12 Sep

What a place! Törökméz

My eyes lit up when I was given the opportunity to write a review of this restaurant that offers breakfast among several other delicious food all day. The restaurant’s titular sweet (Törökméz – Honeycomb toffee) is my favourite childhood treat.
My hosts, Réka Dékány, the owner of the restaurant and her husband Béla, embarked on this adventure without any catering experience. The business is run by Réka, but they told the story together by perfectly supplementing each other, the story of achieving their dreams, which culminated in the opening of their exciting restaurant-cafe and delicatessen in District 2, Margit utca 27.granola
We sat down in the patio, and while Béla ordered the coffees for us, Réka told me that the special name comes from the cultural heritage of the area and serves as an homage to the home-made and locally made cookies and honeycomb toffee they offer. The design that puts the hexagonal cell in the centre, harmonises with every elements from the menu to the wall paint till the take away bag.

“We wanted to create a place, where we can build up an informal and personal relationship with our guests. We want to turn to them with care and offer them a friendly service, to know how they like their coffee and what they are doing on the weekend.” – told Réka. The size and atmosphere of the place was perfect. In the meantime my tasty milk coffee arrived and we started to talk about the recent changes to the menu that Réka had shaped to their combined tastes by the conspicuous presence of spicy food.
“Our speciality at Törökméz is that we offer breakfast all day. This surprises people – but it’s important toknow, we’re not just a breakfast place. We offer cheese and ham salads, home-made cookies and wine from our Hungarian wine selection – said Béla.

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Let’s taste from the offer

If you arrive in the early morning hours, you can choose among five types of omelettes, two types of fried eggs, ham&eggs, or bacon&eggs. They prepare French toast (made without using oil) with garlic or Hungarian style sour cream, cooked sausages or a home designed muesli speciality, called Granola with Greek yoghurt, seasonal fruits and delicious honey from the Brunner beekeeper. I recommend the fresh croissants with homemade jam, or a fresh additive-free bread from Artizan bakery with homemade aubergine spread. Healthy Sandwich fans attention. Not only there are eight types of sandwiches, but you can make your own appetizing sandwich from the cheese, ham and sausage selection of the deli counter. Personally I love when a place allows me to tailor its food according to my taste. The number of varieties are high if it’s about sandwiches that you receive with green salad in a French baguette. You can also ask for tastes of spicy Hungarian Grey cattle sausage or duck liver mousse with apple and fruit-mustard in a delicious gluten free baguette. All sandwiches are toasted on request.
It’s always difficult to choose one dish from a delicious selection. I eventually selected a feta cheese omelette with spicy hot sauce, just as my hosts recommended.

“We both love spicy food. On our trips abroad, we tried and tasted many types of salsas before we finally found the brand with an original taste, called Tapatíó – said Béla. We had to take some of it home – we though, and started to search for distribution. For that reason, we offer the sauce at Törökméz. We serve it together with several dishes and encourage our customers to try it if they like spicy food, because it matches with food that we don’t even think of. He was right, I didn’t regret taking his recommendation. The taste of the creamy feta cheese omelette wasn’t overwhelmed by the hot sauce, on the contrary, the heat made the omelette more savoury. The dairy free organic kifli (a Hungarian pastry) that was produced with using chemical-free grain, and side salad made the meal perfectly substantial.
As an innovation, I have to mention the Breakfast Burrito, cheddar cheese omelette with vegetables and salsa, wrapped in a tortilla. It makes me hungry just to write about.
While we were discussing the café nature of the place, my eyes stuck on the Elderflower Champagne from Badacsony. After a little hesitation – since I was on my way to work after all – and some encouragement from Réka, I asked for a glass. The light and sweet, wine-based, elderflower flavoured drink with low alcohol content brought on the sensation of summer nights in Balaton. While I was sipping on my champagne contentedly, Réka started on a topic very close to my heart.
“If you feel like coming in for a coffee or a cookie, we offer homemade, magnificent cookies, made by Györgyi, who is a violinist and for everybody’s joy, crazy about cookie making” – said Réka. What an enviable hobby! One of the permanent items on the menu and a favourite of regulars is the flour-free all chocolate torte, made from Belgian chocolate and raspberry sauce. I didn’t even need to ask for it, Béla packed me one to go. His enigmatic smile told me that he imagined my expression while I’m eating the torte. Here, you can eat apple pie, homemade zserbó (a Hungarian cookie), carrot cake or a blood orange and almond cookie with pomegranate and blood orange sauce.
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Coffees are made from two types of 100% Arabica coffees, the first is a single origin, light roast from Guatemala, the other one is a wood roasted Italian craft coffee from Umbria, called Caffè BELARDI. Cream can be substituted with oat, rice or almond milk. Among the tea selection, which encompasses 13 tea varieties, you can find Japanese Sencha tea with cherry tree flower, white tea with bergamot and mandarin or caffeine free fruit tea with apple bits, roasted almond and cinnamon. There are two kinds of hot chocolates too: a fair trade, 70% dark chocolate one, manufactured by Tibor Szántó and a thick, Dutch cocoa blend.

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If you get hungry in the afternoon or evening, a sandwich, whose ingredients can be selected from the cheese, ham or salami at the deli counter, and a glass of delicious Hungarian wine might be the perfect choice for a light lunch. In favour of the renewed menu, the salad selection also broadened and offers for example artichoke salad with Pecorino cheese, salad with grilled cheese wrapped in bacon, or Bresaola salad with truffle oil. As a salad lover I’m eager to try them, so I’ll certainly be coming back.

On the drinks menu, you can find popular homemade lemonades in various creative flavours, like prickly pear, rose water and almond. I chose a raspberry flavoured one and I have to say, it’s been a while since I’ve had such delicious lemonade. Their secret is that the lemonade made from Hungarian squash and fresh fruits instead of syrups. Organic apple juice from a local retailer and freshly squeezed juices like beetroot-carrot-apple-ginger juice or cucumber-celery-apple-lime juice add colour to the selection of healthy drinks.
It’s also ideal for beer lovers; you can choose from lager, wheat, dark, cherry and raspberry beers. The place only offers wine from small Hungarian wineries, Válibor wines for example, which are produced without using any artificial materials. Some of them are from biodynamic lands.

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The food behind the deli counter is in constant rotation and has an important role in Réka and Béla’s business: always full of culinary and delicious items, emphasising the importance of selling healthy Hungarian products. For example additive-free and preservative-free Paleo biscuits, health-conscious and “everything free” Mentes biscuits, organic and gluten-free corn snacks from Biosaurus, or the Dióhéj vegan, oven roasted oil seeds that you can eat without any regret. “This delicatessen is one of the few places, where Balázs Tóth’s craft chilli sauces and pickles, called Chabo, are available. The process of the cultivation and the producing of these products (such as pickles with chilli, zucchini pickles with chilli or the Fruity chilli sauce with apricot), were done in an ecological way. – told me Béla.

The business associates take the effort to maintain sustainability both in their restaurant and their home. They have recently received the Sustainable Catering classification. It came naturally to them to use led lights, environmentally friendly cleaning products (Citromax) and mostly biodegradable or recycled packaging materials. In the well-designed bathroom, organic soap can be found. Fortunately the kitchen produces minimal waste, thanks to the idea of making your own sandwich, and suppliers materials that use environmental-friendly packaging materials and returnable bottles. The oil need of the kitchen is very small, nothing is prepared in oil. For what little they need, they use extra virgin olive oil and French butter. Both the restaurant’s and the delicatessen’s ingredients and also wine list have a huge emphasis on the Hungarian goods. This is wonderful, since our country has amazing products.
My day had a good start in this cosy, unconventional and dog friendly place. Its informality, broad and exciting selection and creative approach distinguish it from other restaurants.
And Béla’s assumption was correct, the all chocolate cake was extremely delicious!

Written by: Judit Szirmai, translated by: Magdi Németh
Pictures by: Törökméz (Thank you!)