Posts tagged ‘Bern’
Restaurant Commerce is an oldtime instituion in Bern. My aunt und uncle would take me there every now and then for dinner. My lovable-yet-slightly-complicated-when-it-comes-to-eating uncle actually had a “Commerce jacket”. This was a special jacket he’d only where to Commerce, since after dining here every one would smell for some days. This day he avoided having to ruin on of his better ones by exosing it to undue olfactorial stress. Insides are all wood and the place has an almost parisienne feeling, since when you walk up to the door (with a reservation) there’s a sign saying you needn’t turn up inside since they’re fully booked (“Comlplèt”). The pulpo was okay I had a starte, nothing to write home about but together with the white Sangria it brings out memories of holidays in Spain (where I’ve never been). I went for the Paella a dish I really like and there’s nothing wrong here, the rice is firmly cooked, it has the right amount of peas and sea creatures. I never know what to do with my fingers so I always make a mess, but I guess this is part of the fun experience. Looking around the small dining room, this really seems to be a family place for virtually all Bern. From young kids to a sixtieth birthday, there’s a lot going on here. The owners’ kid’s running around and gives it a comfy atmosphere. Food might be not stellar, but it’s decent, prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is one of a kind:
In the middle of nowhere, the hotel Rosenlaui has found its niche. Near Meiringen and the Reichenbach waterfall (where Sherlock Holmes almost died) the hotel is part of the smallest town in Switzerland. There is nothing except the lovely hotel, which has been tastefully upgraded but is lacking classic luxury. Most rooms do not have ensuite bathrooms, but there is a game room, a reading room and a separate library. Dinner started of with a nice Riesling soup and was followed by a very fresh and tasty summer salad with some goat cheese. The bread which was served, however could have been tastier. Main course was a veal steak with vegetables and some potatoes. Now vegetables which is plural, was not quite met, since it was just zucchini and for some weird reason – cherries. The steak could have been a bit more tender and the potatoes could have been crunchier. Still – the red wine prices were very fair and the atmosphere one of a kind! Only downside was the sheer number of teutonic invaders, we were glad that sauerkraut was not on the menu. If you want to stay at this hotel you need to reserve very, very early. Still 250 CHF including a room for two is a great deal.
Do you know who Erich Hänzi is ? Would you be able to point out Martin Trümpler in a lineup ? Would you concur that Eric Winalda is the only other incarnation of Georges Bregy ? Do you think Young Boys sounds like a special interest group of an Irish All Boys School in the 1950ties ? Your answer shows your intimate knowledge of the Swiss Football League. BSC Young Boys was playing against Bilbao and your favourite lifestyle and culinary expert was invited to the VIP lounge which includes a dinner buffet. The issues with this buffet is the same as in most external catering situations, someone is optimising in the background… Most of the components from the corn salad to the Schupfnudeln were okay. But the underlying premise is the same as the army. A team of cooks assemble dishes aimed at feeding the troops not at pleasing the gourmets. It really wasn’t much different than what you would get at a Migros Restaurant place. Overall if you get sponsored tickets, take them – otherwise buy a decent seat, eat at a fancy restaurant and you get the better overall experience.
Waldheim caught my eye a long time ago and finally the chance arose to grab lunch here. The place was a quarter full and seats in the garden were freely available. The location is in the middle of nowhere, which is helping the availability of seats. Waldheim sports a business lunch at a hefty price. In the pursuit of fine dining and ensuring that our readers are well informed, we went for it. First up was a sandwich of buffalo mozzerella and tomatoes. Classic ingredients and a very tasty mozzerella were noted on the plus side. However the whole sandwich approach fell apart. It was a bit difficult to eat and it wasn’t a good idea. The accompaning pepper sauce gave it a nice little twang. Main course was beef with chanterelles served with a risotto. The main didn’t come together in terms of flavor. The sauce was simply to overpowering and the dish wasn’t balanced well. The risotto was okay, the dried tomatoes enhancing the flavor profile. Even the nice garden can’t save the day, the place is simply too expensive for what they offer. CHF 41 for this type of lunch in an obscure side road in Bern is too expensive. Compare it to the “Weisses Rössli” in Zurich which has 13 Gault Millau points serves a business lunch of the same level for CHF 29. It must be the high level of government workers which are invited for lunch by lobbyist why a place like this can get away with these prices. Just to prove my point, a former high ranking member of the consumer advocates group is dining next to us, why she wasn’t protesting the prices couldn’t be determined.
Luckily we had a reservation when walking into Fugu on a lovely late summer night. Fugu depcits itself as a Japanese-Thai crossover, but the menu (asides from the sake) makes only a minimal japanese impression. The appetizer, a homemade springroll with crispy duck meat and glass noodles was offending. No taste of duck, the noodles mushy and lacking any sensation – why wasn’t something fresh and vibrant added to the spring roll? The main course didn’t really give me a good vibe either. While the Yellowfish tuna was good, putting radishes on top is dumb. The crunchy and spicy radish completely overpowers the delicate tuna and the level of oil used in the Spinach Garlic Dip was way too much. Strange was the side order of tomatoes with honey and ginger. The sweetness of the ginger which was caramalized with honey overamplified with the slight sweetness of the tomatoes. The ginger would have been interesting on a dessert but not on tomatoes. Looking around the restaurant it seems to be clearly very popular with groups of women. This is always a bad sign when it comes to dining, since women rate calories higher than the quality of the food. Summarising it’s a run of the mill “pan asian” eatery, ideal if you need to invite your secretary for lunch, otherwise stay away. Prices were steep for Bern with 14 CHF for the spring rolls and 39 CHF for the tuna.
The Restaurant Seidenhof is located in the Laenggass area in Bern. Looking for a bite to eat, it has a lovely garden located under some big chestnut trees giving it plenty of shade. For lunch the place offers six menus all accompanied with your choice of one from four different salads. The waitress seemed a bit overwhelmed by waiting on four good looking men. That’s the only explanation as to why it took thirty minutes to deliver a cucumber salad with yoghurt sauce. It wasn’t worth the wait simply because someone forgot to add salt and pepper to the salad. After asking the waitress to check up on our food since now we were sitting down for 45 minutes finally our main courses arrived. The pork filet was dead on arrival, cooked to an arid texture. Again the vegetables were lacking salt and pepper. The place is probably good to drink beer in the shade but waiting 45 minutes for your main course when ordering from the lunch menu is a joke, especially if the quality of the food is abysmal. The dry pork filet cost a whopping 34 CHF.
Casa Novo is located on the banks of the Aare, the river snaking through Bern. If you reserve here on a sunny day, make sure that you get a table on the lower terasse right next to the Aare. The Fräulein Wunder you’re trying to seduce or the mother-in-law you’re trying to impress will all think that you’re a smooth player with excellent taste. The beef tatare was slightly disappointing, since the medium spicyness did not generate any hint of heat. The service for refilling our toast was impeccable and as soon as the basket was empty a new one appeared. Mains were very tasty veal liver cubes with a port wine sauce and vegetables. Nothing to complain, well executed food, however the side dish of Olive linguine was lacking a bit of aroma. The prices reflect the location, but when you look at the people jumping the bridge into the river and you enjoy the majestic flow of the Aare, you’ll be able to cope with the impact of the bill. The CEO of a major swiss telco company sitting behind us clearly indicates that Casa Novo is best visited on a company lunch expense account: