Archive for the ‘Switzerland’ Category

Established since 1898, Hiltl is a venerable Zurich institution and Europe’s oldest vegetarian restaurant. Judging from the lunch hour crowd (really noisy and crowded in a good way), the inviting restaurant is obviously a well-loved local’s favourite.

Sihlstrasse 28, Zurich

Züri Geschnetzeltes
mushrooms | seitan | white wine | cream | rösti

I love this to bits! The rösti is fantastic, and the cooking of the seitan well-executed. Wonderfully rich and flavourful, real hearty and so filling that I had to give desserts a miss.

Till then, Hiltl~

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 Besides rosti, bircher muesli is my #1 die-die-must-eat whenever I’m in Zurich (or any part of Switzerland)!

Above: Péclard‘s classic bircher muesli.

It may be just me, but I think this is pretty much the perfect “feel good” brekkie to start the day with!

Actually, I love b.m. so much that I don’t mind having it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper! Ya, I can get a little rather obsessive when I like something a little too much, hee.

Above: Sprüngli‘s berry bircher muesli.

Both the versions at Péclard and Sprüngli (I prefer the original) are excellent~ Incredibly creamy, insanely delicious 😀 

Because Sprüngli is more accessible, I’ll go there for a leisurely breakfast on my all free days. It’s wonderful to be sitting there undisturbed, a book in hand, a bowl of classic b.m. before me, and the view of Paradeplatz behind me.

That’s life.

Below: Sprüngli‘s original bircher muesli.

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Doesn’t this place look grand?

Bierhalle Kropf has a marvelous decor and looking at the opulence, you wouldn’t have guessed that it was founded in 1880~ Like a man woman, Kropf ages gracefully and it’s clearly a very popular restaurant with a cheerful atmosphere. Even before I was shown to the table, I knew that I was gonna have a great lunch!

In Gassen 16

Rustic Bürli on every table. Bürli actually means small bread  but it’s obviously a misnomer cuz the crusty bread roll is huge!

If there’s one thing I die-die-must-eat in Switzerland, it’s good old rosti! Here I had it in the form of fried rosti fritters, which was the special of the day. Extremely delicious, though I wish there were more than three.. I was hungry, ok? :p

On such a cold day, the boiled beef in hot broth with boiled potatoes looks like the perfect comfort food for the carnivorous soul.

And then this being a “go all out for carbs” day, I was craving for rosti again when it was dinner time. Only this time, I wanted the real rosti.. You know, the round, flat and hearty type. And I got it at Weisser Wind, a former guild house for the bakers which serves excellent traditional food. 

Oberdorfstrasse 20

Big Bürli sighted again.

I love, love, super love my rosti “Marilyn” with two eggs! It’s nothing fancy and yet so satisfying. Nothing pleases me more than well prepared simple food~


If you are into meat, a definite must-try is the “Zurich-style” sliced veal with rosti, one of the house specialties. I heard nothing but praise for this!

Alright, those are my two cents’ worth on where to eat in Zurich. Do you have any other recommendations for me to check out? I’ll be heading there again next month and any help will be much appreciated! 🙂

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A brilliant all-in-one coffee shop, patisserie and wine bar.. That’s Péclard, which used to be Café Conditorei Schober, Zurich’s most famous café with a rich history.

I love the interior of Péclard! The cash register is an absolute classic and the array of confectionery offerings, from dainty macarons and truffles to vintage-inspired chocolate bars and elegant desserts, is a sight to behold.

Vaulted ceilings, crystal chandeliers, painted murals, red velvet upholstery.. What’s not to love?

 A city with so much chocolate must offer to-die-for hot chocolate. And you can find that at Péclard, where the signature hot chocolate is impossibly (in a good way) rich, creamy and thick.

For a truly decadent treat, go for Intense, a dark chocolate mousse cake that’s, well, intense indeed. 

Guess what? I like the place so much that I went back the very next day! It’s such a very comfy place to chill out~

This time, I tried the opera cake, a rather marvelous concoction of mocha buttercream, almond joconde, and chocolate ganache.

Looks beautiful, doesn’t it? Try it for yourself if you are in Zurich! 🙂

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Ok, so I was talking about Sprüngli’s Luxemburgerli yesterday. Sprüngli invented them so to Sprüngli it is. Remember to go to the main shop at Paradeplatz cuz it was the first store to open for business in 1859! I love places with so many years of history behind it~

Bahnhofstrasse 21

Sprüngli is not all about luxemburgerli; there’s also a wide array of delicious-looking pastries and cakes for sale.

There’s always people gawking at the elegant window displays outside the store, never mind that the temperature is currently -1°C! *burrr*

First thing to catch my eyes once I stepped into the store: a delicate pyramid of Luxemburgerli!

There’s a tag on the box that read “TO ENJOY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE“. I certainly don’t need to be told twice! Haha.

So pretty! My selection of the day: champagne, citron, chocolate, pistachio, and salted caramel.

These are really small and light, which is good since it means you can try more without getting a sugar overdose (gee, who am I kidding?). Anyway, my favourite is the champagne flavour, which is slightly bitter and goes very well with the dark chocolate filling. The others are good too, though I wouldn’t give up Pierre Hermé for them anytime soon.

I’d rate these a must-try-at-least-once if you happen to be in Zurich!

Cute Luxemburgerli earrings, Luxemburgerli postcards, Luxemburgerli muscial boxes… Oh my, the Swiss do love their sweets. And who knows, you may too!  

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A sneak peek into Zurich’s take on the French macarons!

These are not called macarons but are oddly named ‘Luxemburgerli‘ (little Luxemburgers).

Only one confiserie in the world sells them: Sprüngli, the famous Zurich-based patisserie.

According to their website, demand for these cute little sweets is so great that an average of 650 kg is produced everyday!

Though it’s such a successful company, Sprüngli has not been invading other parts of the world as there’s no other store outside Switzerland. A move I applaud since exclusivity is maintained!

Read about my test taste of these gorgeous babies next!

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Spotted: Ladurée in Zurich!

Kuttelgasse 17

Sigh, no Pierre Hermé in the Swiss city though.

By the way, if you want to get Ladurée’s macarons, I’d rather you buy them from Paris. These ones here are apparently shipped from the Ladurée laboratory in Monaco and may not be as fresh as you’d like.

Or even better, how about ditching Ladurée and trying Zurich’s version of macarons instead? Check back tomorrow to see what I’m talking about! 🙂  

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Switzerland: Beary Bern

Compared to Lucerne and Interlaken, I find Bern much less touristy and all the more charming for it. Though it’s the capital of Switzerland, Bern doesn’t feel “authoritative” or have that hustle and bustle one would expect from a typical capital city. We explored this UNESCO World Heritage Site entirely on foot and totally enjoyed ourselves =)

My goals for the day were easily achievable since they are all within walking distance from each other:

Bern’s famous Bärengraben, the Bear Pit.

Zytgloggeturm, the Clock Tower with chimes that start pealing at 4 mins before every hour. European cities seem to love building these clock towers! I can’t even remember this is the number what clock tower I’ve seen in Europe, LOL.

Albert Einstein’s Home where the famous physicist wrote his Special Theory of Relativity here in 1905.

Cathedral of St. Vincent on Münsterplatz, Prison Gate, and Church of the Holy Ghost.

A series of 16th century fountains with detailed statues are landmarks of Bern’s medieval downtown. You’ve not been in Bern if you didn’t see any! We passed by quite a few during our walk: Bagpiper Fountain, Ogre Fountain, Zähringer Fountain, Samson Fountain, Justice Fountain etc.

Bears, bears, and more cute bears at the Bear Pit! Bern is named after the bear (now its official mascot), and bears have resided in these pits since 1480. Amazingly, this tourist attraction is FOC~

The Bear Pit is in an open-air park next to the Aare river so awesome views are a guarantee! Ok, almost a guarantee, if the weather is great as well =)

 Wandering around the streets, we stumbled upon a busy outdoor market where locals shop at.

We bought incredibly fresh strawberries and a bottle of cherry wine (funny to be drinking alcohol so early in the morning) cuz the stall owner was so friendly and enthusiastic about his homemade fruit wines that we simply had to show some support! Haha. Then we came upon another market outside the Federal Palace (the seat of Swiss democracy). Ahhh, I love markets in Europe!

Chocolate shops are a dime a dozen (duh, this is Switzerland we are talking about) along Marktgasse (the main street of Old Town) and Kramgasse (a continuation of Marktgasse), and I couldn’t resist buying some to munch on!

Said to be the best in the city, Confiserie Tschirren has been making chocolates by hand since 1919.

Kramgasse 73

I had a bag of assorted truffles, ranging from cognac, Grand Marnier, rum and champagne (ya, the alcoholic trend continues this morning haha), to pavé (like Royce’s Nama) and citrus orange peel. While good, some are a tad too sweet and these are definitely not the best I’ve had. Give me Max anyday~

Then it was a hop over to Confiseur Läderach for some boxes of chocolates to bring home as souvenirs!

Marktgasse 5

Makan time! I really wanted to have a meal at The Kornhaus but it was closed for a private event. So we walked over to Restaurant Harmonie, one of the oldest family-owned (since 1915!) restaurants in the Old Town. The Swiss cheese fondue is apparently legendary here but we didn’t try cuz none of us like it. What we like are the rösti (this is more coarse and don’t hold as well together as Galliker’s), thinly sliced veal (I only heard praises for this), and juicy fried button mushrooms!

Hotelgasse 3

And because I have such a dear family, they gamely agreed to have lunch at Kornhauskeller (where we were turned away the previous evening) just hours before our train ride to Milan. Built in the 1700s, it used to be an old granary and the architecture here is fabulous, with tall pillars and high arches. We ordered rösti as usual (this has became my staple for every meal in Switzerland) and had a seafood feast of fresh tuna and a platter of mixed fish and tiger prawns. Yummy!

Kornhausplatz 18

Can’t wait for the day when I return to Switzerland! Till then, can anyone tell me where to find a decent rösti in Singapore???

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After leaving Lucerne, we headed to Interlaken, a well-known tourist hub of the Bernese Oberland.

Snobs may claim that Interlaken is a tourist town but who cares? It’s still a convenient gateway to Jungfraujogh, the highest point in Europe and Switzerland’s most popular (and expensive) mountain.

The Jungfraujoch railway took us through beautiful Alpine meadows before ascending a stone tunnel to the Top of Europe.

Yay, destination reached at 11,782ft!!!


From the Sphinx Tunnel, there’s an elevator that took us to an observation deck, Sphinx Terraces, which overlooks the saddle between the Mönch and Jungfrau peaks.

Look at the gorgeous Aletsch Glacier, the longest in Europe!

Spectacular view of permanent snowfields! And the snow is so white and bright, it makes the eyes hurt haha.

This is Switzerland, no doubt.

The journey down the mountain through Grindelwald is as majestic as the ride up with amazing panoramic views~

There are many famous mountains in Switzerland but if you have to choose one, make Jungfraujoch the one! It’s an experience of a lifetime =)

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Lucerne is such a culinary gem! Not only did I found my favourite chocolatier there, I’ve tasted the best-ever-in-my-life humble iconic Swiss rösti at Wirtshaus Galliker, a charming old-style tavern passionately run by the Galliker family since 1856.

Schützenstrasse 1 (on the corner of Hirschengraben and Schützenstrasse, near the Kasernenplatz)

All eyes were on us the moment we stepped into the homely rustic restaurant. I’m guessing that’s cuz we were the only Asians there and perhaps, they don’t get that many Asian diners. Whatever the case, service was excellent, very warm and friendly! The motherly waitresses made sure we were well-fed and the owner regaled us with tales of his trip to Singapore many years ago. These people (and the food, of course) made our meal here incredibly enjoyable!

Now, this is what I came for.

10/10, this rösti is that good! Perfectly fried to a deep golden-brown hue, and so crisp on the outside with a soft airy texture inside. Love this to the max! 

Another Swiss soul food is the veal bratwurst. With more rösti, yay!

We also had a hearty risotto with chicken breast cooked in white wine sauce and for some decorative greens on the table, a huge helping of tuna salad too.

If you ever go to Lucerne, do make a point to drop by this place. All the food we ordered was well-prepared, unpretentious and served in such traditionally generous portions! Happy =)

As if our meal at Wirtshaus Galliker was not roll-me-out-the-door filling, I had to have ice cream after that too! Gosh, my stomach capacity does amaze myself sometimes haha. Here’s introducing Heini, a popular confectionery chain serving Feine Torten (fine cakes)!

Löwenplatz 9

I didn’t want cakes, just something light and sweet to make the sweet tooth happy. So ice cream it is!

While the citrus flavour (above) was too sweet, the sorbet-like strawberry buried under the big scoop of creamy old-school chocolate ice cream was great, very clean and natural-tasting!

Hidden in the pretty backyard of a boutique hotel is the Hofgarten Restaurant. The food here is good, rather light but no less delicious. And it’s a welcome change from all the heavy and unhealthy food we’ve been having lately haha.

Stadthofstrasse 14

I love the tempura-fried Atlantic scallops with curry on quinoa-cereal, watercress and pineapple chutney! I’ve never had anything like this in Singapore before. The combination, I mean. Every bite was bursting with different flavours and textures, and ingredients used were so fresh!

And the red Thai-coconut curry with a medley of colourful vegetables, shiitake mushroom and fresh mango? Simply gorgeous.

The Swiss adventure continues.. To Interlaken next! =)

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