Aromi is a fine-dining restaurant, specialising in seafood and Italian cuisine. We visited for their 24th December Christmas menu. The food was delicious, but we left disappointed and here’s why…
The menu was inspired by food eaten on the 24th December in the Czech Republic – Czech Christmas Day. Traditional dinner food is fish soup, deep-fried carp fish and potato salad. So don’t be shocked to see a beautiful filet of sea bass being served deep-fried.
You may decide that I’ve been overly picky in this review. Certainly, there are some things I would let slide in a lesser restaurant, but Aromi has received several awards and the prices reflect that.
This was our first visit to Aromi, as our favourite Italian/seafood restaurant La Casa di Erminio was closed on December 24th. We were also dining early and had reserved a table for 6.30 pm. On arrival we were shown to our table in what I now realise is the bistro and not restaurant. It’s still a beautiful space, but our enjoyment was impacted by noisy walk-ins.
We ordered a 950 Kč bottle of Montepulciano from the Tuscany section of the extensive wine list, a carafe of tap water (shockingly 115 Kč) and an Italian soft drink called Crodino (75 Kč).
The manager appeared with the wine list and I knew already that he would tell me that they had run out of the 950 Kč bottles. The decent thing to do in this situation would be to offer a higher-priced bottle for the same price. Instead, I was forced to order a Chianti Classico for 1350 Kč.
The waitress appeared with an amuse bouche, a tall glass with a slice of scallop and a salad beneath. I didn’t take a photo. It was delicious, but I was surprised that the amuse bouche was so similar to the first course – scallops, orange, beluga lentil salad. I asked and was told that they were one and the same – the menu was just poorly written. So instead of perhaps three scallops, we had a slice of scallop.
Before I’d finished eating the amuse bouche, the excellent risotto arrived. We asked our waitress to slow the speed of service for subsequent courses.
This also coincided with the arrival of a family from hell, who just wanted cakes and drinks. Their obnoxious, devil child screamed his head off for their entire visit – it became so bad that we asked them to be quiet, to no effect. Meanwhile, the lovely restaurant area in the rear was filling up with diners, each paying the same price as us.
The fish soup, again a delight.
The lovely lemon sorbetto had a touch of alcohol and they kindly made a pineapple version for my teetotal companion.
I stupidly forgot to ask if I could break tradition and have my sea bass grilled. Nonetheless, it was still a great piece of fish under those breadcrumbs.
A group who only wanted drinks arrived. Luckily, they didn’t disturb us, but I’d started to realise that we had been seated in the bar/bistro and there was somewhere better.
The panettone with vanilla cream was very good.
I visited the downstairs bathroom.
Everything was clean and modern. Only paper towels and not individual towelling towels. The soap dispenser was sadly empty.
There was a cavernous dining room – but no diners. Where could they be?
On my return, I took a left, past an impressive open kitchen and found myself in a beautiful and lively restaurant dining room.
I met the manager there and told him of my disappointment. He said that had we asked to sit in the restaurant then we could have done. Well, that would be fine, except I didn’t know it existed!
To summarise my complaints: Seated in the bar for a restaurant menu and were thus affected by the noisy family and feeling that we weren’t in a fine-dining experience. Badly-written menu which promised more than was delivered. Upsell of wine. 115 Kč for a carafe of tap water.
The Aromi kitchen delivers excellent food. I was disappointed and now today angry, that our Czech Christmas was spoiled by several aspects that should never have happened. I actually wish that I’d complained more and even asked for a partial refund, but we were trying to embrace the spirit of Christmas.
Luckily today, we are meeting friends and each bringing food and wine to a private party.
Náměstí Míru 6
120 00, Prague 2