The Nebuta Japanese restaurant opened in Budapest in December 2019 at Nyugati tér. With unparalleled meticulousness and attention to every detail, dishes here are prepared in accordance with Japanese tradition.
Many diners may have experienced their favourite dishes in other establishments and come away disappointed. Sadly, this no different where traditional Japanese ramen broth is concerned. For lovers of Asian food, including those who like Japanese cuisine, ramen is produced in countless versions in Japan. It all depends on which region of the country it is enjoyed and where in the world.
According to tradition, the most important part is the pasta and the stock. The quality of these two elements are the key to success. One of the specialities of the Nebuta restaurant is that they don't only use original recipes, but also premium, unique ingredients. The ramen pasta is always fresh. Executive head chef Henrik Varga prepares it by paying special attention to the preparation in the kitchen, where he uses only flour of specific grading, grinding and gluten content. You wouldn't believe how much research and experimentation had to be carried out before he arrived at the perfect ramen dough – nearly a year, in fact.
Another important and traditional element of ramen is the stock. This is a broth mostly made up of chicken, duck or pork, with the addition of several spices. At Nebuta, you can find all three traditional bases of shió, shoyu and miso. In the Nebuta kitchen, great professional experience goes into the careful timing of each preparation. For all three stocks, special attention is paid to the appropriate quantities, ingredients, temperature and cooking time. A good ramen cannot made in haste. The process, which can take up to eight or nine hours, is the secret to producing fine flavours.
The raw ingredients used at Nebuta are sourced from domestic producers wherever possible, and only the highest quality can be used. An excellent example is the Beregi black-legged and free-range chicken, and Heppenheimer eggs.
But, of course, not only meat ramen has rich flavour and body, but the vegetable-based variety, too. The most eye-catching and vital accompaniment to ramen is the range of different toppings. Carefully selected vegetables, specially pickled eggs and dry-aged meat are placed into the ramen, one after the other in the correct order.
Following traditional Japanese gastronomy, you can also find the famed tonkatsu and gyoza. Their rich and unique qualities would merit a separate article in itself. There is also a variety of soft, Japanese curry, showing that this dish not only exists in India or Thailand, but is served here with homemade pasta and bespoke toppings.
The desserts also showcase Hungarian tradition. So anyone who samples the floating island, praised by many visitors to Nebuta, or the plum gyoza, now understands why this restaurant is garnering ever more repeat custom.
The owners, who hit upon this idea from their experiences in Japan, conceived of a restaurant where the dishes not only follow tradition, but where the service is also completely unique. Their guiding principle is that premium quality food does not always require an extended, sit-down dining experience. This is also assured by restaurant manager, István Kovács.
You can place your order at the reception desk immediately after entering the restaurant, allowing you to wait in comfort for your lunch or dinner, served to the highest standard. This significantly shortens waiting times, so those looking for a fine lunch or dinner can be assured of finding it here. Along with fast, high-quality service, and excellent dishes carefully prepared using first-class ingredients, the range of drinks is perfectly in keeping with the overall experience. The selection complements an entirely Japanese approach: sake, tasty Japanese whisky and Japanese ginger beer with its unique zing. Even more enticing dishes and drinks will soon be added.
Nebuta has already achieved an impressive 36th ranking on the Top 100 list of Dining Guide 2020, with 84 points. With all this in mind, we can safely say that there are two kinds of people: those who have visited Nebuta and return time after time, and those would like to come and sample it for themselves.