Ferenczy István utca [map]
Pest Centre, V, Astoria (M2), 2 min

Rating: 8.5/10
Once upon a time, there lived a small boy called Csendes. He was a quiet boy with a vivid imagination. Csendes lived with his aunt who lived in a tiny little house. She didn't have an awful lot of money but one day inherited a large room on Ferenczy István utca from her grandfather. She took Csendes along to see. As they looked around the empty room, at the blank walls and up to the high ceiling, she began to cry.
"Why are you crying?", asked the boy.
"Well, I've got this big room but I don't have anything to put in it."

That night, Csendes tried to think of some things to put in the room. Tables and chairs, he thought, and lots of lamps. He thought about the blank walls and he pictured a duck eating its dinner. But the duck looked lonely so he thought of a man with big lop-sided ears, holding a cat in his arms. They can have a party, he thought. And then, one by one, other animals joined in.

Csendes was dreaming now. At the window, he saw a huge bird with a bright green head, who squawked at a piglet flying across the room. The piglet narrowly avoided a wooden elephant, who wasn't looking as he tried to get out of the way of a parachuting duck. In one corner, a crowd of animals watched a football match, while in another, a pair of legs in pyjamas got off a bicycle, climbed into a boat and sailed off down Tátika utca...

So this is Csendes: the dreams of a child turned into a cafe which turns into a bar when the skies grow dark. And although half of me thinks it's way over the top, the other half can't help but notice people's faces lighting up as soon as they enter the room. The joss-sticks, rugs, tablecloths and piano jazz add to the atmosphere, as do the waitresses, who are polite and friendly, and there when you need them.

Although it's a big room, it isn't that big, and being opposite ELTE university, it fills up pretty quickly in the evening. There is also some low-key entertainment: DJs sets, sometimes with vocals, and the occasional Jazz trio. Drinks are reasonably priced and displayed on an enormous blackboard behind the bar.

Csendes gets infinity points for trying and from the outset, looks like it has belonged in Budapest for years. In a city where many bars go for 'quirky', Csendes has trumped them all by taking it to the absolute limit. What's more, if you're waiting for your friends to turn up, you'll have some company to pass the time. "That's right!", oinked the piglet, still hovering above.

Service: 9/10
Atmosphere: 9/10

Value for money: 8/10
What people we know think: 8/10

Andy Sz.



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