Zurich, 19th february 2016
It's february, the temperatures outside are pretty chilli and you long for some warm feel good comfort food. Cheese fondue? Tasty, but not ideal for the figure. Luckily there's a japanese alternative: Nabe. Hot-pots served over a warm flame directly at your table. If you feel like Nabe, there aren't that many places in Zurich to chose from, however the japanese restaurant BIMI offers a wide variety of typical japanese hot-pots.That's why we decided to visit this, pretty full, restaurant in Zurich's Seefeld area.
With a longing for comfort food we decided to order the following:
To round of the meal, we both indulge in a, well deserved end of week, Kirin beer.
Top, left: an amuse bouche from the kitchen. Middle: Tori no Karaage. Right: Gesoten.
As a starter, an amuse bouche from the kitchen was brought to our table. The blend of noodles and vegetables was fresh but a little bland and needed topping off with some soy sauce. Unfortunately, our little pitcher of soy sauce was almost empty, which should have been refilled by the waiters. The service that evening wasn't exactly stirling to begin with: the waiting time for our table to be ready ended up being uncomfortably long, even though we had reserved in advance, and the meat for the sukiyaki came much later than the rest as it needed thawing.
The fried chicken and the calamari tempura, however, were very good. The chicken was juicy and the crust not too greasy. The calamari had a nice consistency, the tempura was very close to the Japanese original and the spicy sauce that was served along side it rounded the whole thing off perfectly.
Now to the hot pots: the sukiyaki was good, but for a price of CHF 39.- we would have expected the quality of the meat to be a bit better. The taste was good, however a little more bland than what we were used to in Japan - the broth could have been a little sweeter for our taste. The Chankonabe on the other hand, was mouthwatering. The sumo wrestlers would also have appreciated this dish (if you want to know why, click here).
Below. Left: Sukiyaki (without meat). Right: Chankonabe. Bottom: Simmering Chankonabe.
With its large selection of dishes, original cocktails and mostly its hot pot selection, BIMI differentiates itself greatly from other restaurants in the area. Looking around the tables, with their display of tasty looking sushi, also makes us want to visit this place again. Our experiences that evening were mixed: there were culinary highlights as well a some disappointments, especially when it came to service. At any rate, the hot pots were exactly what we needed in these cold winter evenings.
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