SLOW Café was my first chance discovery in Prague. Although on my (very long) list of potential spots, I was on my way elsewhere for brunch when I wandered past, catching sight of the weekly brunch menu in the window. Consisting of just five items, each was intriguing, so since I was already hungry, in I went. Like Monday’s Coffee Spot, Pražírna Kavárna, SLOW Café has multiple rooms, although in this case, they’re on the ground floor, not in a basement. There’s also a wonderfully secluded courtyard at the back, albeit much smaller than the one at Pražírna Kavárna.
SLOW Café only works with roasters that the owners know personally, starting with Coffee Source, a local roaster with a coffee shop just down the street. Coffee Source provides the espresso (a natural Ethiopian during my visit), with SLOW Café offering an extremely concise menu of just espresso, flat white and cappuccino. This is joined by various filter options, the roasters drawn from around Europe. This includes Kaffa Roastery from Helsinki and, during my visit, Berlin’s Bonanza, plus SlowMov and Nomad (the owners had just been to Barcelona) on Aeropress and V60, while Helsingborg’s Koppi was on batch brew, although the options change regularly.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Slow Café, which opened March 1st 2018, is on the southern edge of Vinohrady on the busy Francouzská, at the junction with Slovenská. Located on the ground floor of a row of grand old apartment buildings which tower above it, the south-facing façade catches the sun. There’s a pair of large windows to the left and right, with the right-hand one having the door inset on the left.
This takes you into a simple space, the bulk of which is to your left. Meanwhile, to the right, is a two-person window-bar (which is behind the open door), with a flight of stairs occupying the rest of the right-hand side. Starting at the back, these lead down to a basement kitchen. A long bench, with two built-in tables, runs alongside the stairs, doubling as a bannister.
There’s a set of shelves to the left of the door, followed by two small, two-person tables in the window. The remaining seating is in the form of five tables, three small, two-person ones and two four-person ones. These occupy the space between the window at the front and the counter, which occupies most of the back wall, Meanwhile the two-person tables run along the left-hand wall.
However, that’s just the start of it. Through an opening in the back wall to the right of the counter you’ll find a long, thin back room with more seating, starting with three two-person tables against the right-hand wall. Meanwhile, on the left is an L-shaped bench with a single table. Finally, at the back, a doorway in the back wall leads to a lovely, compact, sheltered courtyard with high walls and space for two small two-person tables.
Having been drawn in by the promise of food, I had the brunch plate, which was excellent, although I think I would have been happy with any of the choices. This, however, was a real mix of flavours and textures, starting with a perfectly fried egg, accompanied by a couple of slices of bread (to be dipped in the yolk, naturally). There were also three walnut fritters, the consistency of small pancakes, an aubergine puree and a green salad, all on a yoghurt base. It was delicious and is an instant contender for this year’s Best Breakfast Award!
SLOW Café has a small selection of soft drinks and wine. However, I decided to stick with coffee, choosing to have a pour-over. I was offered a pair of Rwandan single-origins for the V60, a washed coffee from Nomad and a honey processed one from Bonanza. That said, we weren’t sure if the Nomad was washed (neither I nor the barista being able to read Spanish) so she opened the packet, looked at the beans and declared it was a washed coffee. If I needed any more indication I was in the right place, that was it. She also offered to open a new packet from one of the options on the retail shelves if I wanted, but I decided to stay with the Bonanza.
My coffee served in a lovely china jug with a small cup on the side, all presented on a silver tray. A really well-balanced brew, it evolved as it cooled, with more delicate, floral notes coming through, the perfect accompaniment to my brunch.
June 2019: It’s rare that I get to revisit places I’ve written about, but I had an unexpected spare afternoon, and since SLOW Café changes the brunch menu every week, I popped back the day after I published my piece to try the poached eggs and some of the new delivery of coffee from Kaffa Roastery. The eggs were excellent, another interesting mix of flavours and textures, while the coffee was lovely, a subtle, fruity brew.
|FRANCOUZSKÁ 966/33 • 120 00 VINOHRADY • PRAGUE • CZECHIA|
|http://slowfactory.cz||+420 222 951 929|
|Monday||07:30 – 18:00||Roaster||Kaffa Roastery (espresso) + Guests (filter)|
|Tuesday||07:30 – 18:00||Seating||Tables, Window Bars; Tables (Outside)|
|Wednesday||07:30 – 18:00||Food||Brunch, Cake|
|Thursday||07:30 – 18:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||07:30 – 18:00||Cards||Yes|
|Saturday||09:00 – 16:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||09:00 – 16:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||No||Visits||16th, 21st June 2019|
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