2 May 2017
A very long afternoon wandering around Zürich and I was knackered. And tomorrow I head home after a long trip. I’m worn out. My hotel near the train station is a total joke. Apparently they did not have an iron that day… The room looked like something from National Lampoon’s European Vacation…
In any case I went to dinner at another of Zürich’s 1-Michelin restaurants, EquiTable. I was early, so I ended up in a gin bar around the corner called 4 Tiere, and was pleasantly surprised by their gin selection and their dedication to classic cocktails (including many that have fallen out of favour). I enjoyed the very floral gin in my well-made martini. But dinner calls, so I headed around the corner.
A chic little place, I immediately liked the place once I sat down. Friendly and efficient service meant things moved very well as the place got more busy.
First up was the cute bread service, including a cut-your-own-sprout thing. I happily went with the full tasting and pairing and I felt good about this already.
The first amuse is a cute spinach root. Tasty too, a nice presentation certainly and delicious. Next up some freshly cooked asparagus.
Mmm, in season as it’s on the menu everywhere. Some linseed sauce on the side, not necessary, produce was excellent. And finally, a croquette.
Nice, it’s basically their version of a black pudding, filled with blood and rice. Very nice start! We soon moved into the main menu, starting with a fine local Gewürztraminer blend.
This is a nice presentation of char and beets. Lovely flavours and great visuals, the roe was also excellent. Great balance of flavours! Only problem was the bowl made it hard to eat at the end. But a good dish!
I’m pretty happy so far and my expectations are much higher now. With a good pour of a local white we move into dish two — the rabbit terrine.
Again, I’m impressed by the balance here, as there are some strong flavours but they don’t cancel each other out or clash. Strong cooking skills and understanding of flavours, the rabbit was lovely. The liver was a nice surprise. Sorry this photo doesn’t really show that as it’s hidden under all the really good local produce! In fact one great part about this place is how good these produce tasted. And a perfect pairing.
I’m really liking this place now, may be challenging Seven Swans in Frankfurt for the best meal on this trip. With a bubbly poured the next course appeared — the risotto.
Well, it’s actually buckwheat with lots of grains and nuts — all under the herby egg. Not bad, the dish grew on me more with each subsequent bite. I really missed having more grains and nuts in my diet this trip, especially when not talking about the bread service. With another good wine pour we have the next item — pike perch.
Something I’m very familiar with as it is ubiquitous in north-east Europe, this was actually not that good. For some reason there was a strange flavour infused in the fish that just triggered “cheap tartar sauce” in my head. I hate tartar sauce in every shape and form, it’s the most hideous addition to food ever invented. So this didn’t do well in my head. The broth was good so that helped to “wash” some of that flavour away…
That was a hiccup in the cooking for me, but the service has been spotless. Another excellent wine pour and we moved into the meats — starting with veal rib.
This was excellent, lovely garlic coming out perfectly. Good texture, wonderful use of mushrooms. Just excellent cooking here, lovely flavours overall. I’m happy again! Then another red, this time from Austria, we have our last savoury course…
Wow. This is so amazingly tender and flavourful. This is meat from an 8-year-old milk cow. Amazingly good, better than any other old cow I’ve had in the past. They managed to bring the texture to something akin to a younger cow but the depth of the flavour is just excellent. Mmm…still drooling thinking about this dish. Tho the veg tasted funny…I got that weird “tartar” taste again… But that beef, wow… Easily one of the dishes of 2017!
Had a wee rest before we moved to the cheese course, and it was another fun one…
The watercress was nice, with apricot and others too. I like the balance with the paired grenache. Good stuff, the kind of cheese course I prefer to be honest. A pre-dessert of oates and honey and we moved to the closing number.
This was a fabulous dessert, from the white chocolate foam to the grass sorbet. Just lovely tastes everywhere, and you know I rarely praise dessert courses… A fine Mosel icewine to pair and it was a wonderful closing number.
I enjoyed a local firewater and chatted a bit with the staff and chef and thanked all of them for a fabulous night. Aside from 1 or 2 minor hiccups, this was excellent. Some fabulous dishes, the 2 meat courses were just awesome. Can’t praise this place enough, from the service to the wines. Very happy with this.
I have to say Zürich is getting a very good reputation for food in my head! Excellent, highly recommended!
PS: I headed home the next day knackered and hungover having returned to 4 Tiere for several drinks. Bad idea… But I ended up doing my “catatonia” thing for the 8.5hrs flight to JFK. Then running across Queens to LGA for a flight back home…