I can’t think when I last wrote a review. Maybe never. But here I am. I am in Budapest for work, and this is my last night here. I am staying nearby and was lucky enough to score a table when someone canceled last minute and I just happened to be asking about a reservation.
In short this was one of the best meals of my life. Every bite of food brings a smile. I actually have tear in my eye as I write this thinking about the totality of the experience. Every bite is so carefully constructed. You can feel and taste the forethought that goes into it all. Butter that’s been fermented for two weeks. Pork raised on the chef’s farm. Mushrooms foraged by the staff. Wine pairings that include a water pairing. An herbal tea that you “make” with dessert using a single leaf. Even the dishes with ingredients I would not ordinarily gravitate towards (eg goats milk, lamb, etc) stand out as extraordinary. The dishes are small with only 2-3 bites each, but there are 15 of them, so get over the fact that you can’t have more of that lamb dish. Be grateful you got to try it all and just imagine how good the next dish will be.
But what makes Salt so very enjoyable is that while the food is very serious, there is an easiness about the experience that makes it all feel…. homey. At some level I hope Salt stays with “just” a single Michelin star. Anything more risks propelling this gem into the big leagues where too often chefs play defense and the experience becomes stiff and contrived.
It’s a real price tag here (especially for Hungary) but man oh man is it worth it.
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