Raw seafood takes center stage at this oversized Buda restaurant. Three popular sushi variations dominate the menu along with sashimi cuts: maki (cut rolls), nigiri (mounds of rice topped with fish filet), and chirashi (fish over vinegared rice in a bowl). The fish selections are impressively broad, besides the usual tuna, salmon, and prawn options, raw eel, sea bass, octopus, squid, and salmon roe are also prevalent. The chirashi bowl (HUF6,900 or c.€23) is the best and least expensive way to sample a cross section of the most interesting cuts. It’s paired with a delightful cup of miso soup and an unremarkable salad. During the summer, cold soba noodles dipped in a dashi, soy, and mirin-based sauce are a reviving way to finish the meal, especially when sprinkled with scallions and the fiery wasabi paste. For non-seafood fans, a few items like tonkatsu, karaage, and yakitori are available.
The steep prices at Sushi Sei reflect Hungary’s logistical constraints when it comes to seafood: no saltwater nearby. Knowing the modest appetite for fish of Hungarians and the small size of the local Japanese community, it’s surprising that the Hungarian owners saw fit to move into this enormous and well-invested space. For now, it’s rarely more than half-full, if that.