You will need to trek out to the outer part of District 7's working class neighborhood to experience the surprisingly delicious and elaborate meals prepared by chef Ádám Csaba at Olimpia Restaurant. Olimpia doesn't have a fixed menu. Instead, they use the blackboard on the wall to present the daily-changing dishes, which vary based on seasonal ingredients. The result? Absolutely superb.
The dishes might include a wonderfully soft fried chicken liver in a crispy breading that comes with a light wasabi mayonnaise sauce and a side of fresh rhubarb and zucchini. Or thinly sliced, soy-sauce marinated grilled mangalica pork loins set in a corn puree bedding with a side of grilled cabbage. The list goes on. Olimpia's menu is best described as inventive Hungarian cooking with Asian touches.
Olimpia's setting - a spartan underground space with less than a dozen crammed tables - is modest compared to the exquisite food experience. No linen tablecloth, sober lighting, or gentle background music: here the food takes the center stage. Chef Csaba occasionally pops in the dining room to present a dish himself.
For dinner, a four-, five-, six-, or seven-course tasting menu is offered. The dishes are unknown until they arrive. The only giveaway is the ingredients casually listed on the blackboard. Don't hold anything back and go for the full seven courses, which at HUF9,900 (c.€30) is less than half of what you'd need to caugh up at comparable restaurants in downtown. Prepare yourself for an almost three-hour meal. For a shorter feast, go for the three-course lunch prix fixe for €11, which is among the best lunch deals to be had in Budapest. Cash only!