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Posts tagged ‘Chinese’

Beyond, Zollstrasse, Zurich

Lightly fried dumplings

Scallion pancackes

Sliced pork, Beef Sichuan, Fried rice

Beyond is in a not so cozy sidestreet just next to the Zurich main station. I’ve been here a couple of times and one of the main drives was that I see busloads of apparently chinese tourists having dinner here. There are two types of menu, one an hommage to the fine dining establishment of Suan Long, calling out boring and dumbed down “chinese” dishes. The second one is a mix of english and chinese and has the much more interesting dishes. Now my dining companion was leaning more towards the traditional menus and we mixed and matched. A special notion goes to the scallion pancake, where the crispiness of the pan cake was nicely matched by the fresh crunchiness of the scallions, a great dish for people who have never had it before. It’s certainly not fine dining as in a romantic, first-date setup but if you’re looking for decent Chinese this is certainly in the top three in the Zurich area. Prices:

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Ly’s Asia Prime Dine, Hardstrasse, Zurich

Gedämpfte Wantan Chef Style

Entenlebersalat

Gebratene Ente mit Taro (Wasserbrotwurzel) mit einer dickflüssigen Soya-Sauce

The competition is intense and the attractive woman in her mid-thirties at the Zueritipp beat me to releasing an article on the Bayeischer Hof. Just like in Poker, I have to up the ante and strike back. The Ly’s Asia Prime Dine has been open for five days and your sturdy, but of elegant proportion food writer has already visted the place. It took me some time to figure out that it’s actually three restaurants in one. After being led to the table I see that the menu doesn’t have any of the dishes mentioned online, after I inquire why that’s the case I’m told that the Prime Dine restaurant is actually upstairs. So to get to where I want to be I need to walk through a Take Away, a regular restaurant before taking a flight of stairs to arrive at my destination. I am the only guest and pick a table with decent lighting overlooking the regular restaurant. Upon studying the menu I am somewhat surprised. Main courses reach prices as high as 98 CHF for lobster with truffles. For that money I’d better be blown away. A short research shows that the owner is (or used to be) affiliated with the Suan Long Chinese restaurant chain. Those who don’t know, that used to be the place which during the late 80ties and 90ties gave us average europeanized chinese food for sky-high prices in Zurich. I might not be impartial, since the only place I was ever kicked out off was a Suan Long restaurant on Langstrasse, nevertheless I went there with a very open mind. My first dish were the Wan Tan Chef style. They tasted of shrimp and scallop, but I would have liked to be thinner and silkier. Next dish was a duck liver salad. What I got was essentially two pieces of duck liver on pineapple. Not sure if the dish was chinese, it reminded me more of a french plate with some asian influence. I did like the use of coriander, it gave a nice contrast. My main dish was breaded duck with taro root and a thick soy sauce. The taro was a tad on the mealy side, and it didn’t add much in taste to the duck. Quite frankly, the food here is the Suan Long concept all over again. Average fare at obscene prices. You’ll get better dumplings at the Dim Sum takeaway at Platzspitz or the Luo at Stampfenbachplatz. The duck liver dish was a trivial attempt at french cuisine, but falling short in execution. The main dish didn’t rock my boat either, I do like to commend the noodles, they were nicely balanced in taste. Quit frankly if you want to bring chinese food in Zurich to the next level, why not surprise the city with the best dumplings ever ? Why not have a chef in the center make fresh noodles and be real novelty ? Offering Chateau d’Yquem at 550 CHF per bottle and other more expensive french red wines is tacky. Keeping in mind that I’m probably not the biggest bargain hunter out there, I do have my limits. Even if you forget my rant – are three average dumplings worth 33 CHF ? Bill:

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Ya Ke, Weststrasse, Zurich

Scharfer Kohlsalat

Yu Hsing Jou szu

Yu Hsing Jou szu

The Weststrasse is booming and the Ya Ke restaurant is aiming to profit from this fact. The original Glarnerstübli has now been replaced and is running as a chinese restaurant. A cabbage salad which sounded like Kimchi caught my eye. It was crunchier and sweeter, and certainly more surprising than a spring roll. The main menu is a lot like any other chinese place (matrix style – proteins multiplied by types of sauces) but something sounded interesting – Yu Hsing Jou Szu. Pork somewhat comparable to Szechuan but less spicy. Personally I’m not sure they’ll be successful in this location. The pair used to run a China restaurant for 20 years in Erlenbach, and the menu also looks a bit dated. Why not build on dishes like Yu Hsing Jou Szu, which can’t be found elsewhere ? Still prices were okay, the staff friendly and the owner is also the chef. Bill:

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Entenhuus, Alfred Escher Strasse, Zurich

Crispy duck skin

Crispy duck skin

Pancakes

Pancakes

Sauce and Leek

Sauce and Leek

Duck soup

Duck soup

Duck sweet and sour

Duck sweet and sour

Fried rice

Fried rice

Entenhuus is difficult to find, it is located on Alfred Escher Strasse. From the outside it always looks like it has closed up for good, the lack of a website doesn’t help to make that impression go away. Calling ahead to make a reservation showed me otherwise. We decided on Peking duck, which needs to be ordered a least two hours in advance. After sitting down, the duck’s crispy skin gets served together with the pancakes, plum sauce and thinly sliced leeks. I think this is a great dish, also because it is rather simple for an asian dish. The duck skin was excellent but the distinguishing feature was that the pancakes were homemade. The soup with mushrooms was nice and had a special taste which I couldn’t distinguish. The duck was then served in two dishes, one with sprouts the other of the sweet and sour accompanied with fried rice. Rather average chinese fare, nothing really exciting. However I thought the price was fair. 120 CHF for Peking duck for two is a fair price. Compare this to a chinese dinner at Suan Long and you’ll know why.

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Restaurant Chopstick, Langstrasse, Zürich

Fried Rice Chopstick

Fried Rice Chopstick

At the top of Langstrasse there are three Chinese restaurants. Now I tend to be a nice guy and am not know for being thrown out of places, but is has happened to me at the Suan Long. So this has reduced my options of fine chinese dining. I headed into Chopstick a place which serves Chinese, Malay, Indonesian and what-else-not food. The thing I like about this place are the interesting food pictures on the wall. Since living in Singapore I’ve really come to like good fried rice and if a Chinese place isn’t capable of making any – you might as well skip the rest of the dishes. So I’ve decided to give their Fried Rice Chopstick a go. I would have preferred it to be a bit more “fried” and have some more scorched bits in it as well as some more salt. I never like to add soy sauce to fried rice, since it makes it soggy. Hot, spicy chilli sauce is the only thing which qualifies as a condiment. This said – I still liked the fried rice, especially the way the carrots were cut, since I really enjoy them in the form of small strips. There were some shrimp (probably from dirty saltwater pools in Vietnam) and some meat thrown in as well. Overall it was a decent meal at a decent price:

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Le canard intelligent, Carouge, Geneva

Boeuf Sichuan / Poulet avec Gingembre et Ciboulette

Boeuf Sichuan / Poulet avec Gingembre et Ciboulette

Carouge offers a large variety of places and we were in the mood for chinese. What had caught my eye, was a place called le canard intelligent. It sounded like a great name for a chinese place, but I ended up a bit disappointed. It was your plain old boring chinese place to go for dinner. I greatly enjoy the pancakes filled with crispy duck, leek, cucumber and plum sauce, but the place here served a half chewy duck which tasted like tuna fish and the plum sauce was too thin. Too top it off, a guy walks in with his guitar and wails some french or portugese songs. Come on waiter – chase him out the door before the sauce sheds on my plate. But no, it’s even worse, the german tourists behind us smile and pay him a couple of francs and now he’s smiling at me. I used the same principle as with the guy in the tram asking for money and a smile (he’d seems to prefer the money though) and turned him down, otherwise this I’ll soon be enyjoing musical company everytime I eat my dinner. Back to the subject at hand. The main course was Beef Sichuan, Chicken with scallion and ginger and fried rice. The sauces were too thick, the sichuan boring and not spicy. I don’t even want to write about it, I might as well have stayed in Zurich at Suan Long, a truly horrible place in my opinion. The name raised my expectations greatly and I was expecting avant-garde chinese-french fusion cuisine, instead I get less then average chinese grub. Bill

L'addition

L'addition