This restaurant is now closed.

La Truffe Prague

An elegant olde worlde interior

There seems to be a museum on every corner in Prague. Some seem worthwhile such as the Jewish Museum, or one devoted to the great Czech writer Franz Kafka. Others are just silly – a museum of sex machines, of comics and even of gastronomy.

A museum of gastronomy? Greedy Girl has been to a few restaurants over the years where the food has tasted like it should be an exhibit under glass but, happily, not recently.

When there’s so much competition, especially for the tourist dollar, how to stand out from the crowd? The final extraordinary food experience of Prague attempted just that by building its menu around one ingredient – the truffle.

La Truffe, on another of the winding side streets radiating out from the old town square, has been open around a year. The wait staff has a limited command of English and prefer to describe the dishes in French. The website descriptions are a delightfully mangled yet passionate English, so it’s not simple to communicate but the food does all the talking.

Can you have truffle overload? Greedy Girl and gluttonous husband were prepared to put it to the test with a six-course degustation (homage). An amuse bouche was uncharacteristically heavy. It was a nutty puree with slices of truffle served warm in a martini glass – this is where the communication problems were a bit frustrating. It was tasty but felt filling.

Into the marquee dishes, next up was a chesnut veloute with truffle slices and truffle oil. Absolutely yummy. Greedy Girl attacked her bread roll to mop up every last skerrick while gluttonous husband tried surreptitiously to lick his plate clean (not for the first and definitely not the last time).

This was followed by what the kitchen humbly refers to as a ‘delicious’ potato dish. A fondant potato sat in the middle of a pool of truffle cream, with a few drops of oil and speckled with truffle flakes. The kitchen was right. Totally.

How do you make one ingredient sufficiently interesting for a whole evening? The next dish was extraordinary – it was, for want of any better description, a truffle ‘Wellington’. A black Perigord truffle was topped with foie gras and wrapped in a pastry crust, sitting atop a slick pool of bordelaise sauce. Greedy Girl wanted desperately to mop up all the remaining sauce but she was defeated without getting close. This was either the most wonderfully exciting dinner of your life – or the most hideous if you don’t like truffles.

Thankfully, the next course was a bit of a palate cleanser – a frizzante (champagne) sorbet topped with truffle slices. It went down a treat but the stomach cavities of both Greedy Girl and gluttonous husband were starting to complain again.

On to the final dish – tournedos Rossini. Fillet steak topped with a slice of foie gras and truffle sauce and the only other concession of the evening to vegetables – a few snow peas and specks of carrot as well as a slick of potato puree. By this point, Greedy Girl was groaning aloud, easy to get away with as there were no other occupied tables in this particular part of the restaurant. Defeat. Pure and simple. She couldn’t finish the steak and, this time, gluttonous husband did not come to her rescue.

Our delightful waiter, who had greeted us with a hearty ‘Bonsoir mes amis’ and grinned wildly every time he took away a plate scraped cleaner than the dishwasher could manage sensed our capitulation – he seemed a little downcast when we told him we wouldn’t be partaking of dessert. He tried to give us coffee and cognac but … alas … nothing further was going to get through that particular evening.
There is a range of other dishes to choose from at the restaurant, some of them even without quelle horreur truffles, but not many. The restaurant is able to source Perigord, white, summer and winter truffles to keep the supply going.

It’s an extraordinary effort in a city where the local cuisine is dominated by variations on pork, and for the sheer scale of what is offered, an amazing value-for-money experience.

The restaurant, on a Friday night, was very quiet. Greedy Girl hopes that if she ever was to return to Prague she wouldn’t see that La Truffe has turned into a museum. It’s just too good.

With thanks to La Truffe for the photographs used in this blog.

La Truffe

12, Týnská, Prague

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