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Friday, July 2, 2010


Last night my friend Mr Smorgasbord and I got kicked out of a restaurant, a relatively new Holešovice-based Hungarian place called Paprika on Jateční 39 – how very rock ‘n’ roll.

Well, no, actually not at all really – rather than it being down to any rock-star / diva-like bad behaviour on our part, the clock simply hit eleven, as it is wont to do twice every 24 hours, and on the dot we were abruptly (and come to that, rather bluntly) asked to leave, with the staff promptly turning off the lights in the same instant, should there be any remaining unclarity as to the fact that we were expected to settle up and leave by 11:05pm at the latest. Which I suppose is all fair enough really – Paprika is a small family-run establishment and I’m sure the staff all had homes to go to, as well as the indubitable right to set their own restaurant hours as they see fit. I only wish they would have updated their website with the fact they now no longer open on Saturdays (as well as Sundays) accordingly, thereby saving me a personal foiled evening when I last turned up to find them unceremoniously shut.

Apart from a slight tendency towards finicketiness in terms of opening hours, however, I quite enjoyed yesterday’s visit to Paprika. It’s a modest, friendly (until closing time at any rate) little place, with a short but sweet Hungarian menu and (going by the website at any rate) some interesting daily specials.

Mr Smorgasbord and I of course started off with a glass of Hungarian wine each. My Egri Cuvée white was crisp, cold and sweet, with Mr Smorgasbord’s red unfortunately falling under the same three categories (is it just me who thinks refrigerating red wine should be made a breach of Oenological Rights???).

As a starter, we shared a Hungarian sausage plate at 70kč. Can’t go too wrong with a nice spicy Hungarian klobasa, though the brown bread that accompanied it was unfortunately pretty dried out by this stage in the evening.

For the mains, Mr Smorgasbord went for the chicken paprika with home-made gnocchi at 140kč. For no particular reason I’ve not actually gotten round to a Budapest weekend yet, so can’t compare this to the authentic Hungarian article, but we both liked it at least. The sauce was mildly spicy and the chicken generously proportioned and tender, with a side of halušky-style plain gnocchi.

My beef goulash in red wine sauce at 120kč was marginally less successful, however. The sauce was really nice and flavoursome, but I found the meat a bit on the tough side. I liked the gnocchi that came with it, but on the other hand wasn’t too sure about the other grain side (pearl cous-cous I think...?), which didn’t quite seem to fit the overall dish. Still, I was hungry (and, if I’m honest, after another couple of cuvées, also slightly drunk), so quite happily hoovered up the whole thing (as did, also, Mr Smorgasbord).

Like I say, I’ve not had Hungarian on many occasions previously, and so don’t have much by way of comparison to go on here, but Mr S and I enjoyed ourselves at the very least. I perhaps wouldn’t make a trip out of my way to go there again, but as it is I live just round the corner from the place, so by virtue of convenience alone will probably be back again to sample some of their specials.

Next time though I will be sure not to outstay my welcome!!


  1. your pearl couscous is probably a "tarhonya". it's the plastic little balls you spit on your classmates in school canteen back in Bratislava in 80s.

  2. Ahh you mean semolina...??

    If so then British and Slovakian school children shared a similar fate:

    School Dinners, School Dinners,
    Concrete Chips, Concrete Chips, Sloppy semolina, Sloppy Semolina,
    I feel Sick, Toilet Quick,
    It's Too Late I've done it on my plate..