As the sun set over Prague Castle, the lavender and violet hues wrapped warmly around the city. Seemingly everyone along the Vltava stood in hushed admiration of the scene unfolding—nature melding with craft.
Remembering the summer of ‘63.
On our culinary travels through Praha, we decided give one of those “must visit” locations a try: Sansho. A forerunner in the modern Czech food scene, its owners also feature The Real Meat Society and Maso a Kobliha, which recently shuttered its doors at the old location and has moved into a fresh new location with TRMS.
Sensing a theme of Asian-inspired food in Prague? You should!
Sansho is another blend of Asian flavors, Czech seasonal ingredients and modern techniques. While walking around town, I figured we would try to stop in and get a reservation on the fly for later in the evening on our third night. Lucky for us, they had an opening.
The food is adventurous and bold. The flavors combine traditional Vietnamese market favorites with a hint of hearty Czech comfort food. The crab biscuit and pork belly were the standout dishes. The service seemed off from what I’d read and heard—a little distracted, not particularly attentive between courses and forgetful of requests. Someone in the kitchen must have realized it and came out with an apology and bonus house-made donuts to go (a nice send off, indeed).
Nature, nurture, heaven and home,
And together we'll cross the river.
Puscifer, The Humbling River
In hindsight, you're gonna wish you were here;
You keep scratching at the old paint,
But the wood is still there—
And the room is still there.
The Long Winters, Hindsight
On highest recommendation of Evan Rail—and after reading his glowing New York Times review—we locked in a reservation at Taro, a brand new (at the time) restaurant just across the Vltava River. The process of making the reservation was a brief comedy of errors (language barrier plus allergy fog equals wrong day, wrong time, confused staff—entirely on me, not the staff!), but after a friendly phone call with some polite laughter, all was remedied.
Situated on the corner of an unassuming and charming neighborhood in Praha 5, Taro is a short, easy walk from the city center, offering a fresh look on Vietnamese flavors influenced by modern techniques and Czech ingredients. Beckoned by its a warm and welcoming glow through the windows, we settled into seats surrounding the beautiful new kitchen for an up-close view to all the action—my favorite seat!
Not to be deterred by a surprising battle with allergies, I was determined to not pass up the opportunity. We were incredibly impressed with the entire evening. The team is quietly attentive, friendly and skilled. The setting feels warm and comfortable, and the food was exceptional.
We chose a guided 7-course tasting menu, which is remarkably inexpensive relative to similar experiences in other countries (a mere $50 per person). The team read the room well, knowing who wanted to simply taste through and be left to their own devices and who was open to conversation. After each course, gauging correctly that we were excited and interested in talking about the food, whichever chef had prepared that course would ask for feedback with good questions.
After a course where we felt it was unbalanced and too salty, he sensed we had an issue and asked if we felt the dish had been too salty for our tastes. He explained that it was a new item for the day and we had received one of the first platings of it, so he had been unsure. He was genuinely interested in refining and improving the dish, so when we both responded that it had, indeed, been a bit too salty but the overall story was good, he apologized and thanked us for our honest feedback, offering to replace the dish; we declined because there was more than enough food!
The food is delicious and beautiful, the team at Taro took great care of our experience, and I would gladly visit again—and I highly recommend it to you!