I love it when people ask for recommendations for Prague on social media, just to see what the popular choices are. Unfortunately, I tend to disagree with the most common ones: Maitrea, Lehka Hlava and Loving Hut. Personally I’ve always found the latter to be a reliable back-up choice with hearty portions of decent food, but it’s never on my itinerary when I’m on holiday. I first discovered it when I was living in Hong Kong, and was a big fan of the mock meat dishes there. In Prague I think the food isn’t quite as good, but it’s still a good option to have. Not holiday-itinerary-good, though.
Perhaps the Loving Hut restaurants here (there are eight of them) are most famous for their pay-by-weight buffets. Indeed you can get a good selection of fresh salads, cooked veg and meaty dishes, and crispy deep-fried goods, but the grub tends to be lukewarm at best. (I gave the buffet a full review here in my Prague vegan buffet round-up.)
You can also order from the menu (though be warned that the customer service is very typically Czech and may leave a lot to be desired if you’re not used to it). There are a few Italian and western (hamburger) dishes, that I personally would always steer clear of because they don’t really play to the strengths of the chain – I rely on them for good Asian food, but fear their non-Asian dishes might not be so good. They have a tempting selection of starters, including these crispy little dumplings which are great to share.
When my brother was staying with us we took him here for an emergency lunch after finding ourselves short of options in the city centre. Surprisingly, he went for a classic European dish with this schnitzel and mash. Even more surprisingly (for he is a happy meat-eater), he really enjoyed it! This just goes to show that nobody can argue with the Loving Hut’s mock meat dishes – they really know what they’re doing.
Dr HH was tempted by the mock prawns and got this Thai curry. The prawns were excellent, but unfortunately the curry itself was a bit bland. It also contained a few chunks that were inedible – we thought they might be bits of artichoke. It was a shame, and he wouldn’t order it again.
I was far happier with my choice, the Cantonese Speciality. The vegetables are served in a nice gingery sauce, but the real highlight is the battered soy slices. They are so good and crispy! The portion was gigantic, I couldn’t even eat it all.
I ordered the same again when I went back with Dr HH (in fact, we basically went just so I could have another helping). He went for the sea slices this time: some lightly battered soy slice in a dilly sauce. This was a step up from the curry, though there was a bit too much dill. The slices were nice and crispy though, and he enjoyed it as a whole. However, he says he’s not too fussed about going back as there isn’t much else on the menu that tempts him.
Something tells me we’ll be back for cake though. Look at these beasts! Dr HH had never tried black forest gateau before, so he had to give it a go and was suitably impressed. I just love carrot cake and rarely see it in Prague, so I pounced on this one. It had four layers, and an icing carrot on top, which automatically makes it a winner in my eyes. It was a beautiful sponge, and I would definitely recommend it.
We were also delighted to spot some cinnamon rolls on the buffet counter too, so we grabbed some to takeaway for breakfast the next day. You can’t really tell from the picture but they were absolutely huge – and totally delicious!
For sweet treats, Loving Hut is highly recommended – for main dishes and the buffet, I’d say it’s always reliable, but rarely exceptional.