For his 40th birthday and because we both like to eat well, I invited my friend and business partner to one of Zurich’s most exclusive (and some say most expensive) restaurant, Petermann’s Kunststuben. This venerable establishment has been around for over over 20 years and proudly displays two Michelin stars.
We decided to get the menu, consisting of six courses with two to three little goodies each, so that we would be able to sample a broad selection of Horst Petermann’s art. Here’s what we had:
An amuse-bouche consisting of a boiled quails egg with a vegetable jelly, a wild mushroom mousse topped with mushroom espuma and a crayfish pâté
A starter course with steamed shrimp on a vegetable tabouleh, scallops in a crispy bacon cover on lentils with mint and a lemongrass cappuccino with coriander and curry
A slice of pepper-crusted salmon on a salade parmentier and a herb vinaigrette
A quail breast lacquered with honey on a red-wine risotto, green asparagus and sautéed foie gras
A slice of poached beef filet with sea salt and mustard oil with a mushroom ravioli and thyme espuma
A selection of cured French cheeses
A chocolate and nut pudding on a pineapple carpaccio with coconut cream and a sesame seed and caramel ice-cream
The whole of course washed down with some delicions wines …. espresso and a very fine digestif ….
A variety of homemade breadrolls were slso served throughout and the very young maître was as attentive and knowledgeable as you’d expect him to be in such a restaurant.
So, you will ask, what was it like?
The restaurant itself is rather small, so the seating arrangements were a bit cramped and it was quite loud. The food variation resulted in some repetition, e.g. 2x espuma, 2x mushrooms. I’m not really a great fan of espuma, the legacy of Ferran Adrià of “El Bulli”. Seems like every cook now has to try out something molecular. If I want something resembling frog spawn on my plate, I’ll order frog spawn.
Yes, but what was it like?
I’ll sum up my impressions in three categories:
The good: steamed shrimp, quail breast, beef, cheese, dessert – all excellent, cooked to perfection (except the cheese) and impeccably presented
The bad: pepper-coated salmon (pimiento in the crust?), the foie gras was totally overcooked, mint and lentils are probably not such a good idea, but maybe that’s just me
The ugly: lemongrass cappuccino which looked less like a fresh cappuccino but rather like a glass of yesterday morning’s milk coffee. The taste was quite nice though
Overall fair performance, given the size of the kitchen, the food variety and the fact that almost every seat was taken.
The price? Don’t make me cry again!