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Life beyond pho – the 10 best Asian soups in Budapest

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  • Nemes Nóra

04/12/2020 11.57am

Pho’s fine but there are other places around Budapest whose Asian soups are full of flavour and goodness. Here’s a selection of our favourite bowls guaranteed to warm you up on a cold day.

Photo: 101Bistro – Facebook

101Bistro

1/10

1024 Budapest, Széll Kálmán tér 5.

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The co-founders of this recently opened Taiwanese restaurant have bravely decided to try to get the brand running in this tricky time. Whatever they could do, they’ve managed to pull off, thanks to their curious little bento boxes from Taiwan. Like the multicultural soup of the island nation, whose international cuisine pretty much boils down to the beef-noodle variety. Order this niu ro mient, with braised beef jaw, or the vegan version, mou gu tango, with several types of mushroom, and you won’t regret being warmed up by either. Since they’ve only been open for a short while, there’s only takeaway service for now, but we’ll find them on Wolt soon.

Photo: Csudai Sándor - We Love Budapest

Biang Bisztró - Teréz körút

2/10

1066 Budapest, Teréz körút 20.

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Chinese buffets started popping up in great numbers across the city in the 1990s. Back then, locals generally understood Chinese gastronomy as cheap chicken bits accompanied by Mexican vegetable mix and rice, and sweet and spicy soups with an almost jelly-like texture, thanks to all of the starch in them. Now we can safely let go of these false impressions, especially since TV chef Master Wang opened Biang, where this genre of soups is perfected to the max. It can treat a hangover, a cold, and can warm you up after a long hike as well. Biang is available on Wolt.

Photo: Koncz Márton - We Love Budapest

Biwako Ramen House

3/10

1067 Budapest, Eötvös utca 25/A

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When they opened this Japanese restaurant, they clearly put the focus on ramen, but later also introduced various Japanese bento boxes and izakaya dishes. Authentic cuisine is the result, with only a few nods towards standard European tastes, but with plenty of genuine Japanese dishes. If you’re after winter-beating soup, they have a large selection: at least 18 types of ramen, from soy all the way to curry- based, allowing to lean towards mild or spicy. If you’re not in the mood to cross the Grand Boulevard, you can find them at NetPincér and Bolt Food.

Photo: Hirling Bálint - We Love Budapest

Enso

4/10

1082 Budapest, Baross utca 82

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Sadly, the Asian-Hungarian fusion, izakaya-style Enso, located in a hidden courtyard somewhat reminiscent of Berlin, had little time to get settled in after opening in early autumn before the shutdown started. But anyone who was lucky enough to sample their ramen – probably one of the best in town – wouldn’t want to be deprived of it in the December chill. The components of the duck meat and the soup itself are presented in separate jars, taking care that quality isn’t compromised and the environment is not damaged with plastic waste. And while we’re on the subject of warming soups, do bear in mind that from next week you can also take their unsurpassable crispy pig’s ears home. For now, they provide home delivery throughout Budapest, but they will also soon be available via Wolt.

Photo: Csudai Sándor - We Love Budapest

Quí

5/10

1051 Budapest, Arany János utca 13.

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The founders of Khan and Sao opened a new outlet this summer, with Thai cuisine in the spotlight, but they also offer a few traditional dishes from elsewhere in South-East Asia. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but since for warming soups, we recommend our favourite kuay tiew tom yum, particularly popular in Chiang Mai. This tom-yum based soup contains the wide rice noodles typical for pho, which makes this dish quite filling, too. It’s made with their own secret curry paste, so a unique experience is guaranteed. You can order Qui soups through Wolt.

Photo: Balkányi László - We Love Budapest

Ramenka

6/10

1075 Budapest, Kazinczy utca 9.

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Exclusively from an Asian granny’s kitchen, proclaims Ramenka, and indeed it’s one of the best places in town to find Asian comfort food and rich, heart-warming soups. There are seven different ramens to choose from – all without a single flaw. Our top choice, however, is shifudo, made extra special with prawns and clams. You can find them on Wolt, too.

Photo: Major Kata - We Love Budapest

Rim Thanonh Thai Food

7/10

1072 Budapest, Dob utca 60.

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Heading to this slightly tatty downtown eatery echoes Thailand, with three smiling ladies as the chefs. Just like on the streets of Bangkok, there’s no fake glamour at Rim Thanonh, and that’s just how we like it. All of the most important, classic Thai dishes can be found among their selection, but our favourite is the smooth tom kha – which, if you’re brave enough, you can be extra spicy. See their menu on Wolt.

Photo: Szabó Gábor - We Love Budapest

Spicy Fish

8/10

1082 Budapest, Corvin sétány 3.

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For a long time, you had to travel all the way to Kőbánya to enjoy one of the spiciest soups in town, but last year they opened up a new outlet at Corvin on the Grand Boulevard. The eponymous spicy fish is a special soup with a lot of chili, and big chunks of meat. Gourmets will surely enjoy this fiery dish, but those on the more sensitive side might want to go for something else. It’s a large serving as well, most likely enough to feed two to three people at the same time.

Photo: Szabó Gábor - We Love Budapest

Vietnami gulyás

9/10

1021 Budapest, Frankel Leó út 10

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Star chef Krisztián Huszár is behind this iconic soup filled with life and energy for all year round, but perhaps better suited when the thermometer dips below zero. This fusion of South-East Asian soups can be ordered with udon noodles, pickled eggs, mangalica pork dumplings, beef cheek or beef shashimi. Soups and takeaway dishes are available from the venue near the Buda foot of Margaret Bridge, or you can have Wolt deliver.

Photo: Major Kata - We Love Budapest

WAFU

10/10

1075 Budapest, Kazinczy utca 3.

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This tiny place on Kazinczy utca opened just before the spring quarantine and survived two difficult months thanks to its home-made, authentic Japanese cuisine being available for take away. Everything on the short but original menu is worth tasting, but among the various soups, the dandan spicy sesame ramen was our favourite. They also take the genre seriously, home-delivery options including making fresh ramen pasta at home, sent to your door with information about the accompanying video on their Facebook page so you can make soup in the most professional manner – here, it’s all about the real experience. They still offer takeaway, but you can find them on Wolt as well.

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