You may think that the last thing Budapest needs is a new ex-pat sports bar. The Caledonian and Becketts more or less have the market cornered. However, you’d be wrong. Kisrablo is brand spanking new. It literally opened about three weeks ago.
For some of us this grand opening was eagerly anticipated. You see one of Kisrablo’s owners is, Zoli Farkas. He is hands down the best barman in all of Budapest. Those of us who were lucky enough to enjoy his company at his previous place of work had waited all summer long and beyond to see Zoli again.
With that being said we at Budapest Pulse pride ourselves on being objective as possible. I will do my best to give you a fair assessment of this fine establishment. Zoli, if you disagree with anything, mate please feel free to dropkick me off a nearby rooftop sometime in the near future.
I made my way over to Kisrablo one crisp winter day in mid-December. The bar is located just over Liberty Bridge so it is easy enough to find. I had been deejaying the night before and chances are I was still half cut when I arrived.
With Kis being a new bar, I walked in to find the place relatively quiet. The staff were enthusiastic and welcoming. I took a seat in the corner and set myself up for the live football match that I had come to see.
Kis is designed like a 16th century pirate ship. You walk down a steep set of stairs into the hull like structure. It doesn’t take long to realize this is a place that takes it’s sport seriously.
There are football shirts and scarfs adorning the walls. In a darkened corner you will find a darts board that from what I can see is free to play. On the opposite side of the room, there is a good sized pool table. I am shite at both these sports but my mates can spend hours playing them. It is a nice touch from Kisrablo.
Then we have the televisions. There are five 4K ultra large screens hanging from the ceilings. No matter where you are sitting in the place you will have a great view of all the sporting action. By the time my game was on, the bar had started to fill up a little. There was a good atmosphere & I got the sense that everyone present were enjoying themselves.
There is one thing that Kisrablo has that no other sports bar that I have visited offer. You can probably guess what that is from my previous articles. The pub serves up three different craft beers from the outstanding Hungarian brewery Synthesis. One of my favorite IPAs of all time is Zodiak and at 850 HUF a pint, you can’t go wrong. Synthesis simply don’t do bad beer so it was an unexpected treat to see them on tap here. As well as Synthesis, they have Kilkenny, Guinness, Fullers, Soproni & Postrizinske available from the keg.
Now to the stuff that didn’t agree with me. The food menu is a little overly complicated. Instead of going for traditional pub like food the bar slightly overreaches into gourmet fare. I am not knocking them for their admirable effort but as things stand the cuisine is a little lacking. Maybe at 35 years old I am just a little stuck in my ways as to what type of grub a sports bar should serve.
There is other thing I think Kisrablo could do better with. The bar is a stone’s throw from one of Budapest’s largest universities. The introduction of a student menu and a beer at student friendly prices wouldn’t go amiss. Perhaps students are not the target market but it is a demographic who will drink gallons of well priced beer & pay for reasonable bar snacks.
Like any new pub there will be teething problems. Kisrablo will soon be one of the cities go to sports bars. I for one am looking forward to going back.