I finally ate at The Bigfish Seafood Bistro, a restaurant that some of the cast and crew have been raving about. And it is fantastic! I honestly never believed I could get good seafood in this landlocked country until today. It is a simple concept — you choose your fish from the ice-bed behind a glass counter and they will grill it for you. It reminded me of Peter’s favorite seafood Chinese restaurant in the Bay Area, Koi Palace, where there are tanks filled with live fish and crustaceans. Peter, the true fish lover of my family, would have enjoyed this place.
My friend and I picked a whole flounder, squids and octopus. They came on a plater grilled with olive oil, lots of garlic and parsley — simple, no fuss and mouthwatering delicious.
After lunch, we roamed around the blocks and arrived at a Russian teahouse called Zsevago — a nostalgic space that looked like a stage set with old settees, divans and tables covered in old lace tablecloth. For a couple of dollars, you can come here, order a tea and read in one of the upstair nooks or chat with friends in the living room area — where my friend and I sat.
I have noticed that Budapest has a rich and vibrant cafe culture. There is a multitude of them within 15 minutes walk from where I’m staying. While window display of shops in the city are often unattractive, the cafes and teahouses on the other hand are always warm, charming and enticing. Could it be that this culture values the quality of its leisure time more than material possession? I seem to sense contentment in the people sitting in cafes and teahouses, where time is ample and its passage sweet.
In today’s constant pursuit of efficiency and distraction, leisure has been exiled from our lives. But is a life spent in multitasking productivity a good life? I have my suspicions.
After we left the teahouse, my friend showed me the chocolate bar that she had wanted to take Audrey to. It was closed on that day and Audrey was very disappointed. Today, I went in her stead, in her white sandals.
Dark and atmospheric like an opium den, Noir ChocoBar exuded an air of decadence. We devoured the mint and lavender flavored iced chocolate with chocolate ice cream. I didn’t take a card from this place. I fully intend to forget where it is and never find my way back here again. The stuff is addictive like opium.