BENGALURU: When Karishma Nagare returned from her trip to Prague and Budapest last year, the one thing she missed the most was the many carts selling Kürtoskalács, or chimney cakes and cones. Yearning for the popular dessert of Hungary, she then decided to introduce the same to India, including Bengaluru, through Kurtosshhh, located at Inorbit Mall at Whitefield and since September 1, in Indiranagar too.
Kurtosshhh, however, is not the only eatery serving up a slice of Budapest in Bengaluru. Kurtoskalacs, which opened in Koramangala in December 2018, and Budapest Bake Inn, which opened two outlets in Indiranagar and BTM in June, also serve chimney cakes and cones: Sweet delicacies made from flour and sugar, which could be had hollow or stuffed with fillings. The response, owners of all three say, has been good, so much so that multiple outlets are already on the way. While Kurtoskalacs recently set shop in Indiranagar, Budapest Bake Inn is already looking at Church Street for their third outlet.
“It’s been long since people have been eating pizzas, pastas and burgers. We thought it was time for some revolution in the food scene and Hungarian food seemed untouched in India,” explains Nagare, co-owner of Kurtosshhh, which sees sales of close to `25,000 a day.
Concurs Ramzy Syed, who co-founded Kurtoskalacs with Nowman Sayed, Junaid Sayed and Arshak Ali, in order to bring something unique into the food scene. But were they nervous about their new offering? Very, says Syed, who admits, “We included pancakes too on the menu to include some conventional fare.” But he soon learned that there was no need to rely on a safety net. The outlet sees more than 150 people come in one weekends and the response for chimney cakes was overwhelming enough for them to take pancakes off the menu within three months.
All three eateries have tweaked their dishes slightly to give Indians something that might be more suitable to their palate. “Indians often need an agenda to eat something sweet. But they head out often for savouries,” explains Nagare. Kurtosshhh then went on to introduce kürtoskalács with Indo-Hungarian, Mexican and Italian flavours stuffed into them. Variants of paneer, chicken, spinach and corn, and mac ‘n’ cheese are now common on menus of all three cafes. “About 55 per cent people opt for savoury cones more than sweet ones,” adds Nagare.
While the cuisine may be new in Bengaluru, customers are not completely unfamiliar with chimney cakes, thanks to a wanderlust bug that seems to have bitten many. According to B Tirupati Patro, one of the partners at Budapest Bake Inn, at least 30 to 40 per cent of the customers who visit the cafe are people who know what the sweet dish is. “These are well-travelled people who have been to Europe, know what the dish is and are excited to find it back home in namma Bengaluru,” he says.