The popularity of Japanese food has led to many restaurants and brands adding their own twist to dishes like ramen and sushi. One of the best Japanese inspired restaurants I came across recently is Manga Cowboy. Located in Budapest, Manga Cowboy combines the heartiness of American cooking with the flavours of Japan. The result is a venue that is bursting with character and flavour. The food is so good you’ll want to eat there twice to get an appreciation for the varied menu.
American portions, Japanese soul
Manga Cowboy is the kind of place that caters to diners of all types. They have an all-day breakfast menu that features classics like scrambled eggs, bagels and bacon, as well as healthier breakfast options like an acai bowl and yoghurt, banana and granola. But I think my favourite dish off the breakfast menu is the very tongue-in-cheek ‘I was close to eating a healthy breakfast’ which consists of yoghurt fused with a forest berry mix and Oreo cookie crumble.
The lunch menu features American and Japanese related sandwiches, like a meaty Philly Cheese Steak and Oren Ishii, which comes with grilled chicken, wasabi mayo and onion sprouts. Vegetarians can try the ‘almost healthy’ options of Asian carrot and radish salad or a cherry tomato, onion sprouts, nuts and mixed greens platter.
But where Manga Cowboy truly shines is with the dinner menu. It can only be described as a feast of Americana and Japanese delights. On my first visit to the restaurant, I was feeling in a Western frame of mind, so I went with a hearty bowl of matzah ball soup for a starter. I loved the consistency of the matzah ball and the thickness of the broth.
Craving something spicy for a main, I ordered the kamikaze burger, a potent mixture of bun, burger, melted cheese and extra BBQ sauce. The spice blew up in my mouth like a bomb, and I counted myself lucky to have a glass of water nearby to come to the rescue! The burger itself was filling, capping off a meal that left me wholly satisfied.
Ramen for days
Having tasted the Western side of the menu, I knew my trip to Budapest wouldn’t be complete without seeing how Manga Cowboy handled Japanese food. I came back for lunch the next day, picked the chicken ramen and can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that Manga Cowboy knows how to cook up a glorious ramen bowl.
The broth was meaty, the noodles were tasty, the chicken strips were tender. Throw in a couple of beautifully crafted ajitsuke tamango and a smattering of green onions and you have a meal that is brimming with umami.
Whether you’re after breakfast, lunch or dinner, Manga Cowboy is happy to accommodate all tastes. All dishes are great value for money, especially when you take into consideration the expensive, touristy restaurants Manga Cowboy is surrounded by.
Address: Budapest, Ráday u. 31, 1092.
Monday – 9AM – 12AM
Tuesday – 9AM – 12AM
Wednesday – 9AM – 12AM
Thursday – 9AM – 12AM
Friday – 9AM – 12AM
Saturday – 11AM – 11PM
Sunday – 11AM – 10PM