Archives March 2014

Restaurant Review: Caru cu Bere

By Peter Fay, guest writer

I first visited Romania to meet up with a friend I’d made. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I quickly fell in love with the place and the people. Since then, I have revisited Bucharest and Romania as often as possible.

I have often told my friends in England that if I spent the rest of my life touring Romania every summer, I would probably still miss some of the many beautiful sights.

On my second visit to Bucharest, I stayed at a hotel, which provided bed and breakfast, but no dinner. The excellent receptionist suggested when I asked, that the “Caru cu Bere” was a good restaurant. That was when I first discovered this fantastic restaurant.

Translated into English, “Caru cu Bere” means “Beer Cart”. However, the English phrases “Never judge a book by its cover….” and “A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet…” are most relevant. Yes, we British are quirky.

From my third visit onwards, I have always rented an apartment. It is much cheaper than a hotel and I can cook my own breakfast at whatever time I wish. The cleaners come once a week. I have the use of a washing machine. If I have a problem, the owner is but a phone call away. It is like a home, away from home. The freedom is wonderful.

Since that first visit to “Caru cu Bere”, I have always regarded the restaurant as an experience… rather than just a superb restaurant. The architecture of the building alone is something special.

Take for example, the experience last Saturday night. I arrived there early evening, just before 20:00 and they were busy, busy, busy.

One of the good looking, hard working young waitresses took me to a table. In fact, all the waitresses are young and pretty. Definitely a distinct advantage. I remember the song, “Back in the USSR” by The Beatles, “Ukraine girls really knock me out…” Clearly they never visited Bucharest.

I never book up in advance, I just arrive. Not recommended at busy times for large groups, because you may be unlucky.

Having visited so many times, I am becoming well known. Sometimes I have shared a table with either native Romanians or tourists. Whosoever it is, there is usually some form of communication and conversation. My ‘limba Romana’ (Romanian) is still a little basic, but fortunately, most Romanians and tourists have some knowledge of English and I have a basic knowledge of many languages. So, on the whole we get by with a “pigeon EU limba mixture” and a few hand signals and smiles. The result is usually a pleasant and friendly agreement.

Fortunately, nearly all of the staff there are fluent in English. The only problem I have is that their name tags are always family name followed by Christian name… the opposite to what I am used to.

As usual on almost any night, my waiter swiftly asks what I would like to drink and eat. Often the food is delivered just as swiftly. It is also extremely inexpensive compared with a restaurant in England.

Read the whole article here.



Sinaia is known as the Pearl of the Carpathians and can be reached in less than two hours from Bucharest if the traffic permits. The former summer residence of the Royal Family has the largest number of monuments per capita, it is a must-see for those living in Romania. Just passing Sinaia by the national road leads to the impression that the glory of the past has gone by far, seeing mainly broken factories from communism time. But the real charm of this village will be revealed once you enter the centre. Take the road towards the Stana regala that will you let you pass at several beautiful sights and fairytale villas from the beginning of the 20th century.

After leaving the village a small country road of about 5 km through the forests will bring you to the Stana regala – “Royal Sheepfold”, a small restaurant and terrace in the mountains with an astonishing view to the Bucegi Massif. Don´t be afraid of the large signs “Beware of bears”, but anyway, an extended walking trip in the forests is not recommended, unless you are in a group.

Descending back to Sinaia there are many places to visit: The Monastery of Sinaia, the Casino and, for sure, Peles castle, one of Europe´s most impressive castle, built by king Carol I who felt in love with the surroundings of Sinaia and decided to establish his summer residence in the area.

If you stay the night visit also Cantacuzino castle, just 10 km from Sinaia in the direction of Brasov.

A new restaurant was recently opened in the castle called Canta Cuisine and had become a top address for gourmets. See our restaurant review;

Places to stay in Sinaia

Places to eat in Sinaia

City Compass tour offer for Sinaia:

Carpathian Mountains and Medieval Transylvania Tour

More information about Sinaia:

Travel Planner:

Sinaia revisited – the Pelisor castle 

–  Sinaia revisited – Peles castle

– Sinaia revisited- a Royal resort with a wealth of natural beauty and a gateway to the mountains

Travel planner: Sinaia, the pearl of the Carpathians

Please contact us if you plan a trip/ tour to the Sinaia and you need more information about accommodation options or sightseeing.


Multicultural complexity, the new trend in the labour market

By Ximena Reyes

Globalization is a huge wave that has shaped the world’s economy for the last 15 years. It established a new ground for companies and changed the game rules. After a while people were talking about Globalization as a way to recognize the unique importance of local knowledge and experience amid the impact of companies with “global” operations.

So now we are at a point where ” More and more people worldwide are living in countries not considered their own” as global author, Pico Iyer mentions at “Where is home” ,Ted conference.

There are companies intentionally relocating their employees looking for the added value that their experiences abroad can bring to day to day operations and problem solving.

We could now rename the process to Gloxal, Global + local + complex.

Nowadays leaders need to understand and manage complexity, they need to understand unclear situations and make sense of them whilst leading their teams.

In order to perform upon arrival, these leaders require a set of tools and mindset that can help them feel at home and comfortable in the shortest time possible.

At City Compass we provide trainings that work and explain these tools and skills, we speed up the process of “Feeling at home”, while living internationally.

If you would like to know more about this, please contact [email protected]

See more of inspiring Ted talk at


Sunday lunch at Cantacuzino Castle in Busteni

By Roxana Baicu, guest writer

On the way back from Covasna to Bucharest, we made a short stop in Busteni, curious to check what we’ve recently heard to be a great place to dine, Canta Cuisine restaurant. Located inside the Cantacuzino Castle with neoromanesc architecture style and sumptuous interiors, the Canta Cuisine restaurant makes for a unique place in Romania.

The aristocratic charm, combined with exceptional food and very good customer service made it an unforgettable experience. We enjoyed their specially crafted menu complemented by a comprehensive wine list in comfortable yet sophisticated surrounds.

They create twists on the ‘classics’ and traditional dishes. It is one of the places with great service exemplified by the chef coming out of the kitchen asking you what you think about the dishes.

Canta Cuisine, 1 Zamora St., Busteni, Prahova county, +40737299464, [email protected],


Global Mobility, Romania

By Ximena Reyes

Diversity and complexity, more and more the business scenarios are expanding internationally, combining more operations, outsourcing teams and bringing together people from different parts of the world.

This new level of operations requires the development a level of cultural understanding within and among groups and individuals so that they can contribute with their unique insights and integrate them.

Expats in Romania bring international experience but at the same time they are immersed in a “new and different” way, the local way. Global leadership requires striving for learning and an understanding of the added value of the locals amid the umbrella of globalization.

Successful global leadership does not transplant models but requires a sharp eye to change perspectives and see beyond the day-to-day obstacles. It is a two way flow that is growing constantly.

Intercultural awareness trainings help to visualize and understand the keys to movinge from the initial cultural/ work shock towards effective management and strong global leadership. It bridges communications between diverse groups and enables them to read between the lines and to easily understand sources of miscommunication.

If you would like to know about our trainings and services, contact [email protected].

Where to? Common meeting places in Bucharest

Everyone nowadays seems to meet in the Old Town, which is usually vibrant, lots of fun, but also very crowded. So apart from the all-purpose Old Town, where else is there to meet before going out in the city? Here are some suggested meeting points in Bucharest, which are very popular among Romanians. Most Romanians who’ve been living in Bucharest for more than six months (and foreigners, too), will know these.


Probably the number one meeting point in Bucharest is at the Universitate Square (in fact, the correct name is Piata Universitatii, which translates as Universitatii Square; the simpler form is Universitate. You guessed it, this is the word for University in Romania).

If someone sets a date there, make sure you ask exactly where you will meet, as there are several specific meeting points at this very downtown Bucharest square.

Probably one of the most used is in front of the National Theater, at the metro exit. Day in and day out, there will be people waiting for their friends there. Most people sit on the large stairs that you can see immediately after existing the metro station, facing the tall Intercontinental Hotel. It’s also an interesting place from where to observe the social dynamic of meeting in Romania, or just to see what people wear, how people look like in Romania. Or just to sun bathe, if you can find a spot during spring. The code name for this place is Universitate, teatru, scari/University, theater, stairs.

When it rains, the meeting usually moves underground, into the passage (in Romanian Universitate Pasaj), where the several cafes serve as landmarks and meeting points.

Other meeting areas in the region are, of course, the other three exits of the metro station, one near the Coltea Hospital ( in the small park with the violin sculpture in the middle), one near and in front of the University building and going further on the boulevard towards the crossroad with Calea Victoriei, and the third one at the exit towards the Bucharest Museum. This museum hosts all sorts of open air sales (antique objects, hand made items) now and then in its yard, so you could hang around there while waiting.

On that side of the square, the large pedestrian area above the car park is yet another meeting place. The area was turned pedestrian about a year ago. The four statues in that square have long served as landmarks for meetings. “Where do we meet? At Universitate near the statues! Keywords: Universitate Statui!

When making plans to meet there, keep in mind that around Martisor, Easter and Christmas, these areas become the sales ground for itinerant businesses, selling trinkets and all sorts of seasonal gifts. That is to say the area will be extremely crowded. The same applies for other meeting points which involve a metro exit downtown Bucharest.


‘In front of the Unirea Shopping Center, at McDonald’s’ This is another meeting place in Bucharest. The place was recently revamped and some benches were installed.

Every day there will be an impressive number of people waiting for their friends there, some go into the shopping center and stop at the cafes and restaurants on the last floor, others head to the Old Town (which is accessible via the meeting point at Universitate as well, same distance). This meeting point has the advantage of being near the metro and near a cab station in case you decide to go to another part of Bucharest.


The Romana square and its respective metro station are not as popular as Unirea and Universitate, but still important ones to take into account, especially when you’d rather avoid the crowded areas. It can still be crowded at times, as it is in the vicinity of another university center – the Academy of Economic Sciences ASE – but it gives access to some quieter cafes, bars and restaurants on Dacia boulevard, and on the little streets between the Magheru boulevard and Calea Victoriei.


Yet another square in Bucharest. This one hosts several office buildings and the Government building, so quite popular for after work meetings of people who work in the area. The square is very large, so not always a great choice especially if you mistake the exact point where you’re supposed to meet, you have to cross a lot of streets to get to the other side. But it is close to a greener area of Bucharest, and it can be the starting point of a nice weekend walk to the Village Museum, Triumphal Arch and Herastrau Park. All these three landmarks can also become meeting points.

Herastrau park & Charles de Gaulle

This is probably the most popular entrance to the Herastrau park, as it is close to the Charles de Gaulle metro exit, close to the office tower by the same name. You will recognize this park entrance by the large statue of French general Charles de Gaulle.

Cismigiu park

The most common meeting point is at the entrance towards the Regina Elisabeta boulevard, as you walk down from Universitate square.

Cinemas and malls

With many meetings ending up at the movies, meeting places are usually close to the cinema too. CinemaPro is close to the Universitate square, while Patria cinema, Scala and Studio are close to the Romana square. The Cinemateca is easily reachable if you meet at Universitate and then walk towards the Cismigiu park

To get to the Bucuresti Mall and its Hollywood Multiplex Cinema, you can meet at Unirii and take the 123 bus from there.

You can also meet directly at the mall: Bucuresti Mall is in the East, Plaza Romania and AFI Palace Cotroceni in the west, Sun Plaza, Grand Arena and Vitantis to the South, and Promenada and Baneasa Shopping City to the north.

Old Town

We saved it for last, as this hotspot has several possible meeting points. Less crowded is the Roma square at the crossroad between the Lipscani street and the IC Bratianu boulevard, which connects Universitate and Unirea squares. You will recognize this meeting spot by the statue of the she wolf and of the twin brothers Romulus and Remus. The square was revamped and is a good entry point to the Old Town. (Roma here is the name of the Italian capital, hence the She Wolf statue)

Then you could meet at Universitate and walk past the BCR and National Bank headquarters.

Another possible meeting point is at the National Central Bank on Lipscani street, very close to the central square of the Old Town (which is at the crossroads between Lipscani and Smardan streets). Some benches are in front of the BNR (this is in fact the back of the bank, as the official entrance for staff is on the other side, on Doamnei street).

You could also meet on Stavropoleus street, which also has a few benches, and a nice little church by the same name as the street (you could explore the church if you happen to arrive earlier).

Another meeting point many Romanians like to use, is the Old Town entry towards the Dambovita river (it’s called La bariera – at the barrier, there used to be a barrier there).

A new entry among possible meeting places is the Sfantu Anton square just in front of the Hanul Lui Manuc /Manuc’s Inn. Make sure you and your friends refer to the same ‘front’ of the inn when setting a date. The official entrance to the inn’s inside courtyard is inside the Old Town, while another entrance to some restaurants hosted by the Manuc Inn building are on the side to the Unirea Square and park.

Whatever meeting point you choose, make sure you ask the exact name of the street and google map it – it’s safer this way.

As you will become an expert and a Bucharest connaiseur, these will become second nature to you whenever you need to set up a meeting point.


How to best support expats at work

International companies having operations around the world are investing a great amount of resources into shaping their teams and getting the right talent.

So how to speed up the process of adaptation and facilitate things for the newcomers?

Information empowers, one of the main thing expats mention as a hindrance is “not knowing” this goes to practical things but also to more elaborate elements, and this is why I always recommend expats to stay up to date wherever they are.

Usually what happens is that not being able to speak the language keeps them isolated from current affairs and mainstream news.

So 3 quick steps into “knowing” faster:

1. Register at to receive a daily digest of Romania’s current events in English, every morning you will be able to screen quickly through the main topics and be able to understand better what the locals are discussing or wondering about.

2. Join your community association or an international group, by this you will be able to expand your contacts, and by doing it increase the options to receive insightful information from people in similar situations.

3. Do something out of your routine, and be flexible to get lost, find new things or understand something better. By planning or leaving one day to “go with the flow” you will be able to give yourself time and space to “control” the unknown

If you would like to know more about how to support expats at work, contact [email protected].

Restaurant review: The Artist – for all senses

By Roxana Baicu, guest writer

Located on the edge of Bucharest’s historic center, The Artist offers emotions and unique experiences created by the Dutch chef, Paul Oppenkamp. He plays with modern cooking techniques, revealing flavor, texture and colors in complex recipes. Overall he is adding a new dimension to our culinary experience.

Enjoying a dinner at The Artist reminds me of words from the father of Molecular cuisine, H. Blumenthal: “cooking is about intuition and emotion; about following your instincts, trying things out, having fun. Much of the pleasure of eating comes from the flavors, textures and aromas you coax out of the ingredients, but a lot comes from the memories and associations and nostalgia that food evokes. Great and memorable meals come from somehow tapping into these feelings and capturing them in the food on the table. ”

A dinner at The Artist involves all the senses simultaneously. If you are into creative and experimental molecular cuisine, give The Artist a try. As far as I can think, the place is a highlight in terms of dining in Bucharest.

Foie Gras and Smoked Eel with Red Beet Marshmallow / Brioche, Paired with Lacerta, Muscat Ottonel 2012


Oxtail Tortellini, Parmesan Foam / Mushroom / Truffle / Smoked Salt paired with Domeniile Dealu Mare Urlati, Incantation 2009


Duck Breast Steamed Eggplant / White Soy / Sichuan Pepper / Chili Pears It was paired with Aurelia Visinescu, Anima Syrah 2011


Brie Cheese Parfait Celery / Granola / Fig / Vanilla Paired with Barros, Tawny Porto


72% Dark Chocolate Mousse, Violets / Organic Merlot Tea Forte / White Ganache, Paired with Purcari, Ice Wine, Republic of Moldova


The Artist: Nicolae Tonitza Street, Nr. 13, Historical Center, Bucharest, +40728318871, [email protected]


8 March – Woman’s Day in Romania

Every year, on March 8, Romanians cerebrate the International Women’s Day, and Mother’s Day. The custom, similar to all customs in the countries that celebrate the day, is for men to give all the women in their lives flowers or gifts. Female teachers receive small gifts from their students too, whether boys or girls. The idea that the female teacher is the equivalent of a mother figure prevails.

On Mother’s Day, there are usually flowers at every street corner in Romania, either in shops, malls and supermarkets, together with gifts for the occasion and special offers. The peasant markets are more colorful than ever as a lot of people come from the rural side of Romania with huge bags full of fresh flowers picked from their gardens.

In your search for gifts for the woman or women in your life, have a look at our online guide , where you can find a wide list of flower shops and jewelry stores as well as restaurants and pubs where you can take her out for a nice dinner.


Restaurant review: Readers Cafe

I had never been to the Readers Cafe before but, on my first visit, I spent about four hours there to make up for lost time. I wish I had discovered it earlier. Partially this was exactly because of the fact that many others did not seem to have discovered it, which makes it a nice quite place to eat, have coffee and meet friends.

This time I was there for business, meeting several business partners. In between everything, there was time to check out the menu, try out some things, and get a feel for the place.

Before we go into that, however, let me just say that this cafe/lounge/bistro is not where you’d expect it (not in the Old Town!). It is in an office building on Iancu de Hunedoara boulevard, close to Victoriei Square. You gotta love this building – it’s called Metropolis, and years back when I was writing about real estate I was so impressed with it (I still am). It used to be a printing house, and the owners kept some elements of the former building in the new one – like the brick facade.

So Readers Cafe is inside this office building, a bit tucked away, like many good things are. But it is easily reachable as you enter the building, close to the entrance to the Mega Image.

The whole first floor is a non-smoking area, which is brilliant nowadays (and ever since I quit smoking a few years ago). It is nicely decorated and you will know what I mean when the waiter explains to you that you have to go through the circle of books to get to the bathroom! Now that’s an experience!

Kudos for making the place feel so cozy, with nice couches and antique chairs, all in a glass office building.

I was amazed to see how many food options they have on the menu, most of which at reasonable prices. When I was invited there for a business meeting, I thought this was a cafe and we’re going to drink coffees and tea, and eat some cookies. But boy, was I wrong! When I arrived my business partners were already ordering food (it was between 11 and 16, when a lunch menu is also available, including soup!).

The salads were very good (ok, probably by now some food afficionados have already discarded me and this review for saying a salad can be very good. But I’ve had so many salads thrown into a bowl directly from the supermarket bag, sprinkled with some Parmesan and served at three times the price that I can definitely enjoy something well done)

Then the pasta – I’ve been recommended the Linguine al pesto, which a friend says are delicious, and very reasonably priced. On my next visit, I’ll try those. The friend who tried it was happy with both the taste, and the size of the portion.

They even have sushi. That’s a must try on my next visit. Sushi in a cafe in Romania? If you’re curious, the whole menu is here. Ah, and the wines, lots of wines on the menu.

So all that being said, I only have two negatives to add (one of which is, on second thought, a positive): why not put a bigger sign so that people know you’re there, and why not call yourself something more than a ‘cafe’, since you’re obviously much more than that, and doing a good job at it?

Ok, none of these are real negatives, and perhaps I should take them out completely (and even change the headline). This place should continue to be for insiders.

Readers Cafe, 56-60 Iancu de Hunedoara Blvd., Metropolis Center, Ground Floor

+4 073 READERS/ (+4 0737 32 33 77)

by Corina Chirileasa, source:


JOB: Tour & Event Manager (no longer valid)


City Compass Group has been founded in 2008 and offers a variety of high quality information & services for expatriates, international companies and foreign tourists in Bucharest and Romania. City Compass Tours & Events – founded in 2013-  is part of City Compass Group and offers tours and corporate travel services (corporate events, conferences, teambuildings, culinary tours etc).

JOB DESCRIPTION: Tours & Event Manager (Junior) for our Bucharest office

– Organisation of Bucharest & Romania tours
– Organisation of corporate events (wine events, culinary events, teambuilding etc.)
– Online-Marketing (Website, Facebook, Newsletter etc.)
– Search for new providers/ Supplier management (hotels, guest-houses, restaurants, wineries)
– Proposal writing & offer calculation


– University degree in tourism or brevet de turism
– Romanian native with very good English proficiency (writing & speaking)
min. 1 year experience within a tour operator or event agency
– experience in proposal writing for corporate clients

Other skills:

– good organisational skills
– good communication skills, team player
– good command of Excel, Word, PowerPoint
– pro-active, solution-oriented attitude
Please send your CV to: tours (a)

Date: 04 March 2014