Having only a limited knowledge of Romanian cuisine (based on a couple of visits to La Bucatarie over the summer) I stuck with what I knew - the set lunch menu - when I was tempted back on Friday.
To be fair, it had in the past offered up a reasonable take on the national dishes - and three courses (plus a soft drink) for £8 at that.
I didn’t recognise the dishes I was ordering and can only put that down to not having visited on a Friday before - as the set lunch changes daily.
It is quite smart and modern inside, with more than a nod to the homeland with pictures on the wall depicting well-known Romanian places not to mention a portrait of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Count Dracula no less.
The greeting was pleasant, my order taken promptly and I sat back with my Sprite listening to some traditional music which could have been The Best of Eurovision!
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect of the pork sour soup, but the first spoonful won me over.
A great tasting base, that wasn’t at all sour in fact, lots of herbs and finely chopped vegetables and three meatballs that were as tasty as they were unexpected.
It was served with a bowl of bread - which also came in handy with the main course!
My main came with a moreish tomato and garlic rich sauce that I couldn’t get enough of (what would Dracula have made of all that garlic?). The chicken was plentiful and most (though not all) was on the softside. I gave a wide berth to the kidney, however, which was just too chewy for me. The polenta (topped with shredded creamy cheese?) was ok, but I did like the pickled peppers and gherkins.
I finished off with a nice, soft pancake - hot and straight from the pan - neatly folded and oozing with chocolate. Very nice.
Decent food, and a pleasant, filling lunch.
Brad Barnes lunches at La Bucatarie in New Road, Peterborough.
Brad’s rating: 7