11th March 2018 update: Another great meal at Sia last night; the ‘duck with broth’ dim sum were amazing. This time we had two litre carafes of tap water (only two of us but thirsty – we also had wine) and were charged 75 Kč for each – the carafes have lumps of shungit (which is a bit like coal, but known for some anti-bacterial properties) in the bottom. Next time I’m just going to refill the first carafe myself in the bathroom!
Sia opened in December 2017. It looks like the Potrefená Husa chain of restaurants financed the place, although there aren’t any direct references. Head Chef is Jiří Štift, previously of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. I remember eating there and loved the Asian-themed menu he’d put together.
Sia writes this on their webpage:
The Asian menu of the Sia restaurant is based on the traditional recipes, procedures and technologies which we connected with the experience and ideas of the international team of the chef Jiří Štift. Under his management, the menu is prepared in cooperation of the cooks from Indonesia, Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Moravia and China.
Sia is just a few steps away from the Marriott Hotel on V Celnici street in central Prague. I’m struggling to remember what was there before – the restaurant has been custom built from the ground up and must have cost a fortune.
We booked a basement floor table in advance as I’d read that the top floor can be hot – heat rising from the kitchens on each floor. We were led along glass walkways and down stairs, past steaming kitchens and ducks hanging in windows.
It already felt like a trip to Asia. Our table was just away from a bar where diners can sit and watch the chefs at work.
The waiter was friendly and I ordered a bottle of Malbec – a little expensive at 990 Kč. The waiter returned to advise that they had run out. So we chose to just drink the Cabernet Sauvignon 0.15l at 75 Kč per glass. We also ordered a carafe of tap water, which arrived with what turned out to be lumps of shungit (which is a bit like coal, but known for some anti-bacterial properties) in the bottom – that styling didn’t come cheap as we later found the carafe cost 75 Kč. I have to say that I really object to paying more than 20 Kč for tap water, no matter how they dress it up.
We were given a complimentary sake-style cocktail:
Our food order was the reason for our visit: two types of dim sum and Peking duck – both really hard to find in Prague:
- Shaomai – steamed dumplings, pork, prawns, soy sauce (3 pieces) 169 Kč
- Har Gow – steamed dumplings with prawns, ginger and soy sauce (3 pieces) 169 Kč
- Half Peking duck served in two courses: 595 Kč
First with 10 pancakes, ginger, cucumber, cantaloupe melon and plum sauce
Second boneless duck legs with fried rice, egg, spring onion, carrot and sesame
Everything was absolutely delicious. If I could change anything, I’d order a side of hoi sin sauce for the duck pancakes as the Sia sauce, although I’m sure authentic, wasn’t what I like to complete my pancakes.
The bathrooms were spotless, with shared hand basins and a sign that took a second look before I could decide which was my side:
Our total bill (we had four glasses of wine) 1308 Kč.
We took a walk around the other floors – they were all busy with diners and kitchens:
The top floor wasn’t hot – although it was -5 °C outside. I think the basement was the right choice and I’d book to sit there again. Our clothes didn’t retain any food smells.
I’d certainly recommend a visit – but you’ll need to make a reservation in advance.
V Celnici 1034/6
110 00 Praha 1
+420 220 199 380
Monday – Wednesday 11:00–24:00
Thursday & Friday 11:00 – 01:00
Saturday 12:00 – 01:00