Wang Mester Kínai Konyhája

Wang Mester Kínai Konyhája is a 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 Sichuan classics 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 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 fillets drowned in boiling chili oil and Sichuan peppercorns (shui zhu yu; €20). Portions are smaller and spicy levels more muted than at Spicy Fish, another Sichuan restaurant with a similar profile, likely because Wang Mester draws more Hungarian patrons.

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 an overview of the neighborhood).

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