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 since 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. They cook live animals and use little seasoning to let the meats 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 fill at least a couple of people.
Among the wallet-friendlier options is the fish soup (€15), with pieces of octopus and surimi crab inside a rich chicken broth boosted by noodles, eggs, bok choy, and shiitake mushrooms. Also good was the generously-portioned sizzling squid salad. Outside of seafood, Milky Way serves an excellent Peking duck (€30), too, enough for 2-3 people (no advance order is necessary).
Even among the under-the-radar Chinese restaurants in Budapest's Chinatown, Milky Way has taken secrecy to the next level. Guests need to weave their way through a courtyard's parking lot, then climb the stairs to the second floor to reach the restaurant's banquet hall adorned with karaoke equipment. Six private dining rooms are in the back of the space, from where Chinese customers can occasionally be seen stumbling out on an alcohol-fueled Friday or Saturday evening.