My regular cocktail drink of choice is Gin. Of course, I love a glass of wine with my food, but Gin can be a great pairing for food as well. I was so excited to be invited to the Tanqueray Drinks Club in Berlin featuring the boys of Salt and Silver, Atalay Aktas from Schwarze Traube and the Icelandic chef Victoria Eliasdóttir.
The venue for this event was INFARM, a startup based in Berlin that develops an “indoor vertical farming” system capable of growing anything from herbs, lettuce, and other vegetables, and even fruits. (read more about it in this lovely article from TechCrunch)
A beautiful place filled with plants and still with an industrial flair to it. The workshop tables were set with tools, gin, fruits, and herbs. I started sipping an old school G&T while I got a bit of an introduction to the different classes of Gin Tanqueray has.
Tanqueray has 3 different products:
The most usually seen around is their Tanqueray London Dry Gin. A gin with 180 years of history, including being the favorite Gin of Frank Sinatra ;) Its smell of Juniper it's so predominant. I find that the juniper note in Tanqueray London Dry is perhaps the most significant characteristic of it, I don't recall any other gin having that singular juniper note.
Tanqueray N0.10 was released in 2000, Tanqueray No. TEN gin is named after the small copper pot-still ("Tiny Ten") that is used to produce the spirit. This is the only gin (so far) that uses whole citrus fruits in its recipe.
Tanqueray Rangpur, my favorite of the evening. Named after the Rangpur lime that is included in the recipe. Rangpur lime isn't a lime but a hybrid of a lemon and mandarin orange. But this doesn't mean it is Lime Flavoured Gin (many think so) but the lime is distilled with the other botanicals.
The amazing Salt & Silver boys (who quit their jobs to travel through the world searching for the best waves, stories, and recipes) explained to us what was going to happen during the event and that Victoria was our chef tonite (you might know her from Dottir). My favorite restaurant in the world is Icelandic Korean fusion, and knowing she was the cooking, some little part of me performed a salto of joy!
The First two dishes were: Smoked trout on Icelandic flat bread, fennel, egg & garden cress And my ultimate favorite of the evening: Baked beetroot on Danish rye bread, beetroot labneh, horseradish, lavender, red shiso cress. Mouth-watering!
The second gin I had was Tanqueray No 10 with tonic and rosemary, delicious. It was truly fun to go to the bar and create your drink with the bartender. I grew very fond of basil and rosemary on drinks during the evening.
The next dish was a Marinated sole with red grapefruit, dill, khaki & shallots. It reminded me of ceviche. Ceviche with a twist. a great pairing of the gin I was having (first picture of the blog post) It was a Rangpur base, 50/50 soda, and tonic with orange zest and forest fruits. The citrusy notes on the drink and food were superb.
The last dish was actually made with gin. It was a lemon sorbet with Rosemary and Tanqueray. This I will try to make it at home. It was just sublime.
Food was eaten, and the DIY Tanqueray workshop started. The rules were simple:
Step 1: Choose your Gin
Step 2: Choose your Fruit
Step 3: Choose your Tonic
Step 4: Choose your Garnish
Step 5: Create your own T&T
And after a short explanation, everyone started making their own drink. It wasn't only a workshop, but it would be a price for the best T&T. Everyone jumped to the workstations and tried to make the most delicious drink of the night.
My favorite drink of the workshop was called "Sexual Healing" and even though it wasnt the winner of the contest, It was my personal winner!
As I never have pictures of myself, I found this one at the events site. I look so terrible in pictures, like I am mad or something, but actually I was just paying attention to my good pal Kai from INSEARCHOF and FIBER.
It was a great evening with amazing people and food, learning how to make cocktails while having fun. I can't wait to have friends over and make our own cocktails, or maybe even a contest as well? Do you make cocktails at home? have you tried all Tanqueray Gins?
I have been driving past BRICOLE for the weeks. Mostly I am in a hurry to pick up Pepa at preschool. (The restaurant is very close to it) So I added it to my "Food Bucket List".
Lucky me, Berlin Food Week organized a "Stadtmenü or City Menu" on the topic "Mushroom Parade" with over 60 restaurants, including BRICOLE, offering the opportunity to get to know the city in a new culinary way. Whether regional noble mushrooms, exotics from Asia or noble truffles. Whether three or four courses, with or without wine accompaniment, whether gourmet restaurant, down-to-earth classic, vegetarian restaurant or innovative newcomer, each of these restaurants interpret the motto for itself and implements it in the sense of its individual kitchen line.
OFF WITH YOUR HEAD, MAIN COURSE! Their menu does not impose a main dish but offers a selection of dishes that you can combine and order as your mood takes you.
You have a menu that contains about 9 to 10 dishes and you can decide if you want 3, or 5 or all. Your decision. The dishes aren't small though, be prepared to eat!
The first Mushroom was the truffle. While I got served some bubbles, appeared bread and a fluffy beaten butter sprinkled with truffle and sea salt.
The menu looked exciting and the wine pairings as well. The First dish was a Porcini ravioli with smoked celery broth and pickled radish and black walnut. A mouth-watering combination. I am a fan of ravioli, but then again, who isn't?
The ravioli was paired with a delicious Weißburgunder from Weingut Krebs 2016, Fine on the nose and complex with hints of meadow flowers, ripe apples, and pears. This is accompanied by a fresh hint pineapple. Full with a fresh minerality, two of my favorite qualities for a light wine.
The next dish was a poached halibut, savoy cabbage, turnip and morel foam. The fish was very well made. the softness of it combined with the airy morel was really good.
The wine they selected to accompany this plate was a Grauburgunder "Juwel" from Juliane Eller 2016. A strong Pinot Gris with a dense aroma of fruits like melon and pear.
A Spätburgunder was being served. From Genheimer - Kiltz Vintage 2014. A full and strong dry wine with a milder taste of wood, peach, melon, and gooseberry.
While enjoying this beauty, the duck breast with pumpkin cream, oyster mushrooms, and potato crunch did its grand entry. The duck was tender and juicy, and I really loved the taste of the mushrooms with the pumpkin cream. That bird was exactly how I like it. I am still thinking of it.
Paring the dessert, was a Huxelrebe Auslese from Albiger Hundskopf 2015. The Huxelrebe grape is one of the so-called new breeds. Their crossing is between the two white grape varieties Gutedel and Coutellier Musqué. It has a juicy, spicy taste with aromas of caramel, honey, mango, orange, and peach.
Very well chosen wine for the Kefir, aerated chocolate, candied chestnuts, and fermented tea gel.
I can't wait to see what next year's Berlin Food Week will bring, or which restaurants will be part of the Stadtmenü. But for sure I will be there. As for BRICOLE, I will go again and try some more of their dishes as the ones I had so far, At the Côtes du Rhône Gourmet Crawl and BFW were delectable.
Here I leave you with a small video of that evening. It is always nice to see the ambiance of a restaurant in moving pictures than in regular ones.
We all know what a pub crawl is, and last week, I was invited to the first Côtes du Rhône "Blogger Gourmet Crawl" we took a tour in several venues to eat and have some drinks at each of them.
As we learned with Paul Truszkowski, You just have to follow the river! Along the length of its winding waters, Côte du Rhône vineyards thrive across 171 rich terroirs and vineyards, A valley bathed in the generous sun with 21 grape varieties that are officially included in the appellation.
We started at the wine shop Wine ++ in Kreuzberg, where we savored a our first wine: La Ferme Du Mont 2016 Côtes du Rhône "La Truffière" This exquisite white wine combines all the charm of the southern Rhône with the elegance of the northern Rhône.
With scents of lime blossom, mint, tarragon and lemon zest, and taste of apricot and quince. The well-integrated acidity gives the wine freshness and balance.
We started munching these delicious bites. Nutty, veggie or bacon. the 3 different appetizers were excellent and between this and the wine, we were looking forward to see where this evening of "progressing dining" would take us.
We walked our way to the Falckensteinstraße, to the wine shop NOER. They make your wine choice easier, as they divide their assortment into five NOER wine types: Funatiker, Wachmacher, Verführer, Abenteurer & Entschleuniger. And we got the explanation of it while we had a Château Rochecolombe Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2015 - A blend of Grenache and Syrah. This gourmand wine is smooth and unoaked - tremendous quality and taste for the price! It has a blackberry aroma, and notes of fragrant herbs. Very Fresh mouthfeel, enhanced by smooth tannins and a breezy finish.
Wines are described by adjectives like "easy", "heavy", "tangy", "crispy", "fruity", "woody", "mild" or "oily". There are hundreds of nuances that can be expressed in this way.
NOER collected these words, condensed them and arranged them according to their effect on the different situations of pleasure.
Funatiker: slim to strong wines, fruity, uncomplicated.
Wachmacher: delicate, crisp, racy, invigorating
Verführer: delicate, gentle, subtle, fragrant
Abenteuerer: wild, mineral, expressive
Entschleuniger: strong to heavy wines, soothing, soft, fine spicy
Cheese and cured meats arrived! woohoooo love it! One cheese with cristals, a delicious terrine, salami, venison ham and 2 mouth watering soft cheese with olives.
To match the wild and strong flavours of the cured meats and cheese, we were presented to a Halos de Jupiter 2014. This would be in the category "Abenteuer", with 88% Grenache and 12% Mourvèdre that was aged in neutral demi-muids. Its shockingly deep purple color has notes of exotics spices, leather, and darker fruits. Full-bodied, rich and nicely concentrated, with fine tannin and notable, acidity.
Next stop was BRICOLE (blogpost coming soon with the delicious menu I had last month) and we started with a Vacqueyras AOC 2014. A wine produced on a very clayey terroir with stones from the Ouvèze river, the Grenache is dominant and develops a fleshy wine. It's typical aromas of chocolate, cherry and fig match beautifully with the Syrah.
The food arrived and it was astonishing. An ox tail ragout with german "knödel" with fava beans and créme fraîche sprinkled with Valrhona chocolate. Oh my! I loved it. The whole ensemble was perfect. Maria from IN SEARCH OF went with the vegetarian dish with goat cheese balls.
The last wine of the evening arrived dancing with the dessert. A Cötes du Rhone AOC E. Guigal 2012. This wine is deep and dark red. Full and round with smooth tannins. A full-bodied, rich and intensly aromatic wine with the taste of fresh fruits, red berries and spices. I found it incredibly elegant and pleasing.
The dessert was a out of the ordinary Créme Brûlée made with black sesame, plums, mascarpone and vanilla crumble. An awesome dish for the end of such a nice evening jumping around districts, drinking great wines and eating delicious food.
BLEND opened its doors last month in Charlottenburg and I was invited to an extraordinary opening event. The invitation said something about Charlottenburg, Bulli and Berlin. To be honest, it was Berlin Food Week so I really didn't had the time to read the invitation properly, but that was actually good, as I had no idea what was expecting me.
When I arrived, 3 beautiful vintage "Bullies" (or VW-Bus) were waiting for us.. or me as I was late. They received us with a delicious welcome gin and we jumped in our Bus and the fun started.
This was a tour through Berlin. YAY! I have been living here for over 2 years and I have never done one. We drove around listening to Berlin Facts and History of Berlin. (Now I know what the pink pipes around town are... wink..wink)
Our first stop was BRLO Brwhouse. A Beer Brewery and Restaurant with a beautiful "Beer Garden". The sun was shining and it was just beautiful. I learnt finally how you say the word brlo and the meaning of it. It is actually slavic for Berlin. Everytime I saw their beers in a menu I wondered how to pronounce it.
We got to hear about what is special about BRLO Beer. Their beers are brewed in small scale batches and each beer is given enough time to mature and develop its unique hops aroma. They remain as regional as possible: Their Helles is brewed in Brandenburg, and their Pale, German IPA, and Porter in Brauerei Landsberg in Saxony-Anhalt.
Our First dish was Cauliflower Lemongrass Creamy Soup paired with a BRLO Helles, what is their interpretation of a classic german beer, hoppy but not too bitter. It was a Great start: Warm and super creamy soup while enjoying the sun in the beautiful Beer Garden.
The second dish was a funny one for me. It was an Autumn Roll. Rumor say, I was the inspiration for this one. The Head Chef, Steffen Sinzinger was very curious about my stories of Vietnam and tried to make a summer roll himself, and his very tasty variation made it to the menu this autumn. They have cabbage, dashi mayo and pickled char.
Blend changes its menu when the season changes. Now they have the autumn menu and that is why the name of the roll is Autumn Roll. This dish was paired with BRLO Pale Ale, an English style beer. Strong and fruity in taste... hops love!
The next stop was the most romantic thing someone has ever made for me. A beautiful candlelight dinner outdoors in the Museum Island just in front the "Altes Museum". This was so beautiful: sunset, outdoors, candles... RO-MAN-TIC! Ok I was not alone with a date, but. Hey! it counts ;)
We started with a delicious Gin and Tonic, followed by BLEND´s Asia carbonara with soba noodles and caramelized pork belly packed in a cute Chinese Take out Box. The Soba were impressively good, made of buckwheat and they were cooked perfectly. My favorite dish by far!
Our 3rd and last stop was BLEND. I took a peek through the window, just to be attonish by the marquee sign logo A-lá-Vegas, the beautiful interior and lights.. I had to hurry inside to check it out!
This beautiful space was designed by the Sundukovy Sisters Studio (Moscow) who have a vast portfolio of interior design projects for hospitality worldwide. They create pure and flawless spaces based on something classic, making it functional and tasteful. with a pinch self-irony.
Every little corner of the restaurant is well thought, wherever you look there is a beautiful lamp or a giant zebra. Beautiful... Just beautiful.
Soooo about the Restaurant and Bar. Berlin is a multicultural, cosmopolitan and diverse. A city full of people from all over the world that influence the local culture as well as its culinary scene.
BLEND is Inspired by the multi-ethnic population, and reflects the spirit and soul of Berlin as a "Melting Pot": free, modern, urban, and with a creative twist that picks up on the versatility of flavors, cultures and cooking styles blending them all together in a pot ;)
The Bar has great craft beers, like German producers Braufactum and BRLO (of course) as well as Kornbrand and Gin of the Berlin cult label Berliner Brandstifter. From the Spreewald they have a single malt whiskey and a first-class straight rye whiskey and three kinds of rum, bottled in BERLIN.
After serving the first round of wine, the bread and side dishes arrived: Parsley root cream, Mash Potatoes and Pearl Barley with vegetables. rapidly the waiters brought us Lamb balls, hummus, salsify and coffee, followed by Fried cod with date, carrot and cilantro.
When you live in Berlin, you dont notice much the impact different cultures have on Food, like vietnamese food in East Germany. I always wondered why there so many Vietnamese and Vietnamese Fusion Restaurants around my flat. Well, Vietnamese people didn't need a visa to come to east germany when the wall was still up. Just a cool fact. You can find these fusions everywhere in Berlin, and BLEND shows us that in their menu.
The first dessert arrived as well as Steffen. Steffen Sinzinger is the head chef of BLEND and a friend of mine as well. He began his career at the Michelin-starred restaurant of Hotel Palace Berlin. It was there, under the direction of Matthias Buchholz, that he got to know French cooking. His break with tradition followed with Japanese crossover cuisine at Shiro i Shiro, before he developed his own style as head chef at Restaurant Le Faubourg.
Once we finished the Baba au rhum with pineapple Carpaccio and saffron ice cream, The Berliner Luft arrived. Funny wise, half of the table know that name from a shot of alcohol made of peppermint. But it is actually a dessert too, and the best of the evening imho.
Berliner Luft (Berlin Air) is a frothy cream made from eggs, sugar and gelatine, which is always served with raspberry juice, but in this version, with lemon granite. And for being "air" it was the most mouth-watering air I had.
We moved to the bar to have the last dessert, listen to music and have some cocktails. The menu has classics with a twist of Berlin, Seasonal cocktails as well as the classics. And we all wished we could try them all. I even got a special drink: Gin with rose petals and Goldberg Japanese Yuzu Tonic. Aaaaahhhhh three of my favorite things in ONE. Followed by a Goat cheese nougat with plum chutney. Yum.
And whilst the DJ continued to play some tunes, I got my second Gin, happy after such a beautiful event and culinary tour across town, learning about history, Berlin and more with awesome people, eating and drinking, "blending" and having a blast.
Last Sunday I was invited to a blogger dinner at Brasserie Colette. I was super excited because most of the guests were my friends; like Maria and Sophia from IN SEARCH OF, Maria and Philipp from Herz & Blut and Sissi from Eating in Berlin.
I was so happy to finally try more of this restaurant. Last year at Berlin Food Week´s Food Clash Canteen, I got to try the Salad Nizza made by Dominik Obermeier from Colette...So I was very curious about the rest of the menu.
We started with Tim Raue´s pickled cornichons, Bread with 2 different kinds of butter and a delicious Bouvet-Ladubay Cremant De Loire - blanc de blancs. Our table was very fun and cozy as we all knew each other. And we were all looking forward to try the food.
Tim Raue has not only a 2 Michelin Star Restaurant, but is the creator of the concept of the restaurant chain: Brasserie Colette. And funny wise, they are all in the first floor of the retirement houses Tertianum.
You can find them in Berlin, Munich and Konstanz. They have 14 Gault Millau points and they are in the Bib Gourmand Guide Michelin 2017... bravo!
The starters arrived to the table. My favorite was the Stewed artichoke served with a strong vinaigrette based on parsley puree, rice casserole and green chili oil, a Safran mayonnaise, and Crème fraîche
This dish took me right back to my childhood in Peru were we ate this in summer, A whole artichoke for each person but ours was dipped in lime juice and oil with a pinch of salt and pepper.
We had some other tapa-like starters like a Tuna Tartar of North Pacific bluefin fish tuned with a sauce of pickled chili and lots of lime, with cucumber caviar and dried powder of salad cucumbers. and a mouth-watering cucumber sorbet.
Besides the Tartare, a salami arrived: Jesus Basque, this is a salami from the French part of the Basque country, which is bound with 3 strings to its traditional 3-star form like the three-star form of the 3 Stigmata of Jesus Christ.
The salad was a cherry tomatoes without skin inserted in passion fruit vinaigrette with basil cress and roasted sour dough bread from Maitre Philippe. I loved it.
As a super fan off oysters, I was glowing when I saw them coming. Gillardeau Oysters!!! Heaven! Some of us havent had oysters before, so it was exciting to see that "first time" reaction.
The salmon was espectacular. And red.. but after asking why was it red, I got the answer: The Ikarimi salmon was stained in salt, sugar, star anise and red berry juice. This gives it the light red berry flavor and the strong red color. This was by far the best starter!
The main dishes started to arrive. We all ordered different dishes. Some ordered the Icelandic cod, steamed and covered with a jelly from Dashi.
Dashi is the Japanese counterpart to the Consommée, which has a similar spicy-salty taste, but consists only of water and bonito-tuna and it was served in bacon potato foam.
For the vegans, the Wild herbs Beignet.
The wild herbs are made in the same way as classic potatoes, with a puree of pimpinelle, borretsch, sorrel and young garlic blossom.
The donuts/beignet are served on a horseradish potato and leek sauce together with a red beet salad, which is sweetish-ly spicy with currant jam and red chilies.
I asked the waiter which dish was the best. She told me that the Cordon Bleu was. I was very sceptic as Cordon bleu is a very traditional and "boring" dish. But this version surprised me. The cordon bleu in the Colette is strongly reminiscent of the classic one, but differs significantly in most points:
It consists of 2 days of marinated maize chicken skewer, unrolled with grated 14- month old Gouda and Chaumes cheese. The panade of dried pork skin, which bounces crisply during the subsequent baking.
There was a carrot, which was braised in apple juice and then glazed in apple-butter sauce. This is on a fine chilli pea puree, which was unexpected good.
We were eating and having a blast...sipping wine and talking about the food. The restaurant has 2 different areas, a bar and a super fun toilette (you have to go there to see it, or just check this picture showing a golden hand seat)
Another vegan dish was the Ragout marocain, where chickpeas are cooked in apple juice with the Arabian curry "raz el hanout". Finally, pomegranate kernels, date cubes and finely chopped coriander stems are added.
In between laughs, selfies and instagram postings; the desserts emerged served with egg nog. Like a Bourbon vanilla Creme brulee with caramelised with brown sugar, with a ball sorbet of red currants
These were followed by Le Croque en bouche which is a traditional French wedding bouquet, which consists of filled small wind bags. These are filled with a honey mousse au chocolate and are attached to it a sail of caramelised honey.
Madeleines, Madeleines! These are a traditional French pastry dough baked in a mussle-shape and served with vanilla liqueur and a ball Valrhona chocolate ice cream. These Madeleines were laying on a mango butter pudding... yummy!!!!
Overall the food was great and it was impossible not to have fun with such a great bunch, thanks Brasserie for such a lovely event. Cheers!! to more Sundays like this to come!
I try to reduce my dairy intake as much as i can, I love ice cream and that can be a problem. I thought vegan ice couldn't be as good as regular one until I went with Ailine to the new vegan ice cream place in Kollwitzkiez called Tribeca, and they convinced me. I had a lucuma quinoa ice cream and I loved it.
I thought maybe I can recreate that at home and it wasnt so easy. After 4 batches, I finally got the perfect ingredients and amounts. I have no churn at home, so that was the tricky part. Be creamy without having that machine. (And don't taste like coconut) So at the end, I decided on Cashews for the base of it.
150 gr raw cashews
500 ml Soy milk
3 tbsp Vegetable Shortening or fat
4 tbsp Lucuma powder
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
A hanfull of quinoa pops
First of all, soak the cashews for a night or a day. Drain them and then you can start. Simmer the milk until it has reduced to the half and let it cool. Add cashews, milk, melted fat, agave syrup, vanilla, lucuma powder and sea salt to a high speed blender and blend until creamy and smooth, you want it to be completely creamy and blended.
Lucuma is a peruvian super food. It is my favorite one. sadly I dont think you can eat it raw, so mostly it is use for desserts, smoothies, ice creams... you name it. It contains beta carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium, and protein. Its maple-like taste makes it a sweet addition without increasing your blood sugar levels, unlike many sweeteners that offer empty calories.
Besides all that, it keeps you young, Ladies! Lucuma has an anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and skin-repair effects on human skin! So just order a bag at amazon and lets start the lucuma eating bonanza.
Returning to the recipe, put the creamy mixture into a bowl and cover it with plastic foil. Freeze it for one or 2 hours. Take it out of the freezer and mix it in a kitchen machine for 15 minutes on high speed. It will be hard but creamy. What we are trying to do here is to break the ice pieces so it stays creamy instead of hard and ice-y.
Add a piece of parchment in a freezer friendly form. And like a lasagna, alternate ice cream mix and quinoa pops. If you can find them, here is how you can make them. Freeze for a couple of hours or until it is hard.
As any ice cream, before eating, take it out of the freezer some minutes before eating. But with this ice cream, make it for longer time. about 15 to 20 minutes. That is the only "con" of my recipe.
Using an ice crem scoop, or a tablespoon, serve it in a waffle cone, waffle, brownie... you name it! and enjoy!
During Food Zürich, I had an evening free of events. And my first choice was Ecco. I was not sure I could get a reservation with such short notice, but I was really lucky and they had a table waiting for me.
Almost like the song: "One Food Blogger went eating one day, over the hill and far away." I was using the awesome Zürich Card, so I decided to go by streetcar. Once I arrived at the stop (Thank Google Maps!) I started the walk. Ecco is at the Hotel Atlantis by Giardino, Really up the hill, with a beautiful view to the city. It was quite a walk, but I love walking, even better in such green small paths.
So it all starts! I ordered the 9 course dinner and I tried to not over eat much before dinner (haha impossible with all the tasty stuff at Food Zürich)
The first amuse bouche was a Cracker with marinated Sepia and Dill, sour cream and iced sepia pearls. It was a very nice appetizer, the different textures, soft, crunchy and ice complemented each other perfectly. The funny thing was, when I cleaned myself with the napkin it was black.
Right away, came the next two amuse-bouches... Yeah! and these ones do not count as the 9 courses.
A delicious cannelloni and a turnip ravioli filled with hazelnuts and sprinkled with black truffle. Both of them delicious. The turnip ravioli reminded me on one dish at the Essento Insects Dinner, where they served kohlrabi ravioli swimming in a cloud of nitrogen.
The sommelier's pairing was a Prosecco. Yeah I dont like to drink champagne before a beautiful dinner like this. It goes right away to my head and "tipsy" isnt really a good thing to remember all dishes. I got an Andreola Prosecco that shows fresh aromas of apple and citrus with a mineral undertone. It is made out of 100% Glera, grown at 250 meters above sea level in a mixed soil of clay and sandstone.
Next appetizer was a superb duck skin cracker with shaved duck and pickled cabbage over it. Yumsters!
Then the bread came and it was the cutest bread ensemble I have seen in a restaurant. Even cuter than the bread presentation at one-star Ylajali.
It was potato bread with sea salt, buttermilk butter and smoked butter with garden cress and a little scissor so you can cut them yourself. Super cute. And wow! that smoked butter! mouth-watering. I really enjoyed this serving.
The last non-menu entreé: Crab tartare marinated with curry and sprinkled with smashed crab shell, pickled carrots and iced purple curry pearls. And crunch of sepia and tapioca. Quite a unique dish. Crunchy and with a soft curry creamy taste. A dance of flavor, spicy yet not hot. The crust crunch is defo a new experience!
First course. Belly bluefin tuna (Otoro) flamed on both sides and thin sliced poached oysters on top. Pickled cucumber marinated, mini cucumbers with Yuzu cream on top and Linseed chips. All this floating in a cucumber and oyster leaves (herb that taste like oysters) soup.
What a taste. Oysters and tuna blend like milk and chocolate, smooth oysters with a really tender tuna. I am a super fan of yuzu, so I loved it! I cant stop thinking of those buttery oysters. I don't think I have ever had oysters in a dish. Normally I get them in their shell. I will try this at home.
A white wine to start. The Sommelier brought me a Grüner Veltliner Federspiel from 2014 from Wachau, Austria. The fragrance of this Grüner Veltliner its fruity and spicy, reminding of fresh yellow apples and apricots, with fresh herbs in the background. You can only find a few stores in Europe and only the 2014 and 2016 vintages are available. (yeah I checked)
My phone was going out of battery, when I noticed they have outlets next to the table and WIFI! Awesome!
While charging my phone and enjoying that Grüner, The "Cep" came by. I was told that the chef thinks that this plate look more photogenic without the sauce. I didnt think so, both ways look so beautiful, with or without sauce.
This was a "Ragout" made out of pumpernickel and rye with boiled mustard seeds, pan fried cep chips and iced pearls of mustard. Drizzled with shaved chips and cream made of herbs from Uetliberg. Served with a cep sauce. (see first picture of the blogpost)
The "Ragout" is just something different, very soft and bready, feels like a sunflower risotto from Relæ I tried to cook at home) with a very subtle but delicious flavor of mustard. The cep mushrooms that they use are local unless there is not enough of them around, then they will import them from France.
Norwegian Lobster, Aha! Norwegian! it was fried and glazed, served together with tomato, seaweed cream, coriander and seaweed crisps. Swimming in a red curry sauce and sprinkled with chives.
This was a huge langoustine like the ones at Maaemo. It was perfectly made. The curry mixed with coriander did get a great mix of cultures Thai and Vietnamese, in my honest opinion.
A tiny difference between scandinavian restaurants and Ecco, was that no cooks come to the table to explain the dish. Though the waitress did and took the time to explain me every dish while I took fast notes. Very patient indeed.
Next wine was really really good and as one of my favorite bordeaux "Calon Segur", it was from a woman winemaker from the french part of Switzerland. Maria-Therese Chappaz's 2015 grand hermitage president troillet has a light gold color with a taste of candied fruits and sweet spices. it has a smooth finish, with notes of flowers.
Seared cod served with a bean cream compote with mussels covered with raw marinated sugar snap and "Ajo Blanco" and Savory and roasted almonds.
This dish is citrusy and fresh even though it is warm. The beans are surprisingly good. I'm not a fan of beans but they tasted great with the citrusy tone that made them very pleasant. The cod is perfectly cooked and the sugar snaps were a special touch to it.
Then came my favorite wine of the evening. I had 2 glasses cause it was soooooooo good. It was a 2013 Bricco del Bosco Vigne Vecchie made out of grignolino grapes (have you heard of those grapes?) from Piedmont, Italy.
Ruby Red with a complex perfume with notes of cardamom, nutmeg, rhubarb, on a bottom of flowers. It is very limited, about 1800 bottles.
This dish was a combination of different parts of veal from Grison. Baked sweetbread, braised and sliced head , braised tongue, cooked and braised chin with deep fried cauliflower, roasted cream and pan fried violet cauliflowers. Lovage cream on the side and puffed calfskin. The sauce was made out of calf with roasted cauliflower and lovage from Eichhof.
I was totally digging the lovage. I don't think I have ever tasted that herb. The sauce is very very strong and more "german". The sweetbread was so buttery and crunchy, haven't got such a good sweetbread in quite a while. This is the strongest flavored dish of the evening and remind me a little bit to my Vau experience back in Germany
And now the main dish. I chose the young venison from Tyrol instead of the Wagyu. It was a shoulder sauce with pickled plums, chervil root and liver, Over it, the pan-fried saddle with a mash chervil root and chips
Very tender and on my favorite rare medium doneness. The sauce was strong and sweet at the same time.
I loved the chervil root in three-ways like the Jerusalem in three-ways I got at Brasserie Paleo. You get the soft mash, saucy sauce and crunchy that complement the overall of the veal.
What a perfect mix of sweet and salty on the sauce, and the venison broth in the sauce gives the oomph it love to have.
Again the same red wine. And who isnt in love with Zalto glasses? so light, so elegant. Short note on my glass love
In a golden envelope, came a thick black paper booklet that explained the cheese I was served. The little booklet was great to know more about the origin and specs of the cheese. They were served with with nut & fruit bread.
All cheese was from Jumi. Check their website here
The first dessert. Americanello grapes in 3-ways. Awesome! Fresh grapes, grape cream and grape iced pearls with a sorbet made out of black walnuts, goat cheese cream and walnut earth.
Wow, just wow! This dessert was the bomb, I was surprised by the saltiness and freshness of it. So many elements and textures without being overwhelming. I can't believe the next one can top this one
The next and last dish and dessert from the menu. A chocolate mousse ball filled with apple compote served with 72% chocolate crumble, marinated apple in thin slices and with a worm of sorrel sorbet.
it was very close to the last one, very flavoursome. That sorbet was craziness! so good! I am now even a bigger fan of sorrel. The chocolate mousse was as delight. A lovely dessert but in my honest opinion, it didn't top the grape dessert.
And I thought I was done and there it comes an special dessert for me! Yay!!! Ice cream with ginger foam and ginger cake sprinkled with poppy seeds and a baked shortbread. Under it, gel citrus filets.
It smelled like ginger strongly. But I didnt expect the flavor once I tried it. It was an outburst of flavors with the right sparkle of ginger spiciness.
I am sorry for the last picture. The ice cream was actually perfect but I got distracted talking to the Chef. You know how chatty I get sometimes... only sometimes. *wink* *wink* This first bite was a caramel brioche with pear and black vanilla verbena.
The second bite was Duck foie gras in a brioche and shaved fennel. I love liver and foie gras and duck. so this was a big plus on my Ecco experience.
The third bite was a "one bite" praline made out of white chocolate, buttermilk and a juicy center of lime.. ahhh love the liquid inside.. like a cooler version of a key lime pie.
And the last bite and last dish of the evening. Cookie with pistachio and cassis, buttermilk and lime ice cream... I love cookies. Who doesnt?
And who is this handsome lad? It is Stefan Heilemann, Executive Chef from Ecco since 2015. And yes girls! he is german, Stuttgart-born to be exact. He spent many years acquiring his skills at the 3-Michelin-star Schwarzwaldstube in the Traube Tonbach hotel in Germany’s Black Forest. A couple of minutes away from my parents Inn. The Ecco was awarded two Michelin stars not long after he became head chef in 2015.
When the bill arrived, also a little goodbye surprise in a jewelry box tadaaaah! When i opened it is was a golden parfait. What a best memento to eat later at the bloggers hotel.
Overall this was my one of my favorite experiences in Europe. The food and ambiance was very similar to the other Michelin starred scandinavian restaurants. I totally recommend you to get a table when you are visiting Zürich, or if you live there. After this HUGE amount of food, I walked to my streetcar again and joined my fellow Food bloggers for a night cap. Check Maria & Sophias article on our "Food bloggers Class Trip" to Food Zürich.
Don´t forget to follow my Instagram account @twofoodieseating. I am always adding on my stories everything I eat and a special preview of what it will be in the blog. Like these 2 pictures while dining at Ecco and during Food Zürich.
This article was made in collaboration with Visit Zürich who brought me all the way from Berlin to the beautiful Zürich.
My dad was a Commander Pilot so most of my childhood I spent in hangars, planes and choppers. When I saw I was going to attend the event "Dine around the World" at Food Zürich I was thrilled. I read a big plane was involved and the location was direct in the airport... After a ride on 2 trams and 5 minute walk I was there at RUNWAY34 right in the airport, almost at the landing strip or "runway".
The entrance was just like a sleeve of a plane. I felt just like boarding one. Inside the hangar restaurant was a huge Ilyushin plane just in the middle of the whole space.
I got greeted with some bubbles and my First Class card, for drinks of course! It was a buffet. I regularly dont blog about buffets but the location was awesome, the idea was super and the food was good.
One of the cool things was, there is a simulation academy there and you can actually get inside the big Ilyushin plane. I will tell you guys what is inside later on.
I started my trip around the world in Asia, my beloved Asia. I had a Thai green curry chicken with jasmine rice, a Tom Yum from Thailand, Samosas from India and Spring Rolls from Vietnam.
Most of the seats were taken from old airplanes. The "crew" was actually wearing flight hostess and pilot uniforms. And most of the decoration was plane parts, food carts and so on. My dad would love this place for sure.
A small food break to test those simulators. You can fly the Lockheed Super Constellation, a Pilatus PC-7, a Boeing 777 and a Jet Ranger BELL 206B3, the one my dad used to fly and was an instructor at Bell Helicopter in Texas back in the 80s. Sorry, I am a nerd with airplanes and helicopters.
Next Stop: North America and Southamerica. Argentinian entrecôte with chimichurri, baked potatoes with sour cream and corncobs . Served with grilled tomatoes and green beans rolled in bacon.
Now we are in Europe. Yummy! I started with some San Daniele Ham cut with a Berkel machine, antipasti and salad with different dressings. Some bread and the mushroom risotto with loads of parmesan.
Lets go fly again! now the coolest plane in my honest opinion. The Swiss Air Force Pilatus! muahaha This baby was so much fun! You fly around with 9 airplanes through the alps. Perfect break before the next continent.
We are now in the last stops: Africa and Arabia
The highlight of my trip was the pumpkin soup, I loved it. I was not sure if it was in the America or Africa tables, it doesnt matter. It was the best pumpkin soup I had since I was a kid. (Ok after a short research with my friend Google, pumpkin soup is actually from Africa, craziness!)
I had as well couscous, sheep cheese, veggie taboule, hummus & babaganoush with pita bread.
After all those continents, one last tiny bite of dessert and return my wine passport into my purse and drove back to my cozy hotel The Yard to meet my bae Food Bloggers for a Beer at the bar :)
Want to know what was inside of the big plane in the middle of the restaurant??
This blogpost was in collaboration with VisitZürich
Since a couple of months, it is legal and possible to buy insects for food in Zwitzerland. You can actually jump into a supermarket and buy some mealworm patties or locust falafel. Can you imagine?
Some years ago, when I went to the famous NOMA restaurant in Copenhagen, I had the pleasure to eat ants and crickets, So I am ok about eating bugs.. yeah BUGS!
I was invited by Visit Zürich to their food week called Food Zürich. And one of the events I signed up for was the "Essento Dinner - Insekten Genuss" by Pfefferbeere. An Insects Dinner, A full 5 course dinner just using insects. That sounds exciting, right?
The dinner was in a beautiful building, looked like we were in the theater backstage: Raw walls, props, paintings. A very used Atelier. Beautiful.
Waiting for us was a table serving Marius Blanco 2016 and 3 kinds of insects: Mealworms with salt, crickets and locust with curry powder. They were exquisite and super crunchy. like chips or popcorn.
It was an open kitchen, so we could see the guys from Pfefferbeeren work. The first course was pickled quail egg with mealworm "soil", watercress and balsamic pearls. It was a perfect combination of soft and crunchy. The soil was delicious, but it was weird to see the little parts of the worms while eating them. Still, mouth-watering.
Our Sommelier of the evening, Thierry, paired this dish with a swiss wine Chasselas Cru de Champrevéyres, Neuchâtel. Delicately fruity, flowery and silky.
While we were finishing our wine, the kitchen was already busy. They were making little nests that would hold the mealworm and locust soup and next to it, the black mealworm panisse over rape butter. This was absolutely my favorite dish of the evening. The little "brownies" were salty and crunchy outside and soft like melted cheese inside. I wish i had a bucket full of those while watching a movie... just WOW.
We had the same wine as pairing, the sommelier chose this wine because it is so versatile that fits this two courses. a really good match.
And now... There was loads of smoke coming from the plating table. I had to run quickly there to see the magic happening. It reminded me the time I had dinner at the chefs table in Maaemo. loads of Nitrogen making a thick mysterious mist.
This course was kohlrabi ravioli filled with peas cricket and a forest berries gel. I loved the idea of not using pasta to make this ravioli. I will definitely try to recreate this at home. Stay tuned!
The wine pairing for this course was Tremenda from Alicante. Beautiful wine, intensive, with a hint of berries... very elegant.
Some logs starting to arrive and the kitchen was filled with rosemary scent. The grilled locust pinchos were sticking of the logs. There were 3 kinds of beauties: BBQ, Tahini and rosemary. My fave was BBQ. On the side: rosemary potato boats, hazelnut-mayo-salsa and quark. They were served all together in the table, so I am showing you the potato boats still in the pan ;)
The wine of choice was a Petit Verdot from Alicante as well, a strong and intensive wine. My favorite of the night. you could taste a flavour of dark berries in this one.
The cooks started looking like mad scientists and it was time for dessert. Nitrogen clouds started filling the room and we all started making pictures, videos, instagram stories and just going Ohhh-Ahhh. This was ice cream in the making.
Meanwhile the Barolo di Villa a very sweet but delish Recioto della Valpolicella appeared in the table and we couldn't wait for the dessert. It was a brownie with flower pollen and mealworms with a cricket covered in caramel on top. A mealworm-nut ice cream next to it. When we turned around there was spider webs made out of cotton candy and sweet crunchy locusts where hanging from them.
A delicious perfect evening that wasn't missing meat, it tasted marvellous and even tho it was weird to see little legs and heads, it was adventurous and exciting. I cant wait until there is legal to buy insects in Germany.
Thanks again Visit Zurich for let me be part of this gorgeous event!
Some days I get super homesick. Instagram doesnt help when I see all those peruvian accounts showing my favorite food. Most ingredients are hard to find, like the over 200 kinds of potatoes. But one kind of potato can be found here: Old potatoes.
Yes! old potatoes. You know them! when they start getting dry and growing stumps all over. Normal european people toss the away, but in Peru, they are the best potatoes to make "Papa Rellena" what means literally stuffed potato.
i bought some potatoes and let them dry behind a door in my kitchen. 2 weeks! yeah! you can wait until 4 weeks for better results. The drier and weird the look, the better! they should look gross but not have any moss on them or any fluids either.
Ingredients: (for 4)
7 medium size old potatoes
200 grams ground beef or 1 diced aubergine for the vegan version.
1 white onion
1 carrot or as much as you onion amount
3 garlic cloves
16 black olives
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup broth
Salt & pepper
Flour or Rice Flour
Lets get stuffed. Sometimes a person gives you are really hard time, but there is always a bright side on every bad situation. The mom of my ex hated me, but gave the greatest tip: Do not boil your potatoes, steam them! Yes, steamed potatoes are way better in texture and flavour, not to mention that they never break as they do in water.
Steam the potatoes for 35 minutes!. Once they are tender peel and press with a fork. I use a potato press, works wonders as I dot have to peel the crap out of them.
In a pan, fry the diced onions, garlic and carrots until they are transparent and tender. Add the meat or diced aubergine, paprika powder and tomato paste. When the meat is cooked, add the broth and olives and let it simmer until the liquids are all gone. Add salt and pepper to the meat mix and the potatoes and let them cool down.
Now we start building them. Take a quarter of the potato with your hand (full with flour) and press the potato to an oval flat form. Add a big spoon of the filling and roll the potato over it until you made a cocoon. Feel free to add as much flour as you need. It gets sticky, so use a lot of flour.
Add a lot of rice flour to a dish and place them using baking paper to separate them. In my house they used to put them in the freezer for an hour to make them a bit more "solid". Then In a hot pan with a lot of olive oil, fry the potatoes until they are golden. You can use a deep fryer as well.
Serve with some rocoto sauce or sriracha mayo and some salsa if you want it even more spicy! I used 1 spoon vegan mayo and half spoon of peruvian chili paste.
I am Andrea, or as my friends call me, Jinx. I am a foodie living in Berlin, eating my way through life. Here are my recipes, cooking events, dining experiences and more...