"Knedliky Etc" has recently relauched as "Dobrou Chut'!"

You should be automatically redirected in a second or two. If not, please go to
and update your bookmarks.

Hopefully see you there!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Call me an uppity food snob if you like, but I have to say that apart from the odd quickie sandwich / coffee on the hoof here and there, I don't generally like eating in shopping mall restaurants - I just somehow find them pretty impersonal and contrived, and would on the whole prefer to have a meal in a more atmospheric local restaurant instead.

For this reason, despite having literally drunk my weight in chai over the last year at Chanchala, a gaudily decked out Indian restaurant on the top floor of Palladium mall, until today I had never once actually eaten there. In fact I probably never would have done so at all, had it not been for the one feature of their menu that has long tweaked my interest - namely their selection of dhosas, a crèpe-like speciality of southern India which I used to regularly enjoy as a light lunch when I was living on the subcontinent a few years back. As far as I know, dhosas aren't found on the menu of any of the other Indian restaurants in Prague (though please correct me if I'm wrong), so after months of meaning to get around to it, I finally decided to go against the grain tonight and head off to an impersonal, non-descript shopping centre for my dinner.

As predicted, the staff were immediately thrown into (admittedly rather charming) confusion when "that weird girl who always comes in on her own and only orders tea" for the first time actually professed a desire to order solid food and non-chai based beverages.

As Mr K never tires of repeating: "a day without wine is a day without a smile" (which rather makes alcohol dependency sound pretty twee and jolly, doesn't it?), so as usual I went ahead and ordered myself a nice glass of white to start off the meal. This particular glass, however, most definitely did not bring a smile to my face today though, coming as it did with an eye-watering 110kč price tag for a measly 0,15 glass, and not even particularly good quality wine at that. Apparently Chanchala only stocks Indian wines (of which this was actually the cheapest), which is all very well from a culinary standpoint, but quite frankly for that price I would rather have three glasses of bog-standard Czech Müller Thurgau and at least get tipsy off the back off it...

Unsurprisingly considering, for my next drink I instead plumped for a sweet lassi, which was actually pretty refreshing and nice (not too thick or sickly like some Indian restaurants make them), as well as a comparative steal at "just" 75kč per 0,2 glass.

Luckily my narkiness at being shafted on the wine abated somewhat, however, when the food itself arrived - a masala dhosa stuffed with potato, peas, onions and raisins (197kč). Being ravenous to the point of wanting to gnaw off my own arm already when I arrived, I pretty much polished this off in just a few frantic bites (in fact it took all my self-control just to pause to take the picture first...). However, despite it being something of a "blink and you miss it" affair in terms of meal duration, I have to say that the dhosa nevertheless was actually really pretty damn tasty. In fact I would even go as far to say that this rendition was just as good as any dhosa I'd had before in India, being generously stuffed full of tasty spiced vegetables and accompanied by a truly delicious dhal, some light mango yogurt sauce, and a kind of cardamon / coconut mix on the side. Either way, it definitely brought back warm memories of my halcyon Indian days at any rate... :-))

I did toy with the idea of ordering a pot of my beloved masala chai (pictured below) afterwards to round off the meal, but didn't have my bank manager's number to hand to take out an overdraft, and besides was already pretty happily replete as it was.

All in all the bill came to a fairly hefty 382kč, which did strike me as distinctly over-priced for what in production terms essentially didn't amount to much more than an over-sized pancake, a glass of milk and a dribble of subcontinental wine, and that all dished up in a bog-standard shopping mall restaurant to boot. On the other hand, I really did enjoy the dhosa and the lassi, which in themselves actually weren't all that overly expensive, so judging by food alone (and - like I say - I'm only going on this one meal myself) I would still definitely recommend at least giving the place a go.

So all in all a short but sweet dining experience, but one with a nasty sting in the tail when it came to the exorbitant cost of the wine. On reflection, in future I think I will probably just stick to tea at Chanchala from now on, or failing that (in true Great British pre-curry tradition) simply get tanked up down the local before I go the next time!! ;-))

1 comment:

  1. This sounds good. Stick it on the list for when I next come over to Prague. However I insist that we go to the pub to get tanked up before hand! Dad x