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K2 (Swiss Re), Mythenquai, Zurich

Salmon Amuse Bouche

Scallops

Venison

Autumn Dessert

Sometimes I get lucky. Besides the now defunct el Bulli, there are some other places I can’t just walk into. Swiss Re has a famed on premise restaurant, which is for employees, clients and guests. Interestingly there is a dress code here (suit and tie), which is strictly adhered to. The restaurant is called K2 and while at first I thought it was named after a mountain in the Himalaya, after looking at the room numbering scheme at Swiss Re, I’m not sure the mountain association holds. Anyway, I was excited to get the opportunity to have lunch here. A small amuse bouche is put in front of us revolving around a lovely piece of salmon. Next dish was much more intriguing, scallops with pumpkin, a creative and a very well balanced dish. Main course was a saddle of venison with venison tortellini. Besides being spot on taste, look at the presentation, you’d be paying top dollar in a proper public restaurant. To finish up the meal a tasty dessert made it our way, I forgot what the small cake was made of, since I was focussed on trying to figure out what the sauce draped on the plate was made of and my guess was rosehip (Hagebutte). A friend who works here told me that it’s a fantastic place and quite frankly I didn’t quite believe him at first, since he’s competing for the same position on our football team. I stand corrected, the only thing I would have preferred is the full menu, instead of the three courses which allow you to get back to work in 90 minutes. It is difficult trying to rate a place like this, simply because access is somewhat restricted and you can’t just waltz in here every day to make sure you get a good feeling for it’s consistency. If I was pressed I’d rate the place somewhere in the 16 point range (as per Gault Millau). Quite frankly, this is a major plus for Swiss Re as an employer. If I were to receive a fantastic job offer from two companies, one being Company X and the other one Swiss Re, hands down I’d pick Swiss Re. In terms of perks, the choice between fantastic lunches or reduced Reka Cheques is an easy one. As a matter of fact, I’m checking their job listings to see if they need a residential food critic with swiss army experience.

UPDATE: Seamus Egan actually reached out and informed me that technically I was in the Bistro which “is a light version from the Restaurant, we cook with simple products, new menu every day with fresh & good ingriedients.” So I guess I’ll twist another guy’s arm to get a followup invite – Sergeant (Wachtmeister) P from Appenzell I wanted to thank you for the great time we had in the Swiss Army Wiederholungskurse 🙂

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Posted by therealpickygourmet on 6 November 2011
3 Comments Post a comment
  1. 11/6/2011
    Blacky

    Is this the regular canteen for Swiss Re employees you’re talking about? I can’t quite believe this, considering the beats-Google-by-far menu and that lunch took 90 minutes (eating lunch at work usually takes me no more than half an hour).

    If it’s simply a restaurant located at Swiss Re I don’t get the point of how this should be an added benefit for employees. Is it cheaper for them to dine there? If so, who would want to dine at his employer unless he needs to? I’d rather just pick any of the other great restaurants in Zurich.

    Please elaborate, I’m wondering.

    Reply
    • 11/6/2011
      therealpickygourmet

      No – the K2 (or in this case the Bistro of K2) is a special restaurant, offering a higher class cuisine than the regular canteen (which in Swiss Re’s case is already pretty fantastic). To be fair I don’t know the prices, but what beats a high class onpremise restaurant ? The advantage of a canteen tends to be that it’s the quickest, hassle free place. Now you get the advantage of not having to drive across town and still have a worldclass meal. If the employees get a discount on eating here, even better.

      Reply
  2. 08/25/2012
    Alicia

    Actually, K2 is open to Directors and above and is part of the service (i.e. free) but is intended for senior or customer business lunches. We love taking good care of our customers and partners and that starts with food and runs right through everything Swiss Re does 🙂

    Reply

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