We have picked the Restaurant of the Year in Hungary this year as well.
About the award:
The most important criterion at the Restaurant of the Year in Hungary is that - contrary to the Michelin and the GM - the decision is not solely made by judging the content of a plate, but it depends on the whole package, the experience of a guest.
We believe that we are not only going to a restaurant for a perfectly composed and designed series of dishes, but to enjoy a complete experience. And this includes the performance of the chef, the atmosphere of the restaurant, the design, its identity, its roots, how much we can relate to it, the style of service and many more.
There are lots of listings in the world. Sometimes we visit the country's and the world's best restaurants, and shake our head, not understanding how a certain place managed to be on those listings, or what a listing means at all.
The main characteristic of our listing is that it's admittedly biased. As is any guest's opinion. We cannot rate a restaurant according to impartial standards, it's a source of joy, a feast, an occasion, a complete experience. But it doesn't mean that we don't consider as many aspects as possible. At the end, we try to choose the restaurant in Hungary, where a guest is the happiest during, and after the food experience.
And the most important thing:
according to Világevő, the award of the Restaurant of The Year in Hungary goes to Babel Budapest!
Babel reflects the true meaning of "fine dining". Here, you get to know what makes a well designed menu, what other elements and background make a restaurant meaningful. It's not only about their first class technique, wide-ranging knowledge, professional expertise, excellent, (mostly) regional ingredients, amazing flavour combinations, great textures and outstanding creativity, but it's also about the basic idea, the inspiration behind, the depth and their philosophy. All the dishes on the menu speak about this story. You can recognise the personal touch of the chef duo, the dishes are intellectually and aesthetically challenging, while they still offer enjoyment for those who want to "simply" eat something good, without thinking about it too hard.
Babel has the potential to work its way up among the (several) Michelin-starred restaurants, and to become a well-known restaurant by international standards.
The informal, relaxed and nice service, the excellent sommelier, who makes up the best pairings, offering wines from small wineries, the good design and the very pleasant atmosphere give the perfect frame to the dishes.
Anywhere in the world, I would happily eat my way through this menu. But the real speciality of Babel is that it is in Budapest. Its roots are here, and you'll have no doubt about this after trying their food.
The above used 1st person plural is for formality's sake. In reality, András Jókuti is solely responsible for the decision.
This was the Restaurant of the year 2015 in Hungary (post in Hungarian).