he Dolder Grand is no longer Grand, it is more grandiose, despite all the art it feels more like art storage than a well-curated collection. I do however like the sense of humor of the art curator’s placing of the Duane Hanson sculpture in the corner of reception, a street vagabond – apropos.
Hungry I took a trip downstairs to their restaurant Salz and thought to myself what a design bomb of red neon machinations, it reminds me of a trip on acid that I never took. Heading out of there I stopped by the lobby to see if the chef Heiko was in-house and he was, so I decided to stay for dinner.
It was already 21h30, and time for closing but graciously the chef made a table and the game was on. The amuse bouche was impressive, meticulous detail made me try almost each and every one. The varying flavors were vast and it is definitely a culinary sensory journey.
The next course was Galician crayfish marinated in a stock and served with melon, dill, coriander, and hints of green curry. It was complex in taste and as I listened to Heiko explain his step by step his preparation I realized these kinds of recipes are composed over time. The quality and the freshness was no less than superb, and the herb-flowers had a sharpness that tingled my mouth.
The next dish was one of those I dream of because of the atrocities of farmed salmon and this time it was wild caught line-fished salmon from Scotland served with lettuce, coconut, licorice after a quick confit – wow. I asked the chef how this all came about and he focused on the idea of licorice and coconut being a wonderful empirical experience he had one day. I too like licorice in the right passage and find it along with cinnamon to be an excellent ingredient if handled correctly and gently.
The final course was deer from Austria, roasted and served with braised shoulder, garden herbs, sunflower seeds, and Angostura. The technique is short and vast sous vide cooking to evenly cook the center, then rested in the hold-o-mat at 72° in the bag, and then season-color and rest before a quick flash in the oven. There is no doubt this was perfectly cooked and delicious.
I appreciate the enthusiasm of chef Heiko, he is charming and willing to take the time and explain details and process, because after all, it’s all about the idea of creating pleasure for clients, and when you are good at it, the pleasure comes easily. /Bravo/
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