MÁK Bistro is one of the leading fine dining restaurants in Budapest. The restaurant's head chef is 28-year-old János Mizsei, who trained in Denmark and Sweden. In line with the New Nordic Cuisine he is so fond of, Mizsei's genius is to extract intense flavors from seemingly simple ingredients. He is known to go out of his way to scout for unlikely suppliers, such as the local farmer who collects birch sap in a Hungarian village.
MÁK Bistro's dishes center on vegetables and fish, both of them prepared in light sauces. On any given day, the ever-changing seasonal tasting menu might include pike-perch paired with a light purple cauliflower, charred monkfish with steamed eggplant, or a mushroom veloute exuding profound earthiness. Don't go searching for goulash soup here. At a time when most leading Budapest restaurants feature Hungarian peasant fare on their menus, often driven by business reasons, there's something endearingly bold in MÁK's refusal to serve the paprika-laced traditional dishes.
MÁK Bistro's interior design shows Scandinavian inspirations: the high-ceilinged, exposed brick dining rooms come with sleek wooden tables stripped of tableclothes. For the full experience, go for the 7-course dinner tasting menu, which runs €110 per person including wine pairing. Máté Horváth, Hungary's sommelier of the year in 2018, oversees the wine selections, which come from small Hungarian vineyards.
MÁK also serves a weekday three-course lunch prix fixe for HUF4,200/€14 (from Tuesday to Friday), which is the more economical way to discover their elaborate dishes.