sitting at a table, looking up at a TV that redefines my notion of fuzzy, I let my eyes drift downwards past the hatstand, to the fire extinguisher that tries to hide behind it. If you're looking for refinement, Bangla isn't your Bufe. But should you eat in, you'll find the service friendly, almost homely, something that's in short supply in Budapest.

Our first taste of the food arrived in the form of some impressive-looking papaddums, a notch above the average, although a chutney dip or two would have worked wonders. A couple of Wizbit-shaped samosas were a more complete starter and great value at 390Ft a pair. For mains, the beef curry and a chicken biryani fought each other for our favours, and the curry won by a mile - a rich, gingery flavour, and not too mild either. (Hungarian tastes usually drive the spice levels down, in my experience, and I'm usually too chicken to ask for a strong one, in case it blows my head off.) For refreshment, while there's no alcohol, there is Mango Lassi.

Bangla Bufe fills a nice niche, especially if you're missing the decent selection of affordable 'Indian' restaurants back home. If you're just in the mood for a curry rather than an evening out, Bangla Bufe will sate your appetite, and at a price that will put it at the top of your list the next time you get the urge.

Food: 7.5/10
Service: 8/10
Atmosphere: 7.5/10

Value for money: 9/10

Bangla Bufe isn't in the most obvious location. Walk down Akácfa utca from Király utca, and you'll spot it on your right after a 2-minute walk.

Andy Sz.



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