15 August 2015
the Place for Authentic Mediterranean Slowfood
Tradition instead of Fusion: This Restaurant in Zurichs District 5 focuses on giving Food back its ‘own’ Flavours.
Espumas, foams & flavour combinations? You won’t find them here. Instead you'll get served a showdown of traditional mediterranean recipes, interpreted with finest, sustainable Slowfood ingredients. Head over to my recent post on Slowfood to read more on its ideaology.
The result is simply equisite. The italian cuisine, said by many to be the best one in the world, shown at its best. Because going to eat at an italian restaurant does not always equal high quality food - many restaurants rely on the cuisines good reputation, but end up serving you a pretty loveless, dull plate of pasta or carpaccio. Because they don't love what they are doing - they expect guests to love it, and they expect guests to have no clue. So whenever I find an italian restaurant that puts in the extra effort and care to create simple tasty food.
A small plate of olives, cheese and prosciutto crudo, fresh & finely cut is served together with bread & olive oil - classic.
As starter I had a fennel salad with orange for starter - the fennel being thinly cut taking up the consistency of linguine almost, and the orange filets lending it a sweet exotic taste. The dressing was barely there just accentuating the dish rather than drowning it. I noticed that there was almost no salt, and there was no salt needed because the essence of its flavour was made out by the smooth taste of its base ingredients.
My Maincourse was the fish of the day, foil baked, with carrot and cherry tomatoes - simple ingredients, pure in taste. Same with the tender grilled cut of beef filet. Rather than fusing flavours, head chef Giovanni and his team aim on ‘intensifying’ them.
The ambiance is casual, the atmosphere relaxed. The interior is a graphic alignement of wood, glass and stone - no embellishments, no friskyness - raw wood tables lit by square glass chandeliers hanging off the naked ceiling. Square glass panelled windows, stripped metal piping, front & backyard outside seating: unpretentious with strong substance.
The tables are set in reduced fashion, no white tablecloth, no platemats - just the essentials. Candles, Oliveoil, small flowers. Like a countryside italian home - cozy and uncompliated.
Meet the Chef:
After dinner Giovanni Melis joined us at the table - 'can I sit down?' he said and ordered a drink. We talked about food, about his values, his favourite dish on the menu: Spaghetti with pear and sea urchin. He offeres cooking classes too at Times Restaurant - on Mondays & Tuesdays where he teaches the art of making a home made pasta 'with the good wheat.'
Its apparent that he loves food - & as anyone who truly loves food - he also loves life. Tattood arms hidden under the white chef's shirt. Stories about his vacations in Sicily involving an oldtimer Porsche.
He loves music too. Electronic music - the same that I listen to. The conversation soon drifted off and once more confirmed my belief, that food is about more than just feeding ones appetite. Food is social, Food is culture - Food has the power to bring people together.
TIMES Restaurant is a mixture between tradition, heritage and modernity. Sticking to the essentials - keeping things easy.
Definitely a must visit in Zurich for lovers of real mediterranean cuisine. They are open for Lunch too - with a daily changing Lunch Menu.
& Smith Wine Bar
044 211 99 77times-zurich.com/