DIARY: Let's do lunch

The Gay Hussar - Reviewed by Paul Richards, founder Paul Richards Communications

The Gay Hussar is the antithesis of the rest of Soho's neon lights and chrome-coated bars and restaurants. This clubby, cosy restaurant has been serving traditional Hungarian food and wine since 1953. It is definitely not trendy, which is why it survives alongside its here-today, gone-tomorrow neighbours. There's no sign of focaccia or rocket, and very little olive-oil-drizzling going on.

If you can't spot a journalist from Tribune or The Guardian, or even a Labour politician, you're not trying. There are hundreds of caricatures on the walls, forming a gallery of famous politicians, from Roy Hattersley to Michael Portillo.

Hungarian cooking is hearty and untroubled by modern advice on healthy eating. There's plenty of meat, sauces, pancakes and cakes. Try the smoked goose or roast duck, or the Hortobagy pancakes, filled with meat and covered in a creamy paprika sauce, or the porkolt with galuska (pork with Hungarian pasta). There's goulash, red cabbage, liver, sauerkraut and apple sauce.

The signature dish is cold cherry soup. To drink, there's the famous Bull's Blood or Tokaji dessert wine to complement your sweet cheese pancakes.

But you're packed in close to other tables. Not a place to meet your head-hunter. For that, there are private rooms on the upper floors, free to book for a discreet gathering.

Where 2 Greek St, Soho, London W1D

Contact 020 7437 0973

How much £15.50 for two courses

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