Hungary Winter Drive – First Taste

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It was a straightforward 23km drive from the Liszt Ferenc International Airport to our accommodation the Mecure Buda, which is on the western castle side of town. Budapest is aptly named, a combination of the Buda and Pest districts which developed separately over hundreds of years on opposite sides of the magnificent Danube River which runs through much of Eastern Europe.

Our hotel was in a rather quiet district, and was nothing much to shout about. After checking in, we looked for a good place to have our first dinner, and we found our way to this nearby restaurant:

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Márványmenyasszony Restaurant

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The lovely decor inside.

It was a cozy place with nice decor, and was practically empty at that time of the evening. We ordered some food and proceeded to enjoy our dinner. The food did not disappoint. Every dish was exquisitely prepared and well-presented, with a generous portion of food. The accompanying bread and butter was also tasty, and went especially well being dipped into the Hungarian Beef Goulash Soup which we ordered. The lamb and chicken were nice, and the mashed potato was amazing. The best part of the meal was the spicy paprika sauce!

This would prove to be one of our favorite restaurants for our entire trip so if you happen to be in the area, it is well-worth a visit! Click HERE for directions.

Generally, we found Hungarian food to be tasty, but a little too salty for our taste buds. True enough, the day after I returned to Singapore, I had to make a visit to the doctor to review my blood test results. He checked my blood pressure and commented that it had gone up from previous readings. He advised me to cut down on my salt intake, and immmediately my wife, who was beside me, could not help but burst out in laughter. She had been talking the whole trip about how salty the food was. 😛 I figure, it is better to be salty and tasty, than to be salty and not tasty. Okay, maybe it is time for me to detox after all the feasting on my vacation!

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Grilled lamb

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Chicken with cheese

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Beef Goulash


This is part 4 of my Hungary Winter Drive blog series,  click HERE for part 5 where I share about our day trip out to the Matra Mountains where my daughter saw snow for the first time!

My wife and I enjoy having guests over at our place for fellowship over a nice home-cooked meal. If you would like to drop by to try some of my wife’s wonderful cooking and to talk more about travel and life, do drop me a mail at lenniechua@gmail.com to arrange a dinner date! Everyone welcome!


2017 Hokkaido Winter Drive Blog Series

2016 Drive from Singapore to Thailand Blog Series

2017 Drive from Singapore to Thailand Blog Series

 

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Restaurant Congee Rice Noodles – Melaka

We had our late lunch at this restaurant today, just after it opened at 3pm. This was our first visit and we were happy to find somewhere air-conditioned, where we could eat in comfort shielded from the scorching heat outside. 
The prices of the dishes here are slightly more pricy than what we can find in the vicinity, but still reasonable as the portions are sizable. 

We ordered 6 dishes in total: Marmite Chicken (Rating: 8/10 a bit too much sauce), Cereal Prawns (8/10 not enough cereal), Kum Heong Lala (9/10 flavourful with good balance of spices), Gong Bao Frog Legs (8/10), Signature Toufu (8/10 simple but well executed), Seaweed Soup (7/10, decent but not outstanding).

There were so many other dishes we wanted to order, the food photos looked so tasty, but I guess we would have to come back another day to try. 

All in all, we think this is a great find. There is something here for everyone. Our kids were all raving about their respective dishes and they asked to come back!

Cobalt Restaurant, Pullman Saigon City

This restaurant is on the 30th floor of the Pullman Saigon City, and it offers some spectacular unblocked views of Ho Chi Minh City. This is a classy restaurant, featuring a whole wall of wine displayed elegantly in a glass cabinet. The spread of food here, however, is disappointingly limited, without any local cuisine or even the standard western fish & chips or burgers. In the end, we settled for two pastas (there were only three pasta options) and a Lobster Bisque soup. The meal came with bread and spread as an appetizer, which was delicious. The soup was thick and tasty as well, with nice texture. The pastas were nice with generous portions of ingredients.

Summary:

Lobster Bisque with Beignets VND235,000 Rating 7/10

Spaghetti with Clams in White Wine Sauce VND315,000 Rating 8/10

Orrecchietti with Italian Sausage and Goat Cheese VND315,000 Rating 8/10

Total bill VND432,499 (After Accor Plus 50% off)

Royal Saigon Restaurant, HCMC

We wanted to try this restaurant because of its high rating on Tripadvisor, and we braved the pouring rain to get to the restaurant for an early dinner at about 5pm. When we arrived, the restaurant was completely empty and we proceeded to a slightly bigger table with 4 seats. The male wait staff (who previously didn’t even bother showing us to our seats) came to us and now insisted that we take a smaller table with two seats. We complied, not wanted to be uncooperative. 
We then ordered our food and hoped for the best. Frankly, the food was rather disappointing, the platter and rolls we ordered were ordinary at best. Too dry, burnt at some parts and not enough herb taste. The Pho Bo was overly salty and ironically not sufficiently flavourful. The only saving grace was the Bun Thit Nuong, which was well done. 

Over all, we feel that this restaurant is rather overrated. You can get much better Vietnam food at the price you will be paying here. We left the restaurant full but unsatisfied, with a consensus that we won’t be coming back.

Summary:

“Welcome to Vietnam” Platter – Fried spring rolls with pork meat, fried wonton, grilled minced pork skewers, quail eggs coated with seafood and rice, shrimp wrapped in potato, fresh spring rolls with shrimp and pork. VND90,000 (5/10)

Bo la lot – Traditional minced beef-pork & betel leaf rolls VND50,000 (3/10)

Bun thit nuong – Rice noodles with pork, spring roll, fresh salad, cucumber, pickled carrots, peanuts and fish sauce dip VND65,000 (8/10)

Pho Bo – Beef noodle soup with fresh herbs VND50,000 (4/10)

1.5l Bottled Water VND30,000