Bar Basso is near the City Hallenbad (right next to Baradox) and opened in late October 2011. I went there for lunch. They are run by the same team which does the Pizza at Rossos near Hardbrücke. One of the quirks is, that they sport a wood fired oven. What can you say, before I was able to make my way into the dining room a truck was dumping a couple of cubic meters (stere) of wood. A waitress had to turn the pile of pieces of wood into a nice stack on the side of the building, the key question here obviously is, whether the pizza would be worth the hassle of handling the small logs. The menu fits my bill, it has less than 10 items, so you have to choose and it shows that they’re going for quality. I started off with a fava bean, chanterelle and brioche toast appetizer. The combination was surprising and I liked the slight crunch of the beans. However the chanterelles were too salty and there was too much butter used on the brioche toast. With some small adjustments this would be a better dish. I selected the arugula, prosciutto and mushroom pizza as my main course. Quite frankly a pretty fantastic pizza, thin yet crunchy dough, flavourful mozzarella and tomatoes. Next time I’ll order a Margherita, with the pizza being so good you don’t need the additional toppings. I’m convinced this place will do great for lunch and it’s going to full pretty quickly, making my question around the wood pretty redundant. I’ll be back in the evening to try their meat dishes. Prices:
Hanoi Garden opened up near the Bahnhof Wipkingen where the former Liston restaurant used to be. The vietnamese place seems to be a family affair. A swiss guy is running the front of the restaurant and since he’s also taking care of a small boy running around the dining room, this seems a fair assumption. I liked the spring rolls, they’re lighter and better tasting than the chinese restaurant equvivalent. The fresh springrolls were fresh but I would have enjoyed more herbs inside and a different sauce. It was the same vinegar based dipping sauce as with the fried ones, I craved for a peanut based variant. The main course was pretty vietnamese, a soup based dish calle Bun Cha, where you throw in noodles, herbs and vegetables to your liking. It was using proper pork belly (heavy on the fat) and not the lighter bacon, hence it’s not going to be a big hit with women. It had a nice heat (a european hot) and the flavor of the broth was spot on. What I’d also like to call out is that the “Grosses” (pint) is only CHF 5.50, which is a pretty good deal. I’ll be back:
Weibian has a somewhat confusing message. One sign clearly says “chinese specialities” and the next one goes on to talk about Sushi. Anyway I’m not scared easily (except by dogs) and bravely entered the location. Scanning the menu we decided to try the hot pot (the evolutionary ancestor of the swiss fondue chinoise). Fish, meat, vegetables, mushrooms and noodles are served on a couple of plates. I like the soup bowl which has a divider which allows for two different broths. One being a bit spicier than the other. Price value was pretty good on the dish and the ingredients were of decent quality. I would have liked a much broader variety of ingredients. If this is aiming to be a great hot pot place (and to be frank I don’t know of any other in Zurich) there should be a menu to choose your meats, vegetables etc. from and different broths as well, depending on your mood. Still if you’ve never had it, it’s worth the visit, especially at these prices:
I took my scooter for a ride into the country and ended up in the middle of nowhere. There’s a convent on top of the hill in St. Pelagiberg, and besides the church there’s a fantastic restaurant called Wirtschaft Pelagius. Now I almost felt bad when I entered the dining room, since it turned out that I was the only guest for Saturday lunch. I thought I’d compensate by ordering a couple of extra courses… Surprisingly two plates of amuse bouches are served setting an immpressive tone to the meal. I liked the “Flaade” I guess that’s comparable to a cheese flat bread. The second plate contained six impeccable amuse bouches, quite a lot to take on, but absolutely no complaints. First course was a sweetbreads with salad and a grissini. The grissini wasn’t as crunchy as it should have been, but the rest was nicely done, especially since all the herbs / flowers etc. coming from their own garden. The next dish was a silky light crepe filled with and bedded on some chanterelles together with a flan. The flan wasn’t my type of texture and lacking taste, I would have just left it off, but the crepe and the chanterelle were delicious. Main course was veal with vegetables. The star here were the Bratkartoffeln (sauteed potatoes), with some olives and dried tomatoes. Next time I’m really thinking about not ordering meat and just going for the potatoes. A nice touch in the mix of vegetables was the zucchini flower. The dessert of the day was okay, one thing was very weird. The sorbet was announced as a raspberry sorbet. I took a spoon and another and another and there was this weird garlic taste. First I thought I had something between my teeth, then I thought the spoon wasn’t washed properly and finally I came to the conclusion that it was actually the sorbet. I mentioned that to the waitress, she was a bit surprised. Funny enough she came back and told me I was right, it was a ramson (Bärlauch) and raspberry sorbet. Now this mix is a bit strange to spring upon guests without prior notice. Overall great meal, great location and actually if you look at it – great prices (also come to think of the freaking 250 CHF fine I paid riding my 125cc scooter down the Hulftegg into Baeretswil on a sunny day going a tad too fast, who puts this automatic photo machines in these horrible locations…):
And I couldn’t resist, since this village is in the area where I have fond and unfond memories, posting a picture someone else took:
Ploy Thai (Ex- Lemon Grass) is a neighborhood thai place in Wiedikon. Funny enough is that the restaurant’s web site has a completly different name than the actual restaurant. I actually had to ask if they were “Lemon Grass” and they confirmed that they had changed the name. It was pretty empty on a weekday and it filled with some Ex-Pats living in the area. I enjoyed my starter which was a beef salad (Yam Nuea), fresh ingredient and a nice heat. The Pad Thai had all the right ingredients and tasted like you’d expect. I was hoping for more Umami, crunchier peanuts and more of the scallions, I’d say that was an average attempt. Prices for two:
Fabrikk is a simply fantastic program of Karl’s Kuehne Gassenschau. Like the (now defunct) Duo Hinterletscht I came here without any expectations and was blown away. It’s a mix of acrobatics, fantastic stage scenes, theater, musical, stunts and swiss heart-warming feelings. Anyway I did try the food and the smallest line was at the Chinese Noodle soup counter. Even though this was the most exciting offering the soup wasn’t that good. It was lacking taste (no oomph to the broth) and I got the feeling, since it’s the same catering company which has been accompaning the Karl’s Kuehne Gassenschau unlike the show troupe this part of the happening has not stayed current. Anyway it didn’t matter, since the dinner was before the show. A must visit next year if you’ve never seen it.
The Restaurant Reithalle was my destination of choice for one simple reason, Christian Egger (former Tessinerkeller) is there cooking venison. I was pressed for time so I ordered a vegetarian plate (Which contains all the classic venison side orders) and a Papardelle with deer meat. I must say, while I still think vegetarians are missing something in their life and are trying to compensate deficits encountered in their childhood, the vegetarian venison option is great. A big plate of all the traditional side orders with mushrooms and homemade spaetzli is served. I really liked the rotkraut (red cabbage) it was one of the better ones I had eaten. The papardelle were nice as well and I liked the thrifty use of the deer meat. I didn’t come here because of the Reithalle, I came here because of Christian Egger and it was well worth it: