Review of Benjamin Steakhouse & Bar
Transylvania is both infamous and underrated. It’s infamous because of it’s association with Bram Stroker’s Dracula and pretty much everything undead or supernatural. Transylvania is steeped in history and beauty. Medieval fortresses and towns litter the landscape with the awe inspiring Carpathian mountain range as a backdrop. Even a brexit pound goes a long way, with £1 buying 5 Lei and 5 Lei buying a local or imported pint of beer. Despite all this, Transylvania still manages to escape mass tourism.
My weekend escape from London took me to a town in central Transylvania called Sibiu. Sibiu, previously known as Hermannstadt is a 12th Century town founded by German migrants. I decided to check out Benjamin Steakhouse which is both Sibiu’s finest steakhouse and restaurant.
Our waiter welcomed us to the restaurant in perfect English and gave us our menus. The menu was extensive. It offered everything from Wagyu and Angus steaks through to burgers and grills. We opted for the locally sourced Angus T-bone steak (cooked rare of course), with a platter of cold cuts and some cocktails to help it all go down.
The cocktails and cold cuts arrived and both were delicious. The Manhattan cocktail was just perfection (perfection at a cost of £3!) while the cold cuts had a variety of beef and pork cuts with surprisingly delicious vegetables (the tomatoes tasted like tomatoes rather than the red water taste we get in London). The platter was intended for four people, but the two of us defeated it.
While waiting for the steak to arrive, we ordered Iacob Ruso, a very pleasant local red wine and proceeded to get through three glasses of it. As the steak arrived, a summer storm rolled in bringing hundreds of lighting strikes, lighting up the Gothic towers in sibiu. The torrential rain lashed against the windows and thunder roared like a galloping giant horse. It was the ideal setting to gorge on the flesh of a rare Transylvanian T-bone steak.
The fillet or tenderloin part of the T-bone steak was excellent. It had a light char, was very tender and all but dissolved in the mouth. The sirloin was disappointing. It was naturally tougher than the Fillet but lacked any real flavour to redeem the lack of tenderness. Redemption came through a delicious port sauce that we ordered with the steaks.
While the T-bone wasn’t flawless, the overall package in terms of value, service and quality was exceptionally good. The 1kg t-bone steak along with sides, a large starter, new york cheesecakes for dessert, cocktails and 6 glasses of wine came to £30 per person. I highly recommend Benjamin steakhouse if you’re stopping by in Transylvania or other parts of Romania.