Taiwan Restaurant

The farther from downtown, the better the food—this is the rule of thumb about Chinese restaurants in Budapest. Taiwan Restaurant, which opened in 1991, was one of the first elegant places to serve authentic Chinese flavors in the city. Nearly three decades later, it's still going strong, and worth leaving the city center (it's easy to get to by subway: take the M3 line to Nagyvárad tér). Taiwan's food is slightly adjusted to local tastes, but not so much to deter local Chinese residents, which is manifested by a full house most evenings with Asian patrons accounting for at least half of the crowd.

Taiwan serves a range of dishes from many parts of China, but their claim to fame is the Peking duck (€30). Depending on your appetite, it can feed anywhere from two to three people. According to Chinese traditions, the bird is carved table-side, and comes with fresh cucumbers, scallions, and a rich hoisin sauce. Wrap all the ingredients into the thin pancakes, and let the indulgence begin. For a post-meal snack, you can ask your server to have the duck bones, with precious bites of meats still attached to them, be deep-fried in a light batter (it's free of charge).

Apart from the duck, the dim sums are also reliably good, especially the fried taro roots (€7) and the steamed shrimp dumplings (€3). I also enjoyed the simple and flavorful hot and sour soup (€2), which is a far cry from the versions served in the takeout spots downtown.