I spotted this restaurant from a taxi window and so we decided to try it as I hadn’t previously seen a Sri Lankan restaurant in Prague.
On arrival it was clear that the place used to be a regular Czech cellar pub (hospoda) with a bar in the entrance room and a labyrinth of rooms behind, connected by a corridor. But that’s not really a criticism as plenty of good restaurants have emerged from previous hospoda locations.
The place has only been open for four months so the décor is pretty haphazard; a map of Sri Lanka on the wall, a concertina postcard spread along a ledge, a couple of Saris draped on the walls, some other Asian-style cloth clearly covering some hole in the plasterwork. The highlight was a mannequin dressed in full Sri Lankan dress. I’m assuming that they haven’t finished and there will a stronger and more polished Sri Lankan theme in the future.
It was a Monday night and the only other diners were a family with a kid, who seemed to screech every minute. The lack of soft décor added to the echo of the screech. I can imagine that when full it can get pretty noisy.
The waitress was friendly and was happy to talk about the menu. We later found that her husband was Sri Lankan and they ran the place together.
Gambrinus Beer was 35Kc for a 0.5l bottle and that’s a pretty reasonable price for a restaurant. House Czech Wine was 25Kc for 0.1l which is a bit expensive. We asked if there was a wine list, there wasn’t, but the waitress mentioned that there were a couple of bottles of French wine on the back of a shelf and she’d bring them. We chose the Louis Jadot Pinot Noir 2010 over a Chardonnay and asked how much that would be – 350Kc was obviously a guess, but one we were happy with as it was a pretty good wine. If they have any more, I’d recommend ordering that. We were also able to have a carafe of tap water. I tried a large glass of the house wine and it was okay.
We ordered two Papadums (2 x60Kc) and chutney (40Kc) – both quite expensive for this level of restaurant. The Papadums arrived, already broken into pieces, in two bowls – I’m used to having these round and flat and breaking them, but perhaps that is how they are served in Sri Lanka.
For our main course we ordered:
- Prawn Curry (200Kc) plus Rice (60Kc) x2
- Kottu Rotti Chicken (190Kc) – Kottu Rotti is a flaky flatbread stir-fried with eggs and spices, plus meat or fish and finished with a curry sauce
- Kottu Rotti Seafood (220Kc)
The waitress asked how spicy we would like the food and not knowing what they considered spicy we said ‘medium’. Looking back we could have said more spicy as it wasn’t that hot.
Everyone liked the food, although there was one aspect of my dish I didn’t like: The chicken in my dish appeared to have been a boned piece that had been smashed up and stirred into the Rotti – as a result, I had to continually retrieve pieces of bone from my mouth and eventually spend time dissecting each chicken piece. I have no idea if that is typical of this dish but I certainly wouldn’t recommend the Chicken version. The seafood version was fine, only a couple of prawn tails to separate out.
I think that the place was a little expensive considering the location and décor. And in writing this review, I visited the restaurant website to check the prices. Imagine my dismay when I saw this:
Evening specials menu
Vegetable soup, rice, 2x vegetables of the day, chicken curry, dhal lentils, vegetable salad, papadam and chutney for 150 CZK
Of course this was never offered to us, nor was it shown on the menus we were given. So now I feel cheated and probably won’t return.
Sri Lankan Curry House
U Vodárny 10
Praha 3 – Vinohrady
+420 732 540 540