Baraka Restaurant

Baraka is popular among well-heeled tourists who rely on TripAdvisor for restaurant recommendations, but there are other fine dining restaurants in Budapest, some even with a Michelin star, that offer better-portioned dishes at more reasonable price point. Baraka’s seasonally-changing menu, prepared by chef André Bicalho, a Brazilian-native, blends French fare with notes of Asian, particularly Japanese flavors.

For example, the bouillabaisse fish soup comes with a crab-filled gyoza perched in it. While it’s one of the best items on the menu, I was left wishing, as with other dishes, for a heartier portion. In fact, some of the main courses on the tasting menu could pass for an amuse bouche, like the bite of tofu topped with coconut sorbet. Most dishes are tasty and elaborately plated, but not all of them are hits: the foie gras, a signature fine dining staple in Budapest, was unusually sinewy. They're also pricey, like the €30 red mullet with a side of spinach and bulgur.

If you have to wait for your table, there's a full-service cocktail bar at the entrance serving top-shelf drinks. Baraka's American owner, David Seboek, runs a tight ship—the service team is poised, kind, and informed. All in all, however, the undersized 6-course tasting menu for €100 per person (including the mandatory service charge), or €170 with wine pairing, is unusually steep by Budapest standards.

We visit all places incognito, pay for our own meals and drinks, and write independent reviews.