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Posts tagged ‘Prime Tower’

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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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

Huehnerstall, Regensbergstrasse, Zurich

Wurstsalat mit Pommes Frites

There are limits to my reach my anonymous approach – I couldn’t get a table at the Clouds restaurant, since the place is already booked until December and rumour has it that the press was already invited to a pre-opening. A pre-opening is like a dress rehearsal and isn’t quite like the real thing. Since all my actions revolve around making sure that you my highly valued reader are given an accurate, factual and highly objective report, reflecting a real dining experience, I have decided to wait until the restaurant settles down, before reviewing. In the meantime I’m happy to present another gem I found in Oerlikon called the Huehnerstall. This literally means chicken coop, hence I was surprised that the menu consits mainly of Pizza and a couple of additional dishes. I was expecting wings, fried chicken, nuggets, satay, even yakitori and there wasn’t much to account for the name. I settled on a sausage salad with fries. I got a chopped up cervelat with salad, onions and industrial salad sauce with some french fries (which were okay). You got exactly what you could expect for CHF 14.50. Suddenly a guy in his late twenties walks in, wearing worksmen clothes, sat down at the bar, ordered a whiskey, got up and left again. So I guess this place is frequented less for its food but either for peoplewatching or a quick & cheap meal. Prices:

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