Driving around Zurich I landed at the Puls 5 and went for lunch at the Angkor, a somewhat fancy asian place. The decor is a bit more upmarket than other asian places and spouts a certain poshness. It was lunchtime and the restaurant was pretty full. I started off with Toong Thuong which are small crispy bags filled with minced shrimp. The dough was thin and crispy but not fried beyond recognition, juicy shrimp filling rounding it off nicely. Main course was beef with chili and beans and a refined sauce. I forgot to take a picture, but it came on a rechaud and some rice. The sauce was okay, a decent dish for an asian place. Food was okay, decor a bit over the top but the place is trying to be more than it really is. It’s high on the prices, tries hard to look upmarket tipping towards tacky and doesn’t deliver enough special and surprising dishes. Luo, Beyond or Zen offer more refined and interesting cuisine than Angkor. And what is really weird, at a restaurant trying this hard, why doesn’t anyone speak german ? Prices:
Always looking for a nice trip through Switzerland, on a sunny day not much beats the Furka Dampfbahn. Go for gold, pay the 90 franks for a first class tickets. Make sure that you’re in the last first class cabin of the train. This way you can stand outside on the platform and have a great view of all the places you’ve just travelled by. Vital to know is that if you enter a tunnel with a steam train engine, close the windows….
Culinary choices are limited at the Aperobuffet where there’s a scheduled 20 minute stop. But there is one thing which really stood out, a homemade dough pocket filled with minced meat. Simple, wholehearted and tasty, following the Michelin guiding rules, it’s a one star dish.
It’s Saturday and you’re looking for a place to grab lunch. With the newly opened Viadukt shopping mall, it makes sense to stop by Restaurant Viadukt. After sitting down, I get a menu and was surprised that there was only a small snack section. Apparently they don’t do a la carte during lunch on a saturday….. So I went for the small pasta of the day and a chili bratwurst with salad. The bratwurst was cooked in a very skilled matter, it probably was tasty but the chili overpowered the pork taste. I didn’t care much about the salad, the leaves were too big and the cucumber and radishes were lacking salt. The pasta wasn’t up to par. There was no connection between the cheese, the noodles and the red swiss chard. It was pasta and pieces of vegetables, but it lacked a sauce which was capable of tying the components together. If you like to blend in with the crowd order a “Apfel Schorle mit Sprudel”….
Kaiser’s Reblaube (literally the Emperor’s vineyard arcade) is nicely located near the St. Peter’s church. The chef at Kaiser’s Reblaube is well known for writing for the Zueritipp, still that didn’t faze me one bit. The house is one of the oldest in the city and if you looked at the other guests….. common courtesy leaves you one no choice then to acknowledge that they were younger than the house. The first dish (an amuse bouche) was the worst. It was an “Eierstich” with some herb oil and there was no herb taste and the whole mouth feeling of the dish reminded one of a Caramelköpfli. That was a bad choice to get mouths watering. The scallop was marinated which gave it an unusual texture. Especially the citrus fruit (grapefruit) was nice and gave the dish a good balance. The best dish was the rabbit kidneys with Fava beans, almonds and a flan made from duck liver. Apparently the chef here has a patented method on how to prepare duck liver without stuffing the ducks and was awarded the Chef of the year 1998 award by the Swiss Animal Protection Society. Personally I’ll stick to the Gault Millau’s rating, but I’ll give credit for the innovative approach. We slipped in an extra course (guinea fowl breast), which was nice in taste, but if I order breast, I don’t want the bone attached to it. Lovely Cima di Rape went with the goat meat on the main course, making this a hearty and tasty dish (but not as good as at the Wiesengrund). I skipped the french toast on the dessert, and rightly so – the rhubarb alone was simply perfect. Looking back at the meal I found the menu to be a bit too hearty for spring, both the rabbit kidneys and especially the polenta rosso side dish felt more like autumn. Overall I didn’t quite get enough bang for the buck, foodwise I’d prefer the Caduff, however the Kaiser’s Reblaube wins in terms of being quaint. Finances:
I kept going to Cafe Wimbledon in the hope of getting a glimpse of Roger Federer, but apparently that’s the other Wimbledon. The Cafe Wimbledon has been rebranded and is running under the Nooch flag. It was a lunch and I was in the mood for fried rice. There was some under the name of James Bond Island. Now I never understand what it is with giving dishes names. That works fine for BigMac and Whopper, but it is silly in the real restaurant business. The fried rice didn’t rock my boat, it was lacking the intense roast aromas, the saltiness wasn’t there and I couldn’t taste enough egg. Overall this seems more like a swiss guy’s fantasy of what an exotic asian place should be like (it also explains the pineapple in the rice). Prices:
Marinello is one of the grocery stores of choice if you’re looking for a good selection of local cheeses (Natürli) or lovely vegetables. The outlet at Sihlcity was advertising lunch menus for 11 CHF. Having misplaced my wallet at a football frenzy the night before this exactly matched my cash resources. The menu of the day was a Rindergeschnetzltes (beef) with Roeschti served in a plastic container and joined by a small salad. The beef was very tender with a below average sauce. The roeschti was a complete disaster. With condensation water collecting in the plastic dish and slowly dripping on a bland, not very crisp, prefabricated potato hockey puck this was calling for a disaster. I shouldn’t have finished the roeschti, but as the germans say – hunger is the best cook. I’ll stay to raw ingredients at Marinello and shy away from the lunch menus.
If you’re ever interested in buying a cheap house, Wigoltingen seems to be good place. It doesn’t seem that the corporate real estate developers have discovered this part of Thurgau. Another nice perk is the Michelin starred Schäfli Wigoltingen which is run by Marlis und Wolfgang Kuchler. Arriving for a nice little lunch, we were seated outside between a small fountain and the old barn house. The first dish looked like it was lifted from the cover of the Betty Bossi magazine, it was a crepe roll with some fantastic tomatoes underneath, looks can be deceiving. The first course was a carpaccio, served on some joghurt with chives. A fantastic contrast was made by slightly roasted pine nuts which were drizzled on top. The slight bitterness and crunchiness of the nuts with the smooth and cool beef shows how there’s someone working here who knows his business. Main course was cod with king prawns with ginger sauce served in rosemary potato mash. Simple flavors, nicely executed. What really stood out were the perfectly cooked shrimp, I really enjoy if it has that slight tension to the cooked meat, while still radiating freshness. I wasn’t too thrilled about the cheese selection, one of them was a brie filled with truffle mascarpone, just plain tacky. The chocolate mousse had a silky complexion and a not too sweet chocolate taste, it almost matched my mother’s. The Schäfli is definetly worth a visit if you’re in the area, just make sure you’ve brought the XL wallet: