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This is almost Naples – Apáti Restaurant and Café

Wine & Gastronomy - Articles

Monday, June 5, 2017 — We Love Balaton

Photo: Kőrösi Tamás - We Love Balaton

Located on the edge of Sajkod, the pizza of Apáti Restaurant and Café is widely recognized: guests come back to it from far corners of the country. Although they claim that making pizza doesn’t require special cooking and baking skills, here they bake perfect, Italian-style, crunchy pizzas. The restaurant opened in 2014 and soon they’ll receive the prestigious VERA pizza certification, for which they have to meet the highest of standards.

Apáti Restaurant and Café

8237 Tihany-Sajkod, Romkápolna utca 2.
+36 30 566 7356

It was just about to rain when we turned towards Sajkod from Road 71. There’ wasn't a traffic jam, but of course, this is Tihanyi Peninsula we are talking about, and the only people who head towards the beach sect of Sajkod in spring are the ones who have a holiday home there. And us, of course. It’s all very silent – it helps us understand the origin of the name “Tihany” (it comes from the Slavic “tiho”, which means silence). The reed on the right hides the view, giving the area a sort of an end-of-the-world atmosphere, while there’re trees on the left. Our destination is Apáti Restaurant. Its pizza (the reason we're here) is known not only in the area, but also in far corners of the country, as people come to eat it from places like the western city of Győr and the northeastern city of Miskolc as well. 

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

The building, which is longer than it is wide, used to be a socialist-realist deli; Zita Kölcsényi, the manager of the restaurant and café, refurbished it with the help of her family. When it came to furnishing, the owners seemingly wanted it to be friendly instead of overdoing the design. Our favorite was the colorful small-patterned plaid cover of the back of the booths. In the meantime, the rain started pouring outside, so we have to say good-bye to the idea of sitting on the terrace, and accept that we’re stuck inside. Although we came here for the pizza, we still check out the menu: the selection is mostly Mediterranean dominated, but according to the manager, “there’s always some kind of a twist in there”. This can mean the seasoning or even the serving.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

The manager doesn’t compete with the meals that are strictly made with local and Hungarian ingredients, so her sources paint a colorful picture: the pork and vegetables come from the area, while the beef is from the other side of the country, and the cheeses are from Italy. The wine list only has items from the Balaton region, and we can also buy whole bottles. “We’re trying to expand it, but for now we prefer Balaton-wines.”

Besides the regular offers, the menu, which changes almost every six months, also has a weekly offer. This usually means a soup and dessert, and 3-4 types of main courses. The soups are priced between 690 and 1,600 forints, while the main courses cost 2,000-4,200 forints. They also have a special menu for kids for about ¾ of the original price.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

The original building now functions mostly as a pizzeria, and it’s located next to the main building. The restaurant started operating there. They had grilled sandwiches, salads, and pizza, of course, mostly because “you don’t need to know how to cook for pizza”. We don’t agree with this, and the restaurant also proves the opposite: the dough has to meet the very strict regulations of Naples in order to receive the so called pizza bárca. The restaurant that opened in July 2014 meets almost all requirements: their oven is certified (and so huge, that it’s almost impossible to move it, they even had to change to doors to be able to get it inside), their ingredients also meet the standard. The only thing that needs to be inspected is the water, and – just like for baristas – the professional who bakes the pizza also have to get a certificate – then they can put their VERA certification into the window.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

To avoid being distracted by too many flavors, we decided to have a classic Margherita (strictly without ketchup, of course, as, with just a little exaggeration, they give capital punishment for that in Italy), and we weren’t disappointed: the crust is crunchy just enough, the thickness is also adequate. We watched the process of stretching (everyone can!), and the baking, too, which also contributed to our satisfaction. 

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Due to the bad weather, we were the only ones here, but as the manager told us, their traffic really depends on the weather. As their location isn’t central, guests mostly come during the high season and when it’s sunny, but the restaurant still operates in winter. During the off season they are open only from Friday to Sunday, but it’s best to look it up before we leave the main road behind.

What's bad news for the owner is good for us: with all this silence surrounding us it's easy to get lost in the view of the endless rows of reeds. True, we could only enjoy it from inside as it was cold outside, but who cares. It would be a typically Sajkod-thing if we could sit and ponder on the great questions of life on the soon to be refurbished terrace.

Translated by Emma Póli

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

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