Thursday, September 22, 2011

La Degustation, Prague

Before we went to watch Georgie in Denmark, Hubby and I took a 2 day detour to Prague. Hubby went there on business a few years ago and really wanted to share the beauty he remembers of the city with me. At first I was hesitant because there are no direct flights to Prague from Hong Kong. We would have to land at Frankfurt, then take another flight to Prague. After Prague, we would have to take a flight back to Frankfurt then connect to Denmark. After the concert, we would have to fly back to Frankfurt before heading back to Hong Kong. Phew!

But after the joy of finding out I did not need to apply for a Schengen visa with my Taiwan passport, I took it as a good sign and agreed. And I'm glad I did because Prague was beautiful... but of course I'm not here to talk about Prague. I'm here to talk about the one magnificent meal we had. And due to all the other crappy meals we had, dinner at La Degustation was even more memorable.

Hubby and I chose the Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise which features more of local Czech cooking.

Hubby ordered the complementing Czech wines to go with his meal.

Hubby says he now knows why Czech wine is not well known.

Before the meal started, we were presented with around 3 different amuse-bouche treats. Although they looked very simple, each was packed with flavor. We did not take pictures at the beginning of the meal because we were abit embarrassed to take out my camera. So Hubby suggested just to use his phone as its more discreet.

Lightly seasoned potato chips with some type of carpaccio. (sorry, was too overwhelmed to take notes)

 A very light waffle type crisp with some type of filling.

This was Hubby and my favorite part of the meal. Not only did it look lovely, but the crispiness of the sumava bread was a perfect fit with the tender and perfectly salted Prague ham. The beetroot, onion and mustard seeds completed the portrait perfectly.

Though the consumé was very rich, the small and perfectly shaped carrot balls and baby pancakes cut through the soup very well. I'm just not sure about the frozen marrow disk that was dropped into the soup which was attached to a string and clipped on a wooden clothes hanger.

During the next part of the meal, Hubby chose the trout. It looks very plain, but Hubby says its one of the freshest piece of fish he has ever had. I'm not sure about the pickle though. Its the same size as the piece of fish!

I ordered the beef and boy must I say it is one of the most tender pieces of meat I have ever eaten in my life. Although it was a tiny piece of meat, the flavour and intensity definitely makes a huge impact. It may look dull in terms of the color, but once I sliced into the chunk of meat, this is what I see:

The picture doesn't do it justice, but if you look carefully you can see the beauty of the meat plus the intense green of the dill infused oil. YUM!

Next was the beef tongue. Hubby and I have both never had tongue, so we were a bit apprehensive. But I know a lot of my friends love eating it, so I was also quite curious to see how it will be presented.

I think for this type of dish, the 2 bite size pieces were perfect. Outside of Asia, I'm not sure how often people eat beef tongue. Since we were newbies, the serving size was the perfect introduction. We both thought it tasted like very tender veal. It was magnificent.

Next was the rabbit. My only criticism for this dish was that the lonely piece of rabbit was too small! It is the square morsel in the middle of the plate. I could have eaten a least a dozen more mouthfuls! It was a perfect balance of crispy on the outside and tender juiciness on the inside.

Accompanying the rabbit were kidney and liver. Unlike my extremely disappointing liver dish that afternoon, this bit of liver was cooked to perfection. I'm just not so sure about the kidney. I veiled it with the onion and celery dumpling when I ate it.

To cap off the savory part of the meal and transition us to the desserts was the cheese. I'll have to admit this was my least favorite dish of the evening. The cheese foam was just it, foam with a bit of cheesy, creamy taste. The elderberry sorbet was a bit too tart for my taste. And somehow the temperature difference of both parts weren't tweaked properly.

We presented with an amuse-bouche next which was a spoonful of chocolate mousse, berry and cookie crouton of some sort. Sorry, I promise to take notes the next time I ever find myself at a fancy meal.

We ended our meal with their strudel dessert. Hubby was quite excited at first because all day long we were seeing giant strudels sold at the street stalls. I think he had visions of a equally large sized strudel with fruit, cheese and this BEER foam oozing all over it. But alas it was not the case.

Instead a very civilized presentation of strudel strands, sitting on a bed of cheese with beer foam swimming on the side came. I usually like my desserts creamy and sinful. But after such a parade of food and art, I was happy to end the meal with a light yet textured treat.

After Hubby finished his wines and we were ready to go, we were presented with a golden take home box.

Once we got to our hotel, I opened it to find a little raspberry muffin. Unfortunately I'm not a fan of raspberries, especially when its riddled with the seeds. The muffin itself was tasty enough though.

New York Times has rated this restaurant as the number one thing to do while in Prague. After our meal there and spending 2 days walking around this beautiful city, I would have to say I agree.


DressyFoodie said...

Thanks so much for your great review! I am from Hong Kong too and now planning to visit this restaurant next week. Just want to know if they serve other menus like fewer courses or a la carte menu for dinner? Thanks!

Bandit said...

Hi Dressy, thanks for visiting my blog! Other than the Degustation sets, they have a vegetarian one I think and a smaller set. I don't recall them having ala carte items. Have fun in Prague!