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 very popular currently.
On most days, a moneyed and chic Chinese crowd can be observed sharing plates over the round tables. If you're hungry, try the Dongpo pork (€11), a signature dish from Zhejiang, which is a thick cut of braised pork belly with a crispy skin and fall-apart-tender meat. The Sichuanese classics—Chongqing spicy chicken (laziji), silky mapo tofu, Yuxiang shredded pork (fish-fragrant pork)—are excellent, but the star of the show is the namesake spicy fish (shui zhu yu; €17), perfect for three people, in which shreds of carp filet swim in a sea of chilis and Sichuan peppercorns.
Spicy Fish isn't cheap, so it's best to go for a special event, although if you share plates within a group, you're unlikely to have to pay more than €30 per person, including a couple of beers.