In years past, the number of Indian restaurants in Prague was few – very few, as a matter of fact. Now, they seem to be springing up all over the city and in other locations throughout the Czech Republic. Brno, Karlovy Vary, Český Budĕjovice, Olomouc, and even Tábor all claim at least one Indian restaurant.
Prague, of course, has the lion’s share, and most of these restaurants deliver. Curry lovers can rejoice in having a wide variety of meals available to them, either in their neighborhood or one quick Internet order away. Several restaurants have an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet set up for the lunch crowd, with the option of filling up a box with buffet food to take with you (though, of course, customers can’t combine the two – either you dine in-house, or you get the takeout option).
Those familiar with Prague’s Old Town Square, and in particular, with Týnský dvůr, tucked away behind Týn Cathedral, know about one of Prague’s favorite Indian restaurants, Indian Jewel. In warm weather, the restaurant (which is partially below ground level) puts out tables for its patrons, and the enthusiastic crowds show how popular the place is. Recently, CitySpy interviewed the owner of the restaurant, Sanjeev Wadehra.
Mr. Wadehra has been involved in the hospitality industry for the past 35 years, since well before he moved to Prague. It comes as no surprise that he has run several restaurants in India, which has stood him in good stead when operating Indian Jewel here in Prague. He states that, before establishing Indian Jewel, he ran three hotels (all of them in the four-star category) and three restaurants. Indian Jewel is his fourth restaurant.
Mr. Wadehra moved to Prague 22 years ago, when he was offered a business opportunity; he opened and operated a restaurant called (appropriately enough) Jewel of India, located at Pařižská 20. Eight years ago, he opened Indian Jewel in Týnský dvůr. He states that the worst thing about living here is “the weather”. The benefits, of course, far outweigh the disadvantages, and he tells us that he loves the beauty of Prague, and that the Czechs are all very “nice and friendly”. He adds that “For me, the Czech Republic is my home now.”
Anyone who has worked on the basis of a business license in the Czech Republic, or has established and operated a business that employs other workers, knows that a great deal of red tape is involved. How does Mr. Wadehra compare doing business here in the Czech Republic to doing business in India? His answer: “It is not easy to run a business anywhere in the world as there are laws and regulations which differ from country to country.”
Indian Jewel has a lunch special every day. This special includes one main dish (each day has a different dish), a large serving of rice, and rice pudding for dessert. Not surprisingly, it is a very popular lunch place.
One more quote from Mr. Wadehra: “I would like to invite the Czech community and your readers to come and try Indian cuisine. I feel it has mistakenly been publicized as a very hot and spicy food. But Indian food is not only about heat and chili, but it’s also about a balance of herbs and spices that give the food a great flavor.”