Indian cuisine fit for a king, a stone's throw from Wenceslas Square
On an unremarkable street corner, just a short walk from Wenceslas Square, the Taj Mahal - one of the city's longest serving Indian restaurants - is deceptively large, surprisingly grand, and exceptionally good.
Our recent visit, on a murky winter night, provided a welcome respite from the Prague gloom.
In terms of décor, demeanour and cuisine, the Taj Mahal is strictly Old School, but it's none the worse for that.
Painted in warm peach and terra cotta shades, with traditional motifs throughout, the restaurant's main dining area offers diners a classic Indian dining experience.
Flanked by attentive, formally dressed waiters, accompanied by live music from a skilled sitar player, we sat down to dine, selecting as broad a cross-section as possible from the restaurant's extensive menu.
We began, ambitiously, with the Taj Royal platter (pictured).
This mighty spread offers the "ultimate royal choice" of the restaurant's specialties, ranging from traditional appetizers like samosas and onion bhajias right the way through to gorgeously marinated chicken and fish dishes.
As an introduction to the diversity and delicacy of the Taj Mahal's offerings, the Taj Royal is a perfect starting point for a group of four or five hungry diners.
Still savoring the sumptuous starters, we moved on to a selection of main courses.
Among the highlights were a wonderful Chicken Tikka Masala, served in a rich, creamy coconut sauce, and a satisfyingly tangy Beef Madras.
Served with an ample array of side dishes, including Bombay Aloo (a vegetarian potato dish), naan bread and a tasty portion of special-fried Basmati rice, the meal left little room for complaint, and none for dessert.
Diners at the Taj Mahal don't, of course, have to tackle the mountains of food that my colleague and I worked our way through - purely in the interests of research, of course...
The restaurant now offers 178 Kč lunch specials, providing a taste of the restaurant's glories for anyone on a tighter budget, a tighter timeframe, or a combination of the two.
As a special treat, on the other hand, the restaurant is one of the few in Prague to offer king prawns, served up as part of the Jumbo Prawn tandoori or the specialty Jhinga Masala dish.
There's also a home delivery/takeaway service if you fancy bringing this kingly taste of the subcontinent into your own home.
Price Range (January 2005)
Lunch Menu: 178 Kč
Appetizers: 75 - 485 Kč
Main Courses: 175 - 985 Kč
Sides: 35 - 195 Kč
Desserts: 75 Kč
Taj Mahal Indian restaurant
Škrétova 10, Prague 2
Phone: 224 225 566
Fax: 222 240 315
Metro: Muzeum (line A & C), I.P.Pavlova (line C)
Tram: 11 (stop: Muzeum)
Open: Mon to Fri: 12 - 23; Sat - Sun 13 - 23
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