Sep 19 2023

Fisherman’s Bastion

Halaszbastya, Budapest

… more pix and videos on Google Maps

Opposite from Országház / parliament on the west bank of Danube, north to Széchenyi Lánchíd Chain Bridge, the 640 ft elevation is worth the climb.

Tourists. Weddings or getting married; families with babies.

I dislike going down hill but managed. We’ve dinner reservation at Umo (a huge mistake in hindsight) so it’s convenient to visit it prior. The weather couldn’t have been any better.


Sep 19 2023


Budapest, Ponty u. 1, 1011 Hungary

… more pix on Google Maps, TA 

The worst restaurant during the 2 week long trip, ahead of Field in Prague.

Def Will Not Return: terrible ribs, and the restaurant rebutted my review on Google Maps within an hour and claim $100 is their average cost of meal. Are you kidding?

We were eight minutes early than their 6pm opening, after visiting the Fisherman Bastion, they’re kind enough to seat us.

The smoke from their grill is suffocating – not sure this is daily occurrence or one time thing – the surrounding area is residential, plus the hotel. Outdoor seating only, with lots bugs 🐜 🐛 🐞 – I understand the meaning of ‘outdoor’ but most out door placed I dined, have no bugs, or very few. 

Good stem: they’ve three markers on the glasses (a first for me), wondering which wine would pour to the top marker? Ours are to the bottom one. The young lady pours in uncertainty – pours, stops, looks, then repeat, as if it’s her first time (a first time for me also). Three 🍷 we’ve are ok.

For food, we’ve:

  1. Tuna and octopus appetizer: tuna is very delicious, would have it again. The octopus doesn’t taste fresh. –
  2. Ribs (45 min cooking time) is terrible with many gristle. –
  3. pork is ok – two sauces are good but have them better elsewhere

The waitress did tell me that the ribs are chewy. I don’t mind chewiness and always go for bones – fish on the bone, short ribs, etc. are my faves. Not this one – don’t know what kind of meal they’re serving. Part of it is uncooked and after cooking more, it’s still too raw.

The bill came at 127.94€, with many taxes – UMO can you pls explain what are they? With terrible ribs, I seriously regret that we didn’t stay at Fisherman’s Bastion for dinner with killer views.

PS 11:37pm I got a reply or rebuttal from UMO (see the screenshot). For reason unbeknown to me, it isn’t published  

Thank you, Umo for your reply. Among many points, they wrote

“… The prices are usually in Budapest average.”

Are they kidding?!?! I googled their gdp per capita which is $18,728 (WAY below Czech at $26,821, where we just visited; and dined at La Degustation, which is a real Michelle star restaurant – see my review there) and the US where we’re from, is at $70,248. We also dined at Hoppa last night, which was our first meal in Budapest, pls see their bill – no tons of so called taxes. WHO’s legit? Ok I visited Budapest in 1983 … it’s been a while … so many changes have been made. But pls … be real, and be realistic …

2024.4.26, still can’t post on Google Maps 

Sep 18 2023

Hoppá! Bistro

Budapest Október 6. u. 15, 1051 Hungary

… more pix on Google Maps, TA

Def will return.

Above average location, decor, service, food, glassware, tableware, and a wonderful Hungarian Merlot.

The street is perhaps their restaurant row. But there are parked cars – pretty obnoxious.

The Babarczi 2020 Merlot is excellent. Their stem is very nice, so is the beer glass. Beer Hazy Queen’s color is extremely vivid and it tastes wonderful.

The warm breads are worth dying for. The butter is so so and so little – guess they don’t believe in drenching your breads in butters, lol. No, I didn’t ask for more butter nor olive oil.

We ordered three items – all are delicious

– Catfish – appetizer
– duck
– veal

I like the veal more than the duck – the meats are equal but the veal’s sides are tastier. Both sides are nicely presented – like mini garden.

Our server is sweet and efficient, thank you.



Sep 17 2023

La Degustation

Haštalská 18, 110 00 Staré Město
Prague, Czechia

… more pix on Google Maps, Yelp, TA, YT

For non English speaker like me, Dégustation is French word that means 品尝 taste various foods.

Will return.

When I googled Michelin star restaurants in Prague, this one and Field showed up. They close for lunch earlier than Field, which why we went to Field first; … I left review for my bad experience at Field two days ago.

I enjoyed their simply and elegant decor, the friendly staff, the food and the ease to make a reservation.

They do 30 lunches and 50 dinners daily, walk ins are fine as long as a space is available. Today there are two walk ins.

Visitors accounts 70% of their customers and today English was the language. Two tables round us are Americans.

We’re 35 minutes early but they seat us anyway. Our table is by the kitchen, and I get to watch them in action.

One staff brings a low stool for backpacks 🎒 or large handbag, placing it under the table.

More serving staff than necessary. I didn’t see the excessiveness in New York.

Bathroom uses hand towels; lotion is provided. But the door could use the switch to show if it’s being occupied?

As with many similar restaurants, each table needs to have either tasting menu or regular. We opt regular. And the food is plentiful.

One thing I picked up is, the chef (I assumed) uses a little alcohol/water spray to clean the plates / bowls before he puts anything into it, making sure no dishwasher residue.

Years ago, at 11 Madison, a New York CFO commented that running a restaurant smoothly “isn’t easy”. I think I’ve a better understanding today 😉, and a bit of Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times – assembly line.

The open kitchen we see, cooks little – either they done all cooking prior or they’ve a secondary kitchen that does real cooking.

The food … all are delicious…

In the end, they offered us sweet surprise, which is better than the dessert that came with the regular menu. The only complain is, they should use a light color interior bowl to serve, showing off their dessert creation.



Sep 15 2023

Lokál Dlouhááá

Dlouhá 33, 110 00 Staré Město, Prague Czechia

… more pix on Google Maps, TA

Will return: comfort food and great service. They all speak better English than me.

Wondering if hunting is more difficult than finding a place to fill your belly.

1. Field – I left a review
2. La Degustation
3. U Cerveneho Kola

Although unsuccessful differently, we weren’t able to dine at the above three establishments. (I wrote review for #1.) The #3 isn’t open, with a lock on the door. So I asked two passer by if it is closed down. They said they didn’t even notice that there is a restaurant. Then they ask if we’re looking for a place to eat and suggested this one.

Local is opposites from La Degustation. Long hall, casual, quick to service, good wine glass, hand washed beer mugs , large portion, and large utensils, especially the spoon.

The soup is delicious; beef neck is tender but the white sauce is bit too sweet, so is the mustard. I must be sick or something, why do I find so many restaurants’ food sweet? Need a doc or two 😂

Sep 15 2023

Field @ Prague

U Milosrdných 12, 110 00 Staré Město, Czechia

… more pix on Google Maps, TA

This review is only for the front desk – Maitre D’ and their reservation system.

Freshly off the plane , I googled restaurants in Prague. Field and La Degastation showed up. The later is being more prestigious but we chose Field because they open an extra hour for lunch than La Degastation, which we could make.

The chance to dine at a Michelin star restaurant without a reservation might be slim. But Cafe China New York seats you no master what, for example. And it was a little pasted lunch time. We might have a good chance. Worst of all, we can just have a drink there. So we went.

The deco is simple. Window decor is silly. The noise level is low, or might be they’re listening to our conversation. There are empty tables.

The smiling Maitre D’ asked for reservation upon seeing us.
“Oh we don’t have.”
Oh I can’t seat you. We’re fully booked.
“How about other time?”
She looked at her book briefly, “we’re fully booked tomorrow and Sunday.”

Note: I didn’t give her a time frame.

She went on to say “can’t put you on the waiting list because it’s already so long.”

“Can we sit at the bar have a drink?”

“No you can’t.”

“That’s fully booked too?” I asked. The bar is totally empty.

For some reason, I thought about another New York restaurant Da Dong, which made its name in Beijing and elsewhere in China for serving decent Beijing Ducks. They opened to a much anticipation but folded within a year or two. I wrote a long review … It was three months out for reservation but when I went, the entire 2nd floor had only two tables with total four dinners that included us. Their bars were always first come first serve, and lively. …

Ultimately, the meal we’ve at a peasant eatery Lokal literally one step away from La Degustation, two blocks away was satisfying.

Ultimately, this sour grape made a reservation easily at La Degustation for Sunday without any effort.

Ultimately, we’ve a great lunch at La Degustation that Sunday – check out my review there.

… Ultimately … we also dined at Mikla @ Istanbul, watching the sunset and savoring a great meal with wonderful wines – as walk ins.

La Degastation said 70% costumers are foreigners – my gut feeling: the % is higher.

Thanks Field for the experience!

Sep 10 2023

Europe 2023

At the moment, I don’t really want to travel. But this one has to go: to celebrate Norbert’s 80th birthday. During this trip, which is from Sept 10 to 25, in and out of Frankfurt (FRA) on Lufthansa, we stopped at

My itinerary

As usual, we survived on credit card entirely, except the last charge to Istanbul airport. The cabbie insisted that non of our credit card worked. Be aware of bad apples and prepare for the unethical vendors, bring some small bills.


  • US↔Frankfurt (FRA) on Lufthansa
  • Fra→Prague on Lufthansa
  • Prague→Budapest by bus
  • Buda→Istanbul on Turkish Air
  • Ist→Fra on Lufthansa

I’d delete Some details 

  1. Sun 10 5:55pm leaving
  2. Mon 11, 9:10am Ffm 
  3. Tue 12 Middle Rhine Valley
  4. Wed 13 ..
  5. Thur 14 →Ffm.
  6. Fri 15, 8:35am LH1392 Ffm→Prague
  7. Sat 16 Prg 
  8. Sun 17 Prague
  9. Mon 18Budapest
  10. Tue 19 Budapest
  11. Wed 20 Budapest
  12. Thu 21 Istanbul
  13. Fri 22
  14. Sat 23
  15. Sun 24
  16. Mon 25 →home: the cab driver 

Sep 10 2023

Rhine River 莱茵河


Rhine River cruise includes several European countries, such as Germany, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands.

Rhine is one of the major river in Europe, starting from Swiss Alps, passing through Austria, Germany and empty into North Sea from Netherland, about 760 miles (1230 km). It’s the 2nd longest river in Central and Western Europe (after the Danube).

When mentioning Rhine, most people associate it with Germany. There are six distinct sections, per Mike Wells:

  1. Alpenrhein (Alpine Rhine) is the combination of the Vorderrhein and Hinterrhein tributaries that flow rapidly down the north side of the Alps, along deep glacial valleys, into Bodensee.
  2. Hochrhein (Higher Rhine) continues descending through broad wooded gorges providing the border between Switzerland and Baden-Württemberg (Germany) from Bodensee to Basel.
  3. Oberrhein (Upper Rhine) meanders north from Basel across a broad plain, between the Vosges mountains in French Alsace and the German Black Forest, as far as Mainz.
  4. Mittelrhein (Middle Rhine) is a picturesque stretch from Mainz to Bonn, where the river has cut the Rhine Gorge between the Hunsrück/Eifel mountains (west) and the Taunus/Siebengebirge ranges (east).
  5. Niederrhein (Lower Rhine) crosses the North German Plain from Bonn to the Dutch border.
  6. Delta Rijn (Rhine Delta) is the Dutch part of the river, which divides into five different arms to reach the North Sea.

#4 Mittelrhein Middle Rhine is the most scenic and usually used as river cruise advertisement. I went to part of Middle Rhine valley many times. Most recently, in 2022 and 2023.

Apr 8 2023

Tiles at an Air BnB in France

Some tiles
24 Rue des Condamines

Sep 24 2022

Harpa of Iceland

Austurbakki 2
101 Reykjav