The terrace at Neked Főztem is found on Aranyhíd sétány, a lakeside promenade and Balatonfüred’s burgeoning gastro-street. With colourful chairs, comfy sofas and an open kitchen, this new 180-seat spot should attract those after a bite or just a drink.
The story of Neked Főztem started with a camping van next to Zánka beach, where Orsi Horváth, wife of a local chef, started to make fresh and exciting dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. The tiny buffet became an important player in Balaton new-wave street food. Then Orsi and her husband, Csongor opened the Neked Főztem Gastropub where they introduced more ambitious cuisine. Now, they have opened a restaurant in Balatonfüred, along with a breakfast and burger spot in Zánka. Although they wanted to open the place last year, things took a little longer than expected. Then they planned on starting in May but, after deciding to use the neighbouring property as well, they managed to open this restaurant at the end of June.
The characteristic style of Neked Főztem is still present but most of the dishes now have a smoky flavour thanks to the BBQ Pit Box. This creates a taste that is familiar to lovers of Hungarian cuisine, changing the texture and the flavour of certain parts of the meat.
The gastropub outlet in Zánka is more casual, where you can grab a bite in a fun, relaxed atmosphere, even if you visit with a larger group. Neked Főztem in Balatonfüred is a bit different, and, according to the owners, the differences between the two concepts are apparent even in the wine selection.
However, the structure of the two selections is similar: the aim is to have fewer dishes but of better quality: three main courses, two soups, eight appetisers, a burger and two desserts. The final results are formed by the cooperation of the owner and chef Attila Uti. The chef of the gastropub, Ádám Újhelyi, also played his part in shaping the current style.
The design is similar to that of the other outlets but there’s a twist. All the tables are different, the chairs are pastel-coloured, the space is clear. The open counter gives a glimpse into kitchen activity.
The kitchen of this new Neked Főztem uses various herbs and spices that aren’t typically used in Hungarian cuisine. Coriander is one. Some of the outstanding dishes include roasted pork belly with Dijon egg salad (1,290 HUF): the meat sits in the smoker for nine hours, resulting in a spicy crust. Glazed ribs with lemon potato and coleslaw (3,890 HUF) are also made in the pit box, while the catfish fillet (3,890 HUF) is spiced up with a freshly grated cabbage salad mixed with sour cream, tarragon and chives, and sprinkled with sausage crumbs.
Unlike in its other outlet, here the focus is on smoked flavours instead of burgers. They only serve one, called Burger Neked (2,890 HUF) which features a special BBQ sauce with mango, pineapple and tomato. Roast lamb with hummus and marinated mushrooms (4,590 HUF) is very popular with guests.
The suppliers are still the same and no-one's thinking of switching them any time soon. The vegetables and salads come from Barnag, the fruit from Köveskál, and they use Dobosi goat cheese. The beef doesn’t come from the area, it's ordered from Debrecen.
Neked Főztem isn’t in a central location so it’s a job to attract customers in but the owners aren’t too worried: according to them, there aren’t many similar places, not to mention that they are open all year round. The restaurant is only about an hour’s drive from Budapest, so they expect people to come, even in winter.
Csongor and Orsi Horváth have further plans and the next step is just around the corner. They are opening a confectionery and ice cream parlour nearby with dessert courses and a great champagne selection. The other big plan is to start their own farm that would supply their restaurants with vegetables and meat. They already have the place and the will to do it – the only thing lacking is time.