Okuyama no Sushi

Okuyama no Sushi, one of Budapest’s best sushi restaurants, is buried in the basement of a strip mall, doesn’t have a functional Facebook page, and its website looks as if it hasn’t been updated in a decade. With a humbe, bare-bones interior, it's far from a fancy-shmancy sushi restaurant. Owner and sushi chef, Sachi Okuyama, ran the sushi restaurant inside the Hilton Budapest before opening Okuyama in 2001. His signature is the oversized nigiri sushi, where fresh pieces of salmon, tuna or prawn sit atop the warm, perfectly vinegared rice. The mixed sushi plate comes with 8-pieces (€21). Okuyama also offers an omakase based on a pre-agreed price, whereby diners put themselves in the hands of the chef, who decides the dishes.

Besides sushi, there are small plates of appetizers and grilled fish. One of my favorites is the asari tsukudani (€3), which is a bowl of preserved clams seasoned in a rich soy sauce, mirin, and rice vinegar-based sauce, with a gummy texture. Also good is the grilled mackerel pike (sanma; €13) with freshly grated radish, and the tamagoyaki, a slightly sweet Japanese rolled omelette (€5).

Perhaps Okuyama no Sushi wouldn't stand out in cities bigger than Budapest or those with better access to saltwater fish, but currently it’s one of the best sushi restaurants in the city. Cash only!