What would you say to a small, cozy bistro where they cook perfectly presented top-class meals from all around the world and, at the same time, in a homely atmosphere for friendly prices? It might sound too good, however, Martin’s bistro has it all. You could almost overlook it. It doesn’t pretend anything, has a very welcoming atmosphere and stylish interior with a retro spirit, pleasant service and a kitchen so good it will make you regret that you eat only three times a day.
This is all thanks to Martin Streško whose long-time experience with running the popular Prague Hapu bar led to the opening of his own bistro two years ago that proudly carries its owner’s name. Martin’s bistro gives the impression that it has resided forever on the corner of the Velehradská Street and Přemyslovská Street, near to the Jiří z Poděbrad Square, and it feels like it doesn’t relate to all the current gastronomic trends. It is like their whole culinary proficiency is a natural thing.
Weekly offered specialties are prepared from fine ingredients and in the kitchen they care about serving every single dish with a perfect harmony of flavors. We recommend concluding your visit with the delicious cheesecake, whose recipe is a closely guarded secret of the chef. You will always leave with the infallible feeling that this wasn’t your last visit.
You ran the very popular Hapu bar in Prague for a long time. Was the opening of bistro another step that you had planned from the beginning? Why was Hapu bar closed?
Hapu bar was our life. We were completely absorbed by it. Everything was for the first time and new. It seemed to last forever. Years had been flying by until we counted 16 of them. In the meantime, our kids were born and our lives changed. We started enjoying eating more than drinking. And thus, the bistro was the next logical step.
The bistro has been running for two years now. Did your customers from Hapu bar move to Martin’s bistro or did it attract a different kind of clientele? How big was the change for you personally?
A lot of our customers are our friends who grew older with us at Hapu bar. Also, every new place brings new people. So it is a mix of both. It is interesting that we meet people who are our customers at some other places that are our favorites too.
Martin’s bistro’s kitchen is renowned all over Vinohrady. You cook types of food from around the world, which is when it comes to most restaurants rather a disadvantage, but at your place the food is great. How do you manage?
I’m always delighted with such a compliment. I guess it is because we only cook what we eat ourselves.
Besides the food, the interior of Martin’s bistro is worth noticing. How did you discover the space and how was it appealing to you?
There used to be a café that our friends ran. So we were familiar with the space. When they closed and sold the café after it had been open for years, we stopped going there. After a while the space appeared advertised online at the same time as when we decided for a change. The interior was designed by the sculptor Filip Roztočil - our friend who also designed Hapu bar and knows what we like well.
It is said that a small restaurant can profit only if its owner gives all his time to it. How about you? How much time do you spend at Martin’s bistro?
Apart from working, we also spend our free time. So there is something in it.
Your place is still busy. Do you advertise the bistro actively on social media, or is it a word-of-mouth in Prague?
Word-of-mouth works naturally but I think that marketing can’t be ignored completely. Thus, even we got stuck in its networks, including the social ones.