The basic concept is that if you want to be the best, you must do or think something differently than others. So it makes sense to treat any pattern as potentially bullshit. This may be the point where you have to go against the grain. Of course, there have been moments when I get out of the flow and look in the mirror scared, what if I’m doing a huge fuck up? When it came to the design, we upped the ante and finally decided to entrust it to someone who would definitely not do it the way we wanted it done.
We were afraid of thinking in clichés. And Gergő Lőcsei was at the stage where he had to be entrusted with such a project. When he had already proved himself, but he still wanted to prove himself, you see. The place could probably have been beautiful anyway, because we’re not totally blind, but we knew we weren’t going to show the market anything new. I feel like it was a good decision in the end, and that all the bickering will be worth it. That it will be worth fighting with us because it will be better than if he had given in to us. In the kitchen, it was the same concept. He’s already proven himself, but he still wants to prove himself. My first thought was Norbi Piszkor, who is the honorary pastry chef of the whole beer scene, but I knew he wasn’t just good with desserts. That said, it was “a shot in the dark”, more of a hunch. For the first tasting, I prepared myself that I would make the responsible decision and let him know if I didn’t think it was right. Even if I’m going to hurt him by doing so. The first guess doesn’t always work. There was no need for that. Norbi exceeded even my far-fetched best case scenario wishes. He will surprise everyone, I think – as he surprised me – and will take his rightful place in the Budapest gastronomy scene. The coffee was simple. Casino Mocca. For me, there is no other. Except when you run out of coffee. We started with them and it never occurred to me that they weren’t the best. We showed them our current coffee maker and they told us that if we were planning on brewing coffee with this thing, we had to keep it a secret that Casino Mocca was our coffee. Your first thought is “oh Szabi”, and your second thought is “oh well, this is the life of these people”. It’s probably not stupid what they say. They look at us funny when we say “cold storage”. So we’re going to have a new grinder and coffee maker, a piece of equipment that Szabi deemed is in the “acceptable, but not going to be selfie-ed with by coffee geeks” category. On the wine side, we’ve tread on an innovative path as it can be expected from us. All of our wines will be organic, but where we have the opportunity, we’ve favoured unfiltered, biodynamic and natural versions. These are exciting to us, and we think they will be a real treat for a wild ale fanatic, plus our wine-loving friend who is invited to the beer bistro doesn’t have to go home with a ruined gastronomic experience. The tasting was a wonderful experience, and we can absolutely be held accountable for the ones we chose. The hard liquors. Oh, the hard liquors. It’s at this point that our protagonist realises what type of three months are ahead of him.
Here we leap forward in time, and finally, through tears and sweat and of course a lot of laughter, we get to our dream shelf in terms of hard liqour. I hope you have as much fun tasting them as we did. And the most fun and exciting part was the staff, as we had to get a crew of 20+ people together. I tried to gather the attitudinal characteristics that are important to me as a guest. It’s not so much about whether you can light a match with one hand anymore. Be nice.
Make it all a bit like being at home.
Tamás Szilágyi [Mad Scientist founding owner]