HeHe Chinese Restaurant (和和美食)

If you’re looking for tasty and affordable Chinese food, HeHe is one of your best bets in Budapest. The restaurant serves authentic Chinese dishes from a relatively modest, undecorated space in Monori Center in Budapest's Chinatown, which is a 25 minute tram ride from the city center.

The dishes at HeHe are inspired by all parts of China, but the main focus is Sichuan food. In other words, most plates are spicy. I most enjoy here the sizzling black pepper beef (€8), the hot cabbage salad with sprinkles of roasted pork belly (ganguobaocai; €7), the classic dan dan noodles (€4), and the double-cooked pork belly (hui guo rou; €6). If you come with a larger group, go for the whole carp that arrives boiling in chili oil and drizzled with Sichuan peppercorns (shui zhu yu; €20).

HeHe's other claim to fame is its dedicated noodle chef, Gu Cheng, who hails from Lanzhou, home of the famed hand-pulled noodles. He prepares both Lanzhou-style (lamian; €4) and shaved (dao xiao mian; €4) beef noodle soups. Patrons at HeHe can watch as Mr. Cheng swiftly transforms the wheat flour into perfectly linear rows of white noodles and deposits them into the boiling broth.

HeHe is one of the few Chinese restaurants that serves breakfast too. Chinese employees from Monori Center flock to here early in the mornings for affordable deep-fried dough sticks (youtiao), steamed buns, hard-boiled duck eggs, and warm soybean milk.

Thanks to its extensive offerings, partially Hungarian-speaking staff, and reasonable price points, HeHe is an ideal entry points for those looking to taste authentic Chinese food for the first time.