When in 2017 Szabina Szulló and Tamás Széll (a European Bocuse d'Or winner and celebrity-chef in Hungary) announced they were leaving the Michelin-starred Onyx restaurant to venture out on their own, one didn’t need a business degree to predict success. The idea of Stand25 Bistro was to prove that Hungarian fare can be more than a gut-busting, high-carb, greasy affair. The restaurant's success was immediate: a well-to-do local crowd fills Stand25's tables each day.
Although not ground-breaking, the dishes are very good. The crimson-hued goulash soup is exactly as it should be, strewn with crusted cubes of beef and brightened with chopped celery. The layered potatoes come with crisped-up sausages, eggs, and sour cream. Both the somlói galuska, a sponge cake coated in whipped cream and chocolate syrup, and the túrógombóc, cottage cheese dumplings with foamed sour cream and cherry preserves, are worth any sugar-induced guilt that might overcome you.
Note that price points are steep: a two-course meal with a glass of wine will set you back by €45-50 per person. Nonetheless, Mr. Széll’s disciplined approach, which can occasionally be observed through the open kitchen, sets a new standard in Budapest – other restaurants would do well to take cues from Stand25's concept, hospitality, and execution.
To remain unbiased, I visit all places incognito and pay for my own meals and drinks. I never accept money in exchange for coverage. But this means I must rely on readers to support my work. If you're enjoying this article, please consider making a one-time payment (PayPal, Venmo) or becoming an Offbeat Patron.