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Aug 10, 2012 01:05 PM

Budapest - Klassz - avoid!

Longer trip report to follow, but Im partially curious how much pushback I get here. Went to Klassz tonight in Budapest and it took us fortu five minutes to order! I had plans for later that are now shot! And we are polite yet not shrinking violets. Our waitress was spready waaay too thin. I would not come again!

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  1. Hmm.. this place does get REALLY busy, but I think its just a victim of its own success. I definitely wouldn't tell people to avoid it. It seems a shame to base your experience on the wait time alone.

    I ate there twice on my last trip to Budapest with my husband and we both thought the food was great (confit mangalica pork chop, pullet roasted with a seed crust). We had a really friendly waitress who even bubble-wrapped the bottles of wine and palinka we bought for the journey home.

    I wouldn't describe the service as snappy, but then I don't think its the kind of vibe they are going for. You probably noticed that they didn't toss your bill at you either when you were finished. I guess most people who go tend to settle in for the evening and they aren't as fussed if they sit for a while.

    Maybe I'm just too unfussed about stuff like that - but it seems a shame that people who search for 'Klassz Bistro' on the internet will see something saying 'Budapest - Klassz - avoid!' in their results.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jenlemon

      It may be a shame but that's why I put it in the title. There are enough pro-Klassz posts to balance it out! Definitely a victim of its own success. When I say 45 minutes to order, I meant water and drinks. It was an hour for food. That's one experience but others that night were having the same. Perhaps if it had been accompanied by more than a "oops, have you been waiting long?" we would have left happier!

      On the other hand we had a great meal at Bock Bistro! And the wine country is not to be missed! I think Budapest food culture has a bright future!

    2. My own impression as a regular customer of Klassz for more than five years now, is that they have lately, in the last year or two, been having serious difficulty staffing the kitchen. The team of waiters in the restaurant room has not changed once. The staff in the kitchen however seems to be erratic, uneven and can create serious time problems and occasional but rare lapses of quality.
      I would still recommend it, however. Your are right in praising Bock's, which has a higher standard of cooking, but costs 50 to 70% more, not to mention that their wine selection is definitely not better than Klassz.

      1. I had the best risotto of my life there! (And I speak as someone who lived in Italy for years!) I would wait ALL DAY for that risotto!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jetgirly

          We were in Budapest a month ago and thought the food at Klassz was good, though I agree that the service was pretty slow (but not as slow as you experienced -- I think it took us 15-20 minutes to order). Maybe the title should be "avoid if you're in a hurry" :)

        2. Well , what a timely post !

          I am flying to Budapest - 3 nights - from Saturday - staying at the Corinthia on Erzsébet körút

          I had the following places on my list

          1. Klassz !
          2. Baldastzis
          3. Bock Bistro

          all for dinner.

          Am looking for recs for breakfast, dinner , lunch and good 'bar hopping' areas for three early forties blokes looking for good quality beers wines and chowish food.

          So, should I change my plans and abandon Klassz or try to go for lunch ? Is the service better then ?

          Finally ,on of my co travelers is talking about wine tasting at Faust cellars. It scores well on Trip Adviser but my tourist trap antennae are twitching ! Any thoughts ?

          Thanks in advance, folks.

          2 Replies
          1. re: willowan

            Dear Willowan,

            Your plan sounds fine to me. I never visited Baldastzis, but Klassz and Bock's are very good, and relaxed.
            To sample wines you ought to try visit one of the branches of the Bortarsasag wine sellers. The one just across the chain bridge, turning left when you go castle side is top class. They have tasting formal and informal all the time. Bortarsasag are the owners of Klassz by the way. That explains why the restaurant offers permanently 20 wines by the glass at very good prices. The service is never less then adequate. (I was there last Monday.)

            Don't expect too much of the beer scene. The two dominating european players - Heineken and InBev - offer their own pils under different names, posing as local beers, but it is just the same drink as Heineken and Stella. If you did find local micro breweries I certainly would like to hear about them.

            If it were fine dining with formal service you were after, you might consider Csalogany 26 and Borrszo.

            Unbeatable in my opinion for breakfast is Nostro in Krudy Gyula utca, near Mikszath Kalman square. The sun, the croissants, good coffee.

            Enjoy and report back

            1. re: hblnk


              Thanks for posting. We went to both Klassz and Bock. Whilst I preferred the room in Klassz, Bock was attached to our hotel which meant we at least could get a reservation ! Both were excellent. The service in Klassz was outstanding, albeit we turned up at 9.45pm. Favourite courses had to be the crab soup with octopus at Klassz, and the pork chop with cabbage and (heavenly ) potatoes with onion at Bock. Simple food, beautifully prepared - chow heaven !

              If I had to choose again, I would choose to go back to both !

              We also went to the wine festival at the Castle on Sunday night which was a great experience and an absolute bargain opportunity to try lots ( and lots ! ) of Hungarian wines.

              Brilliant city, great food. Thanks for your help.

          2. I am back in Budapest for a month and have been to Klassz twice: once on a Thursday and once on a Saturday night. I had no problems with the service or wait times either time and the food and wine were great as usual.

            I think mc22 should really be a little more discriminating before creating a new post called 'Budapest - Klassz -avoid'. This post title now comes up on the first page of Google results.

            An acquaintance of mine wrote the following description of the approach you can expect from waitstaff in Budapest. Personally I prefer this to the '2 hour, table turning mantra' you get in places like NYC or London.

            --"Waiters in Budapest understand that one comes to a restaurant to spend a pleasant evening with good food among friends (or alone), and that that experience is most cherished when least interrupted. They understand that however artful the food, it will be down one’s gullet and headed for the great equalizing endpoint of the wc within minutes or hours, even though the memories may have Proustian endurance and complexity.

            The waitstaff are there, but one must seek them out; they wait in the old, classic sense of not intruding but being available. There is no rush to deliver a bill (or for that matter one’s food) and one can linger indefinitely even after paying and even when a line clamors at the door in a venue like Klassz on Andrrassy that does not accept reservations." --

            1 Reply
            1. re: jenlemon

              Hear Hear !
              We loved Klassz and would not hesitate to recommend it.