Oriental Soup House is a chic and affordable Vietnamese fusion restaurant in the cool-but-under-the-radar Újlipótváros neighborhood a bit outside the city center. I'm always happy when I see Asian cooks scurry behind the open kitchen in a Vietnamese restaurant and this place is no exception. The slim menu centers around 11 types of hearty soups of which the traditional beef pho (pho bo), flaunting a flavorful broth with a golden hue, is among the better representatives of the pho genre in Budapest, especially if you order it with raw loin that cooks in the hot broth.
The grilled pork belly in the bun cha dish is unremarkable, but the springy bun rice noodles and the profusion of fresh vegetables (cucumbers, coriander, and bean sprouts) add some excitement to the bowl. The luscious tapioca pudding with mango and pomegranate seeds is a popular Vietnamese dessert (chè) and a good way to finish the meal.
Oriental Soup House is popular, so be sure to book a table. If you don't, you may have to sit at one of the long communal tables in the middle of the space (the wooden stools look awesome but I prefer my chairs a bit more comfortable). After your meal, it's worth roaming the neighborhood known for its lively local community and modernist housing stock from the 1930s, especially along Pozsonyi Road, the main artery of the area.