When do you know that the thrill of air travelling has slowly evaporated ? When the fine meal consists of a Ham salad bloomer and you can buy the same thing off the trolley of a british railway company. Unfortunately mine escaped from the package while I wasn’t paying attention, but the gin and tonic helped to overcome the sudden loss.
There are places which you might not wander into without having some solid information, and the Lahore Kebab House is one of those. Located in a rougher part of London in the East End – why is it that larger cities are never nice and clean – this is one of the few places serving real pakistani cuisine. Not having been exposed to cuisine from South Asia to a large extent, obviously London is a good place to catch up. Walking into the second floor of the Lahore Kebab house, it feels a bit like the dining hall of a school or a university, there’s not much flair to the decor and it is a tad grimy. First surprise is when I ordered a beer, that they do not serve alcohol. Second surprise is, that you pop down to the minimarket across the street, buy two bottles of (imperial size) beer to go with your meal and that is totally okay with the restaurant. Food was great and it was much better than the original setting made me believe it will be. Crispy fried onions, crunchy and tasty Papadom, fresh vegetables, tasty chicken and lamb, Biryani rice (similar to fried rice) and high quality nan bread were served in quick succession. If you’re on a business trip on London and your colleagues are up for great food, skip out on the posher south asian cuisine places and head right down here, you will be rewarded. I forgot to take a picture of the bill, but believe me if you’re accustomed to prices in Zurich – this place is a steal.
There is hope! This might sound like the start of the “Hour of Power”. A religious, euphoric and rather monologual tv show, where you’re never sure if the guy on tv is high or if it’s yourself. Rest assured, this is still therealpickygourmet and not therealenlightendsinner. But with all the current developments in the now rather boring Seefeld, people are yearning for a sign of hope. And there is in the form of the Restaurant Hornegg, at the end of the Seefeldstrasse almost near the Bahnhof Tiefenbrunnen. Finally a real place, which has weathered the storm of the invaders of the anemic corporate drone type. Hornegg is a real mom and pop type local restaurant with decent food and real people. Appetizer was a nice salad with bacon, honest food, honest cooking. One of my favourite dishes here is the foal steak with fries and homemade butter. The sweetness of the horse meat gives the steak a nice touch going nicely with the butter and the fries. But best thing, check out the prices:
Wandering around you always make the best discoveries. The Ristorante Wolfbach is between the Pfauen (Kunsthaus for our non locals) and the Hottingerplatz, tucked away to the side. In a nutshell I had one of the most surprising courses here at the Wolfbach, but since it’s been a while, I’ve simply forgotten what the main course was. The appetizer were pieces of rabbit wrapped in ham served on Zuchinispaghetti. The flavor and texture of these fine strands of Zuchini was simply extraordinary. Seldom have I’ve been so pleasantly surprised at a component of a dish as this one here. I remember the flavours being strong and the execution of the main dish good, but forgot the details. Anyway – a great place, which I will certainly revisit. Finances:
Muggenbühl is now being run by Ernst Bachmann (president of Gastro Zurich) after the Restaurant Bahnhof Wollishofen was closed. The restaurant radiates a Classy Beiz feeling and has an interesting garden, including a tarp to keep leaves and other stuff from falling onto the diners. Still if you want traditional Beiz feeling, this is the place to go for. The Chateaubriand was what we went for and were eager to get our hands on the meat. Overall it was a decent piece of meat, but part of the side dishes screamed convenience. The vegetables and the potato croquettes just deterred the dining experience. My personal expectation is to get fresh food and it would do justice to the meat to serve less, but homecooked vegetables with it. In terms of sizing the dish was good, it was served in two separate identical helpings. Finances:
Cafe Boy finally opened. Stefan Iseli and Jann Hoffmann which were the original restaurateurs in the legendary Zentraleck (followed up equally well by the Stef’s Zentraleck) just opened the place. So during the day it serves as a corporate dining hall (Netcetera) and in the evening it’s open to the public. The two restaurateurs make an interesting pair, one is the wine freak and the other the food crazy cook. Anyway to help the thought process a plate of deer sausage from the Puschlav was helpful. A slightly bitter but flavourful meat, was accompanied with some potatoes and some strong green olives. The olives seem to be the same kind as in the Restaurant Helvetia. The amouse bouche was a leek soup with some halibut, nice soup and a hearty morcel of fish with an almost meaty texture was swimming in it. First appetizer was some carne cruda, served with blinis and a quail egg. While the blinis on their own were a bit salty, they worked perfectly in conjunction with the meat. Moving on to a carpacio of boiled beef on top of beets with horseradish and drizzled with a herb vinaigrette. The only critcism here, maybe a bit too much of the beets, but tastewise and in terms of being a creative dish, again this hit my sweet spot. Main dish was more traditional a tagliata with arugula, truffle risotto and some balsamico jus. While not special, again perfect execution, strong flavours, just nothing to bicker about. While the name makes the Odeon Bar seem a place frequented by families, the food is great. The combinations, the interesting twists and the strength in execution and flavours make this a great place to visit. However the place is a bit loud and it is lacking the intimacy the old Zentraleck used to radiate. For a romantic dinner it might not be the best place but for a great meal with other people Cafe Boy is the place to go. Also if you figure in the decent prices for this type of food, it’s good value. Oh yeah – and by the time you read something in the Zueritipp about Cafe Boy, the Real Picky Gourmet will already have discovered Zurich’s latest gem.
Sometimes tucked away and not visible to the passerby you find a decent place to eat. Shinsen apparently is one of the bigger suppliers of Japanese foods in Zurich and inside of their factory they have a small restaurant for lunch. Started with some Gyoza, they were okay, not quiet as good as the ones you can get at the Ooki. The Bento box had a nice combination of Sushi, Tuna Tartare and Sashimi. The ambience isn’t great, but you can watch the factory in the back creating food, which is fresh and decent. But the place is becoming popular quickly and it pays to have a reservation – prices are above average: