A cozy new brunch spot puts down roots in Vinohrady

The Oak bistro’s stylish space and all day breakfast – including a gourmet Full English – invite lingering.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 02.03.2023 17:00:00 (updated on 02.03.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

In the summer of 2022, Anglo-Dutch expat Nick Saaf took over a Vinohrady space that had once been a donut shop and briefly a bakery. Saaf and his two Czech partners Vít Eliáš and Jan Roubíček were excited to find what they considered an ideal space with lots of natural light from the windows and a quiet street that allows for outdoor seating when the weather permits.

Carrying on the breakfast-leaning tradition of the original space, they based their menu on an eclectic mix of breakfast, brunch, and casual eats – and The Oak was born. Breakfast, served until 3 p.m., has proven a success, while fish and chips, sandwiches, and crumpets round out the daytime offerings. From Wednesday to Friday evenings, the space transforms into a bar, serving premium wine and beer.

“Our clientele is a real mix. We were really surprised that many Czechs enjoy a full English breakfast. Many have traveled to Britain and have fond memories of it,” Saaf said.  

A full English breakfast that gets it right

Tackling an English breakfast is a risky proposition in Prague. Many have tried and failed, instead emphasizing quantity over quality, heavy on beans, and light on flavor. The Oak puts its distinct stamp on the full English. A fried egg is accompanied by Cumberland sausage, English back bacon, a slice of streaky bacon, mushrooms, beans, black pudding, hash browns, toast, butter, and brown sauce, garnished with roasted onion.

The presentation is elegantly plated, giving all the elements room to shine. Savor the quality of the Cumberland sausage and back bacon, both of which are imported from Britain, as well as fresh sides, including beans in a velvety tomato sauce made fresh in-house. Mushrooms are cooked in a butter and white wine emulsion and the slices of black pudding are deep-fried into crisps giving the dish a nice added texture.

There’s no skimping on portion size, though a “grand” British breakfast with larger portions, chips, and tartar sauce will satisfy bigger appetites.

Saaf said the royal breakfast with salmon and avocado is a top seller, appealing to customers looking to keep it light and healthy. Vegetarian and vegan breakfast options include plant-based sausages.

Brunches have proven so popular on Saturdays and Sundays that reservations are highly recommended.

Brunch by day, wine, beer, and poutine by night

The Oak’s lunch and early dinner menu are equally intriguing: try fish and chips with kimchi or a vegan re-imagining of the beloved British street food staple which pairs aubergine wrapped in seaweed with chips and kimchi. Lunch options also include classic sandwiches such as egg or B.L.T on fresh bread that change on a weekly basis.

Two of The Oak’s three owners are sommeliers, which means the wine list has pride of place. An impressive selection of Czech and other European vintages are available by bottle or glass. The local beer selection comes from the Zíchovec family brewery and Sibeeria. British expats will cheer for the Pimm’s cocktail, a gin-based fruit liqueur.

The drinking crowd will appreciate the evening offering of stodgy poutine, the Canadian dish of chips topped with melted cheese, pulled pork, and gravy (a vegetarian version is available). 

Zero-waste, great taste

Saaf says that the restaurant’s zero-waste philosophy means that menus are carefully planned so that all of the ingredients are fully used. The Oak aims to serve a limited but quality menu while having the least environmental impact possible.

The décor reflects this minimalist philosophy: light and not overly cluttered with rotating paintings from a local artist adorning the walls, The Oak maintains the relaxed neighborhood atmosphere befitting its location in an inviting residential area within walking distance of the I.P. Pavlova metro.

It’s the kind of place that makes sense for a simple coffee (focaccia, bread, and other baked goods are available to go), a laid back evening drink, or a satisfying breakfast or brunch. Little touches like free filtered water on every table and of course free WiFi add to the ambience.

“We tried to create a place where people can come and relax. There are no uniforms. The mix of furniture includes mismatched chairs to create a casual feel,” Saaf said.

This article was written in association with The Oak / Alfresco cookery s.r.o. See our partner content policies here.

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