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La Degustation

La Degustation, one of two restaurants in Prague to have a Michelin star, was our special treat as our time in Prague is coming to an end. Its slogan is "bohême bourgeoise," which I found amusing.

Inside, I don't know if anything can be gothic minimalist, but I think that's an accurate description. Arches ribbed the ceiling, and artfully-placed dim spotlights created wonderful shadows. The walls were bare and painted a light grey, and the furniture was all low-backed and dark wood. The windows onto the street had the restaurant's signature checkered pattern.

As we sat down, the waiter came over and gave us an envelope.

We were handed an envelope
The back of the envelope
Open it to find the checkered pattern
Two menu options

We went for the eleven-course menu, with wine pairings. It was definitely a lot of food, and I wish I hadn't eaten so much of the delicious bread they brought. The menu focussed on Czech ingredients and dishes, but with modern, vaguely molecular-gastronomic twists. Apparently a lot of the inspiration for their dishes comes from a late-19th century Czech cookbook.

I didn't take pictures and I won't bore you with a course-by-course detailing of everything. A couple of stand-out dishes, though: dijon mustard ice-cream with hot tomato sauce. The sauce was the perfect distillation of tomato flavour. Add that to the mustard (which wasn't too spicy), plus the mixing of the hot sauce with the cold ice-cream and you get an incredible dish that's not quite like anything I've had before.

There was a foie gras course where the liver had been finely grated over wine jelly and pistachio. I'd never eaten foie gras grated before, and it really helped take away the heaviness you sometimes get. Then there was the beef tongue "signature dish."

I really enjoyed the wine pairings. They used mostly Czech wines, and it was nice to see the variety in types they produce here. There was also a great unfiltered Slovenian wine called Kontra. The cheese course came with a delicious IPA from the Matuška Brewery.

If you're willing to splash out, this place is definitely worth it. It's a modern take on Czech flavours and ingredients, and the courses are presented beautifully.

9.3 / 10