The Zsalya Bistro is one of a new breed of eateries in the Eger region, serving contemporary Hungarian cuisine with a splash of international influence.
Much has been written of this place in the Hungarian media and it was recently the subject of an article that claimed it was among the best restaurants in Hungary.
The interior wouldn't look out of place in a big city, fashionable sort of place
The interior exudes contemporary cool; the food mixes the traditional with the modern.
Beef from the Grey Cattle of the Puszta, freshly picked mushrooms from the Bükk forest, rainbow trout from the Szalajka Valley, home-made cheeses and cured meats, and many other fresh and local ingredients are used to make their dishes authentically Hungarian, while also nodding to the cuisines of other countries with the odd whiff of 'foreignness'.
Cold, strawberry soup, refreshing on a hot summer's day.
It is not only the food that will impress, Zsalya ('sage' in English) also has an extensive wine list featuring wines from the Bolyki Cellars, possibly the most dynamic of the new winemakers in Eger.
As well as the rather design-conscious interior, there is also a nice, shaded terrace on which to enjoy your food and sup your wine.
The Zsalya's terrace is abuzz on long, summer evenings
Ieger is a fan of this bistro but there is one glaring problem with it, one expressed by nearly everyone I have met who has dined there, and that is the service.
Rude, slow, uninterested are just some of the adjectives I have heard used to describe the waiting staff. If the Zsalya were to improve this aspect of their business, then perhaps they would be deserving of the accolade 'best restaurant in Eger'.
The Zsalya Bistro is attached to the Hotel Aqua