Surprising Dining at Restaurant Onyx in Budapest
Our experience of the only 2 Star Michelin Restaurant in Hungary
We always try to eat at least at one fine dining restaurant wherever we go and Fine Dining Budapest choice was easy! Being rewarded with two Michelin Stars ONYX Restaurant was the perfect pick for Sticks first Michelin-starred restaurant visit. And the Onyx Budapest Menu was really something to remember for both of us!
We had a lot we wanted to do during our few days in Budapest, but in spite of that it never felt like we needed to stress. Much because we largely concentrated on discovering what Pest had to offer. Getting between the places we wanted to explore was easy and fast, and much is available within walking distance.
The town is divided into Buda and Pest by the mighty river Danube and we were actually just over the Buda side to check out the Palace (and get a great view of Pest) and to photograph some marvelous Street Art and Murals.
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The Tasting Menu(s) at Restaurant Onyx
Restaurant Onyx is the first and only Hungarian restaurant rewarded with two Michelin Stars.
Sticks had never eaten at a two-star restaurant so that made our choice of fine dining easy. And when entering Onyx all spoke to us that this was indeed a Michelin establishment!
Sober, luxurious furniture, expensive porcelain, table cloth and beautiful interior with a tighter, but yet warm welcome and reception as soon as we arrived through the door.
We already had thought about eating their tasting menu but it turned out that Onyx actually had two to choose from; "Within Our Borders" and "Beyond Our Borders". We directly fell for "Beyond Our Borders", that felt more innovative but in the Hungarian menu there was of a couple of dishes that sounded really exciting and delicious.
Spoons asked if it was possible to take one of each menu, or just pick out the two dishes we were interested that sounded amazing, doing a duo serving when they occured in the menu?
The answer was - not unexpected - "no, unfortunately the whole company have to eat the same menu". That was an answer we both understood would be coming before the question was asked. Well. A pity never the less.
But just after a few moments the headwaiter came back and told us that Chef didn't mind meeting our desire!
Fantastic! And a great start.
Asparagus, Sorrel, Wild Garlic (Beyond Our Borders)
We loved the first dish!
And especially we love when a dish have all the elements of professionalism we look for when fine-dining; great looking dish, fantastic, well-balanced taste and texture, a show at the table accompanied with a confiodent presentation of the dish.
Asparagus, Sorrel, Wild Garlic (Beyond Our Borders)
Goose Liver, Coffee, Almond (Within Our Borders)
The second serving was one of those mix-ups of the two Tasting Menus that Chef kindly prepared for us. Both of the dishes was exquisite and perfectly balanced.
The Cod Dish was a surprise. Spoons isn't a big fan of Tapioka pearls but they were nicely seasoned with dill and supplemented the oily and fishy tones in the caviar, and together with the cucumber and butter milk it was making the sensation perfect.
The Goose Liver dish was one of those dishes that sounds really interesting with just three words in it's description.
Our brains and food memories tried hard to "picture" what it would taste like and how it would be presented. And the reality exceeded our imagination. A quiet simple, yet interesting presentation but we were wowed by the taste! Powerful sauce - and amazingly - apple and coffee actually worked together!
Didn't see that coming...
Cod, Sturgeon Caviar, Butter Milk, Dill (Beyond Our Borders)
Cat Fish, Bacon, "Fish Soup", Schallots (Within Our Borders)
The Fish Soup from the "Within Our Border-Menu" was a quiet simple dish to have on a Tasting Menu- but the taste! It was deep, heavily sea tones but at the same time light on the palette. Great Sea Food Dish!
Our reflection about Wine and Beverage Pairings
Ok, lets write something about Wine Packages and Beverage Pairings here as a pause. Combining Wine and other beverages with food can be such a fantastic thing! And it's amazing what some Sommeliers can find in dishes to match a wine or vice versa. But we aren't always convinced or even happy with the packages presented at some restaurants we've visited.
Personally, we seldom find them priceworthy compared with the experience. An apology to all offended Sommeliers out there...
However, when we for some reason "trust" to go "all in" at some restaurants like Sra Bua by Kiin-Kiin (however, we should been adventureous and take one Thai Wine instead of the two World Wine Pairing there...damn...) or at 80/20, where we've been lucky to been hit by perfect matches from the Sommelier.
At Bo.Lan we asked for a Wine Package and a Beer Package which was perfect for their kind of food.
And at Kokkeriet we had one Juice Pairing and one Natural Wine Pairing - and the Juice Package were without doubt Superior to the Nature Wines recommended in their wine package!
Bottom line; we've found out that it becomes more interesting and with a better overall experience - and often a little cheaper too.
So a tip from Sticks & Spoons; don't be afraid to make own decisions or challenge a Sommeliers knowledge.
You will get rewarded with a wider dining experience.
As you can see from the photos above, we decided to design our own Beverage Package on Onyx with the help from one of Onyx' talented Sommeliers. And it turned out to be a great decision.
We ended up sharing a bottle of Hungarian Red Wine and three Hungarian and local Craft Beers - and a superb Tokaj wine to round everything up in the end (more about that later) - and the Sommeliers recommendations turned out to go really well with a majority of the dishes in the Tasting Menus. Great success!
And it's easy to forget; a professional Sommelier's knowledge should, (like in Restaurant Onyx' case) go much further beyond making Wine suggestions exclusively when combining food and drink.
"Rilette" ball, Cabbage, Summer Savory (Beyond Our Borders)
The dish above was maybe the one most anynomous of all the dishes we had in Onyx Tasting Menu.
However, Summer Savory is something we seldom use and it was delicious! The Rilette were over-run by the aromatic broth and we could easily had more of that delicious broth!
Trout Roll, Shrimp, Bone Marrow, Mushroom (Beyond Our Borders)
Saddle of Lamb, Potato Fondant, Summer Truffle (Beyond Our Borders)
The two Main Dishes on Onyx Restaurant was both well executed, great showcases of technique and craftmanship.
We fell in love with the Trout Roll. There's something exiting with seafood when it's combined with earthy ingredients and Bone Marrow as well as Mushrooms turned out to make a perfect contrasts to the savory Trout and the Umami of Shrimp.
The Lamb was perfectly cooked and had a fantastic jus, with flavourful truffle scents. Nice dish matching perfect with the Red Wine!
Hazelnut-Chocolate Tarte, Bergamot, Baguette Ice Cream (Beyond Our Borders)
”Túro Rúdi”, Forest Fruit (Within Our Borders)
Desserts arrived and both of them was delicious. Being a sucker for both Hazelnuts and Chocolate the Tarte was a delight. Rich chocolate and roasted, crushed hazelnuts combined with the "bready" ice cream was perfect.
And the hungarian local dessert was completely saturated with red fruits, giving the taste buds a pleasant explosion of freshness, a sweet and sour sensation with long after taste.
Avec at Restaurant Onyx, Budapest
After the little treats also known as Friandises, we were ready for some coffee and avec.
We decided to go for a classical wine from Hungary; Tokaji from the wine region Tokaj Hegyvalja. The Sommelier suggested us to also try one of their vintage Tokaji wines from 1972.
We love when a dining room team recognize a guests needs and expectancy of a restaurant visit. We had already experienced so much in Onyx Tasting Menus but detecting Bon Vivants, as we are, we were easyily convinced. And that's actually brilliant service! Good work. Naturally, we had to go with both of the Tokaj Wines.
The Vintage Tokaji was a dream! Like a dessert by itself, revealing layer after layer of taste and bouquet. Just look at those two completely different colors of the same wine! Simply Amazing!
Vintage Tokaji and New Tokaji Wine
Satisfied Sticks after her first two-starred Michelin Restaurant visit; Onyx in Budapest
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Book and Visit Onyx in Budapest
We enjoyed the menu at Onyx so much and especially the hospitality shown when accommodating our tentative question about mixing up the menus. At no extra cost! It shows Onyx Team paying attention to details and professionalism in their contact with guests at Onyx establishment and for that we are deeply grateful.
A Tasting Menu on Onyx Restaurant cost 39 800 HUF/ pp which is about €118€ or $130.
We consider the Onyx Menu Set Price as cheap; especially for a Two Starred Michelin Restaurant in the Onyx caliber.
Onyx Restuarant is a 4/5 Sticks & Spoons Recommendation, and very, very close to a 5.
Onyx in Budapest is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Open evenings Tuesday and Wednesday from 6.30 PM. Thursday to Saturday Onyx have open 12.00 to 2.30 PM and from 6.30 PM.
To Book a table at Onyx: +36 30 508 0622 or via their site Onyx
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