Yves & Kaspar chez Monsieur Ibrahim’s Cafe Marabu, Werdstrasse, Zurich
I’m not sure you’ve ever been at the Cafe Marabu. Right next to the Werd Verwaltungszentrum this small cafe has been there for years. The most notable thing is that it closes at two in the afternoon every day. Two guys (Yves and Kaspar) decided to have a chat with Monsieur Ibrahim the man running the show and convinced him to let them use the place for a dinner event. I’m assuming this was one of the first pop-up restaurant events in Zurich. So an ecclectic mix of Zurich’s cool & handsome scene show up (yes that includes me) to a set menu dinner, all revolving around Zürcher Geschnetzltes. A regional winemaker (Rütihof, Stäfa) is present as well and I like the idea of going up to his table and tasting the wines before you order a bottle, a nice touch to the whole evening. The first course was a lamb’s lettuce salad with croutons and bacon. Now the croutons weren’t uniformly crunchy and the bacon wasn’t cooked a la minute, but at least the salad sauce was pretty good and I was willing to chalk down the lack of finesse on the salad garnishments to being prepared for the rush. The Geschnetzeltes was pretty good, I liked that you had the option of getting it with kidneys, which is the traditional mix. The kidneys were expertly prepared, just like the rest of the meat which was still tender and moist. The sauce tasted nicely of white wine, cream and shallots, but the binding wasn’t quite there, I would have enjoyed a more homogenous appearance of the sauce. The roeschti had a nice balance of potato taste, butter and salt, but was lacking a bit of crunch. The chef was devastated and apologized, so this was obviously an oversight and not something which had been planned. The event was fun, well thought out and if the food get’s a bit of tweaking, this could be very successfull moving forward. The dinner took me back to old times, since later int he night findoor smoking was allowed. And let’s face it a real swiss Beiz cooks a mean rösti and the men at the Stammtisch discuss politics over a Villiger Kiel or Parisienne Mild. The essence of swiss dining was captured in a single night and that says a lot to the care and dedication of the organizers. Hoping to see more pop-up events in Zurich’s dining scene.