Have you been looking for a nice Asian restaurant in Bucharest? A place with a comforting atmosphere, good service, and most importantly, traditional food? Well, you’re in luck. We visited several of the purported best Asian restaurants in the city, and here were our three favorites.
Noodle Bar by Tuk Tuk
In one of Bucharest’s most trendy neighborhoods, Dorobanti, lies the tiny, yet charming, open-front restaurant, attached to the small market, Piata Dorobanti. Several long tables align against the restaurants large, wall-sized windows. Wooden bar stools sit beneath them, waiting for customers to come and sit down, unwind, and relax in the comfort of spring rolls, Buddha bowls and noodles.
The noodle bar is the sister concept of the Tuk Tuk restaurant, a very well renowned Thai restaurant, also here in Bucharest. Hence, it undoubtedly had much to live up to.
Right as we walked in, waiters greeted us with large smiles on their faces, and seated us in front the large windows leading to the small flower shop in front of Piata Dorobanti. As we sat down, the kind waitress came back with two English menus and a bowl of prawn crackers. As we scanned through the large variety of dishes listed on the menu, we very quickly relaxed in the laid-back vibe that the restaurant displayed. The noisy aspect of Piata Dorobanti added to the Noodle Bar’s informal vibe, and the open-kitchen feature of the restaurant intrigued customers to watch the cooking happen.
Food and Cost:
Considering that the Noodle Bar is mostly reputed for the quality of its noodles, we decided to order the Hokkien Noodles with Chicken (38 lei) and the Singaporean Noodles with Beef (46 lei). Unfortunately, the Noodle Bar did not offer any desserts, which was slightly disappointing as Thailand has a good reputation for its mouth-watering desserts.
We were definitely not disappointed with the portion of the noodle dishes, nor with the accompanying plate of ginger, black vinegar, Szechuan pepper, soy, eggs, curry powder, chili sambal, and freshly cut vegetables were only several of the ingredients which helped to make the display of the dish so desirable.
The Hokkien Noodles would definitely interest food-lovers who may dislike spicy food or who have a low spice tolerance. The combination of egg and rice noodles were mouth-watering with a light, and slightly sweet sauce, complementing the salty taste from the vegetables and the noodles themselves.
The noodles in the Singaporean Noodles dish were egg noodles and had a firm and addictively chewy texture. These noodles are certainly better suited for people who are used to having a little bit of heat in their plate. The spiciness came from the sambal sauce, which was made from chillies. This sauce, in comparison to the sauce in the Hokkien noodles, was much thicker and fulfilling, and managed to accompany the rest of the ingredients in the dish in a very authentic way as it took a Thai twist on a rather Singaporean dish.
Our Rating: 4/5
Reservation: 0741 442 489
Address: Str. Radu Beller nr 3,Piata Dorobanti, București.
In the quieter, more obscure district of Bucharest lies another Thai restaurant, Kunnai, which offers contemporary Thai cuisine. As you walk in, a large water wall is situated on your right; the sound of the water is soothing, peaceful and inviting. The open kitchen extracts authentic Eastern-Asian smells which make you want to sit down and taste the variety of foods on the menu.
Although situated in one of Bucharest’s less dynamic parts, Kunnai offers a very sophisticated ambiance with elaborate interior design and soothing jazz music to compliment the dimness of the overall setting. Kunnai did not, unfortunately, have the same service quality as the Tuk Tuk Noodle Bar, although we must consider that Kunnai is a much larger restaurant with a smaller customer to waiter ratio, which makes it the fancier of the three restaurants which we reviewed.
Food and Cost:
Contrary to the Tuk Tuk Noodle Bar, Kunnai had a larger variety of Thai dishes, ranging from rice-based options, to curries and noodles. The menu even included a substantial amount of dessert options! We decided to start with two of their appetizers, the Typical Chicken Satay (35 lei) and Vegetarian Spring Rolls (28 lei).
Both of these dishes were accompanied by three different sauces with a chili, onion, and peanut base. The presentation was absolutely picturesque and sophisticated, just as the restaurant seemed to be the minute you walked in. The spring rolls were perfectly crunchy on the outside and were filled with freshly cooked vegetables on the inside. The chicken from the chicken satay was tender and seasoned very well; it was definitely our favorite from the two due to the iconic peanut sauce which is dedicated to this authentic dish.
After the well presented entree dishes, we moved on to the largest and most important part of the meal, the main dishes. We decided to get two different types of the dishes, the Green Curry with Grilled Chicken (45 lei) and the Stir Fried Spicy Noodles with Beef (45 lei).
The Green Curry with Grilled Chicken was only mildly spicy due to the clever use of coconut milk within the actual curry sauce to balance out the heat which the green chili contributed. The chicken contributed as a simple element to emphasize on the star of the dish which was clearly the sauce. The dish was served with an unlimited amount of rice as the waiters would come around with a large rice bowl to serve at any time during your meal.
As for the Stir Fried Spicy Noodles with Beef, we would definitely recommend this dish if you have a high spice-tolerance and are used to eating spicy food on the regular. Both the noodles and the beef were heavily seasoned with chili, and pepper and the dish wasn’t as well balanced as the curry in terms of maintaining a mild spice level. But, the dish contained much more authentic flavor due to the bamboo shoots and the rice noodles which are not typically found here in Romania.
Our Rating: 4/5
Reservation: 0722 687 343
Address: Strada Copilului 6-12, București 012178.
Yoshi: Sushi and Teppanyaki
Situated in Floreasca, this traditional Japanese restaurant offers a large variety of options of tasty Asian cuisine, in a modern Japanese environment. From the friendly and comfortable interior, to the wonderful service, and the delicious sushi and teppanyaki, Yoshi is a great place to have a meal with friends and family as a result of its loud and inviting nature.
Yoshi has an amazing atmosphere, in its newly renovated space, which makes the flavorful meal just that extra bit more special. From the colorful furniture to the beautifully displayed food, and amazing service, it creates a very welcoming ambiance. Additionally, Yoshi has a beautiful outdoor space to enjoy meals on a nice summer day. Yoshi also does take away for the nights you don’t feel like going out, so you can enjoy this delicious food from the comfort of your home.
Food and Cost:
Yoshi’s vibrant menu makes it difficult to decide on what to order, but with the many different food options there will definitely be something of your taste. From maki California rolls, to salmon sashimi, and fried vegetable tempura, the choices are endless. Yoshi is a more high-end restaurant, which means higher prices. Yoshi might not be a regular place to dine, but is affordable for special occasions.
We were delighted with our choices from the menu, and the meal was perfect to share between two. We ordered special salmon sashimi (72 lei), Tempura mori awase (45 lei), avocado maki rolls (14 lei), hokaido maki rolls (26 lei), Nambu salmon fried maki rolls (36 lei), and zuke maguro, marinated tuna sashimi (45). We finished our meal with two beautifully displayed deserts; mixed Japanese ice cream and the chocolate coconut dessert (26 lei).
The special salmon sashimi, is a delicious platter of salmon slices, accompanied by white sticky rice, diced ginger, wasabi, chili’s, and drizzled in a soy-chili sauce, and sprinkled with sesame seeds. This dish is a beautiful mix of flavors, including the spicy chilis, and the thick soy based sauce. Beautifully displayed, we highly recommend this dish.
The platter of maki rolls and tuna sashimi, displayed on a wooden plate, was a beautiful collection of sushi rolls. With a piece of pickled ginger, some wasabi and dipped in soy sauce, this course is a delicious contribution to the meal.
And finally to end off the appetizing meal, we tried two of Yoshi’s desserts, the Japanese ice cream, and coconut chocolate. The Japanese ice cream was an interesting take on a typical western desert. Three flavored scoops; ginger, wasabi, and soy, each unique and different from anything we have ever tried.
The coconut dessert included a creme coconut dish and cocoa served in a hollowed coconut, and was served with a chocolate sphere and dark rich melted chocolate. These desserts were the perfect way to end this delicious meal.
Our rating: 4/5
Reservation: 031 429 0280
Address: Str. Banu Antonache 40-44