Tom Yum Thai Restaurant

Tom Yum is a Thai restaurants in Budapest, lining the city's sumptuous Andrássy Avenue. Led by a duo of native Thai chefs, the kitchen covers all pillars of Thai food, including chili-inflected spicy dishes, stir-fries, over-rice dishes, and coconut curries. There are several Thai restaurants in Budapest that put out more nuanced dishes than Tom Yum, but if you're craving Thai food near downtown, it's the most conveniently located.

My only gripe with Tom Yum is the interior. The space is too dark, and outfitted with cheap-looking, dark furnishings and a bare tiled floor. Weather permitting, try to sit at the outdoor tables, which also happens to be ideal for people-watching.

Food-wise, I've found Tom Yum's spicier dishes, originating from northeastern Thailand's Isan region, the most convincing. The som tam—a classic sliced green-papaya salad—is fresh and perfectly balanced: tart, sweet, salty, and spicy. The default version comes drizzled with roast peanuts and steamed shrimp (€9). Reliably good, and not too hot is the larb, a minced duck salad also from Isan, packing green herbs and ground toasted rice (€10). The curries and the stir fry dishes like pad thai were decent, especially the massaman curry (€10), but far from memorable.