By Trevor Fox
November 23, 2008
One evening in Zurich I tried the kosher meat restaurant at the Israelitisches Gemeinde Zentrum ( Jewish Community Centre ). You are asked questions at the front door through an intercom by a young Israeli security chap called Erez. He did a good job. He asked if I had a photo on me and I said that I had a old photo of Sharon Stone in the newspaper that I was holding and would he like to see it. This was all totally lost on him.
Inside the centre is the restaurant which has all the ambience of a dentist’s waiting room. The menu had something on it called Tageshit. I stared at this for 90 seconds or so wondering what on earth it could be. Then with my basic knowledge of German I separated the s from the h and it instantly made sense as Tages hit or dish of the day. The clientele was all black hats and wigs unlike other kosher restaurants in London and Paris that attract a wide mix of Jewish and non-Jewish customers.
I had medium ribeye steak and chips which actually was fine and came with two mustard sachets branded Thomy. With a beer the bill came to 46 Swiss francs. A functional place but it fulfils a need and the food is not bad. It is opposite the Enge station at 33 Lavarterstrasse and on the opposite side of the road is the Ascot hotel, a kosher hotel serving kosher breakfasts if you so require.
The next evening I flew to Madrid for a silver wedding dinner at the Ritz Hotel. The menu started with Blinis de caviar beluga ( marginal for a Jewish 25th anniversary party ) followed by lubina en costra de pan con nectar de pimiento verde ( sea bass lightly fried with green pepper sauce ), followed by pineapple carpaccio. Wines were a Pazo de Senorans 2004, an Albarino ( see http://www.pazodesenorans.com )and a 2000 Marques de Vargas, a red Rioja.