“Lokal” Restaurant Prague. A review.
Lokal restaurant Prague.
Deceptive, as size goes, from the outside Lokal is a “normal” beige building, just the sign above the door and pretty much nothing else.
Once inside the small room with a, I could say, rudimentary bar tables and chairs looked small, felt even smaller as all the eyes in the bar turn to the door every time someone gets in.
These are the locals. No pun here. Or not intended.
Tentatively I ask the bartender if we could take a seat and a half opened mouth said sure. First side is smoking section, second half is no smoking. Here he’s now referring to the two 30 to maybe 40 feet long rooms that follow the smaller one at the entrance, and now Lokal seems to be an eatery that seats well over 100.
Here, same as everywhere tables and chairs are unpretentious, they are things to sit and eat on.
No table cloths. No need.
Service was fine with beer being offered as you sit down and as soon as someone notices your empty glass they offer to bring you another drink. Beer was on tap, and although good, there was quite a large head on it, so made me believe that it wasn’t quite a 500ml glass. Not such a big deal.
Food came out quite fast, efficient for a restaurant that is promoting in their words the “slow food movement”.
We started with the Prague ham served with horseradish and cream “sauce” and spicy sausages with mustard and again horseradish.
The ham was good, slices of it on a plate but the “sauce” was to say the least strange. Grated horseradish mixed with whipped cream. Not a heavy cream, or with a lot of flavour, it was a fluffy whipped cream, same as you would like in your coffee. Maybe from a tube.
The sausages, good again, not at all spicy (a letdown) and again simple on the plate with a spoon of mustard and this time just raw shredded horseradish. Now I like horseradish and it wasn’t hot so I ate it all.
The main course “affair” was a couple of dishes from the house specials respectively fried cheese with tartare sauce and fried neck of pork (collar) in lard. One extra main I choose was boiled shoulder of beef with a horseradish sauce.
Sides were potato dumplings, bread dumplings and a salad. Cabbage and…good guess, horseradish.
All dishes came on their separate plates dumplings included. Is that a good Thing? I guess, because there wasn’t a dumpling drenched in sauce that one might not like, but on the other hand there were now six plates crowding the table, also there wasn’t a lot of sauce after all.
Well apart from my beef which was afloat in a pool of sauce, drowning. And it wasn’t a large hunk of meat.
In regards to the fried cheese I think that the chef has missed a trick here.There was nothing about it even remotely to do with the “slow food movement” here. A rather large piece of cheese breaded and fried. By the evenness of the crumbs on the cheese one might and well so believe that it was pre-processed. To taste, it was nice but rubbery and chewy, and needed to be eaten fast before it gets cold and sets.
Bland potato and bread dumplings was not the way to go here. It’s all I have to say about them, we had 2 potato and half a bread dumpling between us.
By far the best thing here (and I’m not just saying that because I love most things to do with pork), was the breaded pork collar in fat…well fried in lard. (Did I mention that I like lard as Well?)
Crispy and tasty, the meat tasted as quality something well reared of a pig. But it lacked a side, and dumplings was not the way to go.
Coming to an end here, I did mention the beef before. The sauce was a touch bland, needed spice, black pepper at least. And a lot of it. Pepper and sauce. The beef, and once again, simply boiled (I think there were spices and other things like veggies with it), tasted great. Could have been the quality of the meat. Soft melt in the mouth, and tasty, and but a bit of a tiny piece.
So here we are, bellies full, three beers later and 870Kr bill. The waiter took the time to go through the bill with me, making sure that everything was okay, ordered by me and that we were happy.
One thing here is, that you don’t have a “dedicated” waiter, it’s sort of whoever is around and wanting to do something. This brings me to the service.
Waiters although smiling and friendly looked like they either couldn’t care less, or look (at least) like they hate tourists. Everyone in Prague that is somehow working in the hospitality industry (with the exception of our 5* staff at the hotel) looks like they just don’t belong, don’t care, don’t want to care.
I’ve read somewhere that the Czech may seem to be less friendly than maybe expected of them (I do refer to Prague here), but once you get to know them and them you they are a great bunch.
In all honesty here I don’t really have a great deal of time for that, nor would I want every bloody waiter as my best friend. Let’s keep it to that, I eat and smile you serve and smile.
And that’s the way a tip is assured at the end.
“Lokal” prides itself on fresh, whatever is available produce. The menu changes every day with new dishes, and as they run out they are struck off the menu.
So a bit late in the afternoon you might find that to be a bit annoying (there was no mash potato left…could maybe make some more…it’s not caviar) but then you could also find something that you could eat.
Prices were fair, or better yet make yourself an idea from the photo.
All things considered…would I go back there?
Well, maybe, if there’s something on the menu I’d really want to try. Otherwise, there are plenty of similar places, prices and establishments to try.
And should you find yourself in holiday in Prague, and want to try “Lokal” by all means do so, but don’t go out of your way to do it.