Fat Mama invites Budapesters to Eat & Drink
It is somewhat a chliché by now to state that Budapest witnessed a so-called gastro-revolution in the last couple of years. Though the rise and shine of superb fast food spots is a fortunate development, the city was still seriously lacking some delicious and good-looking mid-range restaurants that are positioned above street food, but don’t strive for Michelin-stars either. Here comes newbie Fat Mama Eatery to the scene, eagerly awaiting those who wish to have a pleasant breakfast, dinner, or an afterwork drink in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. Located on the busy yet charming street of the old Jewish town, recently acquiring the label of “party-district”, Fat Mama intends to be not only the neighbourhood’s most beloved lunch spot, but a meeting point for locals and tourists as well.
And it has every capacity to do so: the excellent location (a popular hostel is operating in the same block) and the laid-back design make Fat Mama outstanding in the eclectic mix of the locale’s offerings. Interior architect Dóra Fónagy has a considerable experience in designing for the hospitality business, having worked on the space of several local fine dining stars. Her high-end projects are already demonstrative of her affinity to create spaces with a cool vibe, and this youth-oriented canteen turned out to be an excellent ground for shaping up a deliberately casual and hip place.
The core organising force of the layout was the double function of the space, which operates as an eatery by day, and a drinking spot by night. The long counter features an open-plan kitchen on the end nearer to the entrance, while the back tract works as a regular pub counter with bottles on display and bar stools in front. Since the soul of the kitchen is an old Bertha stove (hence the name), to let people peek into the kitchen was crucial to maintain the cult of Fat Mama, while the open plan also takes a nod to traditional canteen layouts.
Same is true for the dining area, that features two long central tables, inviting guests for a real communal eating experience. Nearer the entrance smaller tables and lounge chairs were installed for those who wish for smore privacy and comfort. As opposed to the pallet of the central tables and benches, this furnishing adds a homely quality to the space. The living room aesthetics is further enhanced by the stunning ottoman carpet hanging on the wall, which is the key decorative element of the dining area.
Such interplay of rustic elements and homely accents is present throughout the entire space. The industrial feel of bare concrete walls, exposed fittings, and neon lighting are softened by the warmth of the wooden furniture and fun finishing touches like the bright yellow hangers, sculptural salt and pepper shakers, and an abundance of greens planted in wooden tubs and concrete vessels.
Otherwise, the space is kept tastefully minimal lacking any excess ornamentation, except for the work of graphic designer Richárd Orosz. With his street art roots, Orosz’s abstract splashes of paint bring urban aesthetics to the inside, while by being scattered on the floor all throughout the space, they connect the eating and drinking sections.
Since that two are located in the same hall with no physical divider, the bar area is separated off only in symbolic terms, by operating with gloomier tones than the rest of the interior. The counter is painted black, and the long-legged bar stools and tables also play in darker hues. Since the drink-spot is in the back tract of the space, further away from the street, the deep colours and the cool light of the DRINK sign evoke a night-club mood even during daytime.
Photos: Tamás Bujnovszky
To see more of Dóra Fónagy's work visit her website.
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