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This week I was in Stare Mesto, well as you can see it was actually more like 2 weeks ago and there was a lot of snow on the ground - deep and crisp and even. I set off at 7.30 AM with my son in tow so I wasn't sure how long I could keep his concentration. I think the promise of a new game for his Playstation had a very positive effect because we were out for a good 2 hours without a single peep and even though we didn't manage complete it all, we did get the majority of it on film.
The Old Town part of Prague is, and I say this based just on my feeling, (so I apologise to those statisticians of you out there who are now googling the numbers) the most visited district of Prague and that can be seen by the dense number of businesses in its boundaries, for this reason anything and everything that you need to know about this district, you probably know and if you don't then just look around at the skyline and the evidence is there to be seen. One piece of information that is not so visible is that it used to be a settlement and market place which was within the city walls and separated by the river. In the 14th century the walls were dismantled, though you can still see evidence of it even today.
I mentioned before that the area of Stare Mesto is densely populated with businesses, mainly eating establishments, no surprises there, so it was very difficult to narrow everything down to 10 of each. In the end we managed to cut them back to 15 of each as you can see below. When deciding where to eat on the other hand, that was much easier, as a new fish and chip shop had just recently opened on Dlouha and from an expert on the culinary delights of fish and chip shops, it was decided. We used to have at least 2 or 3 dinners a week from the local chippy so I was looking forward to having a little taste of home.
When I told friends that I was going to write about Stare Mesto, the majority response was to go the the fish and chip shop on Dlouha. I had a look on the web at the Restaurant and it is located on 21 Dlouha and I remember a long time ago going to a bar if not exactly there then pretty close called The Boulevard bar, which had long since gone and probably there have been a few other businesses after that. One interesting fact for me is that this restaurant is also owned by the owners of Zdenek's Oyster bar, now that does sound interesting and also another regular haunt of mine in the past but back then it was affectionately known as The Fat boys bar or big Norm's bar to the locals.
It would be too easy for me to compare Fish and Chips to a chippy back home but it would be unfair so I won't. I remember when the local chinky started selling its version of chips and curry sauce, and it was a disaster. There is just something special about British fish and chips that can't be replicated, even Gordon Ramsey fare would not match up to them.
The first time that we wanted to go, we didn't make a reservation and just arrived and sadly to say they were fully booked, which is a good sign but we did manage to get a look inside and a feel for the atmosphere. Fish and Chips is not primarily a take away, it is a restaurant and one which crosses all the T's and dots the i's. They have a full crew in the kitchen which is open as you would expect in a traditional chippy and through the back I estimate they have seating for about 60 max. There are also some stools with small table/shelves dotted around the place as well. The staff were also very friendly and when we turned up the second time, were exactly the same. In fact I arrived there slightly after Anna and Sam only to find all of them gathered around keeping Sammy amused. I was told by my darling girlfriend to put the emphasis on how friendly and accommodating the staff were and they were.
We decided to take out because we wanted to enjoy the whole idea of taking the fish and chips home, plonking them onto a plate and served with a couple of slices of bread and butter and a nice cup of milky tea. I had a small Haddock and chips and Anna and Sammy shared a large Cod and chips. The Fish when ordered comes with a portion of chips and mushy peas, which I don't understand why because mushy peas are an acquired taste though to be fair, these are not traditional mushy peas. You need to use marrow fat peas which are not as sweet as sugar snap peas.
The fish and chips were served in boxes which was very nice and again another sign that they had put a lot of thought into the concept, in fact the whole design of the place is heavily focused on Great Britain, it is a bit like walking into a Next shop, signs of GB are everywhere, very nice.
The one point of criticism that I would like to make and I try to be open-minded but in this case I can not and that is the chips. The chips taste like frozen chips and not fresh chips made from traditional Maris Piper potatoes.
We would go there again, the place is very nice and the service is very professional. and for the price and the quality of the fish, worth another visit.
Fish & Chips 21 Dlouha St.
El Emir - Lebanese
Kogo - Italian
Zebra - Asian noodle bar
U dvou sester - Czech
Le Cinque Corone - Italian
U Cerneho slunce - Czech
VINOdiVINO - Italian
Beas - Indian vegetarian
Fish & Chips
Ariana - Afghan
U Cerveneho Kola - restaurant and wedding service
Cafes & bars
Zdenek's Oyster Bar
Cafe Modry Orel
Jazz & Blues Club Ungelt
Prague Beer Museum
Harley's Cocktail bar
James Joyce Irish Pub
Places of interest
Pralinkovy klub - Luxury chocolate shop
Wine Food Market
Black Light Theathre
Choco Story - The Chocolate Museum
Museum of Gastronomy
Big Ben Bookshop
Tuzeks - Design & Vintage Shop
Fruta Pura - Fruit & Veggies
Masna na Kozim Placku - Butcher's