I have a couple of good Romanian friends. So when I heard that there is a Romanian restaurant in Athens, it came to my mind to organize a meal with them there. Unfortunately something unforeseeable happened and only one friend came, but GH and I managed to explore the world of Romanian cuisine.
This happened last Sunday, lunch time.
The restaurant is on Acharnon road and it takes only a couple of minutes walk from Agios Eleftherios Station of Ilektriko (Metro No. 1). It looks pretty good from outside.
It looks good also inside, but I do not have photos. The restaurant was totally empty all through our meal (about 2 to 5 in the afternoon), even if it was Sunday. Evidently it gets busy only after the music starts at 6 o'clock.
The menu was pretty long, but our Romanian friend already had a pretty good idea what we had to eat and we followed her advice.
At the beginning the owner offered us shots of so-called Romanian plum brandy and white pieces looked like cheese. These white bits were, in fact, pieces of smoked lard. Yellow paste was mustard. These items reminded me that it is pretty cold in winter in Romania.
Our Romanian friend said we should try Romanian wine. So we ordered a bottle of semi-sweet red one. According to the friend, the Romanians drink more semi-sweet (imigriko) than dry wine. Here most of the Romanian wines cost 9.90 Euro per bottle, if I remember well (to be honest, I did not pay much attention, as I am not quite a drinker). I did not particularly like it. The owner told us that they have Romanian beers in the summer (but not now in the winter).
Bread basket contained 2 types of bread, one was usual Greek one and the other was pita like flat bread. According to our Romanian friend, the flat bread is Romanian specialty and we stack to it. It (pita) was served warm and quite good.
As starters, we had "Russian" salad (front) and aubergine salad (rear). The "Russian" salad contained meat (I thought it was chicken, but the friend said it might be beef, so I am not sure). Again according to the friend, the Romanian "Russian" salad should contain loads of green peas, but this one did not. I liked it anyway. On the other hand, the aubergine salad was mayonnaise-y and I was not fond of it, while the friend said it was good. It was a matter of taste, I suppose.
This was picked up by the friend from the starter section, but it was so filling that it should really be a main course. The white stuff is a mixture of Romanian cottage cheese and sour cream and the yellow stuff is corn meal (like Italian polenta). The other Romanian friend of mine later told me that the Romanian people typically eat this as a main course after a soup at home. I liked this cream very much. Maybe the best thing for me among all the dishes we ate there. It was simple, but good.
Here is an assorted plate of Romanian pickles that we ordered instead of salad. I generally like pickles and these were not exception, but for GH who does not like pickles in general, it wasn't exception either.
And main courses. These are Romanian cabbage rolls. Stuffing was minced meat and served with polenta and sour cream. It had a particular sour flavor and I guessed that it was because cabbage was pickled.
This is Romanian style "tigania" (so we were explained by the owner), served with polenta, grated cheese and fried egg. The meat was pork and sausage. Although it was described "tigania", the meat wasn't flash fried, but stewed.
And here is Romanian kebab "mititei", served with fries and mustard.
All the meat main dishes were tasty enough, but I had an impression that the quality of meat was somehow, I don't know how to say, "compromised"? I mean, if I were to cook the same dishes, I would have used better quality meat.
Our Romanian friend insisted that we should try desserts as well, even if we were totally full at this point.
Here is Romanian crepe with jam.
And these are Romanian donuts served with creamed white cheese and jam.
I liked better the crepes.
With a bottle of water, the total bill seemed to come to 50 and a few Euro. I say "seemed" because our Romanian friend snatched the bill and did not want to show it to us. In the end, we managed to hand her in some money, but we do not know what cost how much exactly.
In any case, we exaggerated with orders and I guess one can easily get away with 15 Euro per a head. I would want to go back to try other dishes, especially soups that the Romanian eat a lot.
Acharnon 408, Agios Eleutherios, 11143 Athens, Greece
Αχαρνών 408, Αγ. Ελευθέριος 11143, Αθήνα
Tel. (+30) 210 211 1104