Katsu, tuna tataki and gyoza are made to perfection for the multiple-course tasting menu at the distinct dinner events hosted by Japanese-style Kobuta in Budapest’s District XIII. Overseen by chef Lajos Takács of Olimpia restaurant fame, this new venture creatively augments Oriental dishes with the staples of Hungarian gastronomy.
Takács is a magician of culinary pleasure. Whether it’s beef tartare, wine-infused sea-fish soup or Asian-style duck, the chef’s aptitude knows no bounds. His name is linked with the boutique Olimpia Étterem that he founded to unleash the possibilities of fusing local and international culinary elements.
Since winter 2018, a new labour of love has been his Kobuta restaurant, where the kitchen is co-managed by Csaba Palotai, a partner from Olimpia. Avoiding a big hoo-ha around the opening and the months that followed, the restaurant’s fame and news of its reservation-only dinner events have been spreading by word of mouth.
Japanese flavours, precision and fine pairings define any given Kobuta meal, Oriental dishes married with Hungarian treats: tuna tataki goes well with the Magyar favourite Hortobágyi pancake, a crêpe filled with meat.
Dinners take place weekly or fortnightly, with three menu alternatives of five, seven or nine courses. Fine tipples always accompany these events, often hosted by a renowned local winemaker.
But Takács doesn’t want to stop here. Kobuta will soon be followed by another highly anticipated opening, where ramen and tonkatsu will be in the spotlight – specialities which often require the lifelong experience of a Japanese chef will soon be served in Budapest, prepared by Takács’s expert hand.
Back at Kobuta, tonkatsu has recently been available for sampling. This substantial selection includes prawns, pork loin and pork fillet coated in panko breadcrumbs. Thin-sliced cabbage is served on ice to add to the epicurean experience.
The menu also features the emblematic Kobuta combination of duck liver, smoked sturgeon and mango. For this course, the silk-textured liver pairs well with the smoked aroma of the fish. The mango with its characteristic flavour, sweet and sour, finely complements the rich taste of this dish.
Every Kobuta meal is crowned by a Hungarian angel wings doughnut (csörögefánk), served with jam made from Japanese yuzu fruit.
This delicate connection of Japanese and Hungarian flavours accompanies the entire spread from amuse-bouche to dessert, making a Kobuta visit all the more attractive – and a reservation all the more essential.
For more details about upcoming dinner events, visit the Kobuta website (in Hungarian only) or contact the restaurant directly.