Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Costes: Michelin-Starred Hungarian Cuisine




One of the best restaurants in Hungary, Costes was the first restaurant to receive a Michelin star in 2010. Stylish and elegant, Costes Restaurant is all about forgetting the outside world for a couple of hours, offering a relaxed sophisticated atmosphere to enjoy top international cuisine and inspired tasting menus with whimsical Hungarian touches. The service is flawless and friendly, and dishes are prepared with the finest fresh ingredients. With it's rich culinary traditions and an ongoing revolution in the field of gastronomy, Budapest is one of the hotspots on the world map of fine fusion cuisine of modern international and Hungarian dishes. With a selection of four tasting menus and wine pairing options from which to choose, one can also decide to go à la carte, but for the full Costes culinary experience, we decided to dive into the 6-course tasting Menu with wine pairings. Inspired by the seasons, the tasting menu started with two amuse-bouche: the first Salmon Tartare Cones garnished with shaved truffle, followed by a glass platter with Gin & Tonic Macaroons, Savoury Marshmallows with crushed pistachios, and Hungarian Cheese Puffs garnished with paprika enjoyed with a bottle of Hungarian Garamvári Champagne. The following six courses were beautifully presented and seasonal inspired, focused on traditional Hungarian flavours with a modern twist. The desserts were spectacular, fabulously presented and absolutely delicious. The final culinary coup de grâce was a three-tier wooden box that arrived at our table at the end of the meal with handmade chocolates and Kürtőskalács, known as chimney cakes in Hungary, a popular Magyar pastry. 



Portuguese executive Chef Miguel Rocha Vieira who once graced the kitchens of El Bulli
established Costes on the culinary road map

Chef Ezster Palagyi took over the kitchen of Costes this month

Mini Salmon Tartare Cones with shaved truffle

Gin & Tonic Macaroons, Savoury Marshmallows with crushed pistachios, 
and Hungarian cheese puffs with paprika

Glass of Hungarian Garamvári Champagne

Flakey and exquisitely buttery Töpörtyüs Pogácsa, a Hungarian traditional scone and a whole wheat bun with sesame and poppy seeds

Selection of chilled butters served on cold Himalayan salt block, with plain, red pepper, basil and garlic, olive, and duck fat rounds of butter 

Whimsically served ring pull tin can was jellied pork with sliced hard boiled egg, 
horseradish and buttered crumbs

The first wine pairing of the 6-course Tasting Menu, a 2015 Bott Frigyes Sauvignon Blanc 
from South Slovakia

Delicious with an easy multi-layered character, the wine was lovely 

Crab & Corn Dish

Corn Salad with Sprouts

Wine pairing with the Duck Liver, a 2014 Tokaj

Tokaji Marinated Duck Liver Foie Gras with Melon and Puffed Rice

The 2nd wine pairing, a 2015 Mikloscabi Csoda Ezerjo from Hungary

Free Range Egg Yolk Ravioli with Seasonal Mushrooms

The saffron-hued egg yolk in the ravioli was perfectly cooked and still runny

The 3rd wine pairing, a Gruner Veltliner from the Meinklang vineyards found on the 
eastern side of Neusiedlersee in eastern Austrian close to the Hungarian border

Scallops with Kohlrabi and Salicornia with a Champagne Sauce

The alternate 3rd wine pairing, a 2015 Keknyehi-Laposa Badacsony

European Bass with Pan Seared Marrow and Pattypan Squash

The 4th wine pairing, a 2012 Eszterbauer Szekszard Cabernet Sauvignon

Poached Beef Rump with Braised Ribs, Onions and Polenta

The dessert wine paired with the cheese, a 2007 sweet Szamo Rodni Tokaj

The Cheese Selection with wine jellies shaped a puzzle pieces

Wild Flower Dessert with Lemon and Vanilla Bomb

Encased in a sugar shell, the lemon and vanilla pudding flows out once the shell is broken

A Walk in the Forest Dessert with dry ice flowing off the plate!

Chocolate Tart with Blueberries and Meringue

A dessert named 'Blow Up' because it looks like TNT - Apricot, Peach and Nectarine Gelato

A beautiful dessert box arrives at the conclusion of the 6-course tasting menu;
the top layer was Kürtőskalács, also known as Chimney Cake in Hungary

Round chocolates on the second tier, and lip-shaped chocolates on the bottom tier

Lip-shaped kisses from the chef

A hot of of tea to finish the evening's spectacular tasting menu

Budapest at night from our balcony at the Gresham Palace Four Seasons