Representing France: Casse Croute, Bermondsey Street
Representing Romania: Crystals of London, Park Royal


Is this a fair fight? Maybe not. Romanian food is a pluralistic thing influenced down the years by neighbours and occupiers. The food reflects the country’s largely agricultural heritage.

Crystals of London, the capital’s preeminent Romanian restaurant recommends a traditionally starter of sour soup, ciorba. They say its sourness derives from “vinegar, lemon or fermented bran extract”.

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 11.53.10

It sounds unusual to western European palates, particularly when used in the popular ciorba de burta, a tripe soup. Grilled vegetables and big salads also form part of the offering.

Turkish, Hungarian, Germanic and Slavic influences abound, with a lot of pork, schnitzels, creamy sauces and polenta playing a part. The national dish is sarmale, pickled cabbage rolls stuffed with pork mincemeat and rice.

French cuisine, well, we guess you know about that one. Casse Croute is a little friendly eatery that serves French classics in a very smart way in fashionable Bermondsey Street and jas connections to Jose Pizarro.

Romania: The Crystal salad: grilled halloumi, bacon and chicken breast, lettuce, peppers, onion, cherry tomatoes.
France: Veal kidneys in a Madeira sauce

Romania: Pork collar in a mushroom cream sauce
France: Fillet of daurade (sea bream) with ratatouille

Romania: Cheese tarts with blueberry confiture
France: Tartes fine aux pommes (apple pie with fine sliced caramelized apples)

Well, this was always a David v Goliath affair, and for HotJoint
the French edge it, but the real decision is up to you!

(Actual result France 2 Romania 1)