Hickery Dickery Dock
Martin went into the clock
The clock struck one
So he had a soup
Hickory Dickory Dock
(A not so traditional children’s rhyme)
This Buda pub, just up the street from the back entrance to Déli train station, on Nagyengyed utca is a comfortable place to find oneself. There isn’t anything too surprising about the prices considering that it advertises itself as a restaurant/pub. The draught beer is all above 500huf. The bottled beer has one under. Guinness, and this is what first attracted me to this place some years ago, has now passed the 1000huf mark. In fact, it’s a little bit more still. But never mind, I wouldn’t recommend it. When I asked for a pint I was told there wouldn’t be any till November; it was a draw* I was unwilling to wait for. Instead I opted for Dreher Bak in the bottle, a potent affair, and perused the menu.
There is a wide selection of the usual Hungarian fare. Meat, in different styles with the usual trimmings. I won’t here elucidate. I was hungry but had not intended to run too high a bill so after flirting with the main courses all in the 1800huf to 2200huf range – steak higher, of course; salads surprisingly not that much lower – I chose a soup. It wasn’t necessary to splash out. I would be heading home in a while and to plenty of food in the fridge. As it was another soup would be waiting for me – thankfully different. What I chose at the Clock was a veal ragout with sour cream. Nice? Yes! Very nice? Hmmm, yes. The best ever? Take it easy!!! I may have to turn into Johnny Depp in “Once Upon A Time In Mexico” if that were to ever happen. In truth, to sum up the dining experience: it was pleasant, efficient, quick as was necessary, and the staff, at least my waitress ‘for today’ was comfortably friendly. By that I mean she didn’t have to try – no fake smile cracking her frown – she was a natural. On good days, on bad, I’m sure she’d have her moods but she struck me, as first, professional.
The place itself is all indoors so forget it if you want the garden-terrace ambiance. Down the street there is a pizzeria place, good as I’ve heard – the verdict is forthcoming, and they have that outdoor appeal. Here it’s enclosed in a typical Irish-y pub feel, the theme here being clocks, the big one looming above, on entering, on the ceiling; the shelves all around covered with them, pictures, wallpaper, real old devices.
The Clock is not short of clocks so if you have a funky phobia, forget it, but if you’re a little malicious and like to set alarm clocks in appliance shops, this may have that quirky appeal, though I haven’t test-driven any of the clocks here on offer so don’t take my word on their functioning.
To the front and left of the entrance runs the bar with a smattering of tables off into the corner while to the right another cluster of tables and chairs. It’s all cosy without being cramped. It is nice. I would recommend it so, if you have the time, and if you don’t, try out The Clock.
*In this case draw means “the draw on the pint” meaning how much has been taken from the keg that particular day.