Selected Restaurant

The Gay Hussar

2 Greek Street, London, W1D 4NB

Famed for much of its existence for being the liberal left's favourite haunt to catch up on goulash and political gossip, The Gay Hussar has seen the likes of Aneurin Bevan, Michael Foot and Tom Driberg, Labour's old guard, stopping by regularly along with a clutch of journalists, artists and socialites. Named after Hungarian light cavalry, the restaurant was established in 1953 by Victor Sassie and continues to hold fort in Greek Street as a bastion of traditional Hungarian cooking. While no longer the venue for political skulduggery, it still serves hearty portions of many old favourites though the menu has been given a lighter touch. Guests can experience its unique atmosphere in a cosy interior embellished with signed caricatures of politicians, by cartoonist Martin Rowson, looking down from the walls and book shelves stacked with political first editions.

Famed for much of its existence for being the liberal left's favourite haunt to catch up on goulash and political gossip, The Gay Hussar has seen the likes of Aneurin Bevan, Michael Foot and Tom Driberg, Labour's old guard, stopping by regularly along with a clutch of journalists, artists and socialites. Named after Hungarian light cavalry, the restaurant was established in 1953 by Victor Sassie and continues to hold fort in Greek Street as a bastion of traditional Hungarian cooking. While no longer the venue for political skulduggery, it still serves hearty portions of many old favourites though the menu has been given a lighter touch.

Guests can experience its unique atmosphere in a cosy interior embellished with signed caricatures of politicians, by cartoonist Martin Rowson, looking down from the walls and book shelves stacked with political first editions. Relax and unwind in comfortable banquette seating in a dark wood panelled setting, which makes no concessions to the vagaries of contemporary style, while considering ordering the restaurant's specialties - chilled wild cherry soup, pressed boar's head or veal goulash with small dumplings. 
 
Alternatively, dinner could begin with dishes such as fresh asparagus and bacon salad, marinated fillet of herring with soured cream or debreceni kolbász, smoked Hungarian sausage. Mains options include grilled sea bass with leek and potato cake, crispy roast duck with potatoes, red cabbage and apple sauce, pan fried pork fillet with diced potatoes, bacon and garlic and smoked breast of goose with sólet and red cabbage. Round off the satisfying meal with delightful desserts of walnut pancakes with chocolate sauce, poppy seed strudel with vanilla ice cream or dobos torta, layered gâteau with caramel top.

The lunch menu offers great value and costs £19 for two courses and £22 for three courses. It features starters of fish terrine with beetroot sauce and cucumber salad, goose and pork pâté, mixed Hungarian salami and fish dumplings in creamy dill and mushroom sauce. For the main course, there's choice of chicken in a creamy paprika sauce and galuska, veal wiener schnitzel with sauté potatoes and pepper salad or medallions of pork fillet with bacon, onions and paprika.

Vegetarians can look forward to such dishes as fried mushrooms with tartare sauce vegetarian goulash, stuffed peppers, spinach pancakes, sweet pepper salad and galuska, thimble egg dumplings.
 
The Gay Hussar's convenient location in the heart of Theatreland makes it a natural stop for a pre theatre dinner. It offers theatregoers a 20 per cent discount on its à la carte menu if tables are vacated by 7.30 p.m. An extensive selection of fine Hungarian red and white wines, including Badacsonyi Riesling and Villányi Cabernet Sauvignon, Tokaji dessert wine, liqueurs, sparkling wine and champagne complements the meal perfectly.
 
Two private rooms, known to have held many a secret meeting, are available for meetings or private dining. You can even book the whole venue, spread over three floors, for exclusive use for groups of up to 120 people. The Gay Hussar is open from 12.15 pm. Monday to Saturday. Click on their Website for further information.

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East European, Hungarian

: 12:15 - 14:30 17:30 - 22:45

Reservations: 020 7437 0973

Click here to visit

2 Greek Street, London, W1D 4NB [Map]

N/A    £39.00

£19 (2 courses) to £22 (3 courses)

(Avg Price is the average cost per person for two courses, coffee, half a bottle of house wine and tip/service)

REVIEWS OF The Gay Hussar

Graham English (17 May 2006)

The Gay Hussar goes on and on. Having been a regular for 20 years I was disappointed at the standard of cooking. The roast breast of goose was overcooked and tough as was my partners duck main course. The chilled wild cherry soup and summer fruit pudding were as good as ever. What disappointed most was the level of service, very slow unless you are a well known regular. There is now an annoying tendency to add many supplements to the set price lunch popular dishes. This can hike up the bill and as such the food should be cooked with a little more care. Let's hope that this is a one off!

Susan (12 July 2005)

The highlight meal of our London vacation! Fabulous food, generous portions, great service, friendly staff and wonderful ambience. I can highly recommend this fine restaurant and plan to return each and every time I am in London. Outstanding items on the menu are: Cold Wild Cherry Soup, Stuffed Cabbage, and Dobos Torte for dessert. All are totally authentic, Old World recipes!

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