So I'm back pedalling to the start of September...specifically an incredible trip to Budapest with my friend (and guest-star model of this post) Alice.
Safe to say Budapest swept me unexpectedly off my size four feet. A city of gastronomy, riotous architecture, turbulent history and superb shopping (I can't help but mention the beautiful prices), the cultural mélange that sweeps along its grand boulevards and labyrinthine back streets means each day yields a new discovery. It's a sensory delight; from the hybrid cuisine (classic Hungarian, Italian and French bistro food combined), to the jigsaw puzzle of buildings, the musical tendencies (at one of the spectrum there's commercial playlists blasting in the Ruin Bars, at the other there's trap parties aboard former Ukrainian cargo ships) and the too-good-to-be-true afternoons of relaxation in the Spa Baths. Whatever you're in the mood for, Budapest will serve it up (under a snowstorm of fiery orange paprika, of course.)
My tangent ramblings about a city bursting at the seams with things to do leads me to the actual subject of this post. Naturally, in Eastern Europe, when you are dead on your feet from hours spent in a crocodile of tourists wandering around the cavernous Parliament building, you turn to the nearest sushi restaurant for nourishment. Well, we did. Despite the flawed geographical connection between our choice of cuisine and the country we were in, it was a couple of hours very well spent. We emerged in a state of cat-like content, refuelled by sushi, and and having far surpassed our Wasabi limits!
I'm still fairly new to the delicate rainbow coloured combinations of rice, fish and vegetables - this was my first time in an actual sushi restaurant (Yo Sushi doesn't count) therefore resident-expert Alice was on hand to navigate the extensive menu. Twenty minutes, two waitresses and three changes of mind later... a homemade mango lemonade that tasted even better than it looked, a bowl of perfectly sea-salted edamame beans and a platter of finely-crafted sushi arrived. Vibrant mango and tuna, avocado and sesame-spiked salmon, and cucumber and foie-gras rolls graced our table.
I love the ritual involved with sushi: pour the soy sauce, mix in the fiery wasabi then layer a slice of ginger on top. It's refined, delicious and understated...not to mention surprisingly filling.
The interior of the restaurant was just as great as the food - Fuji, Budapest operates in a slick, polished atmosphere with just a hint of hectic Tokyo thrown in. Eye-popping geometric wallpaper, neon lights and multi-faceted, snaking mirrors mimic Tokyo's hedonism and you dine under the vigilant eye of a giant futuristic robot. It's well worth a trip, if not just for the heavenly homemade lemonades! I've set my sights on their lavender-infused creation for next time...
However before ascending the sushi ladder (or literally, in the case of the Heron Tower) to the high-class affairs at Sushi Samba or Nobu, my chop-stick technique needs serious revision...
Have a wonderful week!