Fox' Bar & Restaurant Review: Divan, 46-48 Franceza St.
Address: 46-48 Franceza St., Old Town
Phone: 021 312 30 34
For those of you who love the Turkish kitchen, Divan will definitely satisfy your needs. The place was opened in December of 2009 in the Old Town by Romanian owners, who have created a totally authentic feel, with all the furnishings, down to the table cloths, sourced in Istanbul. However, the key to it all is the very good Turkish Chef behind the scenes. A unique and wonderful thing about Divan is that it is always busy, no matter what night of the week. During weekends, if you haven't got a reservation, then you can expect a long wait. This says it all. In Bucharest, where there are more restaurants than the population can support, consumers have a complete choice to eat where and when they want. Consequently some restaurants lack buzz or atmosphere because they are not full. Divan has a refreshing energy that is harnessed to create an ambiance you want to be a part of. The restaurant is well staffed to cope with the demand and Adrian the manager or somebody else in his team is on hand to meet and greet at the door and coordinate the seating arrangements. This is quite an art in a busy restaurant.
The seating area is on two floors divided by a spiral staircase to the upstairs, which has a tented terrace area outside. The music inside is loud during weekends and a Belly Dancer performs between the tables, so if you want a quiet chat, then the terrace is a good spot.
The menu is extensive with too many dishes to mention. However, a simple tender lamb kebab with a tasty marinade is hard to beat. Of course they serve Efes which is the national beer in Turkey, chilled in 500ml bottles which remind me of my holidays!
A nice way to round off is the homemade Baklava with a Shish a Pipe. It is admirable how Divan has generated such a strong following and maintained it so well. They also have a takeaway across the road from the restaurant for those who want to eat on the hoof. In fact, I was out last night in Lipscani for a drink and felt it my duty to try a takeaway kebab on the way home, in aid of researching for this piece. Very good!
By Richard Fox, email@example.com