Many authentic and high-quality ethnic eateries are popping up and establishing themselves with more frequency. Happily, this includes some excellent Asian restaurants.

The oldest of these is Maly Buddha, down the street from Cernicky Palace (home of the Czech foreign ministry) in Hradcany.With a well-decorated and very authentic looking oriental tearoom and restaurant, Buddha offers a classy environment for chilling before, during and after the meal.

The meals themselves range on average from 90Kc to 150Kc on a menu that offers up everything from traditional Buddhist vegetarian meals from Tibet to more exotic fare like something called “The Nightmare,” consisting of crocodile and shark meat.

For less daring souls, there are top-notch crab spring rolls (159Kc), fried tofu with vegetables (116Kc) and fried crab with salad (96Kc). If the small alcove in the back with the pagoda is available, snatch it.

Make sure to place reservations during peak hours, and remember they are closed on Mondays. Maly Buddha: Uvoz 46, Praha 1 (Hradcany) For a great date, start at the bottom of Nerudova in Malastrana Namesti and walk up the hill. Maly Buddha will be on your right.

Down the hill, across the bridge and across Old Town is Orange Moon, the newest member of a growing mass of good ethnic joints around Dlouha such Indian By Nature.

Calling itself a Thai, Burmese and Indian restaurant, Orange Moon holds court in a cozy basement space that avoids the slightest hint of decor cheese. Owner Nini Lwin has a strong reputation in town from his days at the helm of Thajsky Restaurant in Holesovice, and the burst of early traffic Orange Moon has seen means this place is already squarely on the map.

An average meal will set you back around 250 Kc, and the menu politely offers a “hot chart” indicating the spiciness of each dish (three chilies means “Hori” or “burning”) and one without a real love for the hot stuff is advised to take the warnings to heart.

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Standard Indian dishes such as the curry chicken (135Kc) and the chicken tandoori (160Kc) are excellent, as is the lighter fare on the Vietnamese and Thai side of the menu.

Especially recommended are the Phad Kai Tai (145Kc) and the chicken Biryanni (160Kc). Vegetarians can get their fill for as little as 150Kc if they choose right. Reservations not usually required. Orange Moon is located at Ramova 5, Prague 1 (Old Town).

If good Asian food is a small planet, then Prague has finally landed.