Onyx Restaurant in Budapest is the only fancy restaurant I ate at this trip. You may remember I posted this video from their site before I left. One of the first and few Michelin starred restaurants in Budapest it offers a very different dining experience to what is on offer all over the streets of Budapest. At $30 for a 3 course ++ lunch it was to much of a deal to turn down.
This is not a review by any means – one person going to a restaurant once is just an impression. I was greeted at the doorway by a friendly young who, even though I was early said my table was waiting and actually gave me a choice of where to sit. I picked a secluded corner where I could snap pictures, hopefully unnoticed. The pace of service is very deliberate. The servers all wear white gloves. It seemed to take a while before I got my menu, as a solo diner I like to have something to hold onto and contemplate given I didn’t have a dining companion. When the menu was presented I was asked what I wanted to drink. I had chosen to be a good boy and just had sparkling water. There was an extensive list of wines by the glass suggested for each dish on the tasting menu.
The room was hushed and luxe. Christofle silverware, fine linen tablecloths and beautiful cut crystal water glasses. The bread basked was beautiful and filled with options. Just the bread alone is a culinary work of art. A vast selection of small buns often riffs on traditional flavors; one had dill and another was made from smoked paprika and salt. Served with room temperature butter. I hate it when you get butter that is so cold it doesn’t spread so this was great. With the shrimp and pea soup in shellfish broth came with a small amuse bouche which was a riff on Vietnamese summer rolls, a rice noodle filled with pickled crunchy vegetables. When I asked the waiter where the shrimp were sourced from he didn’t know and immediately went to the kitchen to ask: Argentina by way of the Vienna market.
My main course as an odd combination of a kind of local Trout and finely sliced rutabaga topped with a soft-boiled quail egg and trout roe enveloped in a creamy foam. The presentation of all the dishes was beautiful. The lunch menu also included several dishes from the dinner menu for a supplement.
Dessert I thought was going to be a simple piece of savarin brillat cheese, but instead it was a slice of cheese with salted almond ice cream and a traditional cake that was soft with a slight caramelized flavor and what I believe was an apricot glaze. The concept was a kind of deconstructed “dessert” cheese course so the salted nuts, chutney and bread you would serve with a cheese course took on a different form. Not one that I thought was altogether successful, but it didn’t stop me from eating it all up. With the check was presented a small plate of sweets.All in all a skillfully executed, sophisticated luncheon that was a bargain for the price. I love the seasonal and local aspects to each dish. The room itself is a bit Russian oligarch meets the real housewives of Atlanta for me, but certainly the over all effect is one of over the top luxury and if you are in Budapest it is a must do while you are there.