Have I ever mentioned that apart from my endless love for Budapest, my lifelong plan is to end up in the south of Spain close to the sea and enjoy the Spanish vibe while relishing delicious Sangria?.
I think I love everything about this country. The language (one of the most vivid I have ever heard, unfortunately had to stop learning it for a while for Hungarian – which is truly a torture for me), delicious food, people and their super peppy, cheerful nature and culture. Since I turned 14, I used to watch every single Almdóvar movie. At the age of 24, I went to Barcelona with the sole aim of finding all the drag queens, he widely showcased in his movie “Todo sobre mi madre”. How naive I used to look as compared to my Spanish friends when I begged them to go with me and help to find them.
Carmen Maura and Rossy de Palma are my favorite actresses to this day, and even if I did not enjoy the latest movie of Almdóvar I still think he is one of the greatest Spanish directors who was never afraid to raise controversial issues on our society, equality, church hierarchy and many more.
Why am I writing about it now, when I am already living in Budapest for five years?
Well, two weeks ago, one smart and crafty Israeli decided to bring Spanish vibe to the heart of Budapest by opening Vicky Barcelona tapas bar. I was quite skeptic when I heard about it for the first time, as it is located in Gozsdu Udvar and you know I am trying to stay away from any commercial habitat. Still dragged there by one of my crazy Polish friend, I was about to get a heart attack the moment I entered this place. The interior was so stunning that I was speechless for a few, good minutes. I did not really know where I should look at?! At the bar, which looks exactly like the one in Spain, the massive portrait of Theodore made out of little tiles or maybe dazzling curtain which surrounded each table. Not to mention the ceiling! You can be really surprised by how creative an interior designer can be!
But that was not everything. When I took a trip to the toilet downstairs, I got a feeling that somebody moved me to a little Spanish village and I am in somebody’s garden! The master mind behind the whole interior was an Israeli designer Alona Eliasi (http://www.alonaeliasi.com/).
What I remember from that night was surely a liter of Sangria served in a really old school pitcher and delicious selection of Spanish cheese and ham. After exhausted dance with my really amusing friends, I almost cried on listening the lifelong love once again – Enrique Iglesias. I came back home totally wasted but really happy. Finally somebody came up with the simple but a great idea of bringing real fun to the city center.
One week later, I decided to go back for a dinner and have a “serious” conversation with one of the owners, ask him few simple questions about the idea behind this place, interior design, cuisine and future events.
Seated by the bar and getting super delicious ‘Patatas Bravas o Alidi’ – in English baked potatoes with home – made mayonnaise sauce with beetroot and garlic, drinking ‘Pop my cherry ‘, I had a chance to chit chat with Daniel – co-owner of this place. Coming from Tel Aviv, he decided to bring some vibe and joy here (I don’t need to mention that Tel Aviv hosts the best electronic parties in the world) and since Budapest does not really have many Spanish themed places – Tapas bar seemed to be the best idea.
Daniel himself was a ball of fire, running between his staff and the guests trying to tie up loose ends and on the top of that, successfully entertained his clients. You could see him often dancing in the middle of the room, clapping his hands, especially after 10 pm when the lights went down, then he rang the bell and called his staff for a shot. I guess we all have a wishful thinking now to have that kind of boss in our work place. As hours passed, the crowd was getting wilder and louder. Smiling bartender encouraged me to drink another cocktail, this time served in a very playful, hilarious glass which looked like a football. I was thinking that maybe they also call some famous, handsome Spanish football player – like Gerard Piqué and seated him next to me?
For another 30 min I had a lovely chat with Csaba – the bar manager. We exchanged our experiences on international cuisines, at the same moment I got to try another fantastic dish – Garbanzos de la marinera – chickpeas with shrimps and octopus – served in an old school pan – delicious! All dishes have been prepared by Spanish chef but they were so called ‘appetizers’ – 45 new Tapas dishes are yet to come! I guess it will be a real feast for the palate!
I had again a wonderful time and I can truly recommend you this place – you will never find better interiors, friendlier staff and moreover, a crazy owner who spends every single minute to make sure his guests are full and happy. He mentioned to bring live Spanish music and Salsa night to Vicki Barcelona but rumors say that maybe he will bring to another place more electronic vibes straight from Tel Aviv – uhh if this would happen I will be the most devoted guest!
Daniel I hold you to your word!