Yu Man Tang (渝满堂)

Be it New York, Shanghai, or Budapest, Sichuan food is all the rage these days. The dishes are best known for their prodigious use of chilis and tongue-numbing Sichuan peppercorns, but don't despair, not everything will set your mouth on fire at Yu Man Tang, a recently opened restaurant in Budapest’s Chinatown.

Head chef Hong Yu Liang, who had been a cook in Chengdu, Sichuan’s capital city, before arriving in Budapest in 2019, brings a new level of excellence to Chinese food in Budapest. Try to come here for a group dinner and share plates to best experience the full range of Liang's culinary repertoire.

Start with the tender cold chicken in chili oil (€7) and the honey-glazed lotus roots. Continue with one of Sichuan’s most famous dishes, the fish-fragrant pork (yuxiang rousi; €10), arriving with an impossible combination of spicy, sweet, sour, and salty sauce. Despite its moniker, it contains no fish. Also good is the lazi ji (€12), a dish that, frighteningly, looks like a pile of chilis, but keep your eye on the prize and pluck out the beautiful bites of deep-fried chicken thighs from the sea of red peppers. One of the more surprising and delicious plates is the "kidney flowers" (huoboa yaohua; €10), crispy, springy morsels of pig's kidneys tossed with stir fried vegetables.

Round out your meal with a splurge at Yu Man Tang by ordering a couple of the delicate steamed scallops, dressed with glass noodles, soy sauce, and garlic (€4 apiece).

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