The re-design and reconstruction of the ground level reflects the new gastronomy concept of Kempinski Hotel Corvinus, Gastronomic Quarter Downtown Budapest.
Sunday morning I decided to have lunch at the “futurist” restaurant ÉS Bisztró, a casual bistro inspired by French brasseries that serves contemporary-authentic Hungarian and Viennese cuisine. In a pioneering collaboration between local restaurateur Roy Zsidai and the Kempinski Corvinus kitchen team, Mr Zsidai shared project management responsibilities with the team, from choosing the name to overseeing the interior design, from creating the menu to honing the concept of ÉS.
The design recreates the atmosphere of a large farmhouse kitchen and a homely “Gasthaus” dining room. The rustic timber flooring contrasts with the simple white tiles on the walls, while the metal ceiling lights proffer a modern take on traditional central European café lighting. These bucolic touches are juxtaposed with more urban touches like the magnificent mirror screen designed in three curved parts, as well as the patterned tin ceiling tiles.
ÉS is different from the traditional all-day dining concept usually enforced in restaurants and hotels. For example, diners don’t need to have traditional dishes or follow dining traditions. The menu has three separate parts: nibbles to share, typical Hungarian and Viennese dishes and grilled meats and fish. An expert selection of artisan wines and beers rounds off this delicious gastronomic experience.
The top level’s Mediterranean furnishing evokes St. Tropez summer. The lower-level terrace on Fashion Street is the place where I used to enjoy every morning breakfast, which includes over 100 items, including the iconic Kempinski hot chocolate and Kempinski power shot. At 20-30-minute intervals, the pastry chef presents freshly baked pastry and local delicacies to each table: absolute realm for us greedy!
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