Spring is here, and the city is coming back to life. I went to Yam Yam, the Thai place at Vysehrad, for my first proper outdoor meal (not counting sandwiches on a park bench!). It’s an old favourite and I was excited to go back after a long time. They’ve changed the menu a bit, but from what we tried it seems to be mostly for the better.
Here’s the mixed starter sharing plate for two, which has fresh and fried spring rolls, shrimp cakes with sweet chilli sauce, grilled tiger prawns and chicken satay with peanut sauce. Then we tried the grilled duck breast with onion, basil, garlic, pepper and chilli (pictured) and the fried rice with chicken, pineapple, peppers, egg and crispy fried onion, which was a satisfyingly sticky and slightly stodgy dish. We had homemade ginger lemonade to drink, which was fresh and not overly sweet. I haven’t tried their other location in Prague 6 yet, which as far as I know only has indoor seating. I like the atmosphere here both inside and outside a lot. Neither have I tried their gimmicky ‘hell menu’.
This time we ate outside in the sunshine, though the location right next to Vysehrad metro station is not exactly peaceful or particularly picturesque, I like it. It’s a nice place to watch the world (and the metro trains) go by. I’m sure I’ll be back plenty of times during spring and summer on the way to/from a walk around Vysehrad’s gardens (and a stop at the beer garden, of course) www.yamyam.cz
I also revisited another old favourite, Las Adelitas, for lunch a few days ago. My go-to there used to the the enchiladas mixtas, which are chicken enchiladas served with two different sauces, rice and beans, and their mango margerita. I switched the margerita for mint tea since it was midday (and believe it or not, I had ‘proper work’ to do that day) but stayed with the enchiladas mixtas. It was a lot softer and more chewy than I remembered and my favourite brown mole sauce seemed to have lost some of its kick. Maybe I just caught them on an off day, but a friend went a few weeks ago for the first time and said it didn’t live up to the hype at all, so I’d love to hear if anyone else has been recently. Theirs is widely thought to be the best and most authentic Mexican food from here to Krakow, and I’d still recommend trying it out if you’re looking for a Mexican food fix. www.lasadelitas.cz
There’s been loads going on food-wise around Namesti Miru this month., Staropramen’s Belgian concept restaurant Bruxx opened, to not-so-rave reviews, on Namesti Miru 9. I haven’t been here yet, but reports of them running out of mussels, or not cleaning them properly, are rife. I’ll give them a try at some point soon, but from the sounds of it I may be sticking with Les Moules for when I want a glass of well-poured Belgian beer with my moules mariniere. www.bruxx.cz Just down Francouzska at Máchova 22, Javanka & Co are cooking up a storm with their Indonesian fusion menu. I tried their beef rendang a few weeks ago and was very happy with it. I was even more excited when I found out that they’re now serving pies by Prague Pie Hole (read a review of their pies here) meaning it’s a great chance to try a slice or two. Needless to say I’ve been doing exactly that. www.javanka.cz
At another Namesti Miru eatery, things aren’t looking so rosy. After initially getting some very good reviews of its American and Czech menu items, the menu has been changed after chef Jeff Cohen’s departure, and I was really disappointed with the couple of dishes I tried on a recent weekend visit, including a chicken potato pancake which was actually two thin, cry pancakes with a piece of chicken stuffed in the middle. Hadn’t been cooked together, lukewarm, no cheese, not much flavour. The smoked ribs (pictured) meanwhile, were… well, not ribs, and left both Czech and American friends at the table totally perplexed. After waiting 40 minutes for our food, we weren’t pleased. We did have some very good beers, but drinking here is not cheap, so if I do go back it will only be for one – and definitely not for food. praguebeermuseum.com Another interesting opening was the Nase Maso (Our Meat) butchers’ shop on Dlouha (pictured above), tapping into the ‘posh butcher’ trend which has now reached Prague. Owned by the Ambiente restaurant group, it sells the same locally-reared Czech beef served at Cestr (where you can also buy steaks to cook at home) and other quality cuts of meat, but a big part of the draw is the Antos svetly lezak beer tap in the wall. www.nasemaso.ambi.cz Finally, for veggies, this isn’t exactly new but I discovered it recently and would definitely recommend it to any vegetarian visitors looking for lunch around Mala Strana.. Lo Veg is a cool little cafe at Nerudova 36 (thanks to the very rude person who so unpleasantly corrected me on the address!), below Prague Castle, with friendly service and fresh vegetarian and vegan food. It has a tiny terrace (two tables) with a nice view over the rooftops, as you can see in the photo. It’s very good value too, especially considering the location, with 125kc lunch specials. www.loveg.cz