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Posts from the ‘Lunch’ Category

Facefood Cafe, Hohlstrasse, Zurich

Menusalat

Seelachs mit Spinat und Kartoffeln

It seems that Social Media restaurants are becoming the next new thing in Zurich. After Wurst und Moritz a place called Facefood Cafeopened next to the Gueterbahnhof. I wasn’t expecting much, since it took me three attempts to eat here. On the first one they were closed (opening times weren’t updated) and apparently they don’t serve food in the evening (chef was already home) so I tried it for lunch. I was planning on going for the gourmet hot dog, but at 9 CHF with fries it didn’t think that was going to be a full meal. The menu salad was served with sauce on the side, which had too much garlic and was too thick. The main dish was a pleasant surprise. The fish was still moist, the potatoes nicely cooked and the spinach was seasoned expertly. There might not be a salad sauce expert in the kitchen but for a quick lunch this was certainly a good attempt. The only question raised was if the Corporate Identity of the Cafe is acceptable to a certain social network ? Anyway you can use their page to submit suggestions and other input, interesting too see how this develops as a next level of client interaction in the swiss gastronomy scene. Prices:

Rechnung

Silberkugel, Franklinstrasse, Oerlikon, Zurich

Interieur

Silberbeefy mit Chäääs

There’s no real reason to revisit the Silberkugel, since nothing has changed. But there is a real fear which is gnawing away my nerves. There could be a day, where Silberkugel ceases to exist. The staple of Swiss fast food, the pioneer of giving lonesome smokers a social network at the Raucherbar, the only place I know which was successful selling cold ham & cheese sandwiches. Walking in here I wish I had a fancy camera with me. The red tiles, the Rivella sign and the menu written by hand gives it a great feeling, which could be part of an exhibition at the Landesmuseum. It really seems that I’ve grown, I’ve moved from the Original to the Silberbeefy with Chääs and it’s a pretty decent burger. The meat won’t win any prices, but the combination with the orange mystery sauce and the cabbage works for me. And still, when leaving the source of so many countless hours of good memories, I still can’t shake the dash of sadness, that it might have been the last time. Who knows ?

Tea Room Siesta, Badenerstrasse, Zurich

Gemuesesuppe

Menusalat

Walliser Käseschnitte

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):

Rechnung

Restaurant Alte Post, Schaffhauserstrasse, Zurich

Kartoffelsuppe

Gemischter Salat

Eddy Hackbraten Exquisit

The Alte Post in Seebach, prides itself on being one of the few swiss restaurants with real soul. The interior certainly sends a clear statement, this is old school swiss Beiz. Dark wooden walls, a sign forbidding to play Jass after 6 pm and an abundant supply of Blick newspapers would make this what some people call authentic. First I have the soup of the day which is made out of potatoes. I’m willing to bet that Aromat or another comparable flavor enhancer is sprinkled generously upon the soup. All while I’m eating the Abfahrt (Men’s downhill) is being broadcast on the television and the few other patrons (male, swiss, > 45) strike up a discussion of the good old swiss skiing days. It does feel like old times, since Defago snatches the top spot just ahead of fellow swiss skier Küng. I turn my attention to the mixed salad. While not bad, it is lacking effort and I believe it’s been made since this like the last 20 years and is lacking anything to get me riled up. The staple dish here (Menu number three) is Eddys Hackbraten Exquisite (believe me I didn’t make this up), which I had ordered together with some fries. Interestingly enough it is also served with a selection of three vegetables. In all honesty, the Hackbraten is so-so at best, my mom’s or the one at Tre Fratelli are way ahead. But for the price of less than 20 CHF, there isn’t much too complain, especially if you get a complementary copy of the Blick to read during your meal and watch a swiss guy win a downhill ski race. I would like to point out the picture dictating the Jass times:

Kein Jassen nach 18:00

Wirtshaus Fünfländereck, Rathausstrasse, Berlin

Berliner Bitok

Wirtshausschnitzel

Bratkartoffeln

Unexpectedly, stumbling into decent restaurants is what makes my day. I’m very interested in modern german history (late 19th century onwards), so I started off my trip by visiting the Stasi Museum. I couldn’t resist the lovely stall outside selling meat and over the counter take away offering they had in the shed next to it. I went for a “Pferdebulette” which is a horse burger for a mere 1 Euro 50 with a nice bread and mustard. It’s not often that I head to a museum in such a good mood. The museum itself was somewhat bland since it’s currently residing in a side building and it focussed too much on the technical gadgets. Important topics such as the Rosenholz Dateien are not even mentioned. Oh yean and they wouldn’t let me into the Stasi archives either, since I did’nt have an appointment. How very german. But you’re not reading this blog since you wan’t me ranting about museums in general, you’re interested in my experiences in the world of dining. Wandering back I first picked up a sweater at a local department store since I had tickets for two Berlin Unterwelten tours in the afternoon and thougt I might be cold. Let me tell you something, I did the standard tour 1 and tour 3. Three is not as spectatuclar for a swiss guy, since you’ll most likely have spent time in similar bunkers in the army (except for the one where the whole subway station transforms into one). The first tour is fantastic and I even went so far as to give the tour guide a golden handshake (slipping him a Euro bill) since he was rivetting, interesting and entertaining. If I were a billionaire, I’d donate a hefty chunk of cash to this simply fantastic organisation. But again, I’m missing the point. I walked to a place called Wirtshaus Fünfländereck which I saw when taking the taxi to the museum. I was literally the only guest and even asked if they were opened, but she replied sure no problem and that they’re serving food for lunch. Another two guest appeared about 30 minutes later, but that was it. Now I keep making the same mistake in german restaurants, I apply my swiss baseline of prices and serving size which tends to lead to surprises. Keeping in mind that I already had a horse burger I see something on the menu which catches my attention since it’s pitched as a small thing to eat while drinking. So as an appetizer I order Berliner Bitok, whicH are meatballs, mustard and a pickle. They were homemade, of decent quality and just a bit too much to start off a meal. My main course was a pretty good Schnitzel accompanied with sauteed potatoes (Bratkartoffeln) a staple german dish. What pasta is to italian sons, Bratkartoffeln are to german boys. I’ve once seen a program on television where the crew of a large german freighter went into full-fledged mutiny, since the Smutje (boat cook) couldn’t make Bratkartoffeln. Anyway – they were great and so was the Schnitzel. The whole course was dubbed Wirtshausschnitzel. Only downswide was, that I didn’t finish them since it was too much. Prices (for a swiss perspective) were cheap:

Rechnung

Restaurant Adelboden, Steinen, Schwyz

Auster

Thunfish und Hacktätschli

Jakobsmuschelcarpaccio

In Nussbutter gebratene Eglifilet aus dem Zugersee "Fräulein Speck", mit Quinoa, Kapern und Orangensalz

Ochsenschwanzravioli mit Nussbutter und Jahrgangssbrinz

Confierte Muoathaler Kalbsbrust und tranchiertes Rindskotelette mit Bergkäse Tortellini

I’ve told the story before, that I found out the day before it was announced that Franz Wiget of the Wiget Adelboden was named restaurant of the year. I tried to secure a table, so that I’d be able to outdo the press but I was out of luck at such a short notice. Being a fierce scooter driver, a couple of weeks later after waking up (I was on vacation) I decided at roughly 10:30 am, that I’d head over for lunch. My testicles (albeit manly and large to start out with) lost a bit in diameter due to the severe cold in riding over an hour to this godforsaken place in the Kanton of Schwyz. To avoid any concerns with my vast and loyal female readership, they have fully recuperated in the meantime. I get a nice table just next to an old tiled stove in a dining room filled with wooden panels. I forgo the menu and order a mix of a la carte dishes. A flurry of appetizers and dishes make it my way. The chilled oyster was excellent, with a tad of vinaigrette served on top. Second was a lovely meatball paired with a nice piece of tuna. I wasn’t a big fan of the scallop carpaccio, not just because I’m not too big a fan of raw scallops (one has to try every now and then) but also because I found it somewhat weird when I looked at the restaurant. It prides itself on a strong “Schwyzer” heritage, calling out all kind of local producers and then still offers these kind of dishes. For me this felt like a slight disconnect. My favourite dish was the Egli filet (European perch) from the lake of Zug “Fräulein Speck” sauteed in nuss butter, with Quinoa, capers and orange salt. Perfect balance of the individual flavours, a good take on local produce (minus the Quinoa) and strong skill behind the stove. The next dish was one I just couldn’t leave out, since I truly love oxtail raviolis and these one were pitched as having been refined with vintage Sbrinz (swiss hard cheese). Maybe my expectations were too high, but the ones I had at the Taggenberg were better, since I felt they were richer and deeper in flavour. Nothing to complain on my main dish, confied calf breast, beef chop and a tortellini in terms of flavour. It was a rather traditional dish and not as refined as the Egli, but solid. This often makes sense since by now you’re already a bit tired from all the earlier dishes. I won’t comment on the desserts, since my blogging buddy from the Dessertblog does so with much more skill than I do. Overall I was slightly disappointed, since my out-of-proportion expectations were not met in every course. One of the things which I didn’t quite get was the 72 CHF price tag on the meat course, I thought that was over the top. Prices:

Rechnung

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