UNDECIDED: Budapest’s latest Michelin starred restaurant

Since the beginning of this year, Budapest has 4 Michelin Starred restaurants, Tanti being the last one to be awarded. Not that popular before among the locals, Tanti became overnight a real success. I’ve tried to book a table right after they got the star and the reply was something like ‘Sorry, we are fully booked for the next 2 weeks, please come back.’ Suddenly everybody wanted to go for the Michelin experience. Getting the star raised attention & interest.

Last Saturday, after almost half a year since the first attempt, I have decided to call and try my luck to book a table. To my surprise, this time the restaurant was not fully booked and they were able to give us a table for the very same day. A bit weird for a Saturday evening for a restaurants which used toe be booked 2 weeks ahead.

To be honest, I didn’t have high expectations about this place as I have read different reviews and talked to different people luckier than me, who managed to book a table and to enjoy a meal at Tanti.

The food was great, but the overall experience does not deserve the star. I am definitely not an expert and not a frequent client of the Michelin starred restaurants, but I’ve been to a few and I find myself able to compare.

Why not? Well, for several reasons.

  1. location – it’s on the Buda side, nothing bad in this as the area is beautiful, but it’s located at the ground floor of the shopping centre where I use to go for my food shopping. For me, these 2 are not the perfect fit.
  2. decor & ambiance – it’s quite modern & colourful decorated, with a nice atmosphere, but you still have the impression that you are in a shopping centre.
  3. service – quite slow and low capacity in the kitchen. Though the restaurant was not full, the waiter announce us well in advanced that it will take some time to bring us the food as other people ordered before us. Having said this, they brought the bread & the butter only 15-20mins after ordering & no small plates to eat on.
  4. staff & level of politeness – our waiter warned us that the food portions are small and he is not sure that the main course will be enough. Quite surprising.
  5. other small details which matter – water which comes in a plastic bottle, no differentiated menu (no prices for women), the waiting time for getting anything & no interest of the staff to make their customer’s experience unforgettable.

Despite all the above, the food was great, tasty, flavoured & nevertheless, memorable.The rabbit served in a wurst like shape & consistency seasoned with a spinach puree was unexpectedly luscious and the dessert was absolutely delicious. I must admit that the beer ice cream was quite innovative and perfectly matched the chocolate praline. Congratulations to the chef for this!

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