Norwich – Brasov Romanian Restaurant

The Hike Norfolk monthly meal was this month at Brasov Restaurant on Dereham Road in Norwich, a relatively new dining option for the city which is well reviewed. The welcome was friendly and seemed genuinely personable, despite the meal’s organiser being concerned about the whereabouts of some of the group (I might have arrived fifteen minutes early…..). Anyway, the table for eight of us was ready and the dining environment was clean and comfortable, with quite a modern design to it.

The whitebait starter, with the fish being at the appropriate temperature and they were reasonably well coated with the batter. They had a pleasant taste and the portion size was perfectly acceptable. The homemade garlic sauce wasn’t though really to my taste, it was very watery and had no complexity to it other than a very strong garlic flavour which was too overpowering for the whitebait. I think I’d rather have had a tartare sauce with garlic flavouring, but nonetheless, the whitebait themselves were fine.

I can’t claim any attempt at Romanian cuisine with this little effort of mine here…. The Greek salad was though entirely satisfactory, with a decent quality feta cheese crumbled on the top and cucumber, olives, onions, tomatoes and lettuce underneath. The portion size was reasonable and the quality of the ingredients was fine, with the chips being suitably firm on the exterior and fluffy on the interior. The homemade sauce was very moreish (so moreish I ate most of it, forcing Gordon to get more for the table) and flavoursome.

Some of the others had Romanian dishes of various types and I think there was a view that they were well presented and interesting, although perhaps lacking a little in seasoning. But Gordon, who as usual ordered the most expensive on the menu, was content with his steak. Although he had the same problem with the garlic sauce as I’d had with my starter.

The staff were also very tolerant of our group, which as usual went off the rails somewhat when Gordon changed the subject to talk about his money. Or, something like that, I can’t quite recall…..

We weren’t going to have desserts, other than Gordon who messed the friendly and ever tolerant waitress about, but I doubt he’ll read this for some weeks so I can put that. However, the restaurant brought out this dessert for free, a Papanași, which was a doughnut type pastry with blueberries. This was a very kind gesture and the blueberries and the sauce were delicious and the pastry was light.

These weren’t my beers, I temporarily stole Dave and Gordon’s beers to take photos of a couple of the Romanian options. My ever more specialist beer tastes inevitably weren’t met at the restaurant, although that’s more to do with me than them. Although I do remember from my last trip to Romania, there were some dark beers available, including a dark version of Ursus. I couldn’t taste the difference between the above beers, I have no ability to really differentiate lagers as they all taste broadly the same to me.

All told, the service at this restaurant was well above average and it felt a welcoming environment, with the staff member being engaging and personable. I get the feeling that this place is a popular cafe during the day, with some intriguing cakes and coffees available for customers. For food, I was content with my choices, the prices were reasonable and the quality of the ingredients was fine. Ideally though, I’d have liked some better quality bread on the table and that garlic sauce was quite punchy. But, it’s another interesting addition to the city’s dining options and I hope it does well.

And, I have a week in Romania in February, which will be rather lovely.