Darie: Omotesando
Omotesando / Romanian
Minato-ku, Kita-Aoyama 3-13-1, KIta-Aoyama Sekine Bldg B1F.
Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-9:30pm (LO). Closed Tuesdays.
Sun: Open Sundays

Authentic and homey Eastern European cooking from Tokyo's very first Romanian restaurant, which was located in Ginza for 32 years before moving to Aoyama. The brightly colored basement dining room is casual with an Old-World stylishness, and service is cordial and professional, with detailed explanations of the various dishes as they're being served.

Prix-fixe lunches range from Y1600-3500, with a smaller Y1200 option on weekdays only. The mid-priced "osusume lunch" (Y2600) starts with traditional fish and vegetable pastes served with bread. Ingredients vary seasonally - we had a smoky grilled eggplant paste and a salmon-egg paste, which made very appetizing starters. The main course included a few different dishes, the high point for us being the mititei, a sausage-like, charcoal-grilled patty of lamb, beef and various spices. There was also a credible cabbage roll stuffed with beef and pork; roast potatoes; and a portion of unseasoned polenta to which we were instructed to add salt and pepper to taste.

Lunch also included a green-bean soup with sour cream and dill, and papanasi, a memorable dessert of fluffy hot pastry with cottage cheese, cassis and sour cream. All these dishes and many more are served a la carte in the evening, or you can splurge on one of the prix-fixe menus, priced from Y3800-6000. Romanian and Hungarian wines mostly run from Y3500-6000/bottle, while the house wine is Y2800/bottle or Y500/glass.

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