ESCA studio restaurant

ESCA is a tiny, 16-seat tasting menu restaurant in a quiet backstreet of District 7, Budapest’s party district. The dark interior, which features sleek, dark wood finishes and chic Mid-century modern chairs, couldn’t be more different from the kitsch ruin bars nearby. ESCA is helmed by chef and owner Gábor Fehér, a young local talent who's gained experience in Copenhagen and at leading Budapest restaurants before setting up shop here.

In-line with the New Nordic Cuisine of minimal cooking times and light sauces, ESCA's dishes are simple yet intensely flavorful - I challenge anyone to find a more tender and moist chicken breast in Budapest. Fehér is also fond of pairing dishes with light vegetable creams: you might encounter kohlrabi, parsley, artichoke, and kale variations as part of the seasonally changing 8-course tasting menu, which costs €50 per person (€85 with wine pairing).

Given the small space and proximity to the kitchen staff, ESCA offers a highly personal and intimate dining experience compared with other fine dining establishments in Budapest. Next door to ESCA is TÁBLA, also headed by Mr. Fehér, a more wallet-friendly breakfast restaurant.