Biwako Ramen House

Budapest has only a few good Japanese restaurants, and even those serve a limited range of Japanese fare, primarily sushi and ramen. Biwako is a welcome exception. It’s advertised as a ramen house, but I find their other Japanese dishes - donburi, okonomiyaki, and takoyaki - to be their strongest suit. The restaurant is located across the street from The Japan Foundation in a very puritan, subterranean space. Prices are on the higher end, but most of the dishes are very good.

If you're craving ramen (€8), go for the one with a spicy miso-base, which actually isn't very spicy at all. One of Biwako's best dishes is the karagee (€6): a juicy and tender chicken thigh hides beneath a crispy crust. Also good is the seafood okonomiyaki (€5), or "Japanese pizza," which is a savory pancake interspersed with squid, octopus, noodles, and drizzled with bonito flakes and seaweed powder (a vegetable option is also available). They also serve katsudon (€8), another popular Japanese comfort food of sliced-and-breaded pork and a fried egg tossed over rice. The only letdown was dorayaki, a Japanese dessert made with red-bean paste - it was stale and spongy.

Biwako's entry hall serves as a makeshift grocery store, selling a few types of Japanese and Chinese loose leaf tea bags and ceramic cups.