Tucked on the Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út side of Nagymező, Apacuka Varieté might look more like a private art gallery from the outside, with high windows offering passers-by the chance to peer onto avant-garde sculptures set in a chic neo-industrial setting, and while it doubles up as a multi-functional space housing modern art and a trendy bar and club after dark, the food here is nothing to be sniffed at.
Self-titled as a “Fun Dining” restaurant, with its clientele of the young and hip with a desire for good food, you can find it at Apacuka Varieté. From seasonal specials combining Hungarian classics with nouvelle cuisine, such as the Rosé pork tenderloin with a variation of potatoes and fresh lecsó, to decadent French dishes, such as Beef bourguignon with baked vegetables, bacon and homemade bread, there is a wide variety to be had here.
For those who like comfort food with a gourmet twist there is plenty to choose from, such as delicious home-made pasta inspired both by Italian recipes and those closer to home, such as Sztrapacska, ewe cheese potato dumplings served up with crispy bacon bits.
If you like a good burger, then you’ll love the gourmet choices on offer at Apacuka Varieté. Of course, some of these are on the experimental side, such as the Jalapeño-cheese stuffed beefcake burger, but burger purists will love the Apacuka beef burger.
This towering creation comes with a succulent beef patty that’s medium-rare and juicy, served on a crispy bun stacked with cheddar cheese, salad, pickled cucumber, tomato, mushroom sauce, crispy caramelised onions, mustard and home-made ketchup. If you’re extra hungry you can order a menu, which comes with a side of crispy steak fries and home-made ketchup, the latter of which tends more towards the spicy and herby than what you’re used to from the bottle.
Wine lovers will be satisfied with the list. Apacuka Varieté carries a wide range of quality Hungarian wines from respected vineyards such as Sauska and St. Andrea, offering a range from individual grape varieties such as Pinot Noir, Kadarka and Furmint to Cuvée. But if you want something a bit stronger, there is also a strong cocktail menu offering all the classics, so if you’re starting the weekend or in a festive mood, you can hit up for a Cosmopolitan, Margarita, Long Island Ice Tea or any other cocktail from their long list.
Even though the dessert menu is minimalist, the quality will definitely satisfy even the most discerning sweet-tooth. The coconut and blueberry cheesecake combines the elegant sweetness and creaminess of the coconut with the tart and tangy flavour profile we’ve come to associate with cheesecakes. Beautifully presented and the perfect way to round up the meal.
Apacuka Varieté is the ideal venue for those looking for a chic place to dine with good food at affordable prices. Open from the afternoon, until 7pm this restaurant is quiet and relaxed, but once night hits the bar area is heaving with crowds coming for a drink and a snack. The restaurant is huge, with a dining area, a gallery, a bar and a basement used for parties. There are private function rooms available too and in the summer there is a terrace.
All in all, a popular spot for modern art lovers and foodies wanting something a bit different.
Address: Nagymező utca 54-56, District VI
Open: Monday-Thursday, Sunday 4pm-midnight, Friday and Saturday: 4pm-2am
Tel.: (06-1) 269-1317