Not-So-Traditional Sunday Roast at Mlýnec

Enjoying excellent food, good times and great views with family and friends

When I first heard about the Sunday roast which the Zátiší Group was launching I was a bit skeptical. Although their restaurants are fantastic, none of them really lend themselves to "gettin' stuck in" -- the phrase I heard religiously every Sunday. Indeed, the phrase "Sunday roast" conjures up memories of thick gravy spilled across the table, chaos in the kitchen and kids fighting over the best cuts of meat. My mother tried as hard as she may, but her Yorkshire puddings always looked more like cookies. Yes, for me the Sunday roast is about family time, early-afternoon feasting followed by naps, chats and the roar of football on the telly.

Needless to say, when I heard about Mlýnec's roast I was both tempted and doubtful. To be frank, my hesitation was overcome very quickly when I saw the offer on the Lime&Tonic site. They were offering the menu -- described as a proper sit-down Sunday Roast -- for half-price or, more specifically, two-for-the-price-of-one, and at 790 CZK for two people, including unlimited wine, juices and soft drinks, I couldn't pass it up. The imagery and description looked inviting and the fact they had Yorkshire pudding made it a must for me. [Lime&Tonic's Mlýnec Sunday Roast offer is now available at a price of 1,340 CZK (regular price 1,580 CZK) for two people.]

I made sure that I told some friends, as I really thought this would be a cool group meal. Most have young kids or are expecting, and Mlýnec offers free meals for under-sevens, plus a children's corner and nanny, so this would be a good time to get together, ditch the kids, eat good food and enjoy the scenery.

The brunch starts at 11:30am, and we chose to come at that time primarily because of the kids and naps, etc. I hadn't been to Mlýnec for years. The decor is chic and elegant with modern furniture. We had ordered a table for eight, plus four kids, by the big window looking out onto Charles Bridge. It was warm and, in a way, I wish I had chosen a terrace table, which I would recommend for smaller groups or people without kids.

They welcome you with a glass of their sparkling wine (Zátiší brand), which is light and refreshing. This was followed by several starters with fresh bread, salad, marinated salmon with a mango chutney spread, and a fantastic goose pate with foie gras. All the starters are arranged on the table, with plenty for everyone. The women (three of whom were pregnant) really liked the salmon, so they ordered more. During this time of grazing on starters we were only interrupted by the offer of a top-up of white wine or more of the sparkling wine, as well as nonalcoholic drinks for the ladies.

After about 30 minutes our mains came out. These consisted of goose fat-roasted potatoes, two small lamb shanks (each on a wooden cutting board with knives), Yorkshire pudding and thick gravy. There were also succulent pieces of monkfish with some fresh steamed vegetables. I was in heaven. I chose to carve our end of the table's lamb but must admit that my slicing wasn't as precise as the waiter's, although the sensation of carving up for the "family" was nice. The meal was excellent, the lamb was tender and juicy, the potatoes were crispy, the Yorkshire puddings looked like something out of a magazine, and the gravy was thick and hearty. The monkfish was also fresh and tasty. Apparently, the meats change so if there is a particular meat you are interested in (or not) then I would say call ahead. The red wine they recommended was a Chilean Syrah and was absolutely perfect with the lamb.

Then came the desserts. Now I am not much of a dessert person, but I have to say one thing blew me away. They made a Thyme cheesecake with goat cheese ice cream, which sounds weird but was absolutely stunning. The other desserts included fresh tarts, rhubarb crumble, and a strawberry cheesecake, with a nice strong espresso to wash it all down.

We were there for about two hours and left fully satisfied. I spoke with the manager to commend him on the "Sunday roast" concept and he told me that they had wanted to do a brunch of sorts, but didn't like the idea of the conventional brunch for a couple of reasons. One is the amount of space and staff it takes, but the second was that at brunch you have the feeling that someone is always missing from the table as they go up and get their food, so Mlýnec instead serves its food family-style, but without the hassle. I have to say I like this philosophy and, unlike a Sunday roast at home, I didn't have to do the dishes!

Novotného lávka 9
Prague 1
Phone: (+420) 277 000 777

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