Someone once asked me “what’s your favourite animal?” Steak was my response..
If you’re a fan of high quality steak, then your expectations might not be too high in Prague. There aren’t many places where you can get a decent, juicy steak that has been cooked to the degree you requested. If you do find a decent meat house, then you’re looking to pay a pretty penny for your troubles. Bila Krava has been trying for 20 years to buck the trend and provide high quality meat that is cooked to perfection; and it won’t cost you the world.
The name Bila Krava, or white cow for the non-Czech speakers, comes from the type of beef used in almost all of their dishes. Charolais cattle are a French breed of cow originating in the Charolais area surrounding Charolles, in Burgundy, in eastern France. The cattle are big and strong, and white, and have a distinctly fresh taste that you will struggle to find anywhere else in the Czech Republic.
The meat, as you might expect, is extremely high quality and cooked to perfection. Charolais cattle are praised for their carcass’ high yield and good quality meat. Their intramuscular fat also contributes to excellent edible quality in their beef cuts.
When I entered Bila Krava, I half believed I was walking into a restaurant in the south of France. The wood décor and the rustic furniture gave the restaurant a unique feel and you can place it somewhere between a clean hospoda and a family restaurant on the French Riviera. The staff were very polite and did the basics very well.
The wine list looked good, with French wines precedence as you might expect from a French restaurant, but we opted for beers as men often do. Steak and beer is a match-winning combination.
I chose the snails for starters as I had a good experience the last time around and my dining partner chose the carpaccio. Both dishes were very good, with the snails having just the right amount of garlic so you can taste it, but not melt people’s faces.
Carpaccio 220, –
Marinated slices of tenderloin, Parmigiano reggiano, garnished with home-made basil pesto, rocket and capers
Burgundy Snails warm starter 6/12pcs. 155,-/250,-
Boiled in broth, baked in shells with garlic-herb butter
For the main meal, I chose the largest steak I could find on the menu, which happened to be entrecote. It was half a kilo and took up most of my plate. I had the British classic, French fries, as my side dish and Foie Gras steak sauce. We also had the Charolais selection, which was 3 different steaks from different cuts with baked potatoes and Mushroom sauce. We ordered our steaks rare, and they were cooked to perfection, which is something lacking in many of the steak restaurants in Prague that I have visited so far. The dinner was well worth the price and the meat was very good. I literally have no complaints about the way the steak was cooked or its taste, and the sauces were also earthy and natural tasting.
Steak Natural-entrecote 595,-
Served on a kitchen board with herbal butter and coarse sea salt
Charolais Selection 345,-
Faux filet, Rump steak, Onglet
By the time our main meal had finished, we didn’t have a lot of space for dessert and I am not a huge fan of dessert in any case. We were, however, recommended by the owner to try the ice cream as it is served in an unusual way. The cold table is brought over and the ice cream is prepared using liquid nitrogen; something I’ve never seen before.
Here’s a quick demonstration:
Home-made curd ice cream with hot raspberries 150,-
Prepared directly at your table using liquid nitrogen (-196°C)
Overall this place is well worth a visit. Bila Krava is a family owned restaurant that has been serving patrons in Prague for more than 2 decades and it is a classy, understated steak joint. The food doesn’t cost the Earth and it is well-sourced, well cooked and well presented. I would absolutely come to this restaurant again with friends and family.