Very few things remind us of home as much as food. This seems to be the case whether home is just a few hours away, and we find a recipe just like mum’s, or if home is several time zones away and we find a restaurant that features authentic cuisine from our home country.
Many seasoned travellers say that one of the best ways to learn about a country is through their native food and dishes. That’s why we’re making our mouths water by taking a look at some of the best places to find Romanian food in the UK.
Romanian cuisine has its roots in elements of food from other countries from the Ottoman Empire, including Bulgaria, Turkey, Serbia, Germany and Hungry. Over the centuries, the dishes have taken on a distinctive Romanian character with the various regions of the country adding their own variations and contributions.
Romanian food has a tendency to be fairly rich and hearty. Very formal Romanian dinners feature several courses with each course perfectly following the previous. The only problem for non-Romanians is the need to pace oneself to avoid being full before the main course arrives.
One thing to note about Romanian food is that Romanian cuisine has a number of generic terms that cover a really wide range of foods. For example “tuica” is often translated as “plum brandy” but is a broader term for a traditional alcoholic beverage which is quite strong. Romanian soups (ciorba) are incredibly varied and are a must when trying Romanian food. Romanian soups have a characteristic sour taste which comes from the addition of vinegar, sauerkraut or lemon juice, or bors, which is made from bran.
- Crystals of London (2 Agate Close, Twyford Abbey Rd, NW10 7FJ)
This is one of the best rated Romanian restaurants in London and is a favourite of Romanian nationals and those who have never tried the cuisine alike. Crystals combines innovation with tradition to come up with new takes on standard dishes without sacrificing the authentic taste. The staff are friendly and very professional and provide excellent descriptions of the dishes for newcomers.
- La Maria Restaurant (109 Westbourne Park Rd, London W2 5QL)
La Maria is a favourite of Romanian nationals searching for authentic “home-cooked” meals. The restaurant features traditional dishes all made from scratch with only fresh ingredients. La Maria is an excellent choice for those looking to sample Romanian home-style cooking. The staff are more than happy to give insight on the menu.
- Dracula House Restaurant (129 High Street, London NW10 4TR, England)
Whether they like it or not, Romania is the home of Transylvania, so it is little wonder that they play up that angle at times. Dracula House offers traditional soups and main dishes in a casual atmosphere. The portions are traditionally large and are reasonably priced.
- Patisserie Romana (237 Preston Rd, Wembley HA9)
If you thought Romanian cuisine was just pork and soup, think again. This bakery offers a nice selection of Romanian desserts and baked goods.
- La Mama Acasa (81 Cranbrook Rd, Ilford IG1 4PG)
The restaurant embraces both the relaxed Romanian lifestyle as well as the authentic and sometimes intense flavours of the cuisine. The restaurant prides itself on using high quality fresh ingredients and preparing all of the dishes using traditional cooking methods.
- Restaurant Oasis (770-776 Eastern Ave, Ilford IG2 7HY)
Oasis is a bit upscale in terms of décor and atmosphere. A DJ provides entertainment but the menu is wide ranging and even includes a children’s selection.
- LaRoberto Restaurant (185 London Rd, Hazel Grove, Stockport SK7 4HJ)
LaRoberto features an excellent menu of authentic Romanian dishes also with some traditional Eastern European items as well. The atmosphere is warm and friendly.
- Danube Cafe & Restaurant (25 Castle Gate, Newark NG24 1AZ)
Danube receives rave reviews for its goulash and pork dishes. While the menu is heavy on Romanian dishes other items from surrounding countries are featured on the menu as well.
- Moldova Restaurant (389-391 Eastern Ave, Ilford IG2 6LR)
Moldova bills itself as an Eastern European restaurant but the wide selection of Romanian dishes has made it a favourite of Romanian nationals. The restaurant serves the traditionally large Romanian portions and has a selection of Romanian wine. The restaurant has a lively atmosphere with live bands.
- Crama Romaneasca – (High Weald AONB, 52-53 London Rd, Handcross, Haywards Heath RH17 6BL)
Crama Romaneasca is a favourite of Romanian nationals. The menu is very traditional and provides a reminder of home as well as a nice introduction to Romanian cooking for those trying it for the first time. The staff are very welcoming and the restaurant features traditional music and entertainment in a non-hurried atmosphere.