Due to a technical issue some words got lost in the title. It should say Best Restaurant / Gourmet / Gastro – Blog in the Swiss part of the World. I’d like to congratulate my colleagues and my friendly competition for the hard work, dedication and relentlessness they’ve shown in the past year. This has pushed me to my limit, enticed me to dig down deep and tickled my creative innerself. I was on top back in the last rating and managed to successfully defend my title. I guess I’m a mix of Beat Breu, Chuck Norris and Thomas Linke. Touched by a bout of modesty, I can safely conceed that all this would have never been possible with all your support. To my male readers I’d like to say, that your rough charm, your capability of drinking vast amounts of hard liquor and your understanding of how the world works is what fascinates me of you as a reader. To my female readers I’d like to point out that you look like you’ve lost a pound, that those boots are a great deal and no, you’re not complicated at all. You think this is corny ? No, it’s simply an honest attempt at flattery, since without you there’s no point in my life as a blogger. From now on, February 28th is the “Real Picky Gourmet Reader Appreciation Day”.
My father had to face a harsh reality, he’s no longer the lead Silverback of the family. A younger, stronger male has taken his place. Finding himself with an abundant amount of time on his hands, I now get phone calls – midday at the office – inquiring about “hopeful, spousal candidates”. A group headed to the Restaurant Wyberg in Teufen. The reason we visited the restaurant wasn’t the semi-remote location (they offer a free shuttle back to the next train station), but the fact that they offer a “Chalber-Gourmet-Metzgete”. Essentially Metzgete translates to something along the lines of “butchery”, so they were doing a gourmet veal selection. Coming back to the topic of males asserting themselves. One of the diners – chef and restaurateur himself – looks at the Metzgete Menu which has 15 positions and says – I’ll eat them all. Obviously this had a cascading effect where others chimed in, all declaring that they’ll eat all of the dishes. I had a feeling how this was going to develop ahead of time so I prepared accordingly that day, to make sure I was physically, mentally and spirtually at my peak. In the morning I went to church and attended mass. There weren’t many people my age, the singing was timid and the hors d’oeuvre served was on the dry side, but I’m assuming that’s beside the point of spirtitual calmness. Ensuring my further mental balance I headed over to the Museum Rietberg to join a tour through three generations of North Indian painters where an attractive & accademically acclaimed woman led us through the exihibition. For gentlemen lacking a hopeful spousal candidate, this seems to beat speed-dating. The ratio of male to female in our group of eight was 1:7. I wonder if this fact leads to a surge in the number of visitors to the museum. After a brief detour home and further studies in gastronomy and food critque (RTL2, Die Kochprofis) I went to the gym. Interesting enough I think the crowd was the same as in church. Coming back to our small dinner, keeping in mind my thorough preparation, I bravely accepted the challenge, even though my co-diners outweighed and outtowered myself. We got down to business. The veal broth was intense, with a nice quail egg. The next dish was a play of a Satay, I liked the flavour of the sauce, but thought that maybe the rather delicate veal is the wrong type of meat. I was blown away by the veal cheeks with an apple chip and some piece of candied apple, simply a marvelous combination and my favourite one of the night. The fried veal head on top of tomato fell somewhat short, it was too fatty and tomatoes in February aren’t my thing. Also the veal tartare with salad and orange-mayonaise had a too sweet and fruity note for my taste. Veal sweetbreads with a delicate fennel chip, tarragon sauce and black rice was lovely. I had an interesting discussion with the chef who joined us later after our dinner. When I mentioned that I thought the rice was a tad overcooked he laughed and said yes he thought so too. If he’d be cooking in downtown Zurich, he’d have cooked it less, but here out in the country if he doesn’t cook it through, it gets sent back. The answer clearly showed that the chef has a high level of culinary skill, since it was a conscious decision and not just a random act. It continued on a high note, kidneys on lentils covered with a potato foam had a strong and full flavour, but none of the stench that it’s sometimes accompanied by, magnificent. Veal tongue came with a falafel and some pea puree, nice and a decent combination. Back up to heaven was a veal ravioli with morel sauce, I could have eaten a dozen, if it hadn’t been for the other courses to come. Voressen, which is a kind of ragout, came with a bit of mash and a flavourful sauce. I liked the small Wiener Schnitzel, a lovely breading, but wasn’t too thrilled about the potato salad which had a heavy mayo base. By now one of the co-diners was sweating profusely, he had hot flashes and his female companion thought he looked pale and should stop. He’s ego wouldn’t let him. The veal liver was okay, the roeschti wasn’t, it lacked crispiness and was a bit too soggy from the butter. I’ll be honest, by now the nice buttered piece of bread I ate before the dinner didn’t seem to be such a good idea after all… The highlight of the veal roast with prunes were the semolina half moon shaped things, which were slightly roasted in the pan. Finally (roughly 5 hours after we began) the last course appears – a fillet of veal with saffron sauce, tagilatelle and a scallop. I had to really reach deep down inside, but I managed to finish this plate as well. In hindsight it was too much, but it was a fun way of really experiencing all the dishes. I really liked the event, I thought the chef and the brigade showed a lot of talent, culinary intelligence and also they seemed grounded enough to pull of some pretty simple, yet amazing dishes (think veal cheeks). I ordered a homemade quince sorbet with vodka to finish off the meal and was amazed one last time. Prices were pretty fantastic (keep in mind this here was for eight people), the amount of alcohol is easily explained by two diners being restaurateurs having the next day off and two other diners playing in a death metal band:
I have sinned. Like every stout catholic, the mind is willing but the flesh is weak. After taking a trip to Bad Zurzach (swimming for the elderly), we decided to go rogue. Intrigued by the buying power, we headed deep into foreign territory and drove to Waldshut. First I thought I was in Waldshut but it turned out that it was actually Tiengen. After some bickering – after all I am the world’s best front-seat passenger and renowned navigator – we got back into the car and drove to Waldshut. Getting hungry (and desperate) we stop at a place called China Restaurant Mandarin. If you’ve ever wondered where German restaurants get their bad reputation this is a prime example. It’s a buffet affair, the dining room’s appearance reminds of a Columbo episode from the seventies and the food was simply revolting just judging by the looks. Sushi next to dessert on a Chinese all you can eat buffet ? It just fullfills every cliche of germans embracing price over any other quality attribute. We drove on to Waldshut and most of the places seemed shut, so we head into a place called Sawasdee. The place is cold and half full on a Sunday night. I order a half-moon, a kind of flat bread topped with cucumber salad and a bit of stuffing, a dish I’ve never had before. It was clearly made fresh, it was interesting and had a decent taste, the fresh cucumbers balancing the salty- and crunchyness. I also ordered a Pad Thai Gai (chicken), it was slightly different than from other nice Thai restaurants, but expertly balanced in taste. It wasn’t as strong flavourwise, but I can’t stress the fact enough how every component went beautifully along with each other. Honestly, I was very surprised to find such a decent Thai place in Waldshut. It wasn’t expensive at all (approx 70 CHF), the interior could do with a remodel, but for a unpretentious meal you’ll do pretty good here:
I have driven past the Team Room Siesta and I’ve never noticed the single-story, bungalow type building next to the Letzigrund stadion. Field studies with the female followers I meet in bars, clearly showed that besides talking about my vast experience of fancy fine-dining places, showing my down-to-earth-side resonates tremendously with hopeful spousal candidates. To build my experience strategically in that area, the Tea Room Siesta was a perfect choice. One of the key quality features is if there’s an abundant supply of Blick available, and here a half dozen (plus other publications) lie neatly arranged on a table at the entrance. The crowd is middle aged, equally blue and white collar and all are looking for a tasty, cheap and quick meal. The soup and salad were acceptable, nothing special and not homemade. A real nice surprise was the Kaeseschnitte. The only thing I would have changed is use a real piece of bread instead of toast, but otherwise it was lovely. You could really taste the white wine which was used to douse the toast, the raclette cheese, ham and fried egg were a great lunch. The real burner – the whole thing was a mere 16 CHF! I’ve found my new favourite lunch place! And it get’s better. One of the waitress actually lit up a cigarette behind the counter! This is real old school and exactly my type of place, they make their own rules. Great value for money (considering you also get a salad and a soup):
A group of distinguished food enthusiasts, the Sociéte des Connaisseurs Schaffhouseois, were looking to add class, tasteful humour and an air of sophistication to their regular meetings. What was the solution to their wish ? They invited the real picky gourmet to join them for dinner. We headed to Didis Frieden and started with a nice Tafelspitz on beets, with some horseradish-apple puree and potato straw. An interesting dish, since the rather salty potatoes worked nicely with the sweet beets, I would have preferred a bit more punch on the horseradish, but a nice starter. My main course was an Entrecote with zucchini, tomatoes (not very seasonal) and potatoes. I enjoyed the meat it was cooked very nicely and clearly showed the excellent skills of the kitchen. The most surprising thing of the dinner was when a very friendly gentleman from a class reunion living in Herrliberg (apparently a neighbor of Mr. Blocher and Mr. Federer) got talking to us and invited us to a round of beer, because we looked liked proper gentlemen. The restaurant is still functioning at a high level and the food is absolutely on par, the other patrons are friendly and the chaps from the sociéte good company. An evening I’ll repeat rather sooner than later.