Posts tagged ‘Swiss’
Saturday night and my colleague I was supposed to meet is no longer responding, since apparently (which I learnt later) he fell asleep in front of the television. Anyway one of the options I had planned out was going to the Gaumenfröide event at Restaurant Mühletal at the Limmatstrasse near the Dammweg tram station. The restaurant is running a mixed crew, the old proprietor is serving his swiss lunches while at night a different team is responsible. They feature guest amateur cooks which get a chance at running a restaurant every now and then and call the event Gaumenfröide. This particular event made me curious since the food sounded enticing. I walked over here alone and – you wouldn’t believe it if it were a movie – an old friend from school drives by. We end up eating dinner together. The restaurant is real old school swiss and if gentrification continues the way it has, in about five years places like this will be featured at the Landesmuseum. There’s a set meal at these Gaumefröide events and your only choice is with or without dessert. We start with a lukewarm vegetable salad, I loved the Kohlrabi, would have liked a bit more crunch on the beans but overall a nice, heartfelt way to start a meal. Next was something called “Rys und Pohr”, a risotto with leeks and ramson pork sausage (Bärlauchbratwurst). If you ever asked yourself why some people call themselves “terroirs” this is why. Great sausage, great risotto (maybe a bit much cheese) – what else do you need? This was one of these main courses where afterwards I feel like spawning offspring of my own. The meal finished with an apple roeschti and cinnamon ice cream, the resident pomologist (someone who studies apples) wasn’t happy with the choice of apple, but otherwise nice. For a dinner with three people including beers, wine and schnaps we payed less than 200 CHF. I’m looking forward for more of these Gaumefröide events and am inclined to test the lunch menu since these are still executed by the former proprietor.
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:
Rifling through the menu there’s a page to explain who created and designed the dishes. This time it’s Stefan Meier from the renowed Rathauskeller in Zug. He has given his good name to vouch for the quality and the integrity of these dishes. The Zweifel Chips which were handed out with the pre-dinner Gin Tonic were lovely. My enthusiasm clearly showed and the stewardess gave me a second bag. The first dish was a slice of bread (still somewhat crunchy), a small green salad and a terrine of veal and tuna. The terrine was a play of Vitello Tonato, while I liked the idea, probably a regular Vitello would have been more to my liking. Still it was a smart play, since this can reach restaurant quality on a good day. Now I’ve given Swiss International Airlines quite some flak in the past for their weird choices of food they served (Montys, Aralimentare) and since it’s my favourite airline, I hate doing it again. Still, I’m obliged to impartiality. Next dish was a pike perch with ramson sauce, rice and vegetables. If you’re serving a play of swiss cuisine I’m somewhat at a loss what a daikon radish is doing paired with the fish. Looking at the dish and the wilted greens – would Mr. Meier have allowed this to have crossed his kitchen pass at his restaurant ? At least dessert was pretty good. It was a rhubarb mascarpone tiramisu which was very tasty. Overall I still like flying, it’s quiet reading, drinking and eating time, with no cell phone reception – but why can’t anybody solve the challenge of serving a decent main course on a plane ? Think of what your mother cooked and you would warm up. Why not try some Capuns ? It’s swiss, easily reheatable and tasty. Or a stew ? Hearty soup ? Hero Ravioli with grated cheese ? Fondue ? Wouldn’t you like igniting your own personal little burner to melt some cheese ? Or my favourite – Johnny.
I thought Swiss International Airlines had alread reached the Abyss, but apparently there’s an even deeper trench down there. On the flight back from Dublin to Zurich, my fellow travellers and myself were handed a cardboard box. Opening up, a rather pecuilar rolled up pizza looks at us. I took a bite and had to laugh, tasting the so called pizza made it clear that someone was playing a joke on us. It was simply ridiculous. The company making these is actually from Italy and specialises in innovative food solutions. They should be ashamed of themselves, and Swiss Int’l Airlines should be ashamed for serving their customers such a horrid dish with a penile appearance. Especially since on the flight from Zurich to Dublin some nice yoghurts and a muffin was handed out. Airline food and beverage directors……
The Greulich has a new head chef, which also brought a new type of cuisine. Instead of the flavours of Catalan, we’re now closer to home, echoing a trend of increased localisation in our globalised world. Feeling like experiencing what the new guy has to offer, I opt for the menu. Bread is accompanied by a small bouquet of cress and a pair of scissors. Slathering butter onto the bread, cutting the cress and sprinkling it on top makes a nice little amuse bouche. The quail breast was lacking a tad of crunch and I’m not a big believer of the brown nuts. But the frothy and airy celeriac soup more than compensated. The fish course was of very high quality, combined with beets and slightly comfitted, a masterpiece. The wine flight served with the meal made it obvious what was going to be the man course. The gingerbread aroma of the red wine called for venison and that was excatly what was being served. Perfectly executed, paired with a nice red cabbage, only the polenta bread didn’t satisfy me. I really liked the new Greulich, serving a modern, no thrills take on local swiss foods, with clean flavours, made me happy. Prices:
Right next to Limmatplatz the Restaurant Kornhaus has been around for a long time. Dated interior, faded trinkets which have hung in smoke for decades and patrons who have come to accept that they’re not allowed to smoke anymore. There is one absolut classic I always have when dining in Swiss restaurants, that’s the Gemischter Salat (mixed salad). This simple dish really shows the passion and skill of the kitchen. All the components were homemade and the sauce was okay, so it exactly matched my expectations. Interesting enough, the place has also invested in corporate identity and is showing off some neat coasters. For smokers, there’s a fumoir outside, which seems cozy enough even for winter. Since I went for a run in the morning, I allowed myself to indulge on the main course. Pork chops, with herb foam and french fries was the heart warming combination. Now the fries (of the curly kind) looked like they’ve come out of the freezer, but any mushiness was successfully fried out of them. Pork chop was drenched in the herb foam (unclear what herbs) and a tad dry. Nevertheless, I got exactly what I wanted, my expectations where met and this is a perfect example for swiss authentic dining. Compare it to a past-its-prime diner serving fat comfort food somewhere in the US. Prices were cheap for five people:
How bad does it get in terms of airline food ? Swiss Airlines have scored a new record. A pack of Mediterranean Chargrilled Vegetables from the well known british purveyor of fine foods Monty’s Bakehouse were distributed evenly among the condemmed passengers. Monty’s Bakehouse prides itself with the following attributes on its food:
• Product integrity
• 12 months frozen life
• Bake in pack
• Standard bake times
• Cool to touch – serve 45 seconds from baking
Taste, aroma and vitamins seem to have been forgotten. Biting into one of these fine products stirs mixed reactions between nausea and disgust. Funny to see that the stewardess was making herself a bowl of pasta and after inquiring if this concotion was for real, she apologetically replied that it wasn’t that bad. It is surprising that after Heston Blumenthal, Marco Pierre White and the irritating Jamie Oliver, the british food industry is still coming up with these horrible products. But even worse, this is a reason to stop flying Swiss if they think customers enjoy getting scammed like this.
The Johanniter is an institution in Zurich. It’s a place which has been around forever and it caters mainly to smokers, drinkers and staunch supporters of good old swiss food. Smoke-aged wood and a big bronze vat make up the decor of this place. There’s also a club upstairs (dancing) but it caters more to the more mature clubber which likes german folk music. Prices are very fair, food is decent and wait for it, it’s being served until 3:30 am. So the next time you stumble out of a bar in Niederdorf and want to grab a Kebab before going to Graebli Bar, head over to Johanniter for Leberli mit Röschti for CHF 13.90. It’s tastier, more fun and just as cheap. Since it’s still game season I opted for a venison Cordon bleu, filled with Appenzellerkäse and Prosciutto Crudo. I was quite surprised, I’ve never had a venison Cordon bleu and wouldn’t have expected to find something like this in the Johanniter. In all honesty – the large amount of alcohol before, during and after the meal somewhat clouded my tasting capabilities. But I had a great night, it certainly wasn’t bad and at the price of CHF 29.80 quite. This is an honest place, you’ll meet Tourists, Expats and the same lot of swiss people year after year sitting at the Bar – eg. Kari and Nemo, the guy who’s always looking for someone to buy him a beer.