Grotto Reale, Aemtlerstrasse, Zurich
Wiedikon still remains my favourite and culinary most vibrant of the burroughs of Zurich. On the Aemtlerstrasse a relatively new place opened, which calls itself Grotto Reale. The place looks like Gordon Ramsay’s been here – sleek and modern, yet it still feels like a local eatery and is charming. The headwaiter is a little rascal, seldomly have I met a guy who’s such a sneaky upseller, I’m sure he was trained by egyptian rug dealers in cairo. The cheeky bastard even shakes your hand when you leave the place, as if a good friend is just going home. It makes you feel like a champion, so I guess he’s doing an excellent job.
I was unsure what to order, there was an entrecote with porcini which sounded great. But I went with chicken (Mischtchratzerli) with spanish potatoes. Being very hungry I also asked for a mixed salad, which I have completely forgotten about – why? Because the main course was great. The waiter showed up with a large pan, containing two chicken halves (two of us were eating). I felt great when I was smelling the chicken and looking at the nicely browned birds sizzling. The bronze pan was whisked away and a plate appeared with some vegetables, nice spanish potatoes and half of the bird. The chicken was too dry which I thought was a pity, since the skin was tasty. The potatoes were exceptional and were accompanied by a light hot spice which gave it a nice kick. Very nice gesture was that there was a second serving with the other quarter of the chicken prepared for us after having finished the first. Still Grotto Reale is doing very good on price, okay on the chicken – the one’s at Emilios are better tasting (more butter) and jucyier – but still deserves a revisit.