Hungary’s most gourmet-enticing fish counter has been open for three weeks now, and recently the chef of Nobu, Masato-san made sushi for us using the exceptionally fresh ingredients sold here. One of the founders of The Fishmonger, Péter Palotás, told us curiosities about the place and the mass of fish staring from the icebeds.
So far if someone arrived home from a pleasant holiday spent at the seashore, they were struck by an insatiable need for fresh, quality fish, scallops and other seafood, which could only be satisfied at a fine restaurant. As the chef of one of the first Budapest restaurant serving seafish, the Scampi, Péter Palotás had to face this situation in the 90s when fresh fish were unavailable here. So he took matters into his own hands and has been the regular supplier of about a dozen of Budapest restaurants and hypermarkets for 10 years now.
As he said, the opening of a fishmarket was inevitable to help him in his pursuit to satisfy his buyers who kept bombarding him with more and more orders which made business slow, and he really wants people to eat even more and better dishes made of fish. As a part of his mission there will soon be a product family of oven-ready fish appearing in chain stores. One of the hurdles to be jumped for Hungarian fish consumption – as he said – is that people don’t know how to set about making fish dishes, they don’t like the smell or the chaos of cleaning them. Fortunately, there’s going to be a fish butcher mill adjoining the small shop that’ll save us the unnecessary trouble.
On the ice-cream-counter-sized icebed, however, you can find fish for beginners, too, such as salmon or tuna fillets or real hake. Only fresh goods can make it behind the glass. The shipments that come five days a week are procured at Norwegian, Spanish, New Zealand, Greek or Sri Lankan auctions. Bidding is essential since the price of fish depends on the weather, the price of petrol and other factors, what’s more, there’s a quota on some wild fish in some countries, which makes them available only at given times. Such is the yellowfin tuna stored at -70 °C in the cold storage, that has once been 210 kg, is estimated to be worth about 1 million HUF and is the best material for sashimi.
Péter told us that the mill in the back processes 10 tons of fish on average weekly, of which always different fish are sold in the front, thus the selection you can buy is always changing. Thanks to the continuous and large-scale turnover visitors can always choose from fresh, maximally one-day-old goods. It’s advisable to keep an eye on their Facebook page for further info on the fish sold, sales and stories of the viccisitudes of fishers’ lives.
Apart from curiosities some practical information may come in handy, so what follows is the most important things to know for the future buyers of The Fishmonger.
Prices (subject to change!):Salmon fillet: 3499 HUF/kg Salmon fillet with skin: 3350 HUF/kg Trout (whole): 2700 HUF/kg Baby cuttlefish: 1990 HUF/kg Hake (whole): 2500 HUF/kg
BKV route:Address: Budaörs, 23 Törökbálinti út Take bus 240E that starts from Móricz Zsigmond körtér and go 8 stops. It should take about 15 minutes. Get off in Budaörs at Templom tér from where it’s a 10-minute walk.
Do you want to eat some fish but don't want to deal with all that mess? Go to Bighfish!