The Apropó – Demeter Wine Bar on Király Street welcomes visitors in a cozy and friendly environment. Spacious interior, comfy sofas and chairs provide the comfort of guests. However, seeing the food and drink menu, it is difficult to choose from the delicacies. So, if we are clueless, polite waiters will help us, and we can trust their recommendations absolutely.
There is a wide range of wines also, as well as the food service, which is adjusted to the wine bar. But, of course, this place is not only for wine enthusiasts. It is worth visiting the bar for a coffee with special aroma or fresh fruit lemonade, too. The chef of the restaurant, Dániel Kardos, gave us an interview, in which steaks were given special attention and some tips were shared with us about cooking.
As a first step, we put the beef into the oven heated to 70 °C for 7-8 minutes. Yet, this also depends on the thickness of the beef. For some meats, the aging time may be up to 70–180 days. Then, Dani made some barbecue sauce with coffee and a potato cream – made with lots of butter, high fat milk and a very small amount of cocoa powder – for the steak. At serving, mustard seeds – made with alcoholic fermentation – along with salad and horseradish leafs got added to the plate for the sake of freshness.
After it, the meat gets fried in purified butter and a little oil. The purified butter has a slight peanut taste, and it is a bit like brown butter. Thus, this gives a different flavor to the meat, as if we were using just ordinary oil. While frying, we add salt and flip the meat over in every 40 seconds. But after the steak is done, it is very important to rest for a few minutes. Then, the serving comes, and the only limit is our imagination.
Tropical Magazine: When did you come up with the idea of becoming a cook?
After finishing primary school, I heard about the Gundel School from a friend. So, I applied there. By the end of the first year, I started to feel that this was my thing. But it is interesting because I had never thought this as my main profile. I always imagined that I was going to be a lawyer, and then, that was how it was.
TM: What is the basis for making up the menu?
The most important thing for me is seasonality, and what kind of inspiration comes to my face from the life. I like to make it varied, so I try to update the menu in every one and a half month.
TM: What is the most popular dish from the current menu?
Pork with ratatouille cream, and Rib-eye steak are the all-time favorites of foreigners and Hungarians as well.
TM: Do you have any favorites you like to prepare or consume?
I really like each dish from the current menu. However, if I had to choose one, I would pick up the Rib-eye steak.
TM: Do you offer particularly Hungarian dishes?
Currently, the ratatouille (“lecsó”) is the one that connects to the Hungarian cuisine. And the pork with ratatouille cream is in perfect harmony with the wine menu. While foreign and domestic guests really like the smoked trout with sour cream foam or Rösti.
TM: Now let’s talk about steaks! What’s the difference between the steaks in each country? How is a Scottish steak different from an Argentinean steak?
Essentially, what is most important is the cattle’s origin, what kind of life it lived and what was fed to it. In our country, the angus beef is fed only with cereal, and it can be seen on its fat and the meat structure. It is much more marbled than a grass-fed cattle, which has a lot less fat in its meat. But steak roasting has very deep traditions. For instance, cattles from Ireland are very good, and I believe that they are competing with the American ones.
TM: Many Hungarians are concerned about consuming pink-roasted meat, since we eat all meat well done. While in the Anglo-Saxon countries people tend to look strangely to those who order a well done steak. What is your experience? Which one do you prefer?
I especially love the bloody meat. However, it is a common misconception that these steaks are bloody, since there is absolutely no blood in them. The more heat and air the meat gets, the hemoglobin disappears more and more quickly. Therefore, the remaining liquid in it is the gravy of the meat.
TM: Many people do not dare to start making a steak at home because they are afraid of doing it the wrong way or not keeping the right roasting time. Do you have any advice for beginners? What is the most important step or rule that you need to pay attention to?
In my opinion, the most important thing is that you should never start roasting fridge-cold meet. Take it out from the fridge at least half an hour before roasting in order to warm it up to room temperature. In the restaurant, I prepare the meat preheated to 70 °C for 7 to 8 minutes. Then, I put it into the hot pan. I roast it in purified brown butter, and flip it over in every 30 seconds, depending on the guest’s request.
Written by Petra Sárossy
Source: Tropical Magazine