Wang Mester Kínai Konyhája

Wang Mester Kínai Konyhája is an authentic Sichuan restaurants in the residential Zugló neighborhood, a bit outside the city center. The Chinese owner, Wang Qiang, was among the first restaurateurs in the early '90s to introduce unadjusted Chinese food to Budapest locals. He is also a savvy businessman and self-promoter, who adopted "Maestro" as his stage name, earning him more legitimacy than any stellar resume could—to this day, his name is synonymous with top Chinese food in Budapest.

The restaurant's long menu centers around Sichuan classics that are prepared reliably but without flourish. If you don't mind offals, try the cold appetizer of sliced beef tripe, tongue, and heart, all swimming in a manageably spicy bowl of chili oil (kou shui feipian; €7). Of the mains, you can't go wrong with the signature la zi ji chicken (€12), the dan dan noodles (€6), or, for two people, the carp filets in boiling chili oil and Sichuan peppercorns (shui zhu yu; €20). Portions are smaller, spicy levels more muted compared with Spicy Fish, another Sichuan restaurant with a similar profile, likely because Wang Mester's patrons tend to be local Hungarians.

If you feel like walking off the calories after your meal, I recommend a stroll around this peaceful neighborhood teeming with grand, pre-war residential homes, particularly the area closer to the City Park (here's our curated guide to the neighborhood).

We visit all places incognito, pay for our own meals and drinks, and write independent reviews.