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Hungry? Food treats to love in Hungary

May 2, 2012

As the saying goes, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

The same thoughts go for my travels as well. Sampling the local food is a surefire way to immerse into a new destination.

I’ve done a big share of that here in Brussels, sampling the Belgian culinary offers with dangerous consequences. 😉  But hey, it’s food, so who I am to say no?

My recent trip to Hungary had us going through the Budapest nightlife, getting the best out of the amazing ruin bars experience. But after every party, there is the usual appetite for some food.

Hungary is not really known for its culinary prowess but it’s not an excuse for a chow. Here are some of my favourites and in my opinion, the must-tries!



This is the food to die for … and literally death looks imminent after finishing one langos. Why? Langos is made with deep-fried dough smothered with your choice of toppings. It’s like pizza but deep fried and gleaming with oil. Like our favourite Italian dish, it comes with various toppings like ham, cheese, garlic, yoghurt and cream but you can also order it without any toppings. The sour cream and cheese combination is the most popular.

Langos is best experienced after a long night out as it’s good for draining all the alcohol out of your body.


Pagachel / Pogácsa

Moving on to healthier pastries, we have pogacsa. It’s a round pastry baked with cheese often mixed with the dough. The cheese makes it taste salty and sweet at the same time. It can also be baked with pork skin, cabbage and onions. It’s great for breakfast but can be consumed as a snack too.

Pogacsa is a popular and staple food in the country. They are so well-regarded that they even have festivals for it. And they have reasons for celebrating this sumptuous bread. Travellers in Hungarian stories are usually depicted carrying pogacsa when they go on their trip!


Hungarian sour cherry strudel

Retes is Hungarian’s answer to the German strudel (more like equivalent). It’s a pasty pie cooked with plums, strawberries, apples, cheese or chocolate as filling. It’s then topped with confectionery sugar.

One fun fact: Did you know that the round version of rétes was also known as “lie-in” rétes, because it was given to women who just had come from child birth. 😉



Kolbasz are better known the English-speaking world as “Hungarian smoked sausages”. They are often prepared with paprika, and eaten dried and in small pieces. Kolbasz is prepared depending on the region where it came from. Gyulai and Csabai are the two most famous ones. It’s my favourite food from the bunch – and has this special ingredient that makes you want to eat more (maybe it’s just me though).

Turo Rudi


Hungarians are so crazy for Turo Rudi’s that they even ran out of stock when we attempted to buy from one of their supermarkets (and it wasn’t even zombie apocalypse).

And what is there to go crazy for? Honestly, I don’t know.

Well, Turo Rudi is a chocolate candy filled with curd and can come in a variety of flavours. It literally translates to English “curd bar”. Doesn’t sound very appetizing though. But believe me this polka-dot packaged delight is a treat. 🙂

That’s it – I don’t think you’ll be rushing to Hungary anytime soon with this post. But with a good ruin bar nightlife, amazing sceneries and now good food, I don’t see any reason not to go! Bon appetit!

Images from helmsjan, 1yen, JuditK, robot-girl and Backpack foodie – under creative commons at the time of posting.

Have you sampled any of these Hungarian culinary treats? What are the other must try delicacies of Hungary? Share them below.


Travel Blog

Filipino Friday: The Balut

October 21, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you the balut. (Warning: Graphic photos)

Voted as #1 most terrifying food in the world, it’s been a staple “must do” for anyone visiting the Philippines and a challenge for those adventurous enough to stomach this known delicacy. But is it that terrifying as most publications tell it to be?

Balut at El Nido

Here’s the lowdown:

Balut is fertilized duck egg (Yes, it has a duckling fetus inside). It’s a common street snack here in the Philippines and other Southeast Asia countries and notoriously known to freak out those who attempt to take a bite. It’s often boiled and eaten on its shell. It takes around 17 days to prepare a balut and for some, 19-21 days if you want it mature (ie with the beaks and feathers already in it).

In the Philippines, there are other varieties of eating balut. You can try it fried, scrambled, in a soup, on a pastry bun – but the best experience is eating it the traditional way – boiled and while still warm.

Now, if you are looking to macho it up and try it, here are some tips to make the experience better:

1. Don’t look at what your eating
2. Add salt or chili
3. Drink it with a beer (everything goes well with a beer)

To be honest with you, I never really liked balut and I have never tried balut until I was 23  after I dared my German friend Dennis to try one.

My conclusion: It taste like a hard boiled egg with a slight crunchiness to it. Adding a pinch of salt and chili definitely helps make it more tasty. But trust me that it taste better than it looks. Bon Appetit!

Eating Balut (Step 1)

Eating Balut (Step 2)

Eating Balut (Step 3)

(photos from Dennis)

Have you tried Balut? (if not, I DARE you to try it). Share your experience BELOW!

About Filipino Friday: Every Friday, I’m going to showcase something unique about my home country , the Philippines. It can be a place, food, experience, custom or tradition that highlights what we our 7,107 islands can offer. I remember that on my travels, there are some people who are still unaware of where the Philippines  is or what the country has to offer. So I hope that through these posts – I can help bring awareness about the Philippines,  it’s beauty, hidden sites, quirkiness and diversity.

Are you a travel blogger? I’m inviting you to take part of Filipino Friday with me. All you need to do is post something about the Philippines every Friday. Contact me if you’re interested.

Travel Blog

Photo Essay: El Nido, Philippines

July 5, 2011
El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

I can”t get enough of El Nido and it is my favourite place in the Philippines so far. Our trip was almost six months ago, but I still have fond memories of this town. Here are some of our best photos from the trip.

Way to El Nido

Despite the long six-hour van ride to El Nido from Puerto Princesa, capital of Palawan – the journey is worth it due to the lush rice fields that dominate the view.

view from afar of El Nido

The town of El Nido seen from the view point, a few kilometres from the town proper.

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

This is the view in front of our room in El Nido – this limestone cliff dominates the view of Bacuit bay.

Balut at El Nido

Enjoying balut (fertilised duck egg) for a late-night snack. Palawan, Philippines by JMParrone, on Flickr” href=””>El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Boatman in one of the islands in Bacuit Bay

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Docking in one of the islands for lunch

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Turquoise waters – we even saw a turtle

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Huge limestone cliff directly in front of us

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Final island – Seven Commandos beach

Sunset at El Nido

Sunset at El Nido

Dogs at a beach in El Nido

It”s not only us who are enjoying the beach

Road to El Nido

This is us actually on our way back from El Nido, our van broke down thrice and got stuck on the dirt road for a couple of hours


Do you have photos from El Nido, Palawan? Feel free to send them to us so we can post them here!


The Burger Prince in Singapore

April 3, 2011

Chicken rice, kaya toast and prawn mee are shoo-ins in any must-try Singapore food list. But let me add one more: a giant burger.

Fresh from our food trip in Malaysia, Jerick and I rode a Delima bus from Melaka Sentral Station and headed for Singapore. We went straight to Chinatown, had chicken rice and prawn mee at Maxwell Food Centre and decided to say hello to the Merlion the next day. We met two backpackers: Dennis, a German traveller roaming Southeast Asia; and Apple, a fellow Filipino traveller. Yes, we saw the Merlion, but we had a detour:  a Giant Burger Challenge. No biggie, you would say? See for yourself:

From the outdoor theatre of the Esplanade (the best spot for stunning views of the Merlion and Marina Bay Sands, the hotel with a surfboard-like rooftop resting on three towers), we walked for about five minutes to reach New York New York restaurant located at City Link Mall, adjacent to the City Hall MRT station. And that’s where Dennis, egged on by Jerick, Apple and I, summoned all the hunger in him to take down the Giant Burger.

The challenge is to wolf down an 8-inch-wide, 4-inch-thick burger with tonnes of fries. Sounds easy? The restaurant’s Honour Board shows that 10 extraordinarily hungry individuals have done it before, but here’s a caveat: you have to do it in an hour. Eat it within 60 minutes and it’s on the house; if your intestines couldn’t handle it, the restaurant will charge you S$40! With a ticking clock beside the huge plate (it’s distractingly pink, by the way) and fries the size of our fingers, this challenge is really for the hungry souls.

Our dear friend Dennis started off good. Too good, really. He quickly finished a quarter of the burger, then half of it. He took gulps of water in between bites and he felt full really fast. But the fries became his Waterloo: he couldn’t eat ’em all.

He tried all the ways to make the fries more appetizing: added salt, put lots of pepper and even showered them with catsup. But starch was not easy to take in. We requested for cotton candy to provide a contrast to the salty combo, and the cotton candy even became our makeshift pom-poms as we cheered him on. Sixteen minutes left in the clock and a quarter of the giant remaining, Dennis decided to give up. (Oh, and it  didn’t help that a song called Impossible was played during the challenge!)

The timer hit zero seconds and with Dennis’s wallet weeping, he handed over the S$40 dollars to the manager, who by the way, offered some insider info on how to successfully overcome the challenge  (holler in the comment box you want to know his tips!). Dennis considered it an an epic failure on his part and he refused to be called the burger king yet (hence, we’ll use prince for now). But he promised to do it again, when he returns to the Lion City in the future.

Sure, Singapore may be the land of chicken rice, chilli crab and kaya toast and it’s not famous for its burgers. But travelling is all about finding surprising tidbits of places you go to, right? Ditch your desires to take a burger challenge in other parts of the globe. This Singapore Giant Burger Challenge is really one for the books.



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