Meat and donut. What a name for what is arguably the best bistro in town. And a very apt name for that. Maso a kobliha is, at its heart, a butcher shop of The Real Meat Society, that just takes things a bit further by processing the meat into some fantastic dishes and by selling, without a shadow of a doubt, the best donut in Prague. Can you argue with that? Of course you can’t.
Paul Day, the famous owner of Sansho next door, and his partner Misa are clearly perfectionists, so the place has been in the works for a long time. “We’ll open in about three weeks.” That’s what we kept hearing from Paul and Misa… for months. But the wait was absolutely worth it. Let’s start with the interiors. They are eclectic, dominated at the front by the meat counter and the bar with the donuts on display. The long communal tables, a signature feature of Sansho, stayed - one in the front room, one in the back. What was added was Paul’s pride, the old professional fridge turned into a keg-o-mator that serves some kickin’ Czech craft beers to wash all the food down.
And the food is delicious. Think English pub food at its best: scotch eggs, corned beef hash, blood cake and so on. Every food served is a guilty pleasure you will be resisting to have, and failing at it, for months to come. But the Caesar salad and the vegetable dishes are beautiful, too. Just like with the meat, Paul and Misa are very particulate about vegetables and now get them from the same farm as the pork, all grown from heirloom seeds. The atmosphere in the evenings is very friendly and fun, with Northern Soul records played on the Czech Pro-Ject turntable, and with people just devouring their food and having fun - we’re all in it together and no-one will ever tell anyone outside about all the food you just had. And if you haven’t had enough, you can buy the meat, the donut, or the bread baked in house by Julka, a.k.a. Maskrtnica, one of the most famous bakers and baking bloggers in town, home for later use. But why? You’d miss all the fun.
When to come: We like coming in between the meals for the shorter menu. The atmosphere is lazy and you can spend quite a bit of time devouring the food and talking to the staff. We also love coming over for Saturday lunches with our friends.
Where to sit: Just like in Sansho, the long table in the left corner when you enter the restaurant. Just like in Sansho, you see everything: who’s coming in, who’s going out, who’s buying the meat or the donuts. You will know it all. But their outdoor seating in the back is very nice in the summer, too!
What to order: The scotch eggs and the pork skins with avocado dip are a guilty pleasure you can a lot of without thinking about it. Which can be very dangerous. (All of there are our Prague food hall of famers, anyway.) The fried cheese is a revamped Czech classic. And the donut. Of course. One bite will convert you into a vanilla custard donut lover.
Runners up: We really like their vegetables, too: the burnt broccoli or the Caesar salad are both great. Whatever you order, wash it down with craft beers by Matuska or Two Tales or another brewery.
What to beware of: This is not for the faint-hearted. If you don't like meat... or stuffed animals, you may look elsewhere. But you'd miss out.
Instagram-worthiness: Very high. A picture of an open donut, bursting with custard, will make your followers salivate all over their phone displays.