Christmas at Kempinski
The luxurious Kempinski Hotel Hybernská has recently unveiled its seasonal menus
The luxurious Kempinski Hotel Hybernská is getting ready for Christmas in good time, having recently unveiled its seasonal menus. Probably the busiest time of year for restaurants and hotels, the five-star residence’s Le Grill restaurant has three special menus available, an Advent, Christmas and New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner. As a desirable place guests expect top quality, so Prague.tv went along to ensure that’s what they’ll be getting by sampling their Christmas dinner (purely for business purposes).
Exactly a month before Christmas between November 25th and December 22nd they will be running an Advent lunch, featuring festive creations as a two or three course meal, from 420 CZK per person. It will be on offer from around midday until 3pm and afterwards guests can visit the Two Steps Bar which will have a range of winter cocktails, Moet Champagne (which comes with a free Moet Chandon bauble) and homemade Christmas pastries available.
Between the 23rd and 26th December will be the big event as Kempinski serve their Christmas menu, available for lunch or dinner (or both, but you’ll probably struggle with that!), which is what Prague.tv were treated to. Designed by their award-winning chef Marek Fichtner (with the dessert courtesy of pastry chef Karolina Kocincova) the four course meal is understandably on the extravagant side, costing 1350 CZK per person, with the option of adding an extra 700 CZK for an accompanying wine for each course. However, this is Christmas and the time most people have been saving up to splash out that little extra.
Executive Chef Marek Fichtner
Upon entering the restaurant we were presented with a welcome drink of Prosecco Bortolomiol DOC Treviso before being seated and an amuse-bouche featuring a thin slice of duck atop a kind of spiced wine jelly was brought out. The spiced element really made for a festive start in an intriguing dish. The actual starter comprised of foie gras with diced William pear and raisins cooked in a sweet Bailey’s sauce with two pieces of brioche cooked without oil. For fans of foie gras it was a good texture but it was the raisins in Bailey’s that stood out, sweet and sticky yet full of that creamy flavour.
The soup followed, which was two chunks of sturgeon wrapped in napa cabbage with enoki mushrooms stood next to it. It looked like something from another planet and when the smoked salmon broth was poured on and the orange caviar started floating around, it only added to the illusion. Thankfully it also tasted out of this world (in a good way), the salmon and sturgeon flavours equally balanced as the caviar burst in the mouth and the mushrooms added a different texture.
Then it was on to the main course, veal wellington with sweet potato puree, chestnut espuma and brussels sprouts. The chef had prepared us one veal wellington, sliced into separate portions and medium done, but guests will be able to choose how they’d like theirs cooked and receive an individual, mini version. The veal was undoubtedly the highlight, tender and full of taste with the pastry excellent too. The chestnuts in a nutty cream added to the seasonal feel, but the plural term ‘sprouts’ was stretching it, there were only one and a half on each plate.
The pastry chef came out to explain the dessert, a gingerbread brûlé topped with a chocolate and cognac cream sandwich-like item, with another by its side and a few snowflakes (which, after biting one in half it can be confirmed were made of sugar and edible). Each course came with a different small glass of wine, from a Czech red to accompany the veal and a Hungarian white with the soup. Luxury food can sometimes value quality over quantity, but Kempinski had both. Each serving was substantial to the point that finishing the dessert became a small challenge and finishing it was worthy triumph.
Kempinski also have a unique New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner that is seven courses, including a welcome drink, caricaturist performance, bubble show and fireworks in the garden at midnight with champagne toast and canapés, at 6,700 CZK per person. For those outside of Prague a special New Year’s package is available from December 29th to January 3rd including accommodation and the special seven course meal.
For more information or to reserve a table visit: www.kempinski.com/prague
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