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mercredi 25 octobre 2017

Chef David Krueger @ Restaurant Opera Zurich [EN]

We live among the hustle and bustle of the city, worried about work and deadlines, dealing with stress, etc. Few are the times when we can actually enjoy the moment, spend some quality time with friends and family, go for a walk, admire nature... Personally, I prefer gatherings. There is something special about meeting family or friends, talking about everything and anything, enjoying a good bottle of wine and great food... BUT when such great food is prepared by a renowned chef, the experience reaches a whole new level.

And that's what happened to me last week when I was invited to Zurich's Restaurant Opera, which is chef David Krueger's new HQ. David Krueger is a big name in the haute cuisine world, having received 15 Gault-Millau points while working in both Hotel Drei Könige and Hotel Waldheim, and 14 Gault-Millau points while at Restaurant Feinwerk.
Chef David Krueger ¦
© Hotel Ambassador à l'Opéra

The restaurant is opposite Zurich's opera house, just a few steps away from Lake Zurich. At our arrival, our table (beautifully dressed, by the way) was waiting for us with some selected hors d'oeuvres.
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When asked about chef Krueger, we're told he's committed to sustainability in haute cuisine. And he's not only praised for his creations, but also for his ability to avoid food waste. In fact, chef Krueger had prepared some fine recipes for us using game and he made sure to use all parts of the animal. Also, he uses exclusively fresh and local products. If it wasn't enough, he likes going to the forest extremely early in the morning to harvest herbs, flowers and nuts himself! After all, when you're told that chef Krueger tends to walk in the forest from 4:30 to 8 am looking for ingredients, you can only admire his endless dedication and expect an unforgettable experience.

If you're curious to know what chef Krueger's menu was, I'm sharing it with you (pictures below):

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Hors d’œuvre

Wild thyme bread
Acorn flour bread
Watercress butter
Juniper berry schmaltz
Safflower oil
Goat jerky
Sweet chestnuts

Fish

Perch and crayfish from Lake Zug

Perch fillets tartare with meadow flowers
Perch fillets carpaccio marinated with spices and cleaver espuma
Perch jowls with rosemary and smoked river crayfish

Main course

Fallow deer prepared in a sustainable manner

Fallow deer liver meatball with rowan berries
Essence of quail with truffle from Rigi
Fallow deer roll with wild raisins
Roasted fallow deer
Mashed potatoes with sow thistle and blackthorn coulis
Boletus roll
Glazed beetroot
Beet chips

Dessert

A sweet feeling of fall

Chocolate with chestnut caramel, milk slice and clover flower ice cream
Marigold flower espuma, blueberries from Michaelkreuz and acorn crumble
Goat milk topfenknödel with cornelion cherries, balm pesto and honey

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When it comes to aesthetics, I can definitely say the fish course was my favourite. There was a harmonious contrast between the row fish, the vivid colours of the flowers from the meadow, the deep creaminess of the sauce and the golden crayfish. What did I like most in this dish? THE SAUCE! Oh my! The sauce was rich, smooth and flavourful... a lovely creation.
The fish course*
After the fish course, it was the fallow deer's turn to make its appearance as our main course. My favourite piece was the liver as the rowan berries added a fruity sweet and sour taste to it. It is also worth mentioning how chef Krueger played with textures: we had the tenderness of the meat, the crunch on both beets (glazed and deep-fried), the smoothness of the broth... It had it all.
The main course*


A close-up of the broth, because those truffles are totally worth it :)
After the main course, chef Krueger came to our table to greet us and make sure we were enjoying the meal. Of course, we greeted back with warm applause. The best part was that we could chat a little bit and ask him questions.

And then... dessert. (I don't think a description is needed, right? Dessert is dessert... Dessert = heaven). :)
Dessert*


We finished our delicious meal with coffee, but we weren't expecting a little surprise from chef Krueger to have along with our coffee: more sweet treats! <3

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I hope you'll visit Restaurant Opera next time you'll be in town.

Restaurant Opera
Falkenstrasse 6
8008 Zurich

I highly recommend it!

Photos marked with * were kindly provided by the restaurant.

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