Monday, 15 December 2014

Best Ever Red Cabbage Recipe

A must have accompaniment to any Christmas meal, this red cabbage recipe borrowed from BBC Good Food is a sure fire hit!

1½ kg red cabbages
2 onions, chopped
4 Granny Smiths apples, peeled and cored and chopped
zest 1 orange or 2 clementines
2 tsp ground mixed spice
100g light soft brown sugar
3 tbsp cider vinegar
300ml dry cider
25g butter

  1. Peel off the outer leaves from the cabbage and discard. Quarter the cabbage, removing the tough stem, then thinly slice. Arrange a layer of the cabbage on the bottom of a large saucepan, followed by some of the onions, apples, zest, mixed spice, sugar and seasoning. Continue to create layers until you have used up the ingredients.
  2. Pour over the vinegar and cider and dot the butter on top. Bring to the boil then simmer with a lid on over low heat for 1½ hrs, until tender. The cabbage will keep for 2 days, covered, in the fridge or freeze for up to 1 month. Reheat in either a pan or in the microwave.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Mulled Wine Recipe

Now Christmas is less than a month away it is time to well and truly embrace Christmas food and drink, starting with this fabulous winter warmer - mulled wine. Contrary to popular opinion, it's super easy to make and taste exactly like Christmas in a glass. The beautiful warmth comes from the use of festive spices: cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix together all the ingredients over a very low heat to help all those Christmas flavours infuse.


To make this festive warmer, you will need:

2 clementines
1 lemon
1 lime
200 grams of caster sugar
6 whole cloves
1 stick of cinnamon
3 fresh bay leaves
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways
2 star anise
2 bottles of red wine


Peel large section of peel from your clementines, lemon and lime using a speed peeler.
Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the clementine juice. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and about 10 to 12 gratings of nutmeg. Add in your halved vanilla pod and stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.
Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved into the red wine and then bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you've got a beautiful thick syrup.
When your syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add your star anise and the rest of the wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it's warm and delicious, ladle it into glasses and serve.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A Brief History of Budapest

After focussing on the history of the Gay Hussar in recent weeks, we thought it was about time we focussed on our beloved country, Hungary, specifically the capital city, Budapest.

Budapest is the capital and the largest city of Hungary. In 2011, according to the census, Budapest had 1.74 million inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2.1 million due to suburbanisation.

The history of Budapest began with Aquincum, originally a Celtic settlement that became the Roman capital of Pannonia Inferior. Hungarians arrived in the territory in the 9th century. Their first settlement was pillaged by the Mongols in 1241–42. The re-established town became one of the centres of Renaissance humanist culture in the 15th century. Following the Battle of Mohács and nearly 150 years of Ottoman rule, the region entered a new age of prosperity in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Budapest became a global city after its unification in 1873. It also became the second capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a great power that dissolved in 1918, following World War I. Budapest was the focal point of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Hungarian Republic of Councils of 1919, Operation Panzerfaust in 1944, the Battle of Budapest in 1945, and the Revolution of 1956.

Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest's extensive World Heritage Site includes the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue, Heroes' Square and the Millennium Underground Railway, the second-oldest metro line in the world. It has around 80 geothermal springs, the world's largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, and third largest Parliament building. The city attracts about 4.3 million tourists a year, making it the 25th most popular city in the world, and the 6th in Europe, according to Euromonitor.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Christmas Party Menu

Christmas is fast approaching, make sure you book a table at the Gay Hussar! We have a special Christmas party menu which you can eat in the main restaurant. We also boast two private rooms, known to have held many a secret meeting, both of which can be hired out to make your Christmas party extra special!

Gay Hussar Christmas Party Menu @ £45.00


Smoked Salmon Trio – Cured Salmon, Salmon Tartare & Salmon Caviar

Traditional Beef Goulash Soup 

Seared Hungarian Foie Gras, Toasted Rye Bread and Tokaji Aszu Jelly

Goats Cheese Strudel with Truffled Honey

Main Course

Venison Goulash with Fragrant Wild Rice and Red Cabbage

Seasonal Spicy Hungarian Bouillabaisse

Grilled Breast of Duck, Celeriac Puree, Green Beans

Roast Partridge in a Potato Basket with Puy Lentils and Pancetta

Vegetarian Pancakes, Fresh Leaf Spinach, Truffled Tomato Sauce


Poppy Seed Strudel with Vanilla Ice Cream (N)

Gundel Style Walnut Pancakes with Melted Chocolate (N)

Selection of Hungarian Cheeses

Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce (N)

Coffee, Espresso, Cappuccino

Monday, 10 November 2014

History of Paprika

Paprika is a spice  made from air-dried fruits of the chilli pepper family of the species Capsicum annuum. Although paprika is often associated with Hungarian cuisine, the chilies from which it is made are native to the New World. Spain and Portugal introduced C. annuum to the Old World from the Americas. Spanish pimentón, as it is known there, is often smoked, giving it a unique, earthy flavour. The seasoning is also used to add colour and flavour to many types of dishes.

The use of paprika expanded from Iberia throughout Africa and Asia, and ultimately reached Central Europe through the Balkans, which were under Ottoman rule, explaining the Hungarian origin of the modern English term. In Spanish, paprika has been known as pimentón since the 1500s, when it became a typical ingredient of the western region of Extremadura. Despite its presence in Central Europe since the beginning of Ottoman conquests, it did not become popular in Hungary until the late 19th century.

Central European paprika was hot until the 1920s, when a Szeged breeder found one plant that produced sweet fruit. This was grafted onto other plants. Nowadays, paprika can range from mild to hot, and flavours also vary from country to country, but almost all the plants grown produce the sweet variety. The sweet paprika is mostly pericarp with more than half of the seeds removed, whereas hot paprika contains some seeds, placentas, calyces and stalks.

Paprika is produced in places including Hungary, Serbia, Spain, Macedonia, and some regions of the United States. It is used as an ingredient in a broad variety of dishes throughout the world. It is principally used to season and colour rices, stews, and soups, such as goulash, and in the preparation of sausages as an ingredient mixed with meats and other spices. In the United States, paprika is frequently sprinkled on foods as a garnish, but the flavour is more effectively produced by heating it gently in oil.

Spanish paprika (pimentón) is available in three versions — mild (pimentón dulce), moderately spicy (pimentón agridulce), and very spicy (pimentón picante). Some Spanish paprika, including pimentón de la Vera has a distinct smoky flavour and aroma, as it is dried by smoking, typically using oakwood.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Traditional Hungarian Goulash Recipe

Last week we saw Carlos making Gay Hussar's famous veal goulash, and as great as it is to see the main man at work, boy is it difficult to keep track of quantities. Luckily, he was feeling kind and decided to share the exact recipe for veal goulash.

Now the nights are drawing in, there is nothing better than to warm your cockles with a heart portion of this. Alternatively, cook up a large pot and serve at a dinner party; we promise that your friends will be impressed!

Serves 4

700g veal, large cubes
30g plain flour
1 large onion, finely chopped,
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
olive oil
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp chicken bouillon
1 green pepper, sliced
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 red pepper, slices
400ml water
large handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper
150ml sour cream

1. In a large sauce pan, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and the garlic and onion. Allow to sautee for 5 minutes, until the onion turns translucent.
2. Add the veal in batches, and cook off until it turns caramelised around the edges.
3. Add the chicken bouillon, water, salt and pepper and tomato puree. Add the all important paprika.
4. Reduce the heat, pop a lid and allow to simmer away for a couple of hours until the veal is very tender when poked. Make a paste by adding the flour to a small bowl together with a couple of tablespoons of water. Mix together and add to the pot.
5. Finish off by adding the pepper and tomatoes. Cook for a further 10 minutes. Check the seasoning.
6. Just before you serve, stir through the parsley and sour cream.
7. Ideally serve with gubluska. Alternatively serve with rice.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Video: How to Make Goulash!

Manager of Gay Hussar, John, and head chef Carlos demonstrate how to make the Gay Hussar's world famous Hungarian Goulash in today's video!

Next week, look out for the recipe!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Recipe: Poppyseed Strudel

Anyone who is a regular visitor of the Gay Hussar will know one thing: our poppyseed strudel is always on the menu. Why? Well, it's not because our chefs can't be bothered to change the menu, oh no, it's because our strudel is so amazing! To quote one of our beloved customer's comments on Trip Advisor: 'the strudel is to die for'. We can't help but agree!


Anyone who saw the pastry episode of this series' Great British Bake Off will have seen how tricky filo pastry is to make. Luckily in this day and age, there are always cheats available, and filo pastry bought from the shops is more than acceptable. 

This recipe can be made a day ahead, very useful for forward planning!

100g poppy seeds
70ml milk
125g granulated sugar, plus a little extra
3tbsp butter
zest of half a lemon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
6 large sheet of filo pastry
50g butter, melted

1. To make the filling, heat the milk, sugar, salt, poppy seeds, butter and lemon zest in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until the mixture is thickened and smooth. Add the vanilla.
2. Preheat the oven to 200C and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. Place a sheet of filo on one of the tray and then lightly brush with melted butter. Sprinkle over 1 tsp sugar. Repeat the process until there are 3 layers of filo. Repeat with the remaining sheets of filo on the second tray.
3. Divide the poppyseed mix along the shorted edge of both the pastry sheets and gently roll into two logs, tucking in the ends as you go. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle over 1 tbsp sugar. 
4. Bake for 25 minutes or until the pasty is golden brown and crisp. Allow to cool slightly and then cut each strudel into 6 diagonal slices.
Serve two slices each with vanilla ice cream.

Monday, 13 October 2014

The Gay Hussar History Part 2 - 1989 to present day

In today's post we continue the Gay Hussar story from where we left off, at the beginning of 1989.

In 1989, it was widely reported that the day before her 89th birthday, the Queen Mother talking with guests expressed her particular interest in the Gay Hussar and its ‘goings-on' whilst hosting tea in the gardens of Clarence House.

In 1999 renowned political cartoonist, now the President of the British Cartoonist, Martin Rowson drew the Tribune dinner. Rowson says that this inspired him “to draw the famous and infamous patrons, as an enduring record of the Gay Hussar’s place in the history of the second half of the twentieth century, with the intentions that these portraits of the eminence figures of past, present and future importance should end-up, hanging and drawn, on the restaurant's wall. Martin sat in the corner, wheezing consumptively and scribbling away over his supper till he completed”.

Victor Sassie passed away on June 7th that year. Journalist Ian Aitken writes ‘He was equally tyrannical to his regulars, not least about what you ate. If you ordered before he could get at you, he would dash over to your table and demand to be told what you were having. “Don’t have that muck, that’s tourist stuff”, he would snort. Then he would summon a waiter and order you something entirely different’.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Gay Hussar History Part 1 - 1953-1989

Unfortunately in today's world, our high streets are full of chain restaurants, all the same, with little to no history or character. The Gay Hussar, now in its 61st year, could not be more different! It is a melting pot of history and intrigue.

Let's share some of that today!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Gay Hussar Caricatures

Walk into Gay Hussar and you cannot fail to notice the caricatures hanging on the walls. Drawn by the famous and world renown caricaturist, Martin Rowson, they are a real conversation starter.

The portraits are incredibly uncanny, if a little cruel (!) and they certainly make a wonderful backdrop to any meal at the Gay Hussar.

The portraits depict famous politicians, past and present. Who can you spot?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

10 Facts about Hungary

1. Hungary is home to around 10 million people

2. Hungary is landlocked. However, don't be fooled in thinking that it lacks any notable water. It is home to Lake Balaton - the largest in central Europe.

3. Hungary borders Slovakia, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia

4. Like neighbouring countries, Hungary was part of the Celtic world, then the Roman Empire. Following the fall of Rome, the Huns settled in and gave their name to Hungary

5. Hungary is one the oldest countries in Europe. It was founded in 896

6. Hungarian language is known as Mayar. It is a direct descendent of the language spoken by the Huns, and is therefore only one the of the handful of languages spoken within the European Union that are not of Indo-European origin

7. After centuries as a powerful medieval kingdom, Hungary was part of the Ottoman and Habsburg empires from the 16th century onwards, emerging as an independent country again after World War I

8. Hungary has the highest standard VAT rate in the world at an astounding 27%

9. Hungarian, Erno Rubik, invented the Rubik's cube

10. As of 2007, 13 Hungarians have won the Nobel Prize

Tuesday, 23 September 2014


So you've landed on our blog, seen the title, and you're still asking yourselves what on earth is Puszta?

Well, the wait is over...

Monday, 15 September 2014

Blogging Party at the Gay Hussar

Last night, a host of hungry yelpers descended on Gay Hussar for a night of feasting and drinking the best that Hungary has to offer.

Proceedings kicked off with schnapps; a fire breathing, heady mix which must surely be the world's best ice breaker.

The yelpers chatted amongst themselves and took in the wondrous caricatures of famous politicians which adorn the walls of Gay Hussar; the sometimes cruel, yet uncanny, humorous works of Martin Rowson.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Biography of Victor Sassie

Victor Sassie. Even now, decades after his retirement, his name is synonymous with Gay 
Hussar. Most people know of his character, his larger than life personality, his penchant for 
ordering for customers… 


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Recipe: Perfect French Bread

Walk into Gay Hussar and you will see that we always have fresh bread ready to serve with
all of our meals. Bread is an integral part of the Hungarian diet, most likely because we like
to mop up every last bit of goulash!

There are few simple pleasures in life that give the level of satisfaction, and heavenly smell,
that comes from baking bread. Here is a recipe, perfect to serve alongside salads and lighter
dishes as we enjoy the last moments of summer.