Café Buddha Balbínova specialises in Asian cuisine and the food is pretty good there. We couldn’t remember why we didn’t go back after our last visit several years ago – the food was good, so what was wrong? We returned to find out.
The founder of Café Buddha (there are two locations) and Benjamin is Štěpán Návrat. He also has Prague-veteran, Irish-Malaysian chef, Sofia Smith as part of his team.
The interior is cosy, some tables quite small. I’d recommend that you ask for the round table for two, by the pillar, as seen in the photo below. That way you’ll have more space.
The menu only offers two red wines by the glass @ 88 Kč for 0.1 litre. I hadn’t noticed the 0.1 until the waitress asked if we’d like a two deci glass. So not a good start – I’d expect the wine to be 0.15 even if the price was 132 Kč. So a glass of wine is actually 156 Kč. The wine was actually pretty good – a French Janasse Terre de Bussiere which could cost you 300 Kč a bottle in the shops.
A carafe of tap water with cucumber and mint was 44 Kč. Just about acceptable and better than buying their 0.33l Mattoni for 48 Kč. I noticed that a 0.3l bottle of Pilsner was an outrageous 78 Kč.
To start we had:
- Kanom Jeeb (Thai shrimp steamed dumplings) 3pcs 125 Kč
- Siu Mai (Chinese beef steamed dumplings) 3pcs 115 CZK
- Gyoza (Japanese pork steamed dumplings) 3pcs 115 Kč
These were delicious, although the dim sum were half the size of those served for 175 Kč in Sia Restaurant.
For our mains we chose the classic Jungle Duck Curry 295 Kč – Sofia Smith has had this on the menu of every restaurant where she has worked in Prague. It was as good as always. Just a shame that a bowl of rice was an extra 39 Kč.
Our waitress was friendly and professional.
There is another small dining room at the rear – the entrance guarded by a huge illuminated Thai head and baby chair.
The bathrooms are good. Having small towels for hand drying is a nice touch.
Our total bill without tip 1497 Kč. It felt expensive for what we had – the price inflated by the 156 Kč a glass wine, the water and the rice. I don’t like feeling that I’ve been nickel-and-dimed. And for those who say that 1497 Kč isn’t that much, I’m comparing with Sia – a modern restaurant, right in the centre with better food.
If you do decide to visit Café Buddha, sign up for their email, via their website and you’ll receive a 200 Kč voucher that can be used if your bill is higher than 899 Kč – and trust me it will be!
Prague 2, 12000
+420 606 980 612
Open: Monday – Saturday 11.00 – 22.00