Friday, 12 December 2014


I've never been in a restaurant I disliked as much as Vacamuuu last night. It was full, the tables are tiny and set very close together and everyone in the restaurant seemed to be shouting to each other to be heard. The ambiance is Spartan and anyway they mostly just serve steak, so what is the point? We had the presence of mind to leave without ordering and go to Divan nearby which felt civilised, not a cattle truck.

These lines of Philip Larkin came to mind:

"Sometimes you hear, fifth-hand,
As epitaph: He chucked up everything
And just cleared off, 
And always the voice will sound
Certain you approve
This audacious, purifying, 
Elemental move.

The food at Vacamuuu is excellent but it is only steak. The minimalist decor feels international, soulless but good of its kind - but it was so crowded nothing could really be seen at all. It felt like Julian Grenfell's comment on the Battle of the Somme - 

"Oh my dear the noise! the people!" 
Divan is nothing special at all, but human and pleasant and we could hear each other speak and no one was near us. 

Vacamuuu is also overpriced. The menu offers various steaks. The most expensive steak costs RON 400 which is about £70More than a monthly Romanian old age pension.

In Rome restaurants are full of what look like interesting people, some cultured, some eccentric, having interesting conversations. Restaurants in Romania tend to be full of businessmen talking business or courting women - Vacamuuu is business, definitely not courtship. And Vacamuuu is very 'businessman's taste'. So are most fashionable things in Bucharest. I am thankful that nothing in Bucharest is cool but places like Vacamuuu are the corollary.


  1. Personally I cant stand Wacamuu and all that it stands for and all that stand behind it.

  2. The problem with that type of decor is that (unlike restaurants of yore), without soft furnishings on the walls or carpets, the sound reverberates harshly, pretty much putting paid to any quiet discussions. This trend was very much de rigeur in London in the '80s and has proliferated to this day. Faux edgy. Painful and rather déclassé.

  3. I’m baffled why you and others hate the place. The food is some of the best in town, the service is good, it’s always lively (some braying expats notwithstanding) , and the idea of it being “faux edgy” is just twaddle. How you can prefer it to average chain restaurants like Divan, lacking in any originality, is beyond me.