Holiday Foodsteps: Alfoldi Etterem, Budapest

We were on the lookout for a cheap, hearty meal in the heart of Pest and the words "homestyle cooking" jumped right out at us from the pages of our travel guide.

4th Kecskeméti street, 

I like a good roll to start off a meal and these were really something different. We thought they were put on our table by mistake, these interesting looking Alfoldi scones, but when no one came to take them away, we decided it would only be best to dig in. We found out later that these paprika scones are an Alfoldi specialty. I usually try to refrain from filling up on starter rolls but these spicy, slghtly cheesy-tasting scones were so addictive that it was quite a feat not to go for "just one more little bite". My only gripe was that the scones weren't served warm.

Deep fried cheese on a bed of rice - mistaking this for the foie gras risotto, we happily dug in, commenting that what we thought were deep fried slabs of cheese and foie gras didn't taste like foie gras at all. It took us more than a forkful each of the delicious crunchy-on-the-outside-melty-on-the-inside cheese to realise that they had messed up our order.

Fisherman's soup - a spicy, paprika based fish soup that was hearty and appetising. Had I been blindfolded, I would have said without a doubt, that they had brought us a bowl of laksa. Who would have thought, laksa in Hungary. I always find it funny when I find dishes halfway across the world that resemble something from home - similar flavours, different cultures.

Hekkfile Dorozsma's Style - fish in a tomato-paprika sauce, served with egg noodles. This dish really drove home the homestyle cooking concept for us. A simple dish of fresh fish and soft, silky egg noodles, no fancy presentation - it felt as if we had been invited into someone's home for dinner.

Goose-liver risotto with cheese. Having sent the deep fried cheese back, the dish we'd been eager to try finally made its way to the table. Not quite knowing what to make of it, we gave the dish a cautious once over before taking the plunge. The flavours were surprising - cheesy, and with a well-balanced hint of goose liver, this was a good introduction to goose liver for this bunch of foie gras novices. The combination of risotto, cheese and fatty liver is an extremely filling one - how the dish made it to the starters section of the menu still escapes me.

With free wifi and good prices, this is a cosy, stripped down restaurant serving cosy, stripped down food.

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