Restaurant Review: The quality falls and the prices rise at a former Old Town favorite
The food was way above pub average, combining Czech classics with more modern fare, and, for the Old Town, all priced within reason. The beer, Pilsner Urquell, was from the tank - un-pasteurized and never kegged, with no carbon dioxide - and also affordable by the standards of the center.
On subsequent visits though, the quality has fallen off and the prices have gone up. Beer now costs 37 CZK, which, even for the Old Town, is expensive, and on our visits, was off temperature - a little warm - and had obviously been sitting at the bar for a while and then topped off to be brought to the table. This is a huge no-no in the better pubs.
On a few of our visits the service was also lacking. Recently, we waited 15 minutes for someone to take our drink orders even though there were nearly eight servers hanging around the bar and only about three or four tables in the middle of a quiet afternoon lunch shift.
The zelňačka (cabbage soup with bits of kielbasa) was served tepid. The waiter asked if we'd like bread with the soup, to which we said yes, only to find a charge of 40 CZK on our bill at the end of the meal. The guláš was wholly unremarkable, with a few forlorn cubes of meat floating in a watery, flavorless broth with fistfuls of marjoram. Even the knedlíky were poor. The Moravský vrabec, a classic Czech dish of cubes of roasted pork with potato knedlíky and homemade špekový knedlík (with bits of bacon and dark bread) was completely flavorless and served with two kinds of zelí (stewed cabbage) that tasted like they came straight from the can. One person in our party had the roasted salmon which was so overcooked as to be inedible.
Every restaurant can have a bad day but too many bad days means that there's something very wrong in the kitchen. Perhaps the staff at Kolkovna has become complacent with their success, but the end result is an overpriced, unremarkable restaurant in a city that has a burgeoning food scene, where it's increasingly easier to find a good meal with good service for the same prices.
September 14th, 2006
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