Budapest's Chinese restaurants offer more than meets the eye. While the inner city is teeming with low-priced takeouts that adjust flavors to local Hungarian tastes, there's a nondescript Chinatown (Monori Center) a bit outside the city center where you can sample everything from Sichuan food to northern noodle soups, hot pot, dumplings, seafood, and Chinese barbecue. Note that Chinese people eat dinner on the earlier side, around 6 p.m., so plan accordingly if you prefer a lively ambiance to empty tables around you.
It’s usually a good sign when a Chinese restaurant is buried deep within Chinatown and this is exactly the case with Spicy Fish, one of the top Chinese restaurants in Budapest — to get to it, you'll need to journey out to Monori Center, a 15-minute cab ride from downtown. Spicy Fish's menu features dishes from all parts of China, but especially prominent are seafood and the hot plates from Sichuan (the head chef is from there).
Sichuan classics like Chongqing spicy chicken (lazi ji), mapo tofu, and yuxiang shredded pork (fish-fragrant pork) are all excellent, but the star of the show is the namesake spicy fish (shui zhu yu). Soon after you place an order, a server will bring a tureen brimming with still-boiling oil studded with red chilis, shreds of white carp filets, and mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns. If you prefer something without chilis and don't mind a post-meal food coma, go for the Dongpo pork, a thick cut of fall-apart-tender pork belly with a deeply porcine flavor. With €18-25 mains, the only downside here is the steep price points.