I’m going completely out of order here in reviewing my meals in Prague, but at least I’m trying to review them. Anyways, Cafe Imperial was also very high on my list of places I wanted to eat at because Samantha Brown featured it in her Prague episode of Passport to Europe. While at the restaurant, she wanted to see if the rumors she heard about the donuts in the cafe were true and found out that it was. She stated that a Czech humorist divided people up into three categories: a) those who would look at a bowl of stale donuts and think nothing, b) those who would look at a bowl of donuts and dream about throwing them at someone, and c) those who would lob donuts at anyone in the cafe. Samantha Brown then goes on the claim that she would never think about throwing donuts at anybody, but says she would keep an eye out to make sure no one throws one at her. And of course, a donut come flying by her and she ends up throwing her fresh donut back and ends up hitting some dishes. That was my second favorite part of the episode so I wanted to see if I would have a similar experience as she had.
This is the outside of the restaurant. Sorry it’s blurry. I was walking while I took the picture and didn’t even check to see how it came out. It’s located right next to Hotel Imperial, so finding this place wasn’t hard at all. It was only about 11AM when we got to the restaurant and the only reason why we were there so early was because our room at our hotel, Hotel Kings Court, was not ready yet. As we walked in, I couldn’t help but stare at all of the mosaic tiling that encompassed the interior of the restaurant. We were soon greeted by a hostess who asked in we had made any reservations. We didn’t have any, but that was no problem. They pulled out some English menus and informed some of the staff that we were English-speaking customers so they could properly assist us.
As you can see the restaurant is gorgeous. I really loved just staring at the ceiling while we waited for our food. My personal favorites of the mosaic tiling were the blue and purple flowers on the ceiling. I think they really pop and makes the cafe feel a little more whimsical.
To start, we were given some bread. This was like a combination of a pretzel and a croissant. The dip that came with it was kind of similar to chunky thousand island dressing. We saved some of the bread to dip in our meals.
I ended up ordering the french onion soup just because I was in the mood for some soup. I think it tasted really good, but I would have liked the bread on top to be toasted a little more. Maybe it sat out for a little bit and the bread had some time to soak so it got too soggy. It had a lot of onions in it and I was quickly getting full. I had to pass it on to my mom so she could help me finish it.
As the main courses started arriving, I was shocked to see how big the portions were. My mom ordered the braised lamb shank. It was served on a bed of mashed potatoes and spinach. The meat was so tender it was falling off the bone and you don’t even need a knife to cut into it.
For my main dish I had the braised venison cheeks. Again, they were very tender and easily eaten without a knife. The first few bites were amazing, but then after a while it started getting salty. I still made it through, though. I was able to finish the meat and managed to eat about half of my mashed potatoes.
After the waiter cleared our table, we decided to skip dessert because we were too full and asked for our bill. Paying our bill was different because they swiped out credit card in front of us. The waiters carry a credit card machine with them which I thought was interesting.
Going back to the reference of Samantha Brown’s show, I realized that they had taken out the counter with the display of the stale donuts. They actually don’t have any donuts anymore! I was kind of disappointed with that because I just wanted to see them for myself, but I still had an enjoyable time at the cafe. The restaurant looked more casual on TV, but I was surprised to find out that it is a little more classy than that now. I kind of felt a little underdressed because a lot of people who started walking in were dressed in business clothes. If you get the chance, definitely go. Reservations are recommended because the place does start to fill up.
Food: 4.3 / 5
Service: 3.5 / 5
Atmosphere: 4.7 / 5