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When In Prague
Dining for tourists
Století hangs on thanks to a reputation for decent food at reasonable prices — a rare combination in the tourist zone, at least according to legend.In reality, finding affordable joints in Prague 1 requires very little effort. The popular Afghan spot, Kabul Karolina, is only a few meters away. Across the river in Malá Strana, Café de Paris offers entrecote beef with bread, good fries and a salad for less than 300 Kč. There’s also Karavanseráj, Universal, Modrý zub, Globe, Luka Lu.
And truth be told, Století doesn’t quite live up to its reputation. A couple sitting down for two courses each (and plenty to drink) can expect to leave close to 1,000 Kč ($60.40) on the table.
It’s still a kitschy place, however, with a menu based on alleged favorite meals of such celebrated figures as Louis Armstrong (pork medallions in cold orange curry that frankly tastes like a melted Creamsicle), Erich von Stroheim (chicken steak with a baked pear), Somerset Maugham (grilled steak in a pepper sauce and sliced bananas) and Ema Destinnová (salad with liver and apples).
So it’s imaginative, if not brilliant.
Following a long, slow decline in quality, the folks behind La Perle de Prague finally decided to let go. Word is that another party already has designs on the coveted spot atop the Dancing House.Metropole became Noel’s, but only for a short stint. Now the Vinohrady hangout has been re-dressed by a couple from England and cast as a British-style pub called The Royal Oak.
The Radisson is hosting acclaimed (by Michelin, with one star) London chef David Thompson for a series of cooking classes Oct. 6, 7 and 13. A native of Australia, Thompson learned his profession in Bangkok — so well that his restaurant, Nahm, earned a star less than half a year after opening. He also authored the definitive book Thai Food. Participants get to work with Thompson on three courses, with a few breaks for wine both during and after the class. The cost: 5,900 Kč, including wine. Call 222 820 410 to find out more.
Final (slurred) words
Speaking of Kabul Karolina, the owner (Hasib Saleh, according to his business card) stopped me as I was leaving one day to mention a great write-up in Lidové noviny. He then asked if I happen to know anyone at The Prague Post. I allowed that I do, without breaking my reviewer’s anonymity. He explained that, as the operator of a small enterprise, he needs to generate as much publicity as possible, and urged me to pass the card along.
Done and done. For the record, it’s a good, inexpensive restaurant. But most people already know that.