Fine Dining

15 Stamford x Hungarian Set Dinner @ City Hall

Lots of good restaurants recently have done this “four-hands” concepts, where they invite a guest chef from another restaurant to try to inject some fresh perspectives their regular menu. 15 Stamford by Alvin Leung did that with a limited-time Hungarian Menu.

Demon Chef Alvin Leung’s logo

15 Stamford by Alvin Leung opened with lots of fanfare in Jan 2019, a lot of media coverage, and a lot of anticipation. I have been to his 2-star Bo Innovation (lost a star in 2020) in Hong Kong, and really enjoyed that experience. Chef Alvin is not a formally trained chef, but because of that, he is very bold in experimenting with techniques and ingredients.

15 Stamford by Alvin Leung partnered with Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest’s Executive Chef Peter Bardos of to craft an exclusive menu for Hungarian Gourmet Week. This special dinner set was only available from 24 to 29 April 2023.

Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest’s Executive Chef Peter Bardos

Five-Course Gourmet Hungarian Set Dinner

There was no menu to choose from, just a question on food allergy. And then off we went with this special degustation menu with Hungarian wine pairing. I had no idea about Hungarian wine, so this would be a very interesting journey.

Whole grain brioche

Once the formalities were over, we were served their in-house whole grain brioche. I was never a fan of whole grains, but the brioche was fluffy and moist.

Duck Foie Gras Terrine

Marinated with Tokaj Wine, Green Walnuts, Brioche Toast

Duck Foie Gras Terrine

We started the meal with the duck foie gras terrine with Tokaj wine marinade, green walnuts, and a special piece of brioche grilled separately on the grill. A single nasturtium leaf was used to decorate the quenelle of apricot marmalade. Green walnuts are just unripe walnuts harvested before the shells form on the inside. Very rich, very decadent, buttery, it was a lot of terrine for starter.

Marinated with Tokaj Wine, Green Walnuts, Brioche Toast

Tokaj wine is known for its complex flavour profile, which includes hints of honey, apricot, and caramelised sugar. The marmalade helped to cut through the fatty richness of the foie gras, creating a harmonious balance of flavours. Served with a crispy slice of brioche to that totally blew out minds with the smokiness. Just one problem, the toast was cold.

Juliet Victor Szamorodni 2018

The first sweet Szamorodni of the winery made from grapes affected by the noble rot botrytis and selected from the historical vineyards of Mád, and matured in oak barrels.

A very modern Tokaj style with rich spicy oak, no oxidation, and an outstanding concentration of fruit. The intensely floral note shows notes of apricot jam and saffron. The palate is elegant and precise, with the wonderful quality of fruit and tell-tale Tokaj mineral crispness.

Tasting note: sweet but with the crisp of the white, quite a good appetiser wine.

Goose Consommé

Spring Vegetables, Herb Semolina Dumpling

Goose Consommé

This was our favourite for the evening, the goose consommé. It was served on the table side, poured from the teapot for dramatic purpose as well as to keep the consommé hot until the minute served.

Hungarian Goose Consommé

As the consommé was poured the fragrance of the herbs and goose permeated around the table. It was really refreshing to sensory to see such clear soup although it was boiled for a long time. If you are a home cook like me, you know how difficult it is to make clear soup with all the flavours.

Spring Vegetables, Herb Semolina Dumpling

The last time I had a similar dumpling was when I was in Mannheim and eating out of the Universität canteen for 5 days a week. The only hot item was this Hungarian dumpling soup. I did not touch this for another 30 years. Haha. It was a nostalgic trip down memory lane as I ate this semolina dumpling with a hint of cheese, but not too much to make it too greasy.

Juliet Victor Estate Furmint 2019

Clear, light, medium viscosity, light gold, straw yellow colour, with green reflexes.

Clean, medium intensity, developing aromas, apple, green apple, mild herbal, chamomile character, salty, stony nose.

Dry, non-descript, medium-long finish, grated apple, vanilla, with salty notes, balanced, rich in aromas

Tasting Note: Almost like a Cloudy Bay Chardonnay. Good drink for its price point. Should mature given a year or two more.

Crepe a’la Hortobágy

Chicken Paprikash, Cucumber Relish, Sour Cream

Crepe a’la Hortobágy

Chef Bardos’ signature dish sees thin, slightly chewy crepe wrapped with chicken paprikash and served with cucumber relish, sour cream and is perfectly paired with the dry and medium-bodied Juliet Victor Furmint Betsek 2019. The name of this dish, paprikash (paprikás), comes from the most important ingredient in the dish: Hungarian paprika. Almost like a Hungarian chicken curry.

Chicken Paprikash, Cucumber Relish, Sour Cream

This was Princess’ favourite for the evening – she likes all crepes-related dishes and is the only thing she makes at home. It reminded me of a mushy spring roll, with a curry puff chicken filling. I enjoyed the paprikash sauce and mopped every bit of it off the plate.

Juliet Victor Furmint Betsek 2019

Strong barrel spices and minerals on the nose. Its taste is characterised by high acidity paired with notes of pear and clove.

Tasting Note : I really cannot differentiate between this $70 and the previous $54 wine.

Mangalitsa Tenderloin “Brassó Style”

Peas, Confit Potatoes, Morel, Romano

Mangalitsa Tenderloin “Brassó Style”

The Mangalitsa Tenderloin “Brassó Style”, served with peas, confit potatoes, morel mushrooms, and Romano cheese, is inspired by Brassó, a city in Transylvania. It is created with a unique blend of spices and herbs that infuse the meat with a rich and complex flavor. Brasov roast is a one-plate meal, and a particularly delicious combination of tender and juicy meat with crisp potatoes.

Peas, Confit Potatoes, Morel, Romano

My introduction to Hungarian was a hearty Hungarian goulash. Therefore I find the beef overcooked for a steak and undercooked for a stew. The beef was well seasoned and still tender and moist, but I wasn’t used to eating beef at such doneness, unless you lower the heat and cooked it into a stew (which I would also not eat the meat and go for the gravy).

St. Andrea Merengó Egri Bikavér Superior 2018

The flagship of St Andrea winery, this rare Volcanic wine is complex, well balanced & elegant, and you can almost taste the volcano in its chalky minerality.

Meaty and full bodied on the palate with the taste of volcanic and chalky minerality. A rounded elegant red wine with long finish.

Tasting Note : Almost like a Shiraz, however not much complexity, strong lingering tannin and almost like a table wine. Need more time to mature for the flavours to develop.

Sponge Cake Somlöi

Hungarian Trifle, Walnuts, Vanilla, Chocolate

Sponge Cake Somlöi

This classic Hungarian dessert is actually a trifle cake made of several layers of sponge and custard cream, studded with raisins soaked either in rum or the sweet Tokaji Aszú wine, then topped with whipped cream. It was invented in the 1950s by Károly Gollerits, then headwaiter at the famous Gundel restaurant in Budapest.

Hungarian Trifle, Walnuts, Vanilla, Chocolate

The sauce reminded me of Nutella, and the vanilla custard had a hint of banana, which I loved a lot, perhaps from a banana rum?

Juliet Victor Szamorodni 2016

Golden reflexes cross its crystal clear, golden color – characterized by high viscosity and tearing. This round and elegant wine shows several intense aromas: Botrytis Cinereal from Tokaj with ripe apricot apple, smooth vanilla, velvety white chocolate, as well as slightly liquorish notes. Sweet notes paired with refreshing high acidity full of citrus, matured apple and tea aromas make the taste even more complex. Szamorodni’s secret is lined within its long finish with endless aging potential.

Tasting Note : Too sweet and over fortified, more like a port than a sweet dessert wine.

As this was my birthday celebration, they were kind enough to give us a complimentary dessert. Luckily there wasn’t any cheesy birthday song blasted over the PA like a Chinese restaurant.

A very well done vanilla fruit tart with absolutely beautiful berries, especially the blueberries which were so sweet.

Menade Sauvignon Dulce Ecologico Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon

Also known in some markets as Palacio de Menade.

Bright straw. Nose: citrus fruit, wild herbs, scrubland, floral. Palate was fruity, good acidity, fine bitter notes.

Tasting Note : As I did not enjoy the last dessert wine, they replaced it with this fortified sauvignon blanc from Spain, which I did not like as well.

Domaine de la Cornasse Chablis 2020

Domaine de la Cornasse is led by Nathalie Geoffroy. Established in 1850 her family winery is regarded locally as one of the classic Chablisenne producers.

This Chablis has a golden yellow, pale green colour. Bright and luminous. The nose is young and fresh with a vivacity of fruity, floral scents. The wine tastes fruity and lively, with lemon and citronella flavours on a fine and mineral background. The finish leaves the mouth fresh and perfumed.

Tasting Note : I still prefered these bright, refreshing dry whites than the sweet wines. Personal preference.


The place was trying to find its feet since it was co-branded with Alvin Leung. While the Demon Chef is a talented chef, he was not an entrepreneurial restauranteur. Many of his restaurants have lost favours with diners with negative commentary, primarily for inconsistency in delivering good food.

While the original menu with reinvented local favourites will appeal to the hotel guests, it had not attracted the locals, and any restaurants will need the local’s support to survive.

Chef Bardos came as part of the Hungarian contingent for the Food Hotel Asia exhibition and delivered a repertoire that is more suited for this location. This place has to reinvent itself to continue the legacy of the heritage building.

Visited Apr 2023

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