Calm Tea was inspired by the years I spent in Asia, primarily in China, and my adventures there. The inspiration related to this echoes on the packaging of Calm Tea, and almost everywhere in our communication. There's only one sad thing here: since the pandemic, I haven't really been able to travel to Asia because of the strict travel restrictions.
What should a man do if he cannot visit China or Southeast Asia, and his beloved places over there? He goes to one of his favorite Asian restaurants and sheds a few tears while feeling nostalgic over a delicious lunch/dinner!
The list of Asian restaurants in Budapest below is non-exhaustive and aims to cover some of Asian restaurants that I really like and have had good experiences with. In my opinion, the places detailed below are exciting, authentic in terms of their cuisine, and mostly bring the flavors that I got used to and fell in love with during my years in China and my travels in Asia.
A real classic, one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in Budapest, and one of those I've been going to for the longest time. We first came here with my family in 2014, and Taiwan Restaurant completely blew us away. With its authentic Chinese interior decoration and large round tables, you really feel like you are in China; regardless, the Hungarian-speaking staff very helpfully guides even those who are less familiar with Chinese cuisine. Their Peking duck is incredibly delicious.
1097 Budapest, Albert Flórián út 3/B
Spicy Fish Restaurants
They have two restaurants in the city, one on Corvin-sétány and one in Kőbánya in Chinatown - I definitely recommend the latter of the two. Very delicious food, nice service, huge selection. It has a particularly good atmosphere that when leaving the restaurant, with the many Chinese restaurants and shops in the area, for a few moments you feel as if you have stepped out of restaurant in China. Hot-sour fish (酸菜鱼) is a must in my opinion.
1107 Budapest, Jegenye utca 26.
This restaurant stands out a bit for the simple reason that I have never personally visited them. Since I have never been to the actual restaurant, I can only comment on the food, not on the environment itself - but the former is definitely worth it!
Ever since I met the owner of the resto, I order directly from them over the phone and have never been disappointed. The delivery is fast, nice and free (!), the portions are big, the food is fantastic. I often choose them when we have dinner at home with a larger group, and so far everyone has really liked their dishes. The spicy wood ear mushroom salad (木耳) and roast duck are recurring favourites.
1081 Budapest, Népszínház utca 15.
I consider the selection of 101 (which I suspect is named after the tallest skyscraper in Tapei, although I have never asked them about it) to be filling an interesting gap in Budapest. The attitude of the restaurant, located right at Széll Kálmán tér, is youthful and extremely innovative, along with the obvious respect for traditional Taiwanese and Chinese cuisine. Apart from the food - where the san bei eggplant and bao won for me - their cocktails and chrysanthemum soda are also brilliant.
1024 Budapest, Szél Kállmán tér 5.
QUÍ is my favorite restaurant for occasions when, in addition to the food, the atmosphere and the location are also primary selection criteria. The team of owners - who also made SÁO and KHAN successful in Budapest - invested a lot of work in creating the grandiose, unique, modern yet traditional interior. The entire decoration is reminiscent of a Buddhist temple, down to details such as the lamps hanging from the ceiling that resemble temple incense burners.
Personal favorites: Nam Tok steak salad (criminally good), Pad Woon Sen, mango pudding.
1051 Budapest, Arany János utca 13.
Hai Nam Pho
Hai Nam is a real veteran on the Asian cuisine scene in Budapest, and not by chance. For years, they have been preparing high-quality food with fast and friendly service, in a homely environment, at a very budget-friendly price. I don't need to ramble on, I'll just say: slow-cooked beef leg pho soup!
By the way, Caphé by Hai Nam on Bartók Béla út is also connected to them, which is a fantastic place with delicious coffee and great food.
1117 Budapest, Október huszonharmadika utca 27.
Good Morning Vietnam
It's easy to see Good Morning Vietnam as strange at first glance, but the food quickly dispels any doubts. Although the restaurant is very small, in the summer Nagysándor József utca is filled with their tables outside. A real gem in the city center among the expensive, fancy restaurants, where I think they make one of the best bun chá in Budapest (Vietnamese noodle salad with pork belly).
1054 Budapest, Nagysándor József utca 1.
Bangla is one of those places in Budapest that you can only believe it exists when you actually pay a visit. The last time I was there, about ten people could sit down at the same time on about 15 square meters. The service is not fast, but it is very friendly, and the food is absolutely worth waiting for. My favorites are lamb curry and pakora, which I often take with masala chai tea.
1072 Budapest, Akácfa utca 40.
Although a newer player on the scene of Asian cuisine in Budapest, Bombay will probably be around for a long time. Just around the corner from QUÍ, Bombay brings you exciting Indian cuisine in a restaurant environment which is also accommodating for more special occassions.
I was blown away by the lunch menu, which is a complete Indian culinary journey with six different dishes in small copper bowls. In addition, you should try the lamb seekh kebab, and among the cocktails, Delhi Delight or Kashmiri Kawa.
1051 Budapest, Október 6. utca 17.
What about your favorites?
These restaurants are my favorites on the Asian front in Budapest. If you have tips or ideas, please share them any time via the email firstname.lastname@example.org, I'm curious about them and would love to try them! 😊