After our drinks at Der Raum the other night with WinWin, we decided to venture down the road to The Hungarian for dinner as Der Raum doesn’t have any nibbles. I’ve never had Hungarian food before (apart from the occasional non-traditional orders of goulash at not so Hungarian cafes around Melbourne) so I thought this would be a nice experience.
My decision was also partly because of reading their online menu, not so much for the food but for the humour. I found it such an interesting read that I spent more time giggling than really deciding what I wanted to eat (both on the computer and in the restaurant). In my opinion, usually if the owners of a restaurant put a lot of effort in writing up a menu, then there would have been an equal amount of effort put into the food and the service. It also shows that the owners care about its patrons and I was right. Go and read the menu for yourself if you’re interested.
A sneak peak at their menu:
“Hungarian Beef Goulash / Marhapörkölt $19,90
The authentic, traditional, world-famous, classic, unforged,
one-and-only, unforgettable, sensational, most popular,
most requested, etc., running out of adjectives here…,
the true Hungarian beef stew mixed into a saucy mess
with nokedli; cooked by a real Hungarian,
in real Hungarian spices, with real Hungarian ingredients,
from a really old, original, Hungarian recipe.
No! There’s still more!
Choice of hot or mild.
Now, that’s really it.”
The decor of the restaurant was clearly very homey and warm. It’s quite a small restaurant which fits roughly 30 people and bookings are highly recommended if you don’t want to be disappointed. I should also mention that there are actually quite a few discount vouchers or special deals on their website (in the download section) which I only saw after we went to the restaurant! Shame because now I really want to try that free grappa. There are also interesting discounts such as Good Old Monday (receive % off your meal based on your age) and Crowd Control (person making a booking for 6 or more gets $10 off their meal). What fantastic ideas and good incentives to attract more customers.
They have a small but nice list of Hungarian and other European wines and spirits, although we didn’t have any. I was quite dead from the 1.5 drinks I had at Der Raum already. I’m so shameful.
Instead of more alcohol, I opted for the interesting sounding Hungarian Peach Juice (375ml for $3.90). It didn’t really taste like fresh peach juice, but rather somewhat like Nestle Peach Tea, except without the tea. If that makes sense. The juice also comes in a 1litre for $8.90 option.
As all the reviews online suggested the main meals were very large and we were both not that hungry, we thought we’d order 1 entree and 1 main to share. The entree we ordered was the Crumbed Cheese ($9.90) which is only available from Thursday to Sunday. It’s a ‘thick slice of cheese crumbed and seasoned, then snap-fried quickly and served while it’s soft and melting inside, but crisp and crunchy on the outside. Served on a bed of lettuce.’
Indeed, the outside was very crunchy and when WinWin halved it, the melted cheese inside oozed out. I was impressed. The taste was fantastic. I love cheese and I love fried stuff so this was perfect. It’s not cheap for the size that we got though.
The main we decided on was the 19th Century Lamb Goulash for $24.90. It’s tender lamb cooked in dry red wine and fresh tomatoes, yellow capsicums and spices. It also came with parsleyed potatoes. I actually expected the meal to be bigger because if I was actually hungry, I could have eaten the whole thing by myself. The goulash was quite nice though. The meat was very tender (as to be expected from hours of cooking) and the flavours have deeply penetrated them. The parsleyed potatoes were very soft and filling and went well with the goulash.
The goulash also came with a mini salad. The one we chose (you get a choice between 4 types) was the Hungarian Cucumber Salad, which was more or less just pickled cucumbers. It went well with the goulash though as it added a bit of acidity to the otherwise quite meaty and heavy dish. I should have asked for sour cream but I forgot.
If all the dishes on the menu were like the goulash we ordered, I might not want to come back to the restaurant, not because it wasn’t delicious but rather I thought the portions were not as big as I expected and for the price, probably not the most value for money either. Also it was a stew like dish that Yuye is capable of cooking at home. However, I definitely do want to come back and try their Der Monster Schnitzel ($21.90 or 17.90 if you book online 3 days in advance) because I’m very intrigued at exactly how big and tasty this monster is. I also want to try their very traditional Hungarian Beef Goulash. So, I probably will be back again, next time with Yuye and also after a drink or two at Der Raum. 🙂
Phone: 0421 993 132 (I think this is the owner’s mobile)
362 Bridge Rd, Richmond VIC 3121