Korea+Bohemian…. It’s something that I never thought I would see, but then again, there are lots of things I thought I would never see here in the ROK. Last week, Jill and I attempted to find “OK Kitchen” in Itaewon which has moved, so we settled on Praha, an old favourite back in the day. However, something has changed, and I don’t necessarily think it’s for the better.
How to get there: The easiest way to get there is to take the subway to Itaewon Station (Line 6) and depart from Exit 1. You will walk pass the Hamilton Hotel and a couple of other shops along the main strip. Once you get to the Brazillian restaurant and ABC mart on the main strip make a right down the alley. Walk up the alley and Praha will be on your left beside Grill5Taco.
Service and Atmosphere: I’m guessing this place doesn’t get much business at lunchtime on a weekday. Jill and I were the only ones in the restaurant. The restaurant’s decor was modern highlighted by a sleek black bar with rows of imported beer on tap. A big screen in the background playing music videos and to top it off a giant white chandelier. Also, Hendricks Gin is clearly sponsoring the place, they had their swag all over the joint.
Service was underwhelming. I understand that we are in Korea, and I’m cool with trying to speak Korean when the menu is in Korean, but she gave me a flabbergasted look when we ordered our meals in English. The entire menu, as you will see, was in English. I mean, how the fuck am I suppose to translate “REGENSBURGER” in fucking Korean? Anyway, she seemed to understand what we wanted, took our orders, dropped off our food without a smile and continued to play on her cellphone for the next hour. And a fine day to you ma’am.
Food and Drink: Today we ordered Tomato Creme Soup, Wiener Schnitzel Burger, Regensburger, a pint of Dunkel, a Ginger Ale and two Cokes.
Tomato Creme Soup (8,000KRW): This was the first sign that the Germans have decided to retreat from the ROK. The Tomato Creme soup was good, but it was way too sweet for our tastes. This is a typical Korean altercation when dealing with Western foods, they tend to try to sweeten everything up. If you have tasted the sugar-coated garlic bread at Paris Baguette, you will know what I’m talking about. That said, it wasn’t totally inedible and the bread that came with it was awesome. The bread was so soft and warm, it literally melted away in your mouth.
Wiener Schnitzel Burger (15,000KRW): I ordered the Wiener Schnitzel Burger and had mixed feelings about it. I think it was because my expectations were pretty high (I love Bohemian food and I loved the old Praha) but I just left feeling underwhelmed. Not that the burger was totally disgusting, in fact, it was pretty tasty. The pork cutlet was fried to a golden brown and was juicy on the inside. However, the sauce left little to be desired. It was a sweet BBQ sauce, which was really offsetting and not conducive to any type of German cuisine.
REGENBURGER!! (19,000KRW): You can’t help but to yell this in your mind in a harsh German accent can you? Jill ordered this beast. First thing, it was very generous in terms of quantity. The sausages were plump and juicy. The mashed potatoes were okay and the sauerkraut wasn’t bad either. I’m trying to keep in mind we are roughly 5,000KM from Deutschland. The currywurst on top was good. Meh, for 19,000KRW… eh..
Dunkel (8,500KRW): I love Dunkel, especially in the winter. Since I had to teach that afternoon and my school frowns upon drinking before class (despite us being more productive) I only had a couple of sips. The Dunkel has a strong malty flavor, which is perfect for the winter. This Dunkel was dark, but as you can see, had a little tint of amber. I would go back again for a couple of rounds at the bar.
Coke (with a frozen lime): Is this a thing now or couldn’t they find a fresh lime? I was grateful to get a lime in my Coke because they are not the easiest to obtain here in Korea, but it was rock hard and didn’t really add to the flavor. Hummm.. Anyway, that was a first.
Value: The total bill came to 65,500 for an appetizer, two mains, a beer and three sodas. A pricey meal for some pretty mediocre food. Man, Praha, I was expecting something more. I really wanted some Czech / German food. Some stick-to-your-ribs Bohemian delights like at your old place. Anyway, we can’t always get what we want. I don’t think we will be going back for food. However, we will stop in for a drink if the need to polka arises.
Who Should Visit Praha: People looking for a little Dunkel in the middle of Itaewon. This is a the place.
Who Should Avoid Praha: Want some authentic Bohemian food? Sorry my friend. I would suggest The Baker’s Table in Gyeongridan. I was impressed with their schnitzel and their breads! Check them out.