“Howdy, is this Fool Mule”? The girl looks askance at the stranger who’s strolled into the quiet, elegant restaurant in the heart of Budapest’s Joseph’s Town. “Pardon”.
I pull out my notebook and point towards my entry for Fulemule. She smiles and exaggeratedly says “Foolay Moolay” as though she were talking to a recalcitrant child.
“I’m sorry about that” I offer. “I wasn’t sure how to pronounce it” She smiles and leads me to a table. It’s a peaceful afternoon in Budapest, the windows of the restaurant are flung open letting in a cool breeze, the smell of frying goose fills the air. All is good and right at Fulemule on this day.
During the run up to my visiting Budapest I knew that I was going to be in for some serious soul food eating. Zsido konyha or Jewish cuisine figured prominently in my research and the name Fulemule kept recurring in my studies.
The menu at this restaurant is a Jews dream of homecooking with all the goose, brisket and cholents one could ever dream of. Also, Andras Singer, the owner, has stepped into the clearlight. Pork, in all it’s glory is served with pride at this Jewish kitchen.
I start at the top of the menu by ordering crispy leg of goose with potato latkes and sour cream cheese sauce [ ropogos libacomb tejifolos-sajtos krumplis latkessze ]. The tales of the legendary portion size of Jewish food are in my head so I forgo even a soup as I wonder if I’ll be able to finish my plate.
I sip a typically delicious glass of Hungarian white wine as I take in the room. It’s quite small, seating perhaps 30 some odd diners with a host of photos on the wall including one of Mr. Singer with Eric Burdon of the Animals and a somewhat incongruous Magyar karate fighter poster from a few years back.
I’m shaken from my reverie by my platter of Jewish soul foods arrival. The goose is indeed crispy with a shattering crust of hide giving way to a paper thin layer of luscious goose fat. Two potato latkes sit off to the side on the platter each the size of a cabbies wallet. They’re adorned with high quality sour cream and grated white cheese which, as the meal progresses turns into a unified sauce of utmost deliciousness.
This food is so good I wonder how I might slip the cook [ surely an elderly Jewish lady ] a mickey and smuggle her back into the US. Once there we’ll set about our new life together; me eating high quality Jewish food and her acclimating herself to life on Austin Texas’ rough and tumble Eastside.
As I depart the restaurant I stop to chat a moment with Mr. Singer who’s holding court at a table near the front door. Although Fulemule looks like it opened in the 1940’s it’s actually only been cooking for a decade or so. The building however, is ancient and one wonders what businesses have plied their trade in this very room.
Stepping out into the sweet Hungarian sunshine my mind is ablaze. High level cooking often does this to me. I need to decompress from eating cuisine of this calibre. I stroll off deeper into the heart of Jozsefvaros marveling at the architecture in this exotic land of Budapest.
1085 Kofarago utca 5
Tel. +36 1 266-7947
Sun-Thu 12 pm – 10 pm, Fri – Sat 12 pm – 11 pm
About the Stars:
4 **** Extraordinary, life changing
3 *** Excellent
2 * Very good
1 * Good
0 * Mediocre to Acceptable
Quality, price, service and ambiance are all taken into account when rating.