Q: What is it? A: One of Budapest’s more talked about ‘modern’ restaurants. Failed to impress me, though.
The Hungarians take their job seriously.
Search for Hungarian cuisine and Wikipedia will tell you it is ”arguably the spiciest cuisine native to Europe”. That is something that I have a hard time to believe. What I can tell is that Hungarians are serious about some of their traditional dishes, for instance the libamájpástétom. Yes, that’s foie gras for y’all. Exactly. Goose liver. The Hungarian food seems to come in funky packages. Even at rather modern hotels, like the Lánchíd 19, the concierge will try to book you in at a traditional place where somebody in traditional clothing will abuse a violin the traditional way while you are trying to enjoy your libamáj. As I wanted me and my friends to be able to enjoy the food minus the violin, I’d politely said no thanks. The concierge then presented the Dió as an alternative – traditionally Hungarian cuisine made modern.
No complaints about the food.
It should be said once and for all: You will feel more at home in Budapest if you are a carnivore. Save any ambitions to save the cows or the geese for another trip. The kitchen of Dió is by no means an exception. There are fish alternatives but they are outnumbered at a 4/15 ratio.
So how modern is it? Even if they claim to mix ”ancient Hungarian ingredients and spices with the elements of modern gastronomic culture”, the good folks at Dió are not exactly geared up for molecular cooking. This doesn’t mean that the food is bad. Oh, no. It just means that it’s not that easy to detect any modern influences. Arrive with a different set of expectations and you will leave as a happier guest.
So why the lukewarm review?
The food was fine. My grilled goat cheese was stellar and the prime beef tenderloin was better than just nice. Add to that the bottle of St. Andrea Merengő 2006, (a decent wine, although quite expensive at this restaurant). So what wasn’t fine? Maybe it’s just me, but I really felt that the staff at Dió looked upon their guests as some kind of disturbance; like we were the annoying neighbours on the block who interrupted their important business. That attitude will not work, especially not at a restaurant that advertises itself as ”a new pearl of gastronomy in Budapest”. On their website they say that their staff is ”always ready to make every effort to fulfill the wishes of our guests to make the event unforgettable for them.” That is quite a statement. So how about making their guests feel welcome? Greeting them with a friendly hello, perhaps? Implement such a revolutionary concept and I’m pretty sure that reviews such as this one will get more favourable.
Monday – Sunday: 12:00 – 24:00
Dió Etterem Restaurant & Bar
Sas str. 4.