I am totally in love with asking the question What Did You Eat Last Night? I started asking this question to folks on Facebook, and loved seeing what people share – different dishes from around the world, both home cooked and evenings out. Everyone seems to be having their own Adventure in Food!
So, I asked Prague based foodie Charlie Neville of JayWay Travel: What Did You Eat Last Night? Here is what Charlie shared. Buckle up, this is quite a ride! It certainly makes me want to take a trip to Brno with Jayway Travel (no, I am not being paid to say this, I am just salivating).
What Did You Eat Last Night?
Last night I ate one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time, in a town that has surprised me in how much it has changed since my last visit 4 years ago. Pavillon’s a la carte menu features plenty of delightful dishes but I’m a sucker for chef’s degustation menus with wine pairings and from start to finish this meal was faultless.
Deep-fried veal sweetbreads
The Czechs make a drink that they used to call rum. Now they’re not allowed, due to EU rules that mean a liquor distilled from sugar beets can’t be called rum. They now refer to it as Tuzemak (literally domestic) which is a shortened version of its old moniker, Tuzemsky Rum (domestic rum). In short, this is what the salmon was marinated in. And damn fine it was too. And we still aren’t into the real ‘courses’ of the meal yet. If you’re wondering about the tile it’s served on – a cute whimsical touch here – these tiles are also used in the interior design of the restaurant.
Delicately marinated and a perfect combination of flavours. The full description of the dish will have you wanting it immediately: Sea-bass carpaccio with passion-fruit mayonnaise, puffed black rice, lime, and coriander.
Cauliflower soup with grilled tiger prawns and powdered seaweed
Foie gras ice cream and beetroot sorbet
Poached egg in truffle cream sauce
Variation of French wild pigeon
I liked how elements of previous dishes, with foie gras and celeriac puree appearing again, reminded me the way a great DJ would drop a hint of a song into another, just enough to remind you and get you thinking. The wasabi and cassis jus rocked.
Old Rotterdam Cheeseball
This is definitely my least favourite but the wine pairing here saved it from being a disappointment – a really lovely Rioja Crianza. A note on those wine pairings – it was possible to take half or full glasses. With 7 wines, I was thankful of the smaller pours.
Chef Kaplan was kind enough to share his never-fail recipe with me afterwards and I’ve used it with great success but the standout here, apart from the perfect way it oozed open and the richness of the chocolate, was the intriguing pairing with thyme ice cream.
Where Did You Eat This Luxury Meal?
Pavillon is located in Brno, in the Moravia region of the Czech Republic, just a few hours from Prague by train or road and a little less from Vienna. Brno is the second city of the Czech Republic. Once part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and much closer, physically at least, to Vienna than Prague. Brno is the birthplace of Milan Kundera, author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being and various other literary, art, musical, and architectural Czech greats.
With Jan Kalpan they have a great chef joining their number. Jan is head chef at Pavillon, located in a building of note itself. Brno was known as a city of cafes and functionalist architecture and the building by the young Bohuslav Fuchs was purpose built as a cafe, completed in 1926 and sits in a small park on the edge of the old town part of Brno. Built with two basement levels, one of my favourite aspects of functionalism,the building exhibits is how the floor to ceiling windows descend into the floor to open the space up completely.
Thanks to Charlie for playing along!
Charlie lives in Prague, loves eating, travel and rather handily is Marketing Manager for JayWay Travel, a US-owned NY based company that specializes in custom tours of Central & Eastern Europe. Their guests travel on their own, not in groups, but have local support, a local cellphone and all accommodation and transport arrangements taken care of. You can follow JayWay Travel on Facebook and Twitter too.
Amber Hoffman, food and travel writer behind With Husband In Tow, is a recovering attorney and professional eater, with a passion for finding new food and drink destinations. She lives with her husband, Eric, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Together they have traveled to over 70 countries.