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Clouds, Prime Tower, Zurich

Calamares-Carpaccio mit kurz gebratenen Jakobsmuscheln und Chorizo

Maisveloute mit Salz-Caramel-Popcorn und Kapaunbrust

Raviolone mit Büffelricotta und Eigelb auf Blattspinat und Trüffelbutter

Zanderfilet auf Lyoner-Kartoffeln mit Salbei-Wirsing und Paprikajus

Dessert vom Wägeli

A steady drop hollows the stone is an old german saying. Thanks to my bravery, conniving personality and persistence I present you with the first formal review of the highly anticipated restaurant Clouds on top of the Prime Tower. As pointed out before, my anonymous approach has its limits when you try to snag a table at the most sought after hot-spot. It actually took me multiple tries (once I even showed up in person and waited in the lounge to no avail) and a bit of luck to get a table. I seldomly talk about the setting, but Clouds is a different story. If you’re into railways like myself, it is a fantastic place, since you’re looking at Zurich HB like you’ve never have before. The view alone is worth a visit (I’ve attached a picture at the end). If you’re planning on getting married, want to impress out-of-town folks or are trying to show that speed-dating acquaintance how urban you are – this is the place to go to. It doesn’t have much heartfelt soul and the crowd could be any business crowd in New York or Berlin, but it oozes sophistication and it just fits Zurich and the Prime tower perfectly. Before starting my meal I was slighltly put off since one of the long obelisk shaped breads I tasted had fruit and nuts in it. That would be nice for cheese at the end but I thought it was disturbing at the beginning. I start off with a Calamares Carpaccio, scallops and some chorizo. I liked the dish, especially since the chef showed a lot of balance and restraint in the use of the spicy sausage, as well as the delicate presentation of the octopus. Next dish was a corn veloute with popcorn and kapaun (castrated rooster). Now when it was served I was told it was a “Maispoularde” and some of the corn kernels were a tad chewy. I think here there’s room for improvement in menu description and execution. The slightly deconstructed Raviolone revolving around and egg in the middle, topped with cheese slices & truffled sauce while resting on a bed of spinach was a fun and tasty course. I was slightly perplex, when the waitress offered to shave some more Perigord truffles on top, I declined for the reason of me being not the biggest truffle fan, but it certainly was a generous gesture. Looking around the dining room it seemed that every main course is served with sauce, which is brought to the table in a seperate container and then artfully poured over your plate. So the same was true for my pike perch on savoy (wirsing) and potatoes a la Lyonnaise, accompanied with a jus made of peppers. The only criticism here were that I thought the potatoes were more like chips and were fried too much for my taste. I felt that the peppers sauce elevated the dish and highlighted the fish. For dessert I picked some small tibits off the Wägeli (cart). I’ll come right to it, I never though that with two acclaimed chefs in the kitchen this could work and to be honest the place is pretty fucking fantastic. I could sit for hours and stare out the window at the trains, only to be interrupted every now and then with a tasty course. There is still room for improvement, so if I’d have to guess I’d say they’ll be looking at 15 to 16 Gault Millau points moving forward. Whoever came up with the concept here deserves praise and I’m willing to bet a good bottle of Champagne, that Clouds will be a Zurich hotspot for months to come. Prices were actually okay for all the food I ate:

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Real-life Märklin feeling

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Hummerbar, Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich

Hummersuppe

Fettucine

Zanderfilet

Tiramisuvarianten

Hummerbar is classic powerhouse dining. Without a jacket you’ll still be welcomed, but you might feel a tad out of place in this rather traditional establishment. The atmosphere is formal and most of the staff has probably been working here for years. Looking around the room, it’s a classic business crowd with a couple of local mover & shakers present. I’m the only one wearing Jeans, but I read that handsome men get away with anything and noone complained. This might sound arrogant, but you’ll need a bit of a healthy self-esteem to feel comfortable here. I start out with one of the classic dishes – a lobster bisque. I liked the pieces of meat which were delicately arranged before the soup was poured from a beaker, making this a slightly updated version of a very classic dish. My next course were some homemade Fettucine, which apparently is one of the signature dishes of this establishment. I was underwhelmed, the pasta was too thick for my liking. My main course was pike-perch (Zander), which was a nicely cooked fish on top of some Gnocchi and mediterranean components. If you look at the plate, the colors were very vibrant and I appreciated the artistry of the chef who composed this plate. Dessert were a couple of Tiramisus of different sorts. I’ve forgotten what they were, hence they weren’t that memorable. Place is expensive and I’m willing to bet that most people who dine here do it on their expense acccounts:

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Restaurant Schlössli, Kaeferholzstrasse, Zurich

Steinpilze auf Toast

Zürcher Arischtokrategricht

Leberli mit Rösti

Rieschbacher Öpfelchuechli


I almost never write a second article about a restaurant, but the Restaurant Schlössli has earned one. On a cold and stormy night, a lonesome traveller searches refuge from the weather in an Inn close to a cemetery. A massive building a top of a small incline presents itself to the hungry protagonist and offers shelter. When I walked into the dining room I was the only person there. I politely asked if they would still serve me dinner and they were very welcoming and friendly. It was a bit odd having the owner and the waitress fussing over myself, but I felt amply comfortable. Porcini on toast were my first appetizer and I tucked in, everything was fine, except maybe a tad heavy on the sauce, less would have been more. One of my favourite old school dishes (which I discovered right here at the Schlössli) was next, the Old Zurich Aristocrats dish. A piece of sweetbreads on top of a pastry filled with spinach. Special, delicious and pretty one of a kind, this really shows why even “normal” restaurants can excel at what they’re doing if they just care enough! The ease with which the sauteed calf liver with roeschti made its appearance, the liver having the right springiness and the roeschti the right crunchiness was another testament to the strength of the kitchen. But the real killer was dessert. Without even looking at the menu I ordered “Rieschbacher Oepfelchuechli”, something which I knew was one the menu before. After a couple of minutes the waitress reappears and says that they didn’t have the apricot sauce, but would use a plum one instead. The dish was then served by the chef personally and he asked why I knew about it. I found out that it actually wasn’t on the menu currently and he had made it specially for me. How touching! The last time I was feeling this good was when my mother looked at a drawing I had made in Kindergarten and told me that I had immense talent and that she couldn’t have thought of a nicer painting. Quite frankly – I don’t get why this place is half empty. It has great skill in the kitchen, a very attentive service and a menu (which is a bit too large) with traditional dishes you’ll find nowhere else. I think this calls either for Daniel Buhmann or Gordon Ramsay, since I’ll be back anyhow but we need more patrons here. Prices:

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Yen’s Restaurant, Hallwylstrasse, Zurich

Chirashi

Kushiyaki

Hongkong by Night

Against better judgement I went to checkout Yen’s restaurant. I was hesitant for the fact that they had a Dein Deal or Groupon offering and very seldomly do decent restaurants show up on these marketing channels. The reason I went there was really because a good friend’s wife is called Yen, so it seemed like the restaurant can’t be that bad. I sat down and was pleasantly surprised how friendly the people where. The menu carries a Japanese and an “Asian” section. I’m always turned off by something called “Asian”, that’s like going to a “European” restaurant, it just doesn’t do the diversity of the continent any justice. I started out with three tuna sushi pieces and a plate of Chirasi, essentially raw fish and vegetables on top of some sushi rice. I was very pleasantly surprised, if you like going to places like Yooji or similar, forget about them come here to taste great sushi. The quality of the fish and the rice were pretty good, this certainly was one of the better sushi meals I had in Zurich. The next dish was a Kushiyaki, some beef skewers with salad. I wasn’t too happy with the texture of the meat (could have been grilled a bit more) and taste was too subtle for my palate. The main course didn’t quite meet the expectations I had, it was Hongkong by Night, a duck dish with a sauce and rice. This is the same old Suan Long cuisine you’ll find in most “Asian” places. I’d recommend the place for pretty good sushi, making the advice to stick to the Japanese part of the menu and you’ll do great. For the first time ever am I inclined to say, if you grab a Dein Deal / Groupon voucher for a Sushi plate here, that’s actually a pretty smart choice. Prices:

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Huehnerstall, Regensbergstrasse, Zurich

Wurstsalat mit Pommes Frites

There are limits to my reach my anonymous approach – I couldn’t get a table at the Clouds restaurant, since the place is already booked until December and rumour has it that the press was already invited to a pre-opening. A pre-opening is like a dress rehearsal and isn’t quite like the real thing. Since all my actions revolve around making sure that you my highly valued reader are given an accurate, factual and highly objective report, reflecting a real dining experience, I have decided to wait until the restaurant settles down, before reviewing. In the meantime I’m happy to present another gem I found in Oerlikon called the Huehnerstall. This literally means chicken coop, hence I was surprised that the menu consits mainly of Pizza and a couple of additional dishes. I was expecting wings, fried chicken, nuggets, satay, even yakitori and there wasn’t much to account for the name. I settled on a sausage salad with fries. I got a chopped up cervelat with salad, onions and industrial salad sauce with some french fries (which were okay). You got exactly what you could expect for CHF 14.50. Suddenly a guy in his late twenties walks in, wearing worksmen clothes, sat down at the bar, ordered a whiskey, got up and left again. So I guess this place is frequented less for its food but either for peoplewatching or a quick & cheap meal. Prices:

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Gasthaus Hofwiesen, Hofwiesenstrasse, Zurich

Brettljause

Kasnudeln an brauner Butter

Tafelspitz KLASSISCH !

Kleine Käseauswahl

Kernobstkochtes mit Sauerrahmeis

Ever since I met one of the Zueritipp editors, they’re sticking it to me every now and then. There are a couple of places where they beat me to the punch. But tickling the tiger can be contraproductive and like Asterix against the allmighty Ceasar, with wits, speed and a secret ingredient I managed to discover a small gem called Gasthaus Hofwiesen. It’s an Austrian restaurant run by the same team which is taking care of the Monte Primero on Wolfbachstrasse. It has a rather modern interior and it sports a cigar lounge, which is a nice touch after the Buvette Philipp has shut down. First thing I notice is the friendliness of the staff, I’m unsure wether it’s because the guest to staff ration is low or because it’s an austrian thing – I guess time will show. When I’m asked if I want a Brettljause, I look a bit startled and was told that this is a board with meat, pickles, radishes and a spread to take off the edge while I look at the menu. The tibits were nice, especially the bread, albeit a tad low on the salt. My next course were some Kasnudeln which is essentially a form of ravioli with brown butter and a delicious slightly confied tomatoe – nice touch. The star was the Tafelspitz with potatoes and horseradish. At first I was a tad disappointed that the potatoes weren’t crispy, but they worked perfectly and the soft onions gave it a nice tangy bite. The meat was flavourful and the horseradish used sparingly without overpowering. I was still hungry so I went for the cheese platter of Austrian’s finest. After tasting it I can safely conclude that besides skiing, cheese is another thing the Swiss are better at than the Austrians. I finished off with a compote and some sourcream ice cream a nice palate cleansing finish. I liked the place, I liked the service and I enjoyed the food. There is clearly attention to detail and a hand in the kitchen who knows what they’re doing. Prices:

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La Salle, Schiffbau, Zurich

Graved Lax aus Schottland mit Honig-Dill-Senfsauce

Kalbsleber mit Schalotten und Kräutern, Gemüsebeilage

So I’ve been to a couple of different places, but La Salle was a new one for me. I’ve never been to a proper restaurant which was this chilly. I know it’s difficult heating a big vast space, but quite frankly I don’t want to be cold when eating dinner. I start of the meal with a salmon and a honey dill sauce that goes with it. It was a collection of rather unelegant and chunky pieces of salmon with a rather normal sauce. One of my favourite swiss dishes is liver, hence I selected the sliced liver with vegetables. Seasoning was okay, but the liver wasn’t. The pieces were cut unevenly, so some of them were cooked through while others were still raw on the inside. Rather disappointing for such a staple swiss dish to have been executed so sloppily. I actually decided to skip dessert and headed to a bar for drinks, to make sure any potential liver bactiera were doused in alcohol. Prices:

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