Zeller Bistro is one of the highly regarded restaurants in Budapest, and rightly so.
The interior has a charming, farmhouse theme with exposed brick walls, and rustic features such as a ladder on the wall, ladders used as shelving, and a heart shaped wreath made out of used wine corks. The light wooden planks also contribute to that farmhouse feel.
The tables also have a light hearted theme, and remind me of school desks. There is butcher paper on the table, and many people use the provided colored pencils to make drawings.
The menu is small, but appears to be focused on local ingredients and family favorites.
The meal started off with a basket of white and dark bread. The bread had a nice crunchy crust, and was very tender inside.
We ordered a bottle of wine, which also came with a playful presentation. It was served in a plastic bag filled with ice, and set upon on a small stepstool. The owner’s family has a winery, and this wine came from their vineyard. It was nice and fruity.
The Smoked Duck Breast came with a side salad of sorts with mustard seeds. The dressing had very floral notes, and the poached also had a distinct perfumed scent and taste.
The Mushroom Soup had a dark and brooding appearance with droplets of oil dancing on top. The soup had a very intense mushroom earthiness which was very pleasant. The oil and cream helped brighten up the dish.
The Crispy Fish had a playful presentation. Reminiscent of the fries you would get in Amsterdam, they were served in a paper cone. The fish were cooked perfectly, nice and crunchy without being greasy. It was served with a thin Ranch type dressing.
The Goose Liver Parfait came with homemade bread and slices of apples. The goose liver was velvety smooth, and a pleasant liver taste. It didn’t have that “metallic” twinge that liver often has.
The Pork Tenderloin was perfectly cooked, and remained moist and juicy. It was paired with a zucchini bulgur dish that had a nice chew to it.
The Burgundy Beef Cheek was fall apart tender. It had a great beefy flavor. The portio was also very generous.
The Carrot Cake was a nice, thick slice which was very moist and dense, yet somehow seemed somewhat “light” at the same time. There was a thick layer of cream cheese frosting topped with a massive amount of walnuts. The frosting wasn’t too sweet which was also appreciated.
This was by far the best meal in Budapest. The owner is very friendly, as is all the staff. The food is outstanding with very reasonable prices. This would be my “go to” restaurant whenever in Budapest.