We had a great experience on Silverline’s Dinner and Cruise with Folklore and Operetta. So much so, that I have to share it all. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, cruises down the Danube River are the thing to do in Budapest. Now, this specific dinner cruise is a special treat. You see the sights, yes, but you also are entertained with music, dancing, and a 4-course dinner. For my fellow foodies out there, I apologize in advance if I cause you to drool on your screen.
When you arrive you are greeted by a lovely lady in a fun costume. The staff was very friendly, welcomed us on the catamaran, and took us to our table by the window.
You then are served a free drink of choice, be it a shot of typical Hungarian Brandy, a glass of champagne, or a juice. I took the Hungarian Brandy because, well, when in Hungary you do as the Hungarians! It was one to warm you up and give you the chills!
Two men were playing music on the stage from the time we arrived, it was great to set the mood as we set sail. We looked over the wine list and found a Cabernet Sauvignon that we thought we would try. Slade chose a virgin pina colada. The wine was a 2012 which was dry and very flavorful (not sweet); just how we like it.
Shortly after came course #1 called the “appetizer in a pastry basket”. Now, in my mind, I imagined bread pastries in a basket. No, no I should know by now things get lost in translation sometimes. We were delivered this beautiful presentation of 4 small pastries filled with various flavors, arranged around a salad with balsamic drizzled atop. The flavors inside the pastries included olive and salmon, and I am not sure what the other two were. It was a very light appetizer to tease and delight the palette.
As the music played on, the sky darkened, the bridges lit up, and the operetta began.
Then came out course #2: Green pea soup with roasted almonds. I have to be honest, we were all a bit apprehensive about this course. Pea soup can just go terribly wrong, you know? Well, we were brought out this dish. It was more like the essence of pea, there were no full peas in it, and it had a slight creaminess. The roasted almonds sprinkled on the top created a nice contrast to the pea flavor. All of us ate/drank every last drop.
Now on our second glass of wine, it was time for the main course. Slade and I ordered the Sablefish fillet with sauce Hollandaise and vegetable lasagna, while Caleb opted for the duck leg confit with crispy cabbage and gratin potatoes. The fish was a white fish covered in the creamy, rich sauce. What really surprised me was the vegetable lasagna. It was like no lasagna I have ever seen. I am still not sure if it had layers of noodles, or if they were potatoes. It was stacked with different vegetables and the noodle or potato and was cooked to give it a crispiness. With the hollandaise sauce spreading over to soak the bottom of the lasagna, it made for a good combination.
The duck had a beautiful presentation with the potatoes gratin stacked in a similar way to the lasagna and Caleb said it was very flavorful. While he was doubtful he would be full, he surely was after the main course. Each course doesn’t look like much food,but it is rich and filling.
After the main course, we had a little time before we stopped for 10 minutes at the halfway point. We went outside to take in the view. Once the boat had parked, we heard fireworks and headed out to the bow. Sure enough, there was a 5-10 minute firework show going off just behind the chain bridge. The fireworks shot up amidst all of the other lights from the fishermen’s castle and bridge which made for a pretty epic scene. After the last firework, we returned inside to our table
The second half of the cruise is full of singing and dancing. They have an operetta singer who dances, as well as violinists, a base player, a xylophone player, and 4 other dancers. The old folklore dancing was so much fun we were tempted to join in.
The performers also engage with the audience on a few occasions from balancing a large beaker on peoples’ heads, to leading a huge congo line around the ship.
Amidst this knee-slapping, music playing, and singing, dessert is served: Course #4. This is a walnut spongecake with chocolate sauce. It is very rich and topped with whip cream. I don’t think I have to tell you who enjoyed this part the most. 😉 I’ll just say little man finished his and half of mine.
After dessert, we had a cappuccino and took a walk to the deck upstairs to take in the view. This was one of our last nights in Budapest, and was really a treat to cap off the trip. Silverline was nice and had outstanding hospitality. I would highly recommend this cruise if you are looking for an experience to appeal to all the senses during your stay in Budapest.
You can even buy your tickets online and skip hassling with trying to find a vendor.
We can mark one more thing off our bucket list: 4-course dinner on a river cruise in Budapest, check!