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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hotel Kempinski Garden Party

One of the reasons I still enjoy meeting up with people randomly off expats.cz after all these years (once have filtered out the inevitably contingent of weirdos and pervs who respond to any type of meet up ad, I mean) is that you genuinely never know exactly how the evening is going to turn out. Of course this can end up working both ways, and yes I’ve had my fair share of regrettable or simply downright weird evenings this way, but on the whole I usually end up having an overall nice time, often in utterly arbitrary and unexpected ways.

One example of this was last Wednesday’s meet-up with another expat girl who suggested meeting up at Hotel Kempinski for an after work glass of wine or two. Little did I realise that this particular expat actually worked for the hotel’s PR organisation, and the simple glass of wine I was anticipating was actually a full-blown launch party for the hotel’s new garden restaurant / bar (imaginatively also entitled ‘The Garden’).

Being a fan of fine food and wine at the best of times, but especially when free, I was naturally overjoyed at this fortuitous turn of events, and - as soon as decency allowed - quickly turned my attention to the party buffet / barbeque and (of course now I’ve started this blog) also the borderline obsessive photographing thereof.

On the starter tables were a variety of salads, cheeses, cold soups (gazpacho, cucumber, and tomato essence), sushi rolls (sadly not in shot) and a series of bite-sized mini potato gratins. I tried to sample a little bit of as many different dishes as possible without a) looking like a freeloader to my host and b) inducing irreversible feelings of guilt and self-loathing later in the evening at my undisciplined gluttonous excess.

After a break to mingle / knock back more free wine, it was then on to the barbeque section of the buffet, which offered a large variety of meats and fish, as well as side vegetables in the form of corn on the cob and miniature baked potato. Being more a white than red meat type person, I went for the salmon and tilapia wrapped in banana leaf. I’d never tried tilapia before, but really enjoyed its light and delicate flavour. The salmon was also done well, with a crispy outer skin but still soft, tender flesh.

By this point I was too full for dessert, but took a couple of photos anyway, only because the table of truffles, tarts, and petit fours just looked so damn pretty.

A final glass of wine to round things off and it was time to head home - happy, replete and hopefully having made a new friend in the process. Here is the link to the ‘The Garden’ restaurant from the Kempinski website and their menu – looks nice enough, but at those prices (not to mention a general personal policy of not dining in sterile, generic type hotels) not quite enough to tempt me back if I actually had to pay for it next time!! But on this one particular evening I really did have a lot fun, so thanks if you’re reading (you know who you are!!).


  1. Hello Mrs. Knedliky! ;)

    As a new expat in Prague and a passionate about gastronomy and Arts de la Table, I am looking for people who share the same passion to go to Prague food festival!
    If you plan to go and would like to meet, don't hesitate to contact me: min0uchka@hotmail.fr

    Have a nice day!

  2. Thanks for the comment - will be heading there on Friday myself!

  3. Hello, I've been eating at Chanchala quite often in the past. Usually had some dosa or vindaloo. But I don't like their prices climbing up. So now I just have masala tea:-)