For a starter, Mr Lemur had the Bocuse d'Or winning goulash soup. Of course, goulash is a Hungarian classic and, unlike its bastardised form in the West, it is a soup rather than a stew. This dish was an updated version, with a ravioli of beef and slices of sautéed potato floating in a beef broth, studded with finely diced capers. I tasted the broth, which was somehow both utterly light and richly meaty.
Mama Lemur and I had a starter of white asparagus with a bone marrow sabayon. The asparagus was perfectly cooked, quite al dente, but the star of the show was the bone marrow sauce. The sabayon was velvety smooth with an umami kick from the bone marrow. It was actually quite subtle in flavour but dreamy.
We all had the same main course, which was lamb rolled in pastry, with mushroom sauce, wild mushrooms, parsley pesto and lamb jus. We're at the tail-end of the morel season here in Budapest so I was excited to have something made with these most decadent of fungi. It sounds a bit poncy to say the dish was a celebration of the mushroom but it truly was. The wild mushrooms were meaty and golden, and the foamy sauce was sensational. Not that the lamb was an afterthought – the meat was delicate and the whole thing condensed so much flavour we could hardly talk about anything other than how amazing it was.
Desserts were perhaps less inspiring, although it could be just that I have less of a sweet tooth. I had the cheese dunpling with home-made strawberry jam, which may have been as good as a cheese dumpling can be. It was enjoyable but not life-changing.
Mr Lemur had the intriguingly-named Citrustextures, which transpired to be a series of elegant blobs. The pool is lemon curd, then there is some kind of panna cotta, yuzu ice cream, meringue and some other bits of lemon, grapefruit and orangeyness. It went down pretty well (Mr Lemur is never going to be unhappy with a plate that begins with a pool of lemon curd) but again, didn't garner quite the raves of the other courses.
Onyx may have rescued the concept of Hungarian cuisine for us. It was a fantastic meal in an utterly gorgeous setting and the price was truly reasonable. The prix fixe comes in at under £20 for three courses, and even with wine pairings, drinks, coffee etc we paid £30 a head. After all that indulgence, tomorrow we are off to the spa for some therapeutic treatments…
Onyx, 7-8 Vörösmarty tér, Budapest