An interview with chef Vladimír Čech
Why have you decided to expand the Sisters Bistro with another branch? Could you describe the concept of the new store?
Because we believe that the Sisters brand can build the same position among our customers as our sweet-shop concept „Cukrář Skála“. Both projects are based on the same principles – we want to bring the complete production process closer to the customer so that he can see the difficulty of the process, raw materials we use or the decorating techniques. Even at Sisters, we set out to do everything fresh every day and refill our showcases during the day. After the store in Dlouhá Street, which focuses on rectangular northern style sandwiches, in Spálená we focus on typical Czech sandwiches, in our presentation as rolls. All salads are based on the original old Czech recipes, so somebody may be surprised that we put boiled pork tongue and apple into the walnut salad.
Is it a marketing move, or does the substitution for rolls, instead of classic bread sandwiches, have any other meaning?
We had to think for a long time how to conceive a traditional thing that everyone knows and that has a white type of bread cut off slightly at an angle. We had a feeling that it is difficult to explain our idea and uniqueness on such a classic thing. Of course we also like traditional sandwiches garnished with ham cone and pickles, but in Sisters, we want to move the cold kitchen to the presence and decorate in a different way. Since we already have our manuscript in Sisters in Dlouhá, we did not want to associate spreads and salads with a rectangular sandwich, so we chose a roll.
The owner of the whole Together network, where Sisters belong, David Petřík says that cold cuisine is very difficult to prepare. What is its difficulty above all?
The difficulty starts when selecting ingredients, we get sausages from our neighbors – Naše Maso, camembert for our camembert salad we buy in Sedlčany, we always try to find the best on the market. We also use a number of unusual elements such as vegetable dust, vegetable caviar, dried eggs, picking up our own vegetables, and recently we made our own turkey ham. The whole process is completing the rolls continuously during the day and putting them completely fresh in the showcase. Surely it is not that we prepare everything in the morning and then sell all day. We want our work to be visible, so we work on the spot right in front of the people. We even write down the times when the rolls were prepared so that we always have an overview of freshness.
In addition to ready-to-eat sandwiches, you also offer spreads and mayonnaise salads, how do you prepare them and what is their uniqueness?
We prepare our own mayonnaise on the spot, it contains only eggs and sunflower oil. There are no additives, so the customer can be sure that he always gets a freshly prepared roll.
Surprising is the look of the whole store in retro style with “umakart” material and manual weight from the 70s. Why did you choose this form?
In the 1970s, classic delicatessen had a long tradition and the Czechs loved it. It is not our goal to create a false memory or to orthodoxly capture the 1970s. However, all of us who experienced this time can recall and remind the taste of traditional mayonnaise salads in Sisters in Spálená street.
Will you find a sweet version of the roll in your offer? And will you, as in Dlouhá, prepare themed rolls such as kulajda, Halloween, St. Martin’s goose, etc.?
We do not have a sweet option on the menu yet, but I am not saying it cannot come, for now, we are using the sweetness of vegetables. When it comes to thematic rolls, we will certainly be making a slice of pork, and we are also going to make aspic, jelly or oilseed. We are currently working on other special events. Our Russian egg bowl is also very popular.
Both Sisters stores are located in tourist-frequented places. It is said that foreigners often look for cutlery on the table when they are about to eat sandwiches, if not hot dogs. Do you experience similar stories?
I must say that foreigners search for cutlery with iron regularity. As such, they do not even know the sandwiches, nor do they think they can eat it by hand. But sometimes we see Czechs who seek for cutlery because our sandwiches are full of ingredients, so it is sometimes difficult to make a whole bite without an accident.
Where do you get inspiration for your recipes? You say that you want to revive the tradition, so do you have any exact historical sources that inspires you or you just create variations that were used in Czech cuisine in the past, but not just for sandwiches?
We are very influenced by classical Czech cuisine, we are inspired by classic Czech made meals or soups. We make sandwiches with kulajda, goulash, sirloin, and also a duel of cabbage with cabbage or rosehip according to Mr. Hrabal and his movie The Snowdrop Festival. Now we offer carp roasters with potato salad, which includes horseradish and apples. In short, we take the classic Czech made meals, transform it into other textures and put it on the bread or roll. The bottom-up sources of inspiration coming from the First Republic.
Let us introduce you to an elegant, simple, pure flavour and a high-quality restaurant. Planet Sushi is a restaurant located in Smíchov, precisely at Nádražní 58/110, and close to the popular shopping centre Nový Smíchov.
They prepare Japanese gastronomy in its entirety, taking care of the tradition but giving distinctive touches to its dishes. Its cuisine is traditional with a modern twist, varied and elaborated with the best ingredients.
The restaurant is an elegant and sophisticated space, where you will taste excellent flavours at affordable prices. With an open plan kitchen, you can order Japanese specialities served in a comfortable and pleasant interior combining traditional and modern Japanese design, with friendly staff that will welcome you dressed in traditional kimonos.
Despite the name, there’s more at Planet Sushi than just sushi: their homemade Dim Sum will be the highlight of your day. And if you don’t know what a Dim Sum is, it is a steamed potato, and wheat starch dumpling stuffed with original filling, all from Planet Sushi own making. From Monday to Friday between 2 pm and 5 pm you can have seven pieces for only 180 CZK.
Choose in between mushroom, chicken, BBQ beef or Peking duck with edamame beans stuffing. And if you fancy something a bit different then go for their spinach dumplings with pork stuffing, carrot dumplings with salmon stuffing or prawn curry in sepia dumplings with tobiko caviar. These delights are fluffy on the outside, warm, sweet and sticky on the inside. Choose your favourite dipping sauce and enjoy.
Also, during the holiday season check their Sushi and Curry offer, which includes an irresistible combination of Foie Gras and delicately grilled eel, whose taste is underlined by Ponzu citrus sauce and Japanese curry. The Spider Maki, a roll with fine crab meat coated in Katakuriko and Togarashi spices along with curry, mango mayonnaise, wasabi, and kimchi sesame. Or the Kari Kari Kamo, crispy duck served with Japanese curry sauce, boiled potatoes, carrots, onions and chilli.
The varied menu offers a large variety of delicious sushi options prepared by professionals, including classic and premium rolls such as Philadelphia Chic, rolls with tender salmon, avocado, cream cheese, flying fish roe, unagi sauce and mayonnaise. Plus, their signature rolls, for example, the Singapore, warm breaded roll with salmon, eggplant, sweet pepper, salad leaves and pickled ginger, served with mayonnaise sauce with tobiko caviar.
Besides sushi, they also have a great offer of Asian specialities such as noodles (harusame, udon,) Thai and Japanese soups like Nabe udon or Thai Tom Kha, tartars or sashimi. Vegetarian dishes are available on the menu, so there are plenty of options for everyone.
As a dessert, do not forget to order one of their excellent choices, like their delicious chocolate roll, Domino, with fresh fruit covered with almond chips and served with a creamy sauce.
All ingredients are supplied by suppliers who operate under the highest standards and are freshly made to order, to reach the table in the highest quality as possible. When in Planet Sushi, do not hesitate to talk and ask for any specific needs for your meal. Their main goal is to offer you delicious and fresh specialities of the Japanese cuisine while being served by a friendly and attentive staff.
Have a taste of Japan in Prague, grab your family or a group of friends and try as many dishes and drinks as humanly possible.
If you would like to expand your vocabulary, understand Czech grammar, correct your pronunciation or practice your writing, check the language courses available at The Centre Czech In.
The Centre Czech In is a social enterprise of the Counselling Centre for Integration that focuses on teaching Czech to non-native speakers of all ages and supporting the integration of children into the Czech society while solving their educational challenges.
They focus on each person and their specific requirements, offering excellent courses for a budget-friendly price, and sharing part of their income to support foreigners living in the Czech Republic. You can find group courses for 120 CZK, 90 minutes with 4 to 10 students.
They organize Czech language courses for groups and individuals, as well as professional companies. They also provide foreign language courses of English, Italian, Russian and Spanish. For more information visit their website
This Enterprise is part of the Counselling Centre for Integration, a non-governmental organization that provides free social or job counselling, legal advice, support for community activities and cultural identity of foreigners’ communities.
Giving support since 1997, this organization has extensive experience working with people with different social-cultural backgrounds and making the integration in the Czech Republic much more effective.
Learn about the culture and the country you live in, the offices in Prague and Ústí nad Labem organize a variety of thematic events, workshops and trips.
They are pleased to welcome volunteers to get involved in the integration of foreigners in the Czech Republic, as well as dynamic and enthusiastic people interested in doing an internship with them. It is a way of getting to know how the non-profit sector works and make contact with people from different cultures. Feel free to join or ask them any questions you might have and check their Facebook page Poradna pro integraci or the website for more details and information.
There are smartphone apps for pretty much anything. It can be difficult to navigate the ever-changing world of apps, so Prague Morning has chosen 5 that will help you use your phone to its fullest extent with a local touch!
This app will tell you if you can catch the subway if you turn it on as you pass the turnstiles. The countdown and a picture will show you if you can make it or not. A meditating character is a sign that you don’t have to be in a rush, a figure walking will recommend to go down the stairs, a character in shorts running tells you to move faster, and a character with crossed arms says you can’t catch the subway. The application, which works offline, was created by Ondřej Korol. This law student passed all metro stations and measured how many minutes it would take from the turnstiles to the platform.
With this app, you can easily plan a bus or public transport ride, or search for a train. On the map, you can follow your journey with pedestrian transfers to other connections. The app also advises which car to board in, no matter how short the period until you get to your destination is. For example, if you are going from Jinonice to Novodvorská, the app will recommend you to board in the last carriage. Or if you are going to Smíchov train station, where you will change to bus 196 or 197, the last wagon is the closest to the bus stop.
If you encounter a problem in the streets of Prague – for example, a broken sidewalk, or an unlit lamp, take a picture, add a comment and location, and send the suggestion through the app. The authority usually solves the matter immediately, otherwise, you will receive a response within 30 days. This year’s innovation is the addition of the “Office Evaluation” function, which allows every citizen to provide feedback on the functioning of the authorities.
Moje Praha aims to help people around the city. The application uses Prague’s open data and makes it accessible to citizens. It provides traffic information, cultural updates, contacts and opening hours of offices, pharmacies and medical facilities, current weather conditions, playground lists, parks, and public toilets, and most importantly, emergency telephone numbers. The app can also make life easier for drivers by finding information about parking zones and parking options. At the same time, the app contains an overview of P + R (park and ride) car parks.
Untappd is a tool for anyone who likes beer. The application will advise you where the closest bar is or explore breweries and different beers. For some businesses, it will show you what they have specifically that day. If the pub does not have an online menu, you can be inspired by what others are having. You can check-in and rate the beer, keeping track of those you have tried and sharing your favorites.
From today, December 4th, 2019, a tram plastered with posters from 1989 will be running through the streets of the capital.
On weekdays, the tram will run on the historic line number 23 and weekends as line number 2.
This tram is a way of commemorating the events of the Velvet Revolution and the free elections in 1990. The design was prepared for the transportation company by Pavel Šťastný, the logo author of the Civic Forum.
“Exactly 30 years ago, a major demonstration took place on Wenceslas Square and less than a week later, Václav Havel announced that he would run for president. He had only 19 days for the campaign.
The presidential campaign also included a revolutionary slogan tram number 8085,” said Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr.
Compared to the initially covered tram, this one also bears the logo for 30 years of freedom. “The tram passing through the centre was the first big mobile propagator of election information. There was no Internet or Facebook,” said Pavel Šťastný.