“I think you can only get them at this restaurant”, smiles restaurant owner Camelia Colnic as she described the speciality dessert cooked up at Sfinx in Attercliffe.
Sfinx is Sheffield’s first and only Romanian restaurant and cafe, and is just marking its debut year in business this month.
Teaching assistant and translator Camelia, who moved to England from Romania ten years ago, set up the restaurant to meet demand from the city’s 10,000 strong Romanian community, and introduce more people to the cuisine.
Traditional dishes include sarmale, stuffed cabbage with minced pork, rice, polenta and sour cream, and papanasi, a dessert made using cheese dumplings and home made wild berry jam.
“You cook them in a similar way to a doughnut - it’s really tasty”, said Camelia.
“How it all started was when friends and family talked about having a Romanian restaurant around here, most of them are very far away from Sheffield.
“There are lots of different types of cuisine in Sheffield but sometimes you get fed up of everything else.
“We thought maybe English people and other nationalities would want to try something new as well.”
Some of Sfinx’s customers include people who have been to Romania on holiday, and want to try the dishes once they return back home, as well as more adventurous locals.
The dishes have been researched by Camelia to find out exactly where they orignated. She has also sourced Romanian wine, distilled spirits and imported ingredients to make the experience as authentic as possible. She said it was a taste of home for the city’s Romanian community, and also offered some Hungarian and Austrian options.
“We are quite spread out in different areas of Sheffield but it does have a big Romanian community of about 10,000 people”, Camelia added.