Tuesday, 25 October 2011

H is for Hungary @ The Gay Hussar

There really wasn’t much choice when it came to H. Honduras or Hungary. After an arduous time scanning the Internet for a Honduran restaurant in London. I gave up. Hungary it was gonna be.
Now there really isn’t that much choice when it comes to Hungarian restaurants in London. Well you have the Gay Hussar, and well you have the Gay Hussar. So the Gay hussar it was going to be for our next meeting of this crazee tour of London restaurants.
Now all I know about Hungarian food is two things. Paprika and Goulash, and to be honest I know very little about them both. This was going to be fun.
The Gay Hussar is a long standing veteran of the Soho world. One wall is lined with cartoon drawings of its more famous patrons, mainly old Labour M.P.’s. I liked the one of Paxman, cold of been a photo it was so lifelike.

The menu has a vast array of Hungarian dishes on offer. Ranging from some very nicely smoked Hungarian sausages to a goose and pork pate, and the house speciality a chilled wild cherry soup.
The smoked Hungarian sausages were very good, and to be honest I though they were the hit of all the starters. A nice smokey meaty taste that lingered lightly on the palette. I’d love to know where to buy them. Really good.

The goose and pork pate was very large for a starter but the velvet texture of the paté was very good. Shame about the toast it was served with. I think it had been toasted a few hours before and was going a tad soggy.

When in a Hungarian you have to do the cliché thing and go for the veal goulash with galuska, which we were told were Hungarian dumplings. They actually tasted like mashed gnocchi. The goulash was nicely seasoned, although I was expecting a tad more paprika, but maybe that is how it is supposed to be. I was a tad light on meat especially for £16. A tad disappointing.

The stuffed cabbage with sauerkraut, sausage and bacon was a hearty dish deserving of any Bavarian or Alsatian menu. Good smokey flavour in the sausage and bacon, that lifted this dish. I wish I had ordered that instead.

The Weiner Schnitzel was large and nicely cooked, so I was told. It looked like a proper schnitzel that you would find in any Middle European eatery.
The staff at the Gay Hussar are a friendly and a very busy bunch, but always with a smile when ever we asked them for more drinks.

All in all the Gay Hussar served us some good food, but it was an easily forgettable meal. Just damn those Hondurans for not coming to London in droves during the 80’s. But I guess it was just easier for them to get to L.A.

Gay Hussar on Urbanspoon


The Grubworm said...

The averageness is a bit of a shame, but maybe to be expected in a landmark famous joint. Is it trading off it's reputation, or have standards gone up I wonder?

Te Hungarian food I have tried in Hungary has been pretty good - lots of rich spice and meaty dishes, small gnocchi like pasta served in creamy sauce, goose livers served soft and tasty and of course the wonderfully meaty, warming goulash.

maybe it is food suited better to home cooking, or maybe the lack of competition means that they don;t have to try as hard as they might. That said, the sausage does sound very tasty. And if there is somethingHungary is good at, it's smoked meats.

Grumbling Gourmet said...

I used to eat here on occasion when I worked in Soho and to be honest, I think that it's close to being as good as you're going get from the cuisine. That's not to say you had a substandard recollection or a bad day at a wonderful restaurant, more that there's only so far you go with Hungarian cuisine and another reason why there's only the one Hungarian restaurant in town!


Mzungu said...

Mr G & Mr GG - Maybe the Gay Hussar is living off past glories. I could see that deep down was some good things wanting to come out. Maybe a trip to the motherland is in order as the smoked meats were good.

Kay @ Chopstix2Steaknives said...

Came back recently from Hungary and I do like what I ate. Maybe a trip there is the way to go.

Mzungu said...

Kay - I think you could be right there .... Nothing like mixing a bit of travel and eating together .....