03 Dec

Raw-some

A few weeks ago, we enjoyed our gastronomic trip to the world of raw vegan cuisine so much that we could not resist trying it again. Watch out, spoiler: we loved it this time too!

A raw vegan dinner itself is a special treat for most of us, but – according to our experience – it can be enhanced. Our restaurant can neither be found by wandering on the street, nor by searching the internet. In fact, this restaurant doesn’t exist except for a few days of the month. For a few days at a time, a first floor Buda apartment transforms into a pearl of the catering industry, whose offerings you can only enjoy if you’ve made a reservation.

The girls, who started the Life Kitchen – Ágnes Repka and Nóra Kassai – prepare special meals 1-2 times every month, for those who are looking for a culinary novelty, follow a healthy diet, or like to meet new people.

pateFirst, we stepped into the above mentioned Buda apartment a little awkwardly. Smiling faces led us through the place, and we immediately saw some of the dishes and the plates Nóra was decorating.

During the supper we had the chance to taste mixed flavors of East and West. On the table we found the following dishes: tarragon citrus salad, fennel soup with coriander pumpkin chips, spicy nutty pasta with lime and ginger, pumpkin tiramisu and thyme marzipan. Everything, of course, was freshly made by dehydrating, blending and grating mostly local, organic ingredients. We got a fortune cookie for the road, which was way more delicious than the oven-baked version, and the message was hand-written on recycled paper. Mine said: One day’s undisturbed rest is worth a day of feeling immortal. So true!

asztalSince reservations are required, the girls buy the right amount of food for their guests, guaranteeing that nothing will end up in the bin. Ingredients are produced on site, grown in Nóra’s garden near Eger -, bought in organic markets, or arrive in the kitchen directly from local producers. Nóra and Ági also collect foraged food and herbs in the forests of Bükk. The meals’ main ingredients are always local and correspond to demand. The foreign products are supplemental and only used for spicing, and attention is paid to whether they’re organic and come from reliable sources.

An apartment that turns into a restaurant creates an extraordinary atmosphere, enhanced by beautiful table settings, candles and the constant service of cranberry teas. The tables are for 4-6 people; this way you can discuss the upcoming dishes and their ingredients with your new acquaintances. Some customers come back every month, some get the dinner as a present from loved ones, and some people arrive with the whole family in tow.

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süti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the bathroom, guests find environmentally friendly cleaning products, and clean up after dinner is also done using biodegradable chemicals. Since the girls know exactly what time the guests are arriving and how many of them are going to be there, they don’t use resources in vain (in terms of ingredients or compared to other restaurants’ energy consumption). The food waste goes to the compost and recycling bins. Moreover, the food preparation is environmentally friendly too, since the highest energy consuming pieces of equipment are the food dehydrator and the blender.suletlenseg

Fortunately, we can reward ourselves with some raw prizes beyond this location. The girls offer event-catering services too, and their packaged products (called Sületlenségek) can be found in cafes (like in EcoCafe that we previously reviewed), organic shops or can be ordered directly from the Life Kitchen. And for those people who wish to immerse themselves in mental and physical health actualization, they look forward to seeing at their camp in June.

Huge thanks to Magdi Németh for translating the article from the original!

Originally published: March, 2012

Photos: Life Kicthen

11 Sep

Eat with your heart

We’ve already written about a restaurant, where – besides having a great meal, of course – one can enjoy a special social experience as well. We always wanted to find similar eateries, so I was very happy when I was able to fix an interview with Mrs. Hermanné Nagy Vera, who is one of the owners of the „Hatpöttyös” (Sixspotted) Restaurant. The restaurant is in Székesfehérvár, which is my hometown, so I had extra motivation to check it out. Finally here’s a unique place that’s worth to take a turn off the M7 highway on your way to the Lake Balaton, or to visit during a “gourmet tour” around Transdanubia. This restaurant will also take the tourists beyond their average travel experience when they are in Székesfehérvár, which would normally consist of a quick walk around the center.

We are sitting in an extraordinary restaurant at the moment. What’s the story behind the Hatpöttyös?

Hatpöttyös Étterem 2The restaurant was originally established by four of our family members to help my youngest daughter, who was born with a disability. Previously I was working in the field of adult education and I had to realize that there were absolutely no suitable jobs available for disabled people. I saw terrible conditions and I was worried about what will happen to my daughter Zsófi, when she becomes older and has to find a job. Why we decided to open a restaurant as a solution to this problem is due to two things; one is that Zsófi has always loved to spend a lot of time with me in the kitchen, and the other is the family’s high interest in gastronomy. So our original intention was to open a restaurant that provides a high quality service, but in the same time creates jobs for handicapped and disabled people. The inspiration for us was another restaurant called “Ízlelő” in Szekszárd, but we think that our concept is different. We considered two aspects; on one hand we wanted a traditional, but modern restaurant, which uses fresh, natural, local ingredients, and represents an environmentally conscious and healthy concept – perhaps still too unusual for Székesfehérvár. On the other hand, we wanted to create jobs. I think that we perform successfully in both aspects: of our 18 employees, 15 are handicapped or live with a disability; and according to the positive feedback we receive from our customers, our food is delicious as well.

Hatpöttyös Étterem 3We use only quality Hungarian ingredients, delivered by a professional purchasing team. We would like to establish a circle of local food producers around Székesfehérvár, so they could provide us with the necessary ingredients in the right quantity. For instance, the “Kistücsök” (Little Cricket) Restaurant at the Lake Balaton have managed to do this. As for now, sometimes we have to go to other counties to buy good quality ingredients – a few of our guests actually have asked us where we buy the chicken from, because it tastes like “real chicken”. We do not use any ready-made meals or preservatives, because we prepare everything ourselves. Last year we made jam and pickles, and we also prepare all the dressings and sauces here. We really look forward to the strawberry season, because then we go to local farms where we can pick the fruits ourselves, and make our own jam again. We knead the dough and prepare pasta here as well. We only use dry pasta for the Italian pasta salad, because ours would be too fresh for it.

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How much do you think it all means to the guests? They come here for the food, or rather because they would like to support this initiative?

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We can say that here in Székesfehérvár there isn’t any other restaurant like ours, and this is true from several points of view. Our a la carte menu is limited and you will not find the regular “cordon-bleu – bean soup” selection on it. But we do have a weekly menu, which we generally put together in a way so that it has a traditional and also a “diet” option. Besides the traditional soup and main course pairing, we always offer a lactose free soup too, as many people live with lactose intolerance nowadays. We pay attention to the calorie content as well, and try to offer low calorie options. A vegetarian main course is always available as well – actually, many people prefer this option.

Hatpöttyös Étterem 6Not too long ago we requested all of our guests to fill out a short questionnaire about us during a time frame of about three weeks. I must say it was a good lesson. The reason I wanted to carry out this quick research was that we advertised the restaurant in the local paper, on the radio and on the city’s website. The result showed that it was not so useful, because – based on the answers – people mostly hear about our restaurant from other people. So for us it means that we attract people with our food. And once they eat here, we teach them to be open and sensitive to certain social issues as well. I remember it happening only about twice, that guests did not show much tolerance and the expectable patience towards our colleagues. I personally had a discussion with both of them, and since then, they come back here often. In general I should say that we experience tremendous improvement regarding tolerance and acceptance, and we feel very happy about it. The restaurant recently received the “Charity Shopping Label”, which required really high competences from us – so we’re proud of it.

How difficult was to make your idea come true?

Hatpöttyös Étterem 7At the beginning it was very difficult; many people said that we aim at the impossible. Unfortunately the society of handicapped people in Hungary is on the periphery since the regime change, and Hungarians are rather sceptic about similar initiatives. The good news is that we have been dealing with this topic since 2005 and the situation has changed a lot over the years. The related regulations also have a more open approach and simplified measures, which is mainly due to the demands of the European Union. A few years ago we established a nonprofit organization together with another three families, but we could hardly find any supporters. Two families have left the organization since then, and my daughters took over their place. Ever since the restaurant opened, it operates as a nonprofit organization. It is a big help to us that the Fejér County Government Bureau entered into a 10-year contract with us: thanks to them, we can use the building where the restaurant operates for free. Besides, we received EU funds to open the restaurant, which was useful not only from financial point of view, but also because we had to comply with European standards: for instance installing new and energy saving appliances, provide wheelchair accessibility and using motion sensor lighting. All these contributed to as environmental friendly operation of the restaurant as possible. Besides these, we lead discussions quite often about the related topics – such as why the light switches must be turned off, or how to save on water expenses – with our employees. For us all this means saving money as well.

Let’s talk a bit about environmental protection. What else can you do regarding this issue?

IMG_9831_kicsiBesides what I have mentioned already, we intend to have very low impact on the environment regarding hygiene as well. All of our cleaning materials are environmentally friendly. They are more expensive than the regular ones, but we realized that they are more efficient as well, so after all, so we only need to replace them 2-3 times per year. We recycle, which is rather easy here in Székesfehérvár, because recyclables are cheaper to dispose than the regular garbage. Also we hardly ever fry anything in vegetable oil – since we prefer the grill, or to use a combined oven for meat – so we produce a minimal amount of waste oil.

We do not sell drinks in plastic bottles either. We have a tap water purifier and a soda machine and our guests can choose from several „Méhes-Mézes” syrup to mix it with pure (sparkling) water. We also offer homemade lemonade and elderberry syrup. Although, I must admit that we sell one type of 100% fruit juice, but at least it arrives in a refillable glass bottle. By the way, we have successfully shifted many of our guests’ from drinking soft drinks to drinks made of fruit syrups. Unfortunately the syrup bottles cannot be refilled by the company, but we keep these as well and put our tomato paste in them.

What happens with the food waste (if there is any)?

Hatpöttyös Étterem 8Our philosophy is that we rather cook less than more. Before, several times our lunch menu was sold quite quickly. Nowadays, when more and more people seem to come, we start to increase the amount we cook, but we still try to calculate precisely. If for any chance we have some leftovers, we either eat it here, or our colleagues can take it home for half price.

Everything here seems to be thought over! I assume that you did not leave much space for yourselves for improvement. What are you plans for the future?

Well, we have many plans and we are glad that we have already achieved one: we are now a member of the Heroes of Responsible Dining network!

Hatpöttyös Étterem 9Besides, we would like to get to the point when people come here for dinner as well, since for now we mostly serve lunch. In order to facilitate this, we have started a series of events, called “Chef Party”. In the frame of these events, we invite well-known chefs, such as Kálmán Kalla – who managed to renew the world famous Gundel restaurant -, Lajos Bíró and Viktor Varjú from Bock Bistro, or Balázs Csapodi and László Jahni from “Kistücsök”. While we introduce their work to our guests, they prepare a 6 course dinner, which is served with very special wines that we received from Gábor Szurok, representative of the Monarchy Winery. These evenings are always fun, and it feels wonderful that such famous chefs support us by not asking for any fee, so the whole profit can be ours. After the event hosted by Lajos Bíró, I honestly told him that his night covered all of our tax contributions!

We also plan to provide catering services on parties. Up to now our biggest event was a reception for 150 people, which was a huge success! And we also plan to open up the terrace soon…

Who will be the next chef on Chef Party?

It’s a secret at the moment, but I can tell you that it will be a big hit, so I advise to follow our website and reserve a table as soon as possible!

Katalin Hall, what would we do without you?
Thank you so much again for your excellent translation!! :)

19 Jun

Sustainability engraved in stone(soup)

According to an old saying, sometimes we can’t see what’s right in front of us. Although my mom uses this phrase most frequently when my dad searches through the fridge for butter, I suspect that this expression might have a deeper meaning. Cliché, but we’ve realized only recently that we too fell into the trap of not seeing the forest from the tree.

Stonesoup logoDuring the past two years – since we started this blog -, we visited the Stonesoup Restobar and the Mika Tivadar Bar on several occasions. I don’t even remember how we ended up there at first; perhaps the name ‘Stonesoup’ attracted us – there’s an old folk story about it-, or maybe as we peeked in through the window, we liked the lampshades made of cheese graters and wine glasses. Anyway, the Restobar quickly had become ‘THE’ place, where we took our foreign friends for dinner on their first night in Budapest. I must admit that I liked the original restaurant on the corner, although navigating between the chairs in the small dining area was probably not exactly the waiters’ dream. Most likely there were a thousand more reasons behind this, but finally the Stone Soup has moved a few buildings further up the street, into a previously run-down, but recently renovated house.

That last time when we were there, we finally had a chance to experience the “Eureka moment” and we finally looked around in the Stonesoup with the intention of sharing our thoughts with our readers. The first and perhaps the most important thing to take a note of, highlight in yellow and remember even when someone wakes you up in the middle of the night is the restaurant’s Ars Poetica, according to which:
They do not use:
– pork meat
– additives
– granules
– microwaves
– flavor enhancers with MSG including „Vegeta”
– meat tenderizers
– stock cubes
– semi-finished food products
Instead they offer:
– Free-range eggs and poultry
– Vegetables from eco-farms
– Fish that is always bought and served fresh
– Local products that are purchased mainly within a 60 km range
– Homemade bread, pasta, chutney, sauces, dressings, pesto free from additives and preservatives

Moreover, they promise the following things:
To keep stay open for change, no to lose our sense of humor, and to keep progressing.

koleves_csomagolo„The new restaurant opened in November 2012; before it was in a run-down building. Environmental aspects were important already in our former restaurant, and we pay as much attention to those as we can here as well. Besides basic things such as using energy saving light bulbs, recycled paper, selective collection of glass, paper and aluminum, etc., we place great emphasis on waste reduction. We plan to restart composting (which was were doing earlier), and we use biodegradable delivery containers most of the time, made of vegetable raw materials. I’m saying most of the time, because unfortunately these containers can be purchased only from abroad, and timing is not always perfect – so every now and then it can happen that our guests receive their food in plastic containers.

koleves_lasagneWhile our dinner arrived – lactose and gluten free vegan lasagna, sweet potato cream soup, stuffed eggplant and tapas plate – we had a discussion about the ingredients and purchasing principals. Since Stonesoup Restobar delivers the food to Mika Tivadar Bar as well, we consider the two places as one. Besides the quality of the ingredients, another very important aspect is for them to arrive from the closest possible distance – thus seasonality is strongly reflected in the menu. “We try to buy everything from farms within 60 km, however it is not always possible; for instance sometimes we serve a soup made with coconut milk. We prepare everything here in the restaurant, from pesto through jams, dressings, etc. We don’t even have a microwave.”

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There were a few more little things that we really liked, such as the vegan section on the menu, the marks besides gluten- and lactose free meals, the tap water they brought to us, the fine Hungarian wines, the friendly waiters, the mincer, the pots and pans and antiques used for decoration…

I don’t know about you guys, but it seems to us that the Stonesoup team shows quite a good direction to other restaurants in Hungary on how to be responsible. That is why we are happy to welcome both the Stonesoup Restobar and the Mika Tivadar Bar among the members of the Heroes of Responsible Dining network!

Heroes of Responsible Dining

A big HURRAY for Katalin Hall who translated the original article to English!!

28 May

Health delivery

Our campaign before Christmas – which more than 200 people joined online -, encouraged people to reduce their meat consumption. Meat production (feeding and keeping the livestock clean) is a lot more water-, energy- and raw material intensive operation than growing vegetables, fruits or grains; thus having a higher impact on our environment. Nevertheless regular meat consumption has become such a strong part of our eating habits, that many of our readers cannot even imagine what they would eat if they had to leave out the meat from their lunch now and then. There is pasta, potatoes, grilled or steamed veggies and fruits, walnuts, almonds, peanuts and chestnuts…and we haven’t even mentioned cheese or fish yet. Unfortunately, traditional Hungarian cooking does not provide a lot of choices for meat-free meals that are healthy and delicious. Fried mushroom or cheese with tartar sauce and rice, pasta with cheese and sour-cream or with tomato sauce – these are the well-known vegetarian dishes that can be very boring even after a short time.

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Luckily however, every now and then plum- or cottage cheese dumplings, or a sztrapacska can „peek in” at the canteen. Oven-baked casseroles are also getting very popular nowadays. But for instance millet or buckwheat can be hard to find, and when we finally see them on the menu, they are dry and tasteless. Eggplant and zucchini are very rarely prepared the way they really should be. If catering had a penalty code, surely cooking the vegetables in water would be a serious offense. All the nutrition content and taste stays in the water – which is poured out after the cooking -, so no wonder that a Hungarian tongue, being used to very intense tastes, will not choose greens on the side very often. Beetroot, sweet potato, rhubarb, or chard are not familiar to many – and I wonder how many people know what a pattypan squash tastes like, which grows in Hungary from July to February? Even spellcheck does not recognize this word. Pumpkin was „discovered” a couple of years ago by Hungarians, and luckily since then we can eat a creamy pumpkin soup – rich in vitamins -, almost anywhere when it is in season. Of course above I was talking about the canteens where an average worker goes every day to fill up his tired brain with vitamins and minerals for only a thousand Forints. So the target of our post today are those who generally do not cook for themselves, thus have an everyday problem to find a decent restaurant near their workplace, or they follow a special diet to stay healthy or regain their health. The popularity of our previous article on a gluten-free restaurant proves that in Hungary restaurants that offer special meals are in demand.

1238323_661775943841180_1221134096_nSo far we have not been investigating too many food delivery service providers, since we can hardly imagine less environmental damaging activity than throwing out tons of plastic dishes every single day. There are a few establishments that are willing to collect these and after cleaning them out thoroughly, reuse them, but many of the delivery companies think of this process as a real burden. According to public surveys, customers are also not in favor of returning the plastic dishes, because then they have to wash them and store them somewhere, and they feel obliged to order from that place again where the dishes came from. Biodegradable plastics just starting to become popular in Hungary, but they are still quite expensive. (So this particular problem is still waiting to be solved by the Heroes of Responsible Dining!) However, we start to recognize that ordering food is more popular than the traditional „dining out” at the restaurants, especially when the employees have only about half an hour for lunch, or there is no restaurant around that serves decent food.

We bumped into the Avocado Food Manufacture through our meat-free campaign that we have mentioned earlier. This company provides with food delivery only – without the dining in option. Daily menu can be ordered easily over their website, but breakfast or dinner is available also. They even offered a special menu and the very seasonal poppy seed roll around Christmas!
But why are they so unique? As in most of the cases, personal reasons motivated the owner to reform his own eating habits, when a few years ago Gábor Szűcs was forced to go on a heart friendly diet. He started to wonder: if he cooks healthy meals for himself, why not help others to be healthy as well?

10308275_790418370976936_4528607000154879757_nThis approach represents the whole company: they only offer food to their customers that they would happily eat themselves. There are three different kind of menus available: reform, vegetarian and vegan. The meals are totally free from preservatives and additives, they do not contain artificial flavor enhancers and colorants, and they consist mostly of organic ingredients. When buying goods – contrary to their name „Avocado” – they prefer to choose local producers. The menu they offer had become more and more special in the course of time, and is adapted to the needs of the Hungarian population. They are among those rare places which sell vegan menu es well, thus saving plenty of time for those who follow this lifestyle. We especially value that they have such a wide range of menu selection that almost all types of diets are covered by them: restoring pH balance in the body, protein-rich for athletes, low in salt- and fat for people with heart conditions, gluten- or lactose free for people with food allergies. The next week’s order must come in by Friday midnight the latest, so that way they can calculate the portions precisely and by this, they can practically minimize their food waste. Moreover, they can plan the delivery routes to minimize the distance traveled. Sometimes you can even get get your lunch from the owner himself! Menus can be combined, so if you are not totally vegetarian, but you just rarely eat meat, you can choose from both the reform and vegetarian menus alternately.

IMG_7208But what do those meals really taste like? Many people tend to avoid „reform” or vegan meals because they think these have no taste at all. But the owner’s more than 30 years of experience with gastronomy guarantees the variety and tastefulness to all the meals that are served under his lead. Avocado organized a culinary event in December, where we tasted some of their meals. There was fake cottage cheese dumplings made of millet (I could not tell that it had no real cottage cheese in it!), pea puree with mint, fake potato casserole, seitan, carob cream, chickpea sauce, etc. Unfortunately we couldn’t try everything, but the ones we did were really delicious! It is better not to expect McDonals-type of salty and fatty tastes when trying these goodies – but those of you who read this blog already know the taste of real food.

At this event, the owner shared long and encouraging stories about the environmental principals he respects. We also heard about his regret of not being able to solve the problem of setting up a system for collecting and reusing the plastic boxes so far – but that they have managed to use recycled plastic boxes for delivery. They installed aerators into the faucets, the staff uses water-saving toilets and they have energy-saver lightbulbs. They collect their recycling separately, which is taken away monthly.

254417_223478491004263_1315526_nSeasonality is a great concern for them at the time of purchase, which also makes economical sense since the prices of vegetables and fruits can change seasonally. They also like to use fresh ingredients, and not ones that travel thousands of miles. When they buy organic products, they base their decisions on personal experiences and trust with the producers. Although they believe that there are no products anymore that are totally free from chemical derivatives – due to the overall contamination of the ground (e.g. waste water, flooding of the Danube river, contamination of the groundwater supply) -, they avoid buying chemically treated products.

The point is – which we have made already long time ago – that healthy life starts with what we eat and continues with what we do for our environment; and the two are inseparable! It’s comforting to know that some of the people out there whom we entrust with „feeding” us feel the same way.

Thank you, Katalin Hall for translating the original article to English!

11 May

Köles (Millet) Gluten Free Restaurant

Köles RestaurantYou slowly start to realize that your stomach is bloated after every meal, and the diarrhea does not want to get any better – even though you thought it was just a stomach bug. You are getting more tired day by day, your skin becomes drier and drier, and it’s getting itchy as well. You visit your doctor, they do a blood test, x-ray, send you to a specialist – and another month has passed. You are still weak and lost some weight, and the cream for your itchy skin doesn’t seem to be working. You start to be nervous.

At the end of the third month you finally get your diagnosis: Celiac disease. You are glad that at least you can be sure what is going on with you, now you have „only” one challenge: keep your gluten-free diet and all of your symptoms are going to disappear. First of all you start to bake your own bread from corn and gluten-free flour, and in the restaurant you avoid pasta. Then you realize that it’s not so obvious what contains gluten. In Hungary almost everything is condensed with flour, soups are cooked with pasta, and 80% of the meat dishes – and frequently even the vegetables – are breaded. Well yes, it is not as easy as you thought. Your nine-to-five job and/or having a family requires lots of effort from you to cook separately for yourself and pack your food – especially if you have to start making a sandwich by baking your own bread first. Not to mention the sweets! Luckily nowadays the companies are obliged to note if the product contains gluten, but this means you have almost no choice in the shops. There is gluten in the ice-cream, in the salamis, in the meals with soy sauce etc.

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So far we only mentioned the possibilities and we haven’t talked about the prices. Let’s just say the gluten-free diet is expensive. And also discriminative. You cannot go and just grab something to eat with your colleagues or have a slice of cake with your friends. You also have to eat differently than your family.

Fortunately in the last few years you can get gluten-free meals in some places. In Hungary there is the Organization for People Suffering from Celiac Disease where you can find the names and the addresses of the shops and fast food restaurants where you can get gluten-free products. Furthermore in many restaurants now you can identify gluten-free meals from the small sign on the menu. But there is still one problem: it is not enough if the ingredients of a meal do not contain gluten. All the equipments and tools used for making the dish have to be clean from gluten too.

In Budapest now you can find one restaurant that serves only gluten-free food: the Köles (Millet). Here you can be sure that there is no gluten in the kitchen. You don’t have to worry what if they cut your gluten-free pizza with a knife used to cut one that contains gluten before: you are in a safe place. They pay attention to wrap and store the products in gluten-free environment as well. And there is one more thing why Köles is a unique place: the two owners are very keen on sustainability. Healthy lifestyle and eating habits frequently came together with environmental protection, which this restaurant has been showcasing from the beginning. The most nutritious food for everyone is fresh, seasonal and local. By using local ingredients, you can avoid the pesticides what they use during the transportation to keep the product „fresh and healthy”. In Köles the main aim is to offer a balanced and healthy diet for those who are suffering from any type of intolerance, and as a result of it might suffer from a boring diet. Everyone needs carbohydrates; people with celiac disease cannot skip it either. In this place they substitute wheat with millet, corn and buckwheat. And they are also focusing on helping their customers develop better eating habits.

IMG_9758_kicsiThe meals are changing every day. Everyone can choose from the daily menu where you can always find a vegetarian option too. There are different types of salads, and when we ate there were two types of cakes (fabulous cheesecake and a cocoa cake). They always use seasonal ingredients: when we visited we could choose vegetarian baked cauliflower with ewe cottage cheese, spicy apple soup, beetroot and celery salad, chicken stew with celery and walnut cream served with potato. The ingredients are purchased by the owners – Krisztina and Rita – at the local markets. They even have a favorite butcher and they are happy to pedal a couple of kilometers for the best meat in town. Yes, the two girls are doing their shopping while riding their bicycles around the city.

Lately the expats in Budapest discovered the place, so for them the restaurant offers Hungarian chicken stew on the menu frequently. To make various meals on a seasonal basis is a big challenge in the winter, but luckily Rita has lots of experience about creative cooking. Creativity is one of the main strength for the owners, which is proven by the decoration as well:  you can find huge drawings on the walls and jars filled with millet – as well as a  „millet-wall”. IMG_9761_kicsiThe delivery service (on bikes of course!) started on the very day we ate in Köles. Therefore now you can order your lunch in the 6th, 7th, 8th districts and the southern part of the 13th. Everything was delicious thanks to the two chefs – Ádám and Rita -, we highly recommend to try this place even if you are lucky and don’t have to follow a special diet!

The owners of Köles don’t sell any Coca-cola products, but they have 7-8 different types of syrups from Hungarian producers what you can try with some fizzy water. Unfortunately they are unique with this solution as well, since 99% of the restaurants are serving unhealthy, sugary drinks what are producing lots of plastic waste. The bottles of the syrups are refilled by the producers so no waste is produced here!

IMG_9754_kicsiWaste minimization is a core value for Köles. Kriszta is separating the waste by herself. The portions are calculated well, if there is some leftover they usually eat it for dinner. The leftover veggies are used for veggie broth for the rice and buckwheat, so they don’t need to use any flavor enhancer. Also they use a special salt from Transylvania, and obviously they don’t use any artificial flavors or preservatives. Their latest improvement is also waste related: they found an animal shelter where they can donate the any food waste, so they don’t have to dispose that either. The owners are so determined they even asked us before the opening how can they be greener, but they were already so well-informed that we almost could not advice them anything new! Of course, they became a member of our Heroes of Responsible Dining Network quickly. They created a very unique restaurant within only two months and they filled a huge gap on the restaurant map if Budapest. Let’s go and try it yourself!