Cuisine: Mostly North Indian and Kashmiri dishes, with a good selection of vegetarian food.
Atmosphere: Centrally located on Arany János utca, Kashmir at the same time manages to maintain a cozy, intimate atmosphere. Its decor is simple but warm, and the hand-painted motifs on the wall and pleasant lightning conjure up a piece of India in the heart of Budapest.
Whom to take: Opened in April, Kashmir is already a popular lunch spot for businesspeople from the neighborhood, but it’s also ideal for dinner. A daily business lunch is available on weekdays, and there’s a 15% discount on Sundays.
What we ate: Not being very familiar with Indian food, we found the lengthy menu a bit confusing, but the helpful waiter assisted in selecting dishes. For starters, I chose thupa, a clear soup with savory vegetables and noodles, which had a perfect harmony of spices. My companion tried eggplant cream, which arrived with Indian naan bread, excitingly flavored with turmeric, chili, garlic and cashew.
For the main course, I went for a hot spicy chicken vindaloo. Served in a sauce of red chilies, ginger, garlic and cumin, it was just what I expected from an Indian dish. A big bowl of fresh salad was a perfect garnish. My lunch partner ordered fish coconut curry, which consisted of boneless pieces of fish cooked in a gently spiced sauce. It was an interesting encounter of different tastes, and although she claimed the fish surprisingly reminded her of chicken breast, she was well satisfied.
Surprisingly, we still had a little room for dessert, so we tried ras malai, cottage cheese cakes in milk sprinkled with pistachio, which was very light and not too sweet (as Indian desserts tend to be).
Wine list: There’s a good selection of quality Hungarian wines from every significant wine region in the country. There are also some interesting variations on the refreshing yogurt drink lassi, including lime and mint, or mango and vanilla with white rum.
Service and value: The waiters were very attentive and helpful, taking the time to let us in on the secrets of Indian cuisine. Prices are moderate in light of the central location and quality of the food; the bill for two three-course meals with coffee and mineral water came to Ft 8,300 (€29).
Mihály Bobály, managing director of BTL advertising agency Royal Rocket Kft, has been working in the advertising and media business for over ten years. Formerly, he was managing director of radio station 92.9 Star FM, and was one of the founders of McCann Communications, a division of advertising agency McCann-
Erickson Budapest Kft.
Bobály is a founding member of the Direct Marketing Association (now Direct Marketing Alliance), and also recently obtained the title of Qualified Google Advertising Professional, in line with his focus on search engine marketing.
Bobály has also worked abroad, having spent two years running a hotel in Indonesia, where he became fond of Asian cuisine and learned to cook Indonesian food, as well as learning the local language. He is also a qualified scuba diving instructor.
– Patricia Fischer