Managed by the Hungarian Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic community, Carmel is one of Budapest’s few glatt kosher restaurants. During the meals a mashgiach — an official supervising rabbi — is present at all times to ensure that Carmel adheres to kashrut, the Jewish dietary laws. As is the case with Hanna, the other meat restaurant around the corner from here, Carmel gets liveliest during Shabbat meals, that is, Friday's dinner and Saturday's lunch. Here too, guests must prepay the meals, each of which costs €25 per person.
During Shabbat, Carmel fills up with joyful orthodox Jews from around the world, both Sephardis and Ashkenazis. The elaborate table settings include an embroidered challah cover hiding a wonderfully soft bread underneath. The meals feature both Middle Eastern and Ashkenazi dishes: there are mezze plates of matbukha, eggplant, hummus, tahini, and also “Jewish" egg salad, gefilte fish, slow-cooked beef shank, cholent, and babka. On regular days, Carmel also serves unremarkable traditional Hungarian dishes like goulash soup and beef stew (pörkölt).
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