Sushi Ocean Budapest

A Chinese man from Shanghai set out to open Budapest’s best sushi restaurant. To that end, he recruited Yoshihito Hiro, an experienced Japanese sushi chef to oversee the entire operation.

Patrons entering Sushi Ocean are greeted with a resounding "Welcome!" by Mr. Hiro and his staff, wearing traditional Japanese outfits. Try to sit at the sushi counter for the best experience and a chance to see Mr. Hiro deftly assembling raw fish and rice into delicious morsels of food. The salmon nigiri topped with onions, salmon roe, and mayo is a special treat, as is the salmon and avocado salad atop a rice bedding. Both of these are worth another visit. A reduced soy sauce made in-house accompanies all sushi. Fattier fish, like the mackerel and the tuna receive a slight sear from a blowtorch to bring out their flavors, a technique rarely seen in Budapest. A counter omakase meal is also available at Sushi Ocean, whereby diners put themselves in the hands of Mr. Hiro. He decides the menu based on the freshest ingredients available, and also gets to exhibit his sushi making skills. Ten types of sake are also available for the full experience.

The grilled and fried dishes are handled by two non-Japanese sous chefs, and the food at Sushi Ocean reflects this dichotomy: raw fish plates deliver truly delicious flavors, but other items can fall short. The miso ramen for almost €10 is indistinct and overpriced. The chawanmushi (egg custard sprinkled with shrimp and chicken thigh) came out cold the first time around, although it was much improved on another occasion, and the yakitori is forgettable. Sushi Ocean is certainly worth a visit, just remember that sushi is the main attraction here.