Arany Kaviár Restaurant

Tucked away on a steep Castle Hill side street lies one of Budapest’s most expensive fine dining restaurants, Golden Caviar. Furnished with maroon and golden tapestry-like walls and heavy drapes, the exquisite dining rooms exude an air of opulence. In addition to a range of high-priced caviars, Golden Caviar offers two types of tasting menus: a “Hungarian Fish” and a “Traditional” Russian. Plenty of chilled vodka and premium wines are also available for pairing. The elaborate dining experience and steep prices make Golden Caviar a special-occasion destination.

Fish is normally an afterthought in Hungarian restaurants, because seafood can be difficult to source (we are a landlocked country); many species are endangered, and hence banned from fishing. So Golden Caviar farm-raises its fish in a lake in the Hungarian countryside, populating it with varieties once indigenous to the region (several other Budapest fine dining restaurants source their freshwater fish from Golden Kaviár's fish farm). The highlights of chef László Kanász's tasting menu are the sterlet terrine stuffed with foie gras, presented playfully as sushi maki rolls, and the roasted sturgeon served with a variety of carrots. The 6-course menu, without alcohol, costs €100 per person.

Arany Kaviár also serves six types of fish roe (of course): just be sure to come with a full wallet. Entry level wild keta salmon/chum sells for €23 (30 grams), and prices quickly reach triple-digit territory, topping out at €330 for the DeLuxe selection (50 grams), which includes the most prized varieties like ossetra and Iranian beluga.