Friday, January 18, 2008

Prague Spoon Star Dish: Tabbouleh @ El Emir

I should probably be featuring a more seasonally appropriate dish when it's this cold outside, but I can't stop thinking about the tabbouleh at El Emir.

This traditional Lebanese mezze composed of parsley, bulgur wheat, tomatoes, mint, scallion, and lemon is clean, refreshing, and reassuringly healthy. Now, thanks to the opening of the colossal Palladium shopping mall on Náměstí Republiky, Prague has at least one restaurant that does tabbouleh right.

El Emir's version is made with plenty of lemon juice, just a dash of bulgur and, crucially, flat Italian parsley, which is more flavorful than the curly strain most often found in Prague markets. It's so delicious you might even forget you're eating it in a food court.

If you'd like to try it at home, here's a good recipe.

El Emir
Palladium Shopping Center (Gourmet Floor)
Náměstí Republiky 1
Prague 1 - New Town
Tel: +420 225 770 250


Lebanon has no emir said...

I can't comment on the Tabbouleh, but I found El Emir to be only so-so, and for the price, certainly not a good value.

However, for great Lebanese food--and I mean great--try Safir in the food court at OC Novy Smichov. The kebabs there (especially the chicken) are amazingly good. And the prices there are amazing--you won't spend more than 150 per person with a drink and maybe even dessert.

Laura Baranik said...

I agree with you about Safir at Novy Smichov -- it's really inexpensive and the best Lebanese I've had in town. Great service, too. But I'll stick by El Emir's tabbouleh nonetheless.

Davey Jones said...

El Emin's had a nice setting, at least for a restaurant in a shopping mall - they've made it look really classy. But the food was only slightly above average, the couvert charge was ridiculous, and the service was the typical Czech sour-faced waitressing. Waitress stared daggers at us when we called her over to order after waiting an age for her to do so on her own (we were one of only three tables occupied, so she wasn't exactly rushed off her feet.) Drinks were overpriced, with the bottle and glasses being summarily dumped on the table before she walked away equally quickly. We poured ourselves, but the plonk was undrinkable anyway. wouldn't go back. Wish Prague restaurants would learn the concept of service with a smile, if they want to be a modern European city.

I said...

I visited El Emir while in Prague for a business trip, I myself like very much the rich dishes and salades of beautifull Lebanon.
I can't help it but say I 100% agree with the objective comment of Davey Jones on El Emir retaurant. However totaly disagree when he says "Wish Prague restaurants would learn the concept of service with a smile, if they want to be a modern European city". Prague city I often visit, is a Europen Capital and
Cosmopolitan Metropaul, offering the best in Europe when it comes to tourist commodities such as hotels, restaurants & bars, Night live, transportations, infrastructure etc. Paris, London, Berlin, Roma, Madrid or Brcelonna have nothing to teach to Praha.
Yes, El Emir or Prince (in Arabic), I saw none there ... Unfriendly waitresses (especially the one showing half of her tatooed belley and hips): she seems well trained in dumping the menu card at cutomers /tourists.
I ordered a Tabbouleh, score: 4 on 10 poor it missed few basic ingredients, almost no dash of bulgur or couscous, no paprika no lemon taste ... etc.
While I was half of 'my Tabbouleh' here she was. She came up with the warm dish I ordered with some riz, now I've now the choice: either to finish the tabbouleh letting the warm dish gets cold or stop with that Tabbouleh.
The white sauce of chicken was 95% garlic the rest sauce!!! the riz was perfect. score 4 on 10.
so I tought I should now order some desert but definetly not here, I asked for the bill the 'typical Czech sour-faced waiter' showed up with an amazingly high bill (at least 25% expensive than average prices in down-town Prague)he insisted on the tip first, I told him first about "My Tabbouleh disappointment" which he wrongly answers: I am not lebanees (look at me I am here only for tips, well that was one he won't catch!)
I think the manager /owner should seriously pay more attention to the honest critics, rather than the praises, Miss Baranik I've been enjoying Tabbouleh with different annotations from Casablanca via Tanger, Sevilla Barcelonna, through Marseille and Nice to Amsterdam, the hague
and Tripoli lebanon till Prague 4on 10 is right.