Places of interest12 May 2022

Zexe, the unique restaurant of “zahana” type in Bucharest

A restaurant that lures you with “boyar’s goodies” and recipes from remote times

Stuffed capon with brioches and oranges - Zexe Zahana Restaurant, Bucharest

Stuffed capon with brioches and oranges - Zexe Zahana Restaurant, Bucharest

The “zahana“ is an old specific restaurant located near slaughterhouses where “specialties of butchery“ and “boyars fine goodies“ were cooked after recipes lost in the mists of the time.

Zexe Zahana aims to revive this specific and to give to the Romanian gastronomy the scent of the old times. Located at the crossroads, in an old house, the Zexe restaurant is the only one in Bucharest who claims itself a “zahana”.

The traditionally-manorial cuisine combines the traditional peasant cuisine with the fine French cuisine. The preparations here are divided into “Forgotten dishes – refunds”, made after old recipes, with the strength pieces of the Romanian cuisine of the XIX century (such as crab, octopus, pork of Mangalita, capon) and “New Romanian dishes” made after innovate recipes but respecting the Romanian specific.

The most requested Menus include: “Sarmale - rolls made from  minced meat of goose chest - wrapped in grapevine leaves” (recipe from the book of Păstorel Teodoreanu), “Boyar’s Zacusca of porcini mushrooms” (the house creation after a classic recipe culled from Maramures), “Liver of fattened duck” (a recipe from 1920), “Bone marrow in own sauce” (a speciality of butchery), “Boyar’s pork cracklings”, “Mangalita nape with baked beans“ (a pig species with no cholesterol), “Capon with oranges“ (an ancient delicacy).

The capon - a specialty by the time of Pliny the Elder

The capon is in fact a castrated and fattened domestic cock, with a very soft and flavoured meat. The livestock farmers in the time of Pliny the Elder (23-79 C.E.), an important erudite of the Roman Empire, found the way to get the special taste of the meat. That’s why the capon becomes a delicacy for the emperors and potentates of the time. The Romanian princes and boyars took this specialty also as a sign of opulence and refinement.

Stuffed capon with brioches and oranges - a taken over and reinterpreted recipe

The ingredients we need for this recipe are: 1 capon, foie gras, oranges, chive, honey, liquor (brandy-based with orange flavour), brioches, butter, salt and pepper. The capon is salted and peppered both inside and outside, the oranges are cleaned, peeled and cut into cubes. Mix all with the foie gras and brioches, and then fill the capon. Close the capon with some toothpicks and put it in the oven.

Ingredients for the sauce: clean the chive and put it in a pan with butter and honey, boil it until is reduced and caramelized. Add the liquor, honey and sliced oranges and boil it until caramelized.

Remove the oranges from marinade and add the orange juice. The sauce is served warm with the capon.

Information and photo:   

Elena Radu




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