MÁK Bistro is a fine dining restaurant in Budapest finding inspiration in the New Nordic cuisine. Accordingly, head chef János Mizsei, who trained in Denmark and Sweden, serves up bright-tasting flavors from seemingly everyday ingredients. Mizsei is known to go out of his way to scout for unlikely suppliers, like a farmer who collects birch sap in a Hungarian village. The dishes are heavy on vegetables and fish, both of them prepared in light sauces. The interior shows obvious Scandinavian inspirations: the bare, exposed brick dining rooms have sleek wooden tables stripped of tableclothes.
On any given day, the seasonal menu might include pike-perch paired with purple cauliflower or a mushroom veloute exuding profound earthiness. Don't go searching for goulash soup here: unlike so many Budapest restaurants that use Hungarian peasant fare to draw tourists, MÁK eschews the paprika-laced classics. For the full experience, go for the 7-course dinner tasting menu, which runs €110 per person including wine pairing. The weekday three-course lunch prix fixe for €15 (from Tuesday to Friday) is the more economical way to discover MÁK's elaborate dishes.