Dinner at a Traditional Hungarian Restaurant

Trip Start Aug 24, 2011
Trip End Sep 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
Leonardo Hotel Budapest
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Hungary  ,
Saturday, August 27, 2011

Our entertainment for the night was dinner at a Traditional Hungarian Folklore Restaurant which proved to be very disappointing for me. Some people from the group, - the very naive were kind of excited, but the majority of us were disappointed.

I cannot remember the name of the Restaurant, but I believe most restaurants have become commercialized. It could not be compared to the one we went to several years back.

Huge benches and wooden tables were placed one next to the other leaving very little space to walk. Scattered as they were in this huge garden with the high trees all around they made the small tiny poor stage seem even smaller.  The stage was something like a platform and was decorated with curtains or long pieces of cloth with Hungarian Traditional designs of embroidery at the background.


To my surprise even though our group arrived the very last, our seats were the closest in the centre and only 2 steps from the stage. They were kept vacant for us while the musicians on the stage were already singing. It seems that our guide keeps coming here all the time. As I am always walking ahead of everyone else and the first to come off the coach sitting always at the first seat of the back door, I had the very best seat.

I had in mind the gypsy violins and traditional Hungarian music and dancing we once watched, but there were moments when I felt as if I were somewhere else listening to classic offensive to the ear, and discordant singing. Something very cheap!  There was very little folkloric dancing that lasted for less than 15 minutes and then the whole floor show changed completely.  The performers wanted to please all, so they started speaking out phrases from the different nationalities that were present.

All idiots were applauding.  How excited can some people get after a glass or two of some terrible wine! The performer was even holding notes on a scrap piece of paper. Probably words from different songs, and phrases.  For half an hour all we could hear were popular songs from the different countries of the restaurant's guests. (Americans, Italians, French, Arabs, Japanese and Chinese)

There were at least 7 nationalities. How ridiculous!! Unfortunately the choice of this restaurant was made by the tourist agency.

The tragic was that the musicians seemed tired and half-hearted to continue after they realized that nobody was buying their Cds, and not many people put coins in the hats they held upside down asking for coins.

Shortly after this parade of hats people started leaving. Oh! How much I wanted to follow! But the Greeks (our group) remained insisting on more performing. The guys appeared back on stage for 10 more minutes just for us and then they neatly covered the instruments and disappeared.

One of the members of the group had some Greek songs recorded on his cell phone, so our guide arranged to have at least the microphone on.  Now, it was only us, the cell phone with the music coming out of it, someone holding it very close to the microphone, and a group of friends dancing to the music coming out of it. I have the video for you to watch.

It was funny how the musicians appeared from a corner smiling, but still denied getting on the stage. So for another 10 minutes there was dancing with hard and noisy steps on the wooden floor giving emphasis to the rhythm.

It was a peculiar outing for sure, not my piece of cake but I take it as an experience never to be forgotten.  (be a bit patient with the videos but they are worth watching)

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rossport on

this is a disappointment Popi but i know how u feel we had the same sort of thing happen with our tour in Montreal never again will i go on a so called local restaurant tour with the tour group again.

greekcypriot on

Oh yes Stewart and Martin...it was awful and stressful listening to the ugly sound as the band was playing! Never again!

venoth on

I agree with you here Popi, this had happened to me too. Over commercialisation kills the evening! Such restaurants should be boycotted but pity the innocent tourists who just flock to where the guide takes them.

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