Prague – Old and New

After the fun times with our local host the previous night, I was a little slow on the uptake to get going the next day.  Fortunately, I had planned for this and had almost nothing on the agenda.  Chris was in search of a stein, and both of us wanted some more of the wondrous sausage at Nase Maso.  So, with that in mind, we made the trek downhill once more to Old Town Square.

Prague Old Town Center Prague to Clock Tower Prague Old Town Center 1
The square was even more packed with tourists from all over than previously and once again I could hear various languages being shouted as their respective tour groups shuffled around the square.  To be honest, at this point, I had my fill of the madness so I was perfectly fine making this my last sojourn down here.

We eventually reached Nase Maso and why mess with perfection so I got the same links sampler and the glorious Czech pork sausage.  Chris got the same in addition to some roasted pork belly, which was quite good.  Given my obsession with their amazing mustard, I was thrilled to learn they actually sold it there for a ridiculously cheap price.  I got 2 jars that will hopefully make it back to the States with me.  Fingers crossed!

On our way back, Chris, ever the intrepid photographer, finally got a couple of shots of the famous Astronomer’s Clock, no small feat given the constant throng around it.

Prague clock tower bottom Prague Clock Prague Old Town Center clock tower

Full of meat in tube form, a nap was needed and this was helped along by a few rain showers.  It was a needed break, and next thing I knew, it was time to make a somewhat longer trip to a new restaurant called Sansho, which specialized in Asian fusion.  I thought it would be a nice change of pace from the pretty heavy food we’d be having all week.

Sansho was located in a fairly remote area so we had to take a different tram line to get to it.  The tram we were on, unlike the new ones on trusty tram 22, was quite old and therefore didn’t have the handy electronic map.  While I had mapped it out on Google Maps, it was still a bit disconcerting to not be entirely sure if we were heading in the right direction.  Fortunately, all was fine and we soon exited the tram basically at the end of the line, making a short walk up a fairly desolate street to the warm glow of the restaurant.

Sansho has a set menu for dinner of 6 courses – 5 bites and 1 main course, no dessert.  The restaurant was industrial chic, and I noticed that there were only a spoon and chopsticks, no knife or fork – definitely Asian as described.  Since I hadn’t tried any local wine yet, I got a glass of the Moravian house red.  I was somewhat disconcerted by the waiter’s look of “well, OK you asked for it” but the wine was a very pleasant surprise, especially since it was only $4 USD.

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We were told everything would be served family style, except for a couple of exceptions due to my garlic issues.  The first course was a classic salmon sashimi with a soy/mirin sauce.  The salmon was very fresh and the sauce was very well balanced.  A nice start.

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Next up was the first divergence for me as I got a banh mi “slider” with ground pork and beef with the usual crunchy vegetable medley of this Vietnamese staple.  While I wouldn’t necessarily call it anything close to a true banh-mi, it tasted great and that was good enough.  Chris had glazed pork belly with watermelon, which apparently was loaded with garlic.  He said it was very good as well.

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The third course was a home run – steak tartar with a farm egg and fried bao buns.  Quite simply, this was probably the best steak tartar I’ve ever had.  The Asian flavor profile was there and the 9 day aged beef was perfect.  However, what took it to another level were the fried bao buns.  They were so good we ended up getting another order to ensure every bite of the tartar was on one of those amazing pieces of bread.

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Next course was slightly modified for me but still basically the same dish – tea smoked trout with papaya salad.  Once again, the Asian flavors shined through with the Czech influence of the river trout.  Though not my favorite of the evening, it was a nice breathe after the rich previous course.

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The final “bite” was one I had read about when researching restaurants – soft shell crab slider with pickled cucumbers and wasabi mayo.  The crunchy crab and veggies were offset nicely by the soft bao bun.  It was a great way to gear up for the main course.

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The final course and the main course was a 10 hour beef rendang with stir fried vegetables and jasmine rice.  These were the first green vegetables I had seen all week so I eagerly gobbled up the medley.  The rendang was the chef’s calling card, and I was relieved that it wasn’t overly spicy.  A great way to finish the meal.

After 2 hours of feasting, we wisely opted to skip dessert and made the journey back up to our loft.  The next day was supposed to be the last decent one weather-wise so the final item on the schedule – the Zizkov TV tower and it’s panoramic views of Prague.

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