A must-try if you are in Grindelwald. Chef Robert Steuri’s artistic and culinary talent has created a gratifying tasting menu-only culinary adventure in this beautiful Swiss Alps boutique hotel. The creative use of sustainable ingredients to deliberately stretch our tastebuds in every dish is delightful. Couple that with a serious wine list, an unrivalled service and the stylish ambience, you will be in for a treat.
What is the food like?
Artistic and multi-dimensional. Chef Robert Steuri, who cut his teeth with multi-Michelin star chef Sergio Harman and Syrco Bakker, has created a gratifying tasting menu-only culinary adventure in this beautiful Swiss Alps boutique hotel. The creative use of ingredients to deliberately stretch our tastebuds in every dish is delightful. Expect juxtaposing sweet, salty, umami all in a dish as well as soft, crunchy and smooth. You will be taken on a gastronomy rollercoaster. The transparency on locally sourced and sustainably produced ingredients is admirable. This has led to fresh ingredients packed with natural flavours on the dining tables. A must-try. The restaurant also caters to vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free dietary requirements (advance notification required).
How is the drinks selection?
Serious. The wine menu is a long list of the best wines from Switzerland, the Old World and a handful from other regions. With 31 reds from Switzerland, 32 from France, 27 from Italy, 17 from Spain and 8 from South Africa, most palates will be catered for. There is also a decent selection of dessert wines and fortified wines. For the special occasion, the cellar has a 1988 Château Mouton Rothchild 1er Cru Classé from Pauillac for CHF640. For the really special occasion, a bottle of 2017 Chambertin Grand Cru from Domaine Armand Rousseau in Côte de Nuits for CHF2,500 awaits.
What is the place like?
Stylish and romantic. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the 28-room boutique hotel, next to the check-in lobby and bar. The space is intimate with medium lighting from ice-cube hanging ceiling lights and elegant small gold table lamps. Red, blue and mustard cushioned chairs with skinny legs and black sharp wooden tables provide a touch of style.
Who are the patrons?
Ski holiday goers looking for a sophisticated evening. Popular with couples and there are also tables of friends and families with children exchanging laughters from the day’s activities.
How was the service?
Spoilt. We enjoyed unwavering professional and pleasant service from Craig the entire night. He was very knowledgeable on the menu and even more knowledgeable on the wine selection available.
Is it child friendly?
Yes. Children do not have to opt for the tasting menu. There is a children menu with the usual selection but the kitchen will also be happy to create a dish from the tasting menu for the children.
Is it dog friendly?
Yes, but only at outdoor alfresco seating area in the summer.
Yes. A touch pricey for the food and drinks in isolation as it isn’t a Michelin-star restaurant (yet), but well worth it if you consider the unrivalled service and the stylish ambience. The restaurant doesn’t charge additional service charge.
See below for what my dining companions and I indulged in for this review when we visited in February 2022 (prices quoted include VAT):
2019 Ambassador des Domaines Diego Mathier Blanc A.O.C Valais (Strongly recommend)
An award winning Swiss white wine. It is a blend of Heida ( Savagnin Blanc), Hermitage ( Marsanne Blanche) and Petit Arvine. It was aged with yeast for 6 months in new oak barrels before maturing for another 10 months in the same oak barrel. Fruity on the nose. Bold and dry with hint of vanilla on the palate. Long smooth finish. CHF84
2018 Château Fombrauge Grand Cru (Strongly recommend)
A beautiful red from Saint-Emilion. This blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc has an intense deep red colour. A full bodied, velvety feel on the palate with smooth oak and mellow fruit flavours. CHF89
5-course Tasting Menu, CHF125
0a. Celery root puree with chive (Recommend)
A heart warming amuse-bouche after bracing the cold to get to the restaurant. An earthy thick puree of celery root with a refreshing dash of chive olive oil.
0b. Cured Swiss alpine salmon tartare with basil sauce (Recommend)
Home-cured sustainably farmed alpine salmon from Lostallo, 225km away. A joy to look at and delicious to taste. Sweet and savoury basil worked beautifully to bring out the cured salmon flavours.
0c. Sausage canapé (Recommend)
Salametti from local Grindelwald farmer Bruno Appert. Subtle mild flavours enhanced with salametti flavoured mousse and sauce. Not very distinctive flavours, but interesting.
0d. Hidden egg yolk with spinach and fried onion (Strongly recommend)
A fun dish served in a perfectly cut egg shell. A rich hollandaise-ish sauce with a serving of cooked spinach and crunchy fried onion. Reminiscent of egg Benedict, but more interesting.
0e. Potato sourdough with smoked beef, brown butter and garden cress (Strongly recommend)
Tasty potato sourdough bread sourced from award-winning local bakery Ringgenberg (grindelwald-bakery.ch). The star of the dish is the home-made brown butter with its subtle caramelised flavour. Dish came with a pot of garden cress and a pair of golden scissors for you to self-garnish your personally assembled sandwich.
1. Smoked Sturgeon tartare, Oona caviar Nº103, mousse with kohlrabi discs and tarragon (Strongly recommend)
1st of the 5 courses. Staying true to its philosophy, the sturgeon and caviar are sourced from a sustainable farm in Tropenhaus Frutigen, 50km from the restaurant (troperhaus-frutigen.ch). The sturgeon is smoked in-house and was sweet and has a nice bite to it. The umami flavour from the caviar and the rich fish stock mousse brought the dish beautifully together by enhancing the flavour of the raw fish.
2. Perch with seaweed puree, sauerkraut and root vegetable crisps (Strongly recommend)
It is only the 2nd time we are having Perch, a delicate freshwater fish found in most lakes in Switzerland. It was cooked perfectly, firm and tender. The natural sweetness of the fish was magnified by the subtle vinegar-like sauerkraut foam, seaweed infused potato puree, toasted yeast and crunchy root vegetable crisps. Love the play on textures and flavours.
3. Surf and turf – Swiss shrimp tartare, poached prawn and roast pork with blood sausage (Recommend)
Fresh and sweet tartare from sustainably farmed prawn from Rheinfelden, 164km from the restaurant (swissshrimp.ch). The poached prawn was tender and delightful with the rich prawn head sauce. Blood sausage mousse. Roast pork was tender and crunchy, but not very flavoursome. Carrot enveloped sour sauce was a delight.
0d. Clam canapé (Recommend)
Wild clam harvested from Lake Zürich on a bubble of clam mousse on a round toasted bread. The mousse was a touch too salty to complement the subtle seafood sweetness from the clam.
4. Beef cheek and tongue with roasted onion and root vegetable crisps (Recommend)
A tasty melt-in-your mouth braised beef cheek in a rich beef reduction sauce on one side of the plate. A soft and tender beef tongue with caramelised onions and crunchy root vegerable crisps in an apple and onion sauce on the other. A bit too much going on for us on this and were not convinced that all the flavours and textures worked together here.
4a. Braised beef cheek toasted sandwich (Strongly recommend)
A gratifying cube of sandwich. Equally tasty melt-in-your mouth beef cheek parred down here with a jammy red wine sauce and freshly toasted soft white bread.
5. Ginger and chocolate cake with pear (Recommend)
A light and moist chocolate cake balanced with marginally sharp pear sorbet and soft poached pear. Chef added a touch of pear juice and thyme oil to further enhance the flavour. The ginger flavour was not coming through in the cake. An overall decent dessert.
5a. Cinnamon star doughnut (Strongly recommend)
Genius to include doughnut into a tasting menu. They were fluffy and tasty. Just the right amount of sugar and cinnamon.
5b. Mandarin tartlet (Strongly recommend)
Beautiful little one. They were creamy and light. Perfectly flavoured, not overly sour but sharp.
5c. Lingonberry chocolate (Strongly recommend)
Sharp and sour lingonberry flavours perfectly dancing with the rich indulgent dark chocolate. Could have these all day.
5d. Apple with rosemary (Recommend)
An interesting one. Fresh apple flavours with hints of lemon from the rosemary.
5e. Chocolate balls (Strongly recommend)
A delightful end to a wonderful adventure of flavours and textures. Gorgeous rich milk chocolate balls lighten with a fluffy vanilla mousse core.