Field, Prague

Lets start right at the beginning.  I find Field whilst researching food options for Prague.  It’s highly regarded despite being relatively new, with a lunch option at an astonishing £11 for three courses, which I will revert back to before the end of this paragraph.  We book a table for five, including a vegetarian, for our first proper meal of a long celebratory weekend.  We are greeted and sat in the modern room, with large light wooden tables and hues of pale greys and off whites on the walls.  Menu’s are handed out.  I have to ask for the lunch menu and then ask again what they can do to accommodate the dietary requirements.  They can cater for them, just not on this menu.  No meat is fine just as you are happy to pay full whack.  I shake my head in disbelief; the man in a suit shrugs his shoulders.  Field is not a place for compromise.

Still with me?  Good.  Because look past the frosty start and what you have is a kitchen brimming with potential.  I see past the twee presentation of the bread in spun hay, for the bread itself is very good.  I have had similar chicken butters to the one offered, though this has an identity of its own, layered with notes of luscious fat and roasted skin.

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First course is game consommé, dark and heady, like a double strength Oxo stock cube.  It is poured on to a julienne of vegetables, a slow cooked yolk, and a quail leg.  We like the deep umami flavours of the consommé with the blobs of broken yolk, though the leg has been sous-vied and is lacking the flavour direct heat brings.  From the full price menu comes a light curd mousse hiding cubes of beetroot, with shards of the candied veg peering out of the bowl.  What makes the dish is the liberal use of cherry brandy and a smoked parsley powder to separate the two big flavours into their own camps.  The overall effect is light yet mighty in flavour.  Yes, the dish was as much as three courses on the lunch menu, but this is serious cooking, worth every penny.

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Pork is a staple protein across Central Europe and here it features as cubes of braised belly.   The piggy bits are unctuous, with an almost bruleed skin.  There is a silky celeriac puree and tart cabbage, spun with cranberries.  Its all very harmonious.  Back over on the a la carte menu, the vegetarian was quickly working through ravioli filled with aubergine and chard, topped with a hard cheese similar to parmesan.  The pasta was too thick, though aside from that it was more accomplished cooking.

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Such are the portions that only two of the five make it to dessert.  We have a well made walnut cake with a silky creme caramel ice cream that takes it one notch higher.  A couple of coffees, a bottle of wine and we are off with a bill that fails to reach twenty quid per head – I’ve spent that amount on a starter at a Michelin starred restaurant.  Talking of that famous guide, the food here was at one star standard, its just waiting for the slow moving Michelin to acknowledge that.  Field is a bargain that should be high on anybodies list when in Prague, though how much of a bargain is dependent on how flexible with your diet you are prepared to be.

8/10

 

 

 

 

 

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