Review: Marée

1 May 2017

I will tell you right now, getting from Skopje, Macedonia to Vaduz, Liechtenstein, is not as easy as it sounds — especially on a public holiday in every country en route. I headed out on a flight out at 4.30am (ugh…) to Ljubljana then to Zürich, then by train and bus to Liechtenstein. I somehow made it there by midday. So how many people visit 4 countries before lunchtime?

But Vaduz, already a tiny town, was shut down this May Day — Vaduz, this great centre for celebrating the worker… Everything was shut. I ended up paying a ridiculous amount for the most disgusting lunch…cost more than nearly every meal I’ve had since Hungary… Welcome to Liechtenstein…

But a nice afternoon of strolling I headed out for dinner. Tonight’s destination is Marée, the 1-Michelin restaurant at the Park Hotel Sonnenhof up in the hills overlooking central Vaduz. That meant a hike up… A beautiful but steep hike… Got there eventually, knackered, but was treated with this view. Too bad it was raining, so couldn’t sit on the deck…

Walking alongside the cute modern art I went into the classy restaurant. I was seated in the nice dining room overlooking the town, another wonderful view. I ordered a martini and looked over the menu. I heard a discussion by one of the servers explaining what they should do when someone orders a gin martini with a lemon twist (as opposed to olive and vodka stuff). My German is far more functional than it’s been in awhile, odd…

They brought out a nice martini and I decided to go with the tasting menu, despite several ala carte items looking even better. But let’s see what happens. Funny I was overhearing both standard German and local dialect, as well as Italian and French from staff and adjacent tables. They didn’t ask me about language, so we spoke German only all night (tho I did interject in Italian later with the Milanese server). I’m surprised by that, and I’m surprised I could hold my own, make jokes and ask questions about ingredients…

After I finished the cocktail the food began to arrive. First up was a series of amuse bouche…

AB

Tasty stuff, especially the carrot foam with a spicy kick. The salmon was okay, a bit acidic. The “Asian style” quinoa not bad, but I always chuckle when something comes “Asian style”… A nice bread selection later we start with the dinner.

The first wine, which had a good pour, was an Argentinian white — which joined the first course, tuna tartar.

01-tuna tartar

Not bad, but the sauce was crazy salty. But tasty stuff in general. The next dish, with a Sicilian white, was something I really anticipated…

02-morel onions

Well, it didn’t live up to its billing. Morels were listed as the first ingredient but were sadly lacking. It was almost all onion… I wanted the morels dish in the ala carte and went reluctantly with the tasting hoping it would be enough here, but nope. Disappointing…

After that letdown I was starting to worry a little, as the other dishes did not look that interesting. With a Swiss chardonnay poured, we have sole rosettes.

03a-sole

Sole is never one of my favourite fishes, but this wasn’t bad. Cooked very well and sourced well, but again for me it’s one of the most boring fish. The pate was okay but bread was soaked… Sigh… Next up, with a red from Baden, was the quail.

04a-quail

Pretty good quail, cooked well. Not as good as at Costes Downtown from a week earlier, but not bad. The risotto on the side was really weak tho… I wonder if the holiday curse is hitting with some of the cooking… Oh well…that’s the end of the savouries already…

I’m in the Alps so I was also anticipating the cheese course. They had a selection of raw milk cheeses, but sadly only 1 local Liechtenstein, and the rest came from Switzerland to France…

05-cheeses

Not a bad selection, but with so much cheese I ran out of crispbread by half way and it was filling me up so much. Amazing when the cheese course is always the most voluminous of all courses in tasting menus in this region… Anyway, I was counting down to finishing this meal at this point, as service has also gone from quick and excellent to slow and spotty…

06-strawberry-rhubarb

Last item was a good strawberry and rhubarb dessert. I enjoyed it and was gonna ask for an after-dinner drink but it got so chaotic I decided to call it a night. Some good spots, but a mostly disappointing night. Again I think we paid for the view…

It was a fun walk in the dark down the steep hill back to the centre. Nowhere to stop for a drink as everything is SHUT. Great. Back to the room and to catch up on some sleep I guess…

Marée
Park Hotel Sonnenhof
Mareestrasse 29
Vaduz, Liechtenstein

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