I finally visited Mahala, in the Rahova area. I never got there before, because it felt out of reach. But I had heard it's good so I went all the way to the location. It's not like I walked there, I used Uber again to get to the place.
As soon as I entered, drawings on the walls hit me. There are all kinds of Romanian motifs represented by striking colors. The decorations were a bit too much, not necessarily my taste, but interesting. It's all a part of the place. We seated at a table near the entrance.
And before I got to order duck, because I'm a big fan of it, the entrance door opened and Dacian Cioloș came in. I opened my eyes wide and I threw Alina a clue with my eyes towards the door. Alina looked, and for about 5 seconds - I saw on her face- she thought about where she knew him from. Then she also opened her eyes very wide. Mister Cioloș sat at a table about two meters away from us, far enough so we don't see and comment about everything he orders.
"And before I got to order duck, because I'm a big fan of it, the entrance door opened and Dacian Cioloș came in."
Then we went back to our menus. We chose pretty fast the duck leg with "pâsat” in a pot (52 lei). I never heard about "pâsat" until then so I googled. I will save you the search and tell you what I found: Cereals crushed into millet-size grains or smaller.
What we also had on the table: homemade pate from chicken liver with pickles (26 lei), lamb chops with sauce and roasted potatoes (54 lei), young rooster in flavored crust with mashed potatoes (43 lei) and -YES- Koliva (17 lei). I avoided koliva the whole time, I'm not crazy about it, especially since I associate it with a profoundly negative experience. But Alina said we should try it, because she heard that it's a reinterpreted dish. I asked myself how reinterpreted could it be and curiosity made me agree with this dessert.
"I asked myself how reinterpreted could it be and curiosity made me agree with this dessert."
But l will take them on by one. The pate was really good and we finished it fast, along with the toast it came with. The lamb was very tender and tasty. I appreciate the lamb that doesn't smell like lamb. You know what I'm talking about. And I have to admit that the young rooster was also good. I wasn't expecting it and normally wouldn't have ordered it. But there it was!
I think that somewhere between the pate on toast and the tender duck leg, the door opened again and someone entered... ta-na-naaaaa... Andreea Esca and her husband. Which took their seats with -you guessed already- mister Cioloș. We widened our eyes again and Alina turned immediately. We looked over at our neighbors from time to time, but we mainly saw to our ducks.
Speaking of duck, the "pâsat" that came in was a creamy version of the polenta. So I concluded that it's just a fancy name for the actual polenta. Surprisingly, I thought that the combination worked well.
"So I concluded that it's just a fancy name for the actual polenta."
Finally, the long awaited koliva came. It was indeed reinterpreted. I will explain on levels: the first layer was the koliva, then a trace of vanilla ice cream and, on top, a "hat" of pâte à choux. And the whole thing was surrounded by a vanilla sauce, I think. A pretty good koliva, I'd say.
All in all the food was good, but I still think that something was missing, so I can’t truly give it the impressed verdict.
Oh! And I'm sorry I didn't find out what Dacian Cioloș and Andreea Esca ate. I would've told you about it. I can't show you a picture either, because I never took one. But who knows, maybe you'll be lucky too and meet them next time! :D