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Traditional Romanian restaurant Ambient opens in Windmill Street, Gravesend


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A restaurant serving traditional Romanian cuisine has finally opened for business in a town centre after lockdown setbacks.

Ambient welcomed customers to its Gravesend eatery on December 11 and is already a hit with locals says owner Vasile Conduraru.

From left: Owners Corina and Vasile Conduraru
From left: Owners Corina and Vasile Conduraru
A Romanian cheese doughnut served with sour cream and jam. Picture: Vasile Conduraru
A Romanian cheese doughnut served with sour cream and jam. Picture: Vasile Conduraru

Mr Conduraru said: "I am really happy to be open after waiting for one year. We are a new team and are using this time to get to know each other.

"It is really exciting. I could not have opened the restaurant without my wife, she is leading the kitchen, the boss."

Vasile and wife Corina have held the lease for the shop for more than a year and have been waiting to open after refurbishing and currently have five members of staff. Corina added: "It is strange to be finally open but exciting."

Originally from Bucharest in Romania, the pair moved to the UK in 2017 first settling in Sidcup before moving to Pelham Road in Gravesend.

Taking inspiration from their home town the restaurant has been fitted out in a traditional Romanian style.

Mr Conduraru explained that in Bucharest, restaurants have a Victorian style about them and are fitted with wooden tables and chairs.

The decor is inspired by traditional Bucharest dining
The decor is inspired by traditional Bucharest dining
The decor is inspired by traditional Bucharest dining
The decor is inspired by traditional Bucharest dining

He decided to bring this to Ambient but in a modern twist which can be seen from the hand-painted walls and chosen decor.

They will also be serving 90% Romanian food including traditional dishes like cabbage rolls stuffed with mince meat, cheese doughnuts served with sour cream and jam and a cold countryside platter amongst other dishes.

There is also a page of non-eastern European cuisine including pastas, seafood and fish.

Cold traditional countryside platter including pork scathing, meatballs, ham, cheese aubergine salad, olives and vegetables. Picture: Vasile Conduraru
Cold traditional countryside platter including pork scathing, meatballs, ham, cheese aubergine salad, olives and vegetables. Picture: Vasile Conduraru
Pork meat, liver and sausage stew in tomato sauce served with polenta, cheese and a fried egg . Picture: Vasile Conduraru
Pork meat, liver and sausage stew in tomato sauce served with polenta, cheese and a fried egg . Picture: Vasile Conduraru
A spicy plate including pork, chicken and pepper. Picture: Vasile Conduraru
A spicy plate including pork, chicken and pepper. Picture: Vasile Conduraru

Although new to the town, Ambient is the Conduraru family's second business. The first being a restaurant in Swanscombe which shut just before the lockdown in 2020 as their lease was up.

The new restaurant is located in Windmill Street next to China Garden in the building that once housed beauty salon, Alter Ego.

They are open seven days a week from 12.30pm until 11pm on Sunday to Thursday and until 12am Friday and Saturday.

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