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The Gay Hussar information

The Gay Hussar serves a wide range of Hungarian dishes from its Soho location. Their generous portions will satisfy the biggest of appetites and you can wash your food down with a selection of drinks from the bar or the comprehensive wine list.

Ranked #1903 of 5241 restaurants in London

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Opening Hours
Opening Hours
MON

12:00 - 23:00

TUE

12:00 - 23:00

WED

12:00 - 23:00

THU

12:00 - 23:00

FRI

12:00 - 23:00

SAT

12:00 - 23:00

SUN

12:00 - 23:00

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What did you think of The Gay Hussar?

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The Gay Hussar reviews



By G.

The Gay Hussar deserves a prize for name alone, but also because it's the only Hungarian restaurant I've ever seen in London. If you've got a hankering for chicken pancakes or herring, the Gay Hussar is the place to go.


By Simon W.

The irony of this place is that most of the group left hungry. The ambience is something akin to a wake. The decor, where do you start? The only colour was in the doilies stapled to the wall, which were last seen in a charity shop in Skegness, along with the ageing political autobiographies which stare down at you throughout. Onto the food, and the Hungarian hors d’oeuvres were worse than Iceland’s own frozen specialities, despite their association with Kerry Katona. Most of the mains were returned barely eaten, for reasons from “it tasted like leather” to “it was basically a Hungarian fry-up but stodgier and flavourless”. We topped off the meal with the Hungarian liquor Unicum, which was the highlight despite tasting like stomach bile. Walking out the restaurant made me feel like Nicholas Lyndhurst in Goodnight Sweetheart, as I walked out of the 1940’s and back into the modern day. Not recommended.


By Peter C.

Great authentic Hungarian food (coming from a 1/2 Hungarian you can take this as true). Cosy atmosphere, although haven't been upstairs. Worth it for something a bit different! You must have some of the Tokaji dessert wine to finish


By Helen J.

We visited the Gay Hussar to get us in the mood for a visit to Budapest. The welcome early evening was friendly and we were seated at a table in the window where we sat side by side with a picture of a fat gentlemen at lunch with a bottle of champagne and glass in hand. Chilled Cherry Soup was delicious as was the more English fried mushrooms. Traditional Hungarian mains did not disappoint and we finished our meal with liquers of Unicum and Plum Brandy. With pre dinner drinks and service, the bill came to £90. An excellent night out in an unpretentious restaurant in a good location. Worth booking!


By Olivia G.

The building The Gay Hussar inhabits dates back to 1760 and has played host to restaurants since the '30s. And with manager John Wroebel having been in the post since 1988, the expression 'if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it' springs to mind - and quite right too.

The Venue
Early patrons to this London institution were mainly Communists and Labour party supporters, but 'Tory wets dined here when Mrs. Thatcher was in power', according to Wroebel. Today, Labour MPs and those in the media are bringing it back to the Left, but whatever your political persuasion, it’s a cosy and inviting place. The rich red walls display a multitude of Hungarian plates, whilst a load of little alcoves play host to rows of history books. It's certainly not somewhere that feels snooty, even if there are very smart white tablecloths and political memorabilia that includes satirical cartoons and letters from Michael Foot and James Callaghan.

The Atmosphere
It’s a popular place, for both large and small groups and couples. Background music is played very quietly, and the fact that the venue is carpeted means the acoustics allow pleasant conversion without you having to raise your voice. It’s not an angsty Michelin sort of restaurant and doesn’t try to be - it’s all rather relaxed and pleasant, aided by a friendly and efficient staff.

The Food
The menu has probably changed little since it first opened and it doesn't go down any faddish routes either - so don't expect staff to be talking about 'seasonality', 'provenance' or 'small plates'. Instead, it serves reliable, if not hugely exciting, Hungarian country food.

A starter of chilled cherry soup succeeds in not being too sweet and is a perfect foil for the rich main meal to follow. Breaded deep fried mushrooms with home made tartare sauce are perfectly acceptable; crisp and earthy. Other choices could include chicken pancakes or the frequently requested smoked Hungarian sausage.

For mains, fish dumplings in dill and mushroom sauce with rice; and veal goulash with galuska (dumplings) are the most popular choices. Chicken in creamy paprika with those ubiquitous dumpings is rich and satisfying, whilst a red cabbage side dish is also a notable hit. Portions are enormous, but somehow not much is left on the plate. Do make sure you leave some room for a dessert as they are very good indeed. Of particular note is the poppy seed strudel served with home made vanilla ice-cream - it's flaky and chewy at the same time, and delicious to boot.

The Drink
The wine list here is comprehensive, with a big nod towards the reds, probably to accompany all those rich meats. The Hungarian house red (Lake Balaton) is exceptionally good; robust and full bodied. It’s sold by the glass but order a bottle; one glass is just not enough. As well as Hungarian wines and liqueurs (such as Slivovitz and Unicum), they have Pol Roger champagne if you're in the mood to celebrate.

The Last Word
There are places that serve better food, but if you want a genuine bit of history, reliable Hungarian comfort food and a friendly environment oozing with atmosphere, you should definitely give this a go.

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