Published originally with expats.cz
‘Siva’ is the name of a Saharan oasis, offering rest and peace to weary travellers and traders. Siva Čajovna is located on Masná in the Old Town and describes itself as an Arabian coffee and tea house. How did it compare to its namesake?
Siva makes a good first impression. On entering I was struck by the cosy warmth Siva offered and the lovely, heady smells emanating from the back room. The ground floor is split between two rooms (there is also a downstairs area), each with similar décor – wall tapestries and low sofas and tables. The back room is warmer and more comfortable. The front room is too drafty and busy, especially if you’re planning on staying a while. The rooms are possibly a little too dark, however. Whilst this is clearly the feel Siva is going for, a few candles would go a long way to avoid resulting dinginess. The music was reminiscent of the chill out rooms in some night clubs – not particularly authentic Arabian and at times a little too loud for Siva’s relaxed vibe.
Our waiter brought a pot of extra water, heated over a little candle stand on our table, allowing us to top ourselves up as we wished, which was a nice touch.
The prices were reasonable – we spent a total of 300 CZK and were there for two hours (and felt like the staff would have been happy if we’d stayed all day). However, some of the teas were fairly pricey – 90 CZK for White Monkey is possibly as much as you can pay in Prague for tea. Whilst some of these teas are rare and imported, I did feel that the prices may reflect the central, tourist-focused location of this particular čajovna.
Although service was rather slow at the beginning, it was helpful when it came and our waiter was knowledgeable about the teas. Slow service can be expected in čajovny – these are places that people come to linger, not rush.
Overall, I didn’t particularly love Siva’s décor. The waiters were very friendly though, the tea was lovely, but the food was quite mixed. If not an oasis, it’s good to have such a relaxed venue just a stone’s throw from the Old Town Square.
Siva is located at Masná 8, 110 00 Prague 1.
Open Mon-Fri 12.00 to 23.30, Sat 14.00 to 23.30 and Sun 14.00 to 22.00