A Chinese businessman from Shanghai set out to open Budapest’s best sushi restaurant. The result is Sushi Ocean, a casual but pricey below-ground spot on a downtown side street. When you enter, don't be surprised when the entire staff, donning traditional outfits, cheerfully greets you in Japanese. If sushi is what you came for, try to sit at the 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 sushi plate costs €20 and toppings include salmon, tuna, octopus, squid, and seaweed. Plenty of sake, both filtered and unfiltered, and two types of Japanese beers (Asahi and Sapporo) are available for the full experience.

Besides sushi, I also enjoyed the hearty ramen, and the katsudon, which consists of breaded slivers of pork and eggs over rice. I only took issue with the €15 price point, which feels a bit too high for this everyday Japanese rice bowl. The takoyaki (octopus balls) are some of the best I've had. All in all, Sushi Ocean is worth a visit just be mindful that it's easy to rack up a hefty bill here.

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