On my previous visit to Café Buddha on Balbínova in Vinohrady, we felt like we’d been ‘nickel-and-dimed’ – I hadn’t planned to return until they sent me a good two-for-one offer. Except that turned out to be a scam.

Café Buddha sent me an email describing how they were leaving the current location and moving to new premises. As a result they were running a special offer:

Sushi tasting menu EXTENDED
We have extended the offer of sushi tasting in Café Buddha for you. Do not hesitate and come to us for a sushi tasting for a discounted price of CZK 499 for two people!
Sushi tasting includes:
Ramen Osui Mono Miso Soup
Chuka Wakame Salad
Sushi Set (32 pcs)
Pink Lady, Futo Maki, Smoky Salmon Sesame, Kappa Maki
When booking, fill in the note “I LOVE SUSHI”.

It looked like a good offer, although I still remembered;

  • how 0.1l glasses of wine appear on the menu for 88 Kč, but you are offered a 0.2l glass when ordering – so 156 Kč,
  • how they offer a 0.3l bottle of Pilsner for an outrageous 78 Kč, and
  • how their curries show ‘jasmine rice’  but we were charged 39 Kč extra for rice.

But I pressed REZERVOVAT anyway and added MILUJI SUSHI into the Restu.cz reservation form. Within a few hours our reservation was confirmed.

It was raining when we arrived at 7.30 pm yesterday, Monday 17th August. The waiter confirmed our reservation and we had a choice of tables. Luckily we hadn’t ordered drinks when the waiter said:
“You booked the ‘I love sushi’ menu didn’t you? Yeah that was a mistake and it’s actually 499 Kč per person”.

There was no sincere apology, no offer of a complimentary drink or discount to sweeten the message – basically a scam to get people in and hope they stay. If they knew this was a mistake then why not send another email to everyone – or at least to anyone who books the offer?

We immediately called the excellent Sumi Garden Japanese Restaurant, just two tram stops up the hill near Jiřího z Poděbrad – they had a table, so we walked out of Café Buddha and will never return. I’d advise everyone to avoid this place and don’t be fooled by any special offers you receive.

Luckily we had umbrellas.

Dinner at Sumi Garden was just as excellent as our last visit for lunch. The sushi was amazing and we had two portions of our favourite Tako Yaki – Traditional Japanese street food balls filled with octopus, cabbage, spring onion, served with mayo, tako yaki sauce and tuna flakes (6 for 265 Kč).