Nutritionist & Life Coach
Meeting all requirements to call myself so (i.e. none)
Published January 18th 2019
Hungrily hunker down on Hungarian hunger stoppers
Alex and Eve have been in the restaurant game for 55 years and they have clearly learnt a thing or two about the caper during that time. Please note they should not to be mistaken with Adam and Eve, who are of similar vintage.
One gets the feeling when dining at Champagne Charlize that they are in fact friends visiting friends rather than customers – though Alex is a savvy businessman, never missing an opportunity to hand out the menu and invite further custom whenever he can.
It's amazing that between the two of them – Eve the sole chef in the kitchen and Alex the lone hand front of house – they can cover a breakfast, lunch and dinner service three days a week, covering breakfast and lunch for the other three. Monday is the only day the place isn't open (and crowded) on which day the presumably sleep for the entire 24 hours.
The cuisine is nominally European and the couple's Hungarian heritage is on display with the Goulash served in a miniature Bogracs (below) and the Paprika Chicken.
Goulash is apparently Hungarian for "cowboy" meaning this is the stew that Hungarian cattle tenders have devoured out of a larger version of the bogracs for centuries. One taste will tell you why it's been a classic. Eve uses some delightfully slow cooked oyster blade steak with the Hungarian staple of capsicum and the obligatory potato & onion.
As astounding as the quality of the grub is, even more astounding is the length of the menu and the variety on offer with only the single operator in the kitchen. This bears testament to how much of a wizard Eve is behind the kitchen door.
You do find a bit of sameness about some of the dishes – many of them from the lunch menu are served with the same chips and salad on the side but how many places in a similar price range with infinitely more staff do the same?
Spending any time at the restaurant and there's no doubt why there is so much return patronage. Alex and Eve are truly putting the hospitality back into the hospitality industry. By way of example, the Goulash is usually available only for the dinner service however upon being questioned by my brother-in-law as to what is their specialty (and therefore what he should order) Alex went and put the Goulash on the lunch menu too – replete with the Bogracs. Or maybe this dish has the best profit margin…
Whatever the case Champagne Charlize belies, its title suggestive of boozy hens parties and provides warm, friendly service along with quality vittles' served with love and in vast volume.