If you think the decades-old food trend of all things pickled and fermented and foraged has run its course, think again. Currently, one of the most popular restaurants among Hungarian diners is Salt, a downtown establishment which wouldn't be wrong to call the "Noma of Budapest" as it seems to have adopted much from the playbook of the famous Copenhagen restaurant which pioneered the genre. In 2021, Salt earned a star from Michelin.
Bright flavors are the throughline of Chef Szilárd Tóth's 15-course dinner tasting menu, which costs €120 per person (€190 with wine pairing). Some of the ingredients are remarkable, like the deeply flavorful and marbled aged mangalica ham and the koji-fermented barley crepe which serves as a vessel for a tender goat meat tartar. But as I ate my way through the beautifully composed bite-sized courses adorned with rare flowers and herbs sourced by the kitchen staff itself, I felt wishing for more rounded flavors and buttery richness. And a bit more food. It's a tired cliche that fine dining meals leave one hungry, but after my meal at Salt I did toss a couple of slices of bread into my toaster at home.
The wine list features both top Hungarian producers like Szepsy, Oremus, and Sauska, and also less-known family winemakers like Szóló and Tomcsányi that specialize in natural wines. The service team is friendly and informed and one of the best I've experienced in Budapest.