Lan Zhou

Luther utca 1/b [map]
Pest Centre, VIII, Blaha Lujza tér (M2), 5 min
Cuisine > Chinese

Tel. 061 314 1080

Rating: 8.0/10

A few years ago, my friend Akio was transferred here from a smallish city on the coast of Japan. Budapest isn't the easiest place to settle, especially for a fifty-year-old man who can't speak the language, misses home comforts, and doesn't particularly like Hungarian food. He actually takes a pretty dim view of Asian cuisine in the city too, which is why once a month, the whole family pile into the car and drive across to Vienna for a meal.

I think I’ve only ever heard him speak enthusiastically about one restaurant in Hungary and that’s Lan Zhou, a Chinese place off Rákóczi. It’s been around for years, long enough in fact, to give birth to a sister establishment across the water in Buda. While it might not be fancy, it is certainly a cut above any of Budapest's mostly dreadful Kinai büfés.

Lan Zhou always strikes me as extremely laid-back. The grizzled waiters look like nothing would faze them, the kitchen staff spend an awful lot of time sitting around outside the kitchen, and
you rarely need a reservation. The menu is extensive and authentic, right down to the sometimes hairy meat selection - gizzard, heart, lungs and ears - which all sound like key ingredients of Pedigree Chum.

At this point, a word of warning might be in order... although it's been translated, the menu can still be puzzling, and certain dishes should be approached with caution. Pork 'stripes' for example are not, as you might expect, strips of pork. Instead, take away the first and last letters of the word, and you'll end up with this.

Once you're over that hurdle, there's plenty to enjoy. Lan Zhou has excellent noodle soups, the dumplings (420 ft) are delicious and there's a huge variety of main courses. When it comes to
recommendations it's difficult to know where to start, but the 'Chinese mince with eggplants' (1300 ft), is excellent. Taking friends and putting together your own banquet is advised; the more the merrier.

Lan Zhou stands out then, without seeming to make very much effort. It's unpretentious, the food is consistently good and it really is value for money. Which brings me on to Akio's two favourite things; first, the bill, because it's always much less than he imagines. And, the other thing is the location, because it's in Blaha, not Austria.

Food: 8/10

Service: 8/10
Atmosphere: 7.5/10

Value for money: 8.5/10

Take the red line to Blaha and walk down Rákóczi towards Keleti, on the right hand side of the street. After a few minutes, you'll reach a Match supermarket. Turn right onto Luther Utca, and it's on the right.

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Andy T.


  1. Anonymous said...

    We went there a couple of weeks ago.

    First of all, the cutlery (even the chopsticks)looked like from the last millenium.

    The waiter smoke at the counter ( but I guess, that is not out of the ordinary in Budapest:P)

    I ordered a corn soup and my daughter a spinach soup, both soups were bad, the corn was definitely not fresh. So we didn't finish the soup. For the main course we ordered fried duck. It was deep fried with some flour... and so oily and the rice was also fried with too much oil.
    Anyway, we both were sick of food poisoning that weekend :(

    So I wouldn't recommend this place to anybody, seriously.  


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