Recently I discovered a lovely restaurant just around the corner from my flat – Maitrea.
It’s veggie but don’t let that put you off – it’s not too horribly wholesome or full of people wearing sacks instead of proper clothes. In a city where chicken is sometimes the veggie option, it was great to find this little gem, for when you’ve overdone it on pork and dumplings. It is so lovely (and so very very close to our apartment), that it makes me a little sad that we are moving house soon.
Despite a wobbly start, I have become a bit of a repeat visitor to Maitrea, and to its sister restaurant Lehka Hlava. I say wobbly as my initial trips to both restaurants were a little bit odd.
My first visit to Lehka Hlava was for a rather disappointing friend date several months ago when I was still comparatively friend-less here. It was all a bit sad actually. I’d trotted along all excited to meet this girl who I’d been set up with through a friend of a friend but we completely didn’t click – we had nothing except the English language in common. She was terrifyingly cool, which she evidenced repeatedly by her descriptions of illegal raves and her claim of not knowing any married people (seriously) – I have never felt like such an OAP. As you know, I am not terrifyingly cool although according to a couple of friends, I used to be (terrifying, I mean. Not cool). She was also a bit rude (which I hope I am not) and ate like a sparrow on a diet. For all these reasons, conversation fizzled out and dinner ended quite quickly. I was home before 8.30. As I walked through the door hubby said ‘I thought you were going out for dinner?‘ I replied, in a very small voice ‘I did….’.
My first time at Maitrea was also a bit weird. I went for a business lunch with a chap I’d met only briefly (at a work thing) before. I went because I thought he was much much more senior in his organisation than he actually is and hoped he’d be useful, informative and influential. Before long it was clear that he’d come because he thought I was much much more single, available and flirtatious than I was. Awkward! Needless to say, lunch was pretty speedy.
Finally, I went for lovely dinner with a proper non-rude, non-sparrow friend recently, and since then have been with hubby a couple of times when we’re too lazy to cook. If you are dining out with people who are not too cool for school and who are not inappropriately cracking on to you, then I’d recommend it as a lovely place to eat. Don’t bring a sack. Or a sparrow.