I must confess my life wasn’t always about food. As a teenager, I was more fascinated by the world of fashion. Even then I liked good foods, but I was more excited about good shoes than the culinary adventures of Csongrád County in 2000. The world has changed a lot since then (at the expense of my wardrobe). Recently I thought about how I liked to watch the phenomenon when the creations of luxury brands filtered down to the fast fashion shops. This was the first thing that came to mind when I learned that Tamás Széll and Szabina Szulló are about to open a place at the Downtown Market. In the fashion industry, this could either lead to great success or great failure. Without further ado here are my experiences about test period of Stand25.
This may come as a surprise but the Michelin-Star chefs decided to set up shop inside a marketplace. In reality, however, it’s brilliant. Simple, well-known homely dishes prepared impeccably in a relaxed environment. It seems their idea was so good that a great deal of attention was directed towards them on the day of their opening. It wasn’t easy to get a table there even if you had a reservation. A watchful guest took a peek at the reservation table and managed to snatch a table away from someone else right in front of our eyes. I wouldn’t recommend this method to anyone though because you can call them about reservations from 10 am.
A near-chef experience
Their menu, as expected, is not too complicated. But no one goes to a market to sample all the dishes of a Bocuse d’Or finalist but to eat well-known dishes. Of course it’s not a problem it the dish exceeds our expectations, in fact, it’s an added bonus here. Our experiences show us that the renowned chefs bring quality we expected from them. They do this with such coolness as if they were making tea all the while they’re only separated by a glass wall from their guests.
Appetizers in harmony
The menu card is not long, but it’s still hard to make a choice. I had the hardest time with the appetizers. As much as I wanted to get the goulash soup, the mushroom, pear and marrow trio won. On the one hand I’m incapable of saying no to bone marrow and on the other hand, it’s made on a charcoal grill that was not allowed at the Bocuse d’Or finals in Lyon. Even though there’s mushroom and marrow in there, the dish is light and a drop of vinegar next to the pear adds freshness and harmony to it. The dish is served with bread accompanied by Panificio il Basilico and it’s perfect. I also tried the thirds appetizer, the mangalica pate. It’s consistency and seasoning was perfect.
The miracle of layered potatoes
For the main course, I chose the same layered potatoes au gratin that made its debut at the 2014 Gourmet Festival. It was so good that if I could I’d whisper love songs to it all day. By the way, this is a sensitive subject for me. Dry and hard potatoes and rubbery hard-boiled eggs are enough to make me want to kill myself. Of course, there were no such thing here, the whole dish came together perfectly and they were generous with it. I didn’t have to search for the eggs or the sausages. The only thing that I found to be a bit extreme, were the pickled beetroots with horseradish. Even though it gives a well-needed contrast to the dish, I still found it more intense than it should have been. I felt like the supporting actor stole the show. I also tried the deer cheek stew which was so soft I could cut it with a spoon.
A classic ending
I’m not a big fan of desserts. The somlói was fine, but the chestnut puree was surprisingly the highlight of my whole lunch. Not too sweet and luckily without any unnecessary twists. It was just like any mom would make it, with a cherry on top.
The portions were quite large. So large I couldn’t eat them all and I didn’t get hungry again until late night. This is however reflected in their prices. The overpriced dishes plus two bottles of soda cost 45 euros for two persons. Currently, they only serve lunch but we are eagerly awaiting their next move.