Milky Way Kínai Étterem (Chinese Seafood Restaurant / 唐人街大酒楼)

Wenzhou-born owner of Milky Way Seafood Restaurant knows a thing or two about crustaceans. Not only because any self-respecting man from this seaside Chinese city can make a decent fish soup, but also because he worked at a fish market for 15 years before venturing into the restaurant business. Accordingly, Milky Way specializes in what he knows best: whole steamed lobsters, crabs, tiger prawns, shrimps, and carps. The restaurant cooks live animals and uses little seasoning to let the ingredients speak for themselves. And they do.

Mikly Way's standout dish is the whole steamed lobster, that is, if you're willing to shell out €90 for one (remember, Hungary is a landlocked country, so it's expensive to source live seafood from Western Europe and Italy). Another popular item is the steamed pike perch (€33) with a light sprinkle of fresh leeks and scallions. Both of them will feed at least a couple of people.

Among the wallet-friendlier options is the fish soup (€15), with bits of octopus and surimi crab inside a rich chicken broth boosted by noodles, eggs, bok choy, and shiitake. Also good is the generously portioned sizzling squid salad. Outside of seafood, Milky Way serves an excellent Peking duck (€30), too, enough for two or three people.

Even among the under-the-radar Chinese restaurants in Budapest's Chinatown, Milky Way has taken secrecy to the next level. You'll need to weave your way through a courtyard parking lot, then climb two flights of stairs to reach the restaurant's banquet hall adorned with karaoke equipment. Six private dining rooms occupy the back of the space, from where Chinese customers occasionally stumble out in an alcohol-fueled stupor on Friday and Saturday evenings.

We visit all places incognito, pay for our own meals and drinks, and write independent reviews.