Sushi Ocean Budapest

A Chinese businessman from Shanghai moved to Budapest and set out to open Budapest’s best sushi restaurant. The result is Sushi Ocean, a pricey, subterranean restaurant located on a quiet downtown side street. Sushi Ocean's menu is among the broadest for Japanese food in Budapest.

The sushi chefs and the waitstaff, wearing traditional Japanese outfits, greet each incoming patron with a resounding "Welcome!" in Japanese. If sushi is what you came for, try to sit at the sushi counter to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into transforming the raw fish and grains of rice into beautifully shaped nigiri. Fattier fish, like mackerel and tuna, receive a slight sear from a blowtorch to bring out their flavors. The 10-piece plate (€20) is a good way to sample a range of sushi that include salmon, tuna, octopus, squid, roe, and seaweed. Ten types of sake and two types of Japanese beers (Asahi and Sapporo) are available for the full experience.

The dishes oustide of sushi are also good, but distractingly expensive. I enjoyed the katsudon (breaded pork and eggs over rice) but the €15 price point for this everyday Japanese rice bowl dish is kind of outrageous. I had similar feelings about the ramen (€9), which was nonetheless hearty and generous.

Sushi Ocean is worth a visit, just be mindful as you order because it's easy to rack up a hefty bill.