Often, the food you can get in nightclubs and late-night bars is sub-standard at best. A soggy pizza, a microwaved burger, some sad-looking chips. But for many, that doesn’t matter: the food is just a way of soaking up the alcohol.
However, in recent years, some venues have begun offering you a top-class dining experience as well as the chance to dance ’til dawn, and SaSaZu in Prague’s Holešovice is one of them. Prague’s hottest opening in 2009, the chic Asian-fusion warehouse-style venue still pulls in the crowds, and was full on a recent Saturday night visit at 9pm.
The decor in the restaurant is fantastic – swanky and impressive, all huge geometric light fittings and shiny surfaces. In the past, many reviewers have said the food does not live up to the decor, but on this particular visit the food was great.
It helped that we were a group, and able to taste many dishes on the huge menu, which is slightly confusingly categorized under five different cooking techniques. They are variable in size and price, but not as off-puttingly expensive as I had been led to believe. In fact, many were reasonable for the quality of cooking and the inventive ingredients.
Stand-out dishes included the SaSa Crispy Roll, a fresh and moreish tuna salmon roll in nori with wasabi and black sesame sauce, and a zingy Black Bean Dorado, a steamed fillet in black bean sauce, ginger and sesame.
The chocolate fondant dessert was a knock-out, and the cocktails were good enough to try several – amongst the best were the Zien (coriander, rum, white chocolate syrup and pear juice) and the Sayen (gin, creme de cassis, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice).
The staff were friendly and efficient, and took us through into the main club after dinner. Again, in the past some have been (rightfully) annoyed that dinner at the restaurant doesn’t get you into the club automatically – for us, it did. I hope this is the policy generally as it seems crazy to do anything else.
The club itself is cavernous, with high ceilings, different levels and two bars. It can hold up to 2,500, which in a way is a shame because anything less than this leaves the space feeling somewhat empty. Saturday – a nostalgic 80s and 90s retro party – was probably half-full, leaving plenty of space for the aforementioned dancing ’til dawn (and plenty of time – it shuts at 5am).
While SaSaZu is not perfect (it is fairly pricey, and I can’t disregard other reviewer’s criticisms), it made for a glam and hassle-free night out that would match any in Europe’s other capitals for the food and atmosphere. And it’s certainly miles better than getting a soggy pizza at the bar (or, worse, from a takeaway on the way home).