In Budapest, Onyx comes closest to offering an old-school, classic European fine dining experience. It's the type of place where crystal chandeliers hang in the opulent dining room and white-glove-wearing waiters scurry about with beautifully sculpted plates in hand. The dishes feature playful textures, rare ingredients, and striking visuals. Onyx, which is located in the heart of Budapest's downtown, is the only two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Hungary currently.
Chef Ádám Mészáros, in charge of Onyx's kitchen since 2016, is a daring cook. This is apparent when just a single piece of delicately flavored cauliflower arrives as part of the 6-course tasting menu. The “apple ravioli” dish, where paper-thin slices of fresh apple encapsulate a creamy, baked version of the fruit, is a study in sophistication. He puts a similarly inventive twist on the Hungarian foie gras, which comes in the form of a pate and a mousse, side-by-side.
Not everything is a hit—the water buffalo tartar and the panna cotta didn’t mix well—but most of the seasonally-changing dishes are elaborate and pack concentrated flavors. (It’s a near impossibility not to wolf down the entire contents of the bread basket, particularly those studded with beetroots and sunflower seeds.) Onyx's 6-course tasting menus run the equivalent of €100 per person (€170 with wine pairing), which certainly isn't cheap, but still less than what you'd need to drop at comparable restaurants in Western Europe. Note that reservations are a must, and the restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays.