Hungarian wines and dishes are seemingly gaining more and more attention beyond the borders. Budapest Calling is the name of a new wine bistro and restaurant that has recently opened in the German capital.
The bistro can be found in the neo-Bauhaus building of the Collegium Hungaricum, the Hungarian government’s worldwide non-profit cultural institution dedicated to the exploration of art, science, technology, and lifestyle. Collegium Hungaricum is Hungary’s cultural „embassy” and is operated by the Balassi Institute.
Budapest Calling brings to Berlin the traditional Hungarian tastes with a Mediterranian touch, guests can try, for example, duck breast with red cabbage strudel and pomegranate. The bistro will offer over 70 kinds of good Hungarian wine from 11 wine regions of the country, represented by smaller, so-called “artisan” wineries which have no other means of gaining a presence on the German market. It will also host jazz evenings, wine tastings and other cultural programmes to bring Hungarian gastro culture closer to Berlin audience.
Its name brings to mind the movie Berlin Calling, a 2008 German tragicomedy, the cult film depicting Berlin’s electronic music scene. The name therefore reflects that Budapest Calling not only introduces Hungarian wine and gastronomy to the foreign public but also the country’s musical culture. One of the permanent performers at the bistro is Hungarian jazz singer Veronika Harcsa who, in 2009 at the Fonogram Awards, won the prize for the „Best Jazz Album of the Year”. She performs at Budapest Calling on the first Thursday of every month.
The opening of the new bistro is even more significant if we consider that until now, obtaining quality Hungarian wine in Berlin has not been easy. And it not only caused sorrow to the large Hungarian community living there but also shows that Hungarian wine is still no competitor to Spanish or Italian wines, which the shelves of the supermarkets are filled with. But in Budapest Calling, anyone can try numerous wines during a pleasant dinner, not only well-known brands, but also the lesser-known, still high-quality Hungarian varieties.