Address: Novohradská 6, 821 08 Bratislava
Hours: Mon-Fri 8-24, Sat 11-24, Sun 11-20
Prices: Sk Sk
Reservations: Yes, except for lunch 12-2pm
English menu: No
Credit Cards: No
Recommended: Thumbs up, but service can be slow.
Brit Restaurant features wooden guests like this one.
These drawbacks might be enough to sink another restaurant enterprise, but if you once allow the Brit's "Trojfarebná pochúťka" ('tricolour tidbits') or the fried calamari in beer paste to work its considerable magic on you, the food will keep you coming back.
Start with the soup. The halázslé (fish) soup is a spicy Hungarian style treat, but the various soups of the day - sour potato, creamy cauliflower, goulash and pea - should not be ignored without grave deliberation. Appetizers can be fabulous, like the heavenly Slovak "lokše," which is basically a fried potato pancake stuffed with poultry liver.
And then on to the main course. Stuffed chicken breasts, beef stroganoff and the "činské maso" (Chinese meat) are among the best bets, but the Brit kitchen also makes a pretty mean fried cheese, not to mention their stuffed mushroom rolls...
Not everything, of course, is worthy of praise. The spaghetti, frankly, should be served with an anti-coagulant and a handsaw, as well as with a sharp chisel with which to fracture the cheese carapace that covers the dish. Bo don't know pasta. And neither does Brit trouble to provide a desert menu beyond the ubiquitous palacinky. But overall, this place serves up a delicious lunch or dinner for around 250 crowns, including appetizer and a glass of wine. By now, readers have probably guessed that the name of the restaurant does not imply anything British about the cuisine , which is far from stodgy. The same is true of the décor, which is bright and fresh, rather than the smoker's lung drab of most British pubs. Statues reminiscent of Easter Island dot the interior, interpersed with cacti and dwarfs holding out trays for tips. Turqoise carpets, peach walls and deep-hued wooden tables underpin the startling but pleasant colour scheme.
Perhaps the only spanner in the works is the wait staff. And, come to think of it, the clientele. When Brit first opened in April 1998, you might wait an hour for your meal, and while this state of affairs has been improved, this is still not the place to come for a quick bite. Rather, set aside a couple of hours and leave your worry cap at home. If the service is not the swiftest, it is certainly among the most apologetic, and can be dramatically hastened by an apposite tip.
This place is so good that it has attracted the notice of a particular type of clientele. The type with very, very short hair and very expensive cars. Nice folk, if you don't mind permanent scowls, warmup suits and chittering mobile phones.
So that's Brit - a mix of great food and private corners, one with a sofa and a fire...bar stools and high tables where you can sup a coffee, thoughtfully served with mineral water...cold draft beer and a decent selection of jazz CD's...and those cropped heads, propped on massive trunks, coming and going on their huge motorcycles.