Balaton: Wining and dining

I’ve been waiting for my article on Lake Balaton for CNN Travel to be published before I wrote more about it and now it’s live. The article was more of a basic guide and because I just couldn’t include EVERYTHING I saw, ate and did, I wanted to share a bit more here.

발라톤 기사가 CNN Travel에 올라오길 기다렸다. 드디어 올라옴. 다녀간 곳 들은 이야기, 먹은 음식 등 훨씬 많았는데 지면상, 글자수상 제한적이라 안타까웠지만 결과적으로 여기에 더 쓸 수 있어서 다행. 사실 CNN에서는 기사를 약간 이상하게 수정을 하는 바람에 와인에 대한 이야기가 싹뚝 사라져서 더 아쉬웠지만 이건 (나의 주장에도 불구한) 에디터의 몫.

I already mentioned that my husband and I were VERY impressed on the overall idea of Lake Balaton: perfect location (only a two hour drive from Budapest), so many great new/reasonably priced hotels, b&bs and cottages for guests, amazing food and wine, a bunch of sporty activities to do (horseback riding, wakeboarding, swimming, bicycling and sky diving) and some interesting history. Oh and the lake.

THIS lake.

marton_kissBut more about the places later. Starting off with food, as always. I have to say I didn’t know much about the Hungarian cuisine, but thanks to our guide/journalist Adam who works for the brilliant We Love Balaton website, we were able to experience a lot in a very limited amount of time (two full days, to be exact.)

Kistücsök Restaurant is known as one of the fanciest places in town, and the food, interior, music, lighting and service were indeed impeccable.

Kistücsök Restaurant 는 꽤 유명한 레스토랑인데 헝가리 전통 음식을 현대화시키는 것으로 유명하다고. 분위기, 서비스 음식, 와인 등 모두 훌륭했지만 가격은 다른 (발라톤) 곳들보다 훨씬 비쌌다. 세련된 분위기와 음식을 먹고 싶다면 추천.

l1This is head cheese, or disznósajt in Hungarian. It’s not technically cheese, but more a terrine or meat jelly made with head meat of sheep, pigs or cows. Head cheese can be found all over Europe, including Germany, France, Finland, Greece, Sweden and yes, Hungary. It was really like meat jelly. I have to admit I was a bit hesitant to try (I’m pretty brave when it comes to trying new food) because it looked like a bit of dessert, sausage, jelly, all at once. It was a bit confusing? I later tried more at a market, and it was the same feeling. Confusing. G liked it more than me, haha.

얘는 머리고기로 만든 젤리?인데 난 약간 별로였음. 그냥 짭짜름한 머리고기 느낌. 우리나라도 머리고기는 먹는걸로 알고 있는데 여기서는 잼과 같이 줘서 약간 헷갈림. 무슨 맛이 나야 맛있는건지 모르겠는 음식 중 하나였다.

l2My next course was a Catfish goulash stew with cottage cheese and sour cream pasta, which was really yummy with the cheese and little chunks of speck. The stew/sauce was a bit strong for me, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. Of course, G had the wild mushroom pasta, which he finished in like 5 minutes.

헝가리의 대부분의 음식점에서 접할 수 있는 굴라쉬, 스튜 느낌의 음식들. 내가 먹은건 메기 굴라쉬와 코타지 치즈와 사워크림 파스타. 굴라쉬의 소스가 약간 강했다는 것 말고는 좋았음. 메기도 쫄깃쫄깃. G는 버섯 파스타. 사실 내가 고른 음식보다 맛있었다. 히히.

l19I believe it was the second day when we decided to check out the Karolina, which is famous for its cakes, ciabattas and overall cool atmosphere. Despite the awful fog, it was packed and we had to wait a bit for a table. We ordered their ciabattas, one with lacks and one with prosciutto. They were AMAZING. I’m always a bit hesitant to order something so classic like ciabattas, but Karolina did them very well.

치아바타가 유명하다는 캐롤리나 카페. 발라톤이 좋았던 이유 중 하나가 이렇게 다양하고 세련되면서도 가격은 싼 카페, 바들이 많았다는 것. 여긴 특히나 케익이나 샌드위치로 유명해서 헝가리나 발라톤에 사는 젊은이들에게도 인기만점이라고. 치아바타 인정. 치즈가 줄줄줄.

The menu was adorable. The owners/brothers started Karolina to commemorate their grandmother and the menu shows photos of their family. There were photos of the brothers when they were young, and since they still work in the cafe, it was fun trying to figure out which was which. The cafe also serves breakfast and simple dishes, and after ongoing inquiries on their famous recipes, they recently opened a small shop that sell all the ingredients they use for their dishes.






l14Lake Balaton is famous for its wineries and they have so many wineries and wine tours to prove it. Most of the wineries are open daily and offer special wine tours and tastings, but of course it’s always best to call and ask or reserve. We went to the Jásdi Wine Cellar, which is run by István Jásdi and his wife.

햇빛을 반사시켜주는 강 덕분에 발라톤은 와인으로 유명하다. 와이너리가 진짜 많고 우리같은 여행객들에게는 최적인 와인 테이스팅 프로그램들이 엄청 많다. 한 잔에 2유로 정도, 한화로는 3,000원 정도. 다양한 와인들을 추천해주기 때문에 시간 가는지 모르고 마시다간…바로 휙. 우리가 갔던 곳은 Jásdi Wine Cellar 였는데 사실 여기말고도 굉장히 많음. 사이트에 가서 영업시간 확인하거나 전화해서 와인 테이스팅 예약하고 고고! (대부분의 와인 관련업자들은 영어가 가능!)

l15It was a cozy little place, with a nice balcony where you can sit and enjoy the vineyards. (Again, thanks fog. Sigh.) You can try as much wine as you like and one glass costs around 2 euros. Not bad for a full glass, if you ask me. (We ended up taking home three bottles, I think.)

Most of the prices, including food, drinks, cakes, wine, were relatively cheap, sometimes ridiculously, sometimes reasonably (than Germany haha).

먹으면서도 좋았던 점 하나는 가격이 (독일처럼) 비싸지 않았다는 것. 헝가리와 독일을 경제적으로 비교하면 당연한 것일수도 있지만 같은 , 또는 더 높은 수준의 음식이나 서비스를 즐기면서 가격은 거의 반값이라는 건 굉장한 플러스라고 생각. 프라하보다도 약간 싼 정도.


l18Places mentioned:

All photos by rachelsanghee, except for the first one, which is by Marton Kiss.

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