Spicy Fish Budapest (沸腾鱼乡)

It’s usually a good sign when a Chinese restaurant is buried deep within the city’s Chinatown. You will need to journey out to Monori Center, a 15-minute cab ride from downtown, to find one of the best, and priciest, Chinese restaurants in Budapest: Spicy Fish. Spicy Fish's menu is divided between mouth-numbing Sichuan and milder Zhejiang dishes. The reason for the seemingly random gastronomic combination of two distant provinces is actually logical - Zhejiang is where most of Budapest's Chinese community hails from, and spicy Sichuan food is simply very popular currently.

On most days, a moneyed and chic Chinese crowd can be observed here sharing plates over the round tables. If you're feeling hungry, try the Zhejiang classic, Dongpo pork (€11), which is a thick cut of braised pork belly with a crispy skin and fall-apart-tender meat. Of the Sichuanese dishes, both the Chongqing spicy chicken (laziji) and the Yuxiang shredded pork (fish-fragrant pork) are excellent.

But the star of the show is the namesake spicy fish (shui zhu yu; €17) - shreds of carp filet swimming in a sea of chilis and Sichuan peppercorns. For a different type of communal dining experience, you can try ordering a DIY hot pot (€30) at Spicy Fish. Beware, portions are huge, so sharing is the way to go for both of these.

Spicy Fish isn't cheap, so I recommend it for a special event. Also, if you go with a group and share plates, a dinner with a couple of beers will come out to be not more than €30 or so per person.