Update: After SCL closed, they re-opened as ‘Maso Je Maso‘ – that went the same way and closed in 2019. There is some building work going on inside – let’s hope the third attempt gets things right.
The Latin term ‘Summa Cum Laude’ (with highest honor) is traditionally used by American Universities to indicate the highest level of distinction with which an academic degree was earned. This restaurant loosely translates this as ‘Eat with Honor’.
The interior design continues this theme, with wallpaper reflecting mathematics, chemistry and English Lit. degree-level chalkboards. At the rear of the restaurant is a well-ventilated open kitchen.
The whole layout is simple, modern, with good air-conditioning.
Now to the menu: I’ve walked past this place numerous times since it opened in May 2016 and also checked the menu a few times. I found the menu confused and it was difficult to work out what sort of restaurant this was trying to be – there seemed to be traditional American items mixed with dishes and flavours from around the World and not in the usual ‘fusion-food’ way. It was almost like looking at a mash up of several restaurant menus – for example, there are two variations of mashed potato available as sides, but I couldn’t spot a single menu item where I would order mash as a side.
One thing I did spot was Eggs Benedict at 145Kc and as that is my favourite breakfast I knew I’d have to try it.
Mid afternoon on a Saturday, with outside temperatures around 29 degrees, the place was empty. I chose a seat by the air con outlet and it was really cool. The waiter was friendly and spoke English. I ordered a bottle of Pilsner Urquell 45Kc and Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon, not ham 145kc – something you often see referred to as Eggs Benedict Royale. It was probably the best Eggs Benedict I’ve had in Prague – even beating my usual choice, La Bottega Di Finestra where it costs 195kc.
The quality of the Eggs B made me think again about the chef and the menu – so I returned for dinner with my girlfriend that evening.
The wine list is a little expensive compared to the food prices. We chose a Chardonnay for 525kc – a make I recognised as retailing around 200kc. A carafe of tap water was 35kc. To be fair, the waiter was always there to refill our wine and water glasses.
To start we had ‘Asia de Cuba’ tacos with Peking Duck 95kc. This is the duck that typically arrives shredded with vegetables, pancakes and hoisin sauce – I sort of expected that the tacos would be soft and we’d be making them ourselves. They were actually hard-shell, which always fall apart on me after the first bite – but they tasted great.
Our main was a Marinated chicken tikka masala, mango and cucumber wrap 145kc. These wraps were also delicious – although again we were eating with our hands and I started to think about calling the cuisine ‘gourmet junk food’. But that would be unfair as the food quality was really good.
With 80s disco music, the US University references and the casual dining menu, we decided that the owner must be an American, in his 50s. We asked the waiter and to our surprise we found that the owners are Matteo De Carli and Lenka Hermanová – the Italian/Czech couple behind the well-reviewed Casa De Carli Italian restaurant in central Prague. Their history has been one of working around the world; Dublin, Dubai, New York – now the theme and the menu made a little more sense – although I still think it’s more confused than eclectic.
We enjoyed our visit and will definitely return – although I’d like it if there were; more menu items that required cutlery/silverware and more curry choices with meat – currently only vegetable curries available.
Apparently they also do a breakfast buffet for 125kc – I’m not sure of the times or whether it is just weekends.
The bathrooms were modern and clean. There is free Wi-Fi.
So if you’re looking for something different to eat in the Vinohrady area, or just can’t make up your mind what food you fancy – this place is worth a try.
Belgická 26, 120 00 Praha 2
t +420 211 1333 129
Monday – Friday
8.00 – 22.00
Saturday – Sunday
10.00 – 22.00