New Romanian restaurant opens in SheffieldPosted by: Ashley Birch
La Vlad owners Camelia Colnic and Adrian Briciu
Let La Vlad impale your taste buds with a burst of authentic Romanian cuisine
Traditional Romanian cuisine is ready to make its mark in Sheffield with the recent arrival of La Vlad Romanian Restaurant, a family run eatery serving classic dishes from across Romania and an array of fantastic Romanian wines and spirits, you probably never knew existed!
The Attercliffe Road business is the first and only Romanian restaurant in the city, and the team recently hosted their first ever bistro night, introducing people to the wonder of Romanian cooking. We went along to catch up with owners Adrian Briciu and Camelia Colnic, to find out a bit more about the humble cuisine.
“There kind of is no such thing as Romanian cuisine,” says Adrian (we told you they were humble!): “It varies from region to region, so in the East you will get subtly different flavours and dishes to what you get in the North for example, and traditionally it would depend on what you could grow in each region. Romania is a melting pot of different cultures, cuisines and cooking styles that have influenced the region over the last 2000 years.”
Adrian moved to England from Romania 18-years ago but La Vlad marks the first time he and Camelia have forayed into the restaurant trade. The reason for their food adventure, Adrian tell us is their love of food from their birthplace and their love of Sheffield.
“We know how amazing the food is and no one else is doing it." says Adrian: "We could see how adventurous Sheffielders are so we knew how well it would be received. We now see ourselves as Sheffielders and, while we want to support and showcase our culture, we also want to support our new home.”
“We try to keep everything as traditional as possible in terms of the food, and it’s all cooked fresh to order by our Romanian chefs, while I run the in-house bakery, putting fresh bread on the table every night.”
La Vlad specialises in dishes that you won’t find anywhere else in the city, such as their famous papanash, a dessert which we’re told is close to the countries national dish and is made using a unique doughnut recipe with home-made wild berry jam and sour cream.
“Our papanash is so good we even thought about naming the restaurant after it! If you come to try it, we promise you’ll come back, it’s that good. We’re very proud of it.”
Another favourites on the menu is of course, big hearty bowls of Romanian stew, perfect for the coming autumn months, as well as Romanian street food dishes like mici, which is a mixture of lamb, beef and pork with spices, kind of like a kofta.
As well as the top notch food, Adrian is also incredibly passionate and proud of the restaurant’s all-Romanian wine and spirits selection.
“We have a longer history than France of making wine, you know.” says Adrian: “There are wine varieties which are unique to Romania that create incredible blends and are guaranteed to be like nothing you’ve ever tried before, and of course go perfectly with the flavours in our food.”
So, we had to ask, given our basic GCSE history idea of Vlad the Impaler, why name the restaurant after him?
Adrian said: “Many people have this image of Vlad but he wasn’t the blood thirsty dictator that everyone thought. He was actually almost single-handedly responsible for protecting Romanian borders from its enemies, and he’s revered as a heroic leader in Romania.”
For more information about La Vlad, head over to their Facebook page or check out their next Bistro night on 3 October. And what’s more, if you quote VIBE the next time you pop in they will also knock 10% off your food bill.