Friday, October 9, 2009

The Swiss Chalet

The first thing I noticed when I entered this restaurant was not the strong smell of cheese, it was the interior decor. It reminded me somewhat of a traditional Alpine Ski Cottage with its wooden tables and chairs together with those old-school windows. (where is the fireplace!?) The unique Swiss styled wall fixtures gave me a very homely and cozy feeling. What this place also reminded me was my so-called ski trip a decade ago. I don't how to ski back then (or now for that matter) but I picked snowboarding to try because I was a young and restless teenage, plus it was the "hit" thing to do back then. As a result, I hurt myself pretty badly. I am all good now but I doubt I would try it ever again (both skiing and snowboarding). Maybe I can try snowmobile instead. Looks cool and fun as well! I am still young and restless by the way!!!!

My friend and I arrived at 8pm but the place was pretty empty. I guess it was because it was 1st October and there was a PRC National Day fireworks which started at 8pm as well. (More diners started to arrive around 8:45pm after the fireworks) We enjoyed the quiet environment and we took our time to check out the menu because it was rather difficult to read. Just take a look at the drinks menu (see picture below), it consisted of rainbow colors and different font sizes within the same line! The food menu was slightly better because the items were more spaced out. I ordered a Appenzeller Weizenbier (a Wheat Beer) to start with. It has a very strong yeasty taste but it was not cold enough in my opinion.

Soon after we ordered, bread was served and there were several kinds to pick from. I picked the brown one which I were not sure what kind it was; and I also picked the sourdough which I loved! It is very difficult to find sourdough in Hong Kong; Union J is another place where it serves great sourdough. It was not bad at all (both kinds)! [We asked for more bread (several rounds actually) throughout the meal because we did not want the savory cream sauce from the black mussels dish to go to waste!]

(1) Black Mussels in Cream sauce
It was good! Not just the cream sauce but the mussels were fresh as well. The mussels were cooked just right with a slight chewy texture to it. Did I mention we ordered more bread to clean up the sauce? Well, we did! The cream sauce was not overly thick or creamy but with some minced onion, the flavor was very rich and deep. Leave no creamy sauce behind !!

(2) Swiss air-dried meat specialties of ham, beef, bacon and salami, complimented with pickles
A wide selection of cold meats indeed and among them I preferred the beef because it was not something I would order usually as part of a cold meats platter. Flavors for most of them were alright, not too salty except for the salami which I had to eat with some pickles to level out the sodium content.

(3) Grilled veal sausage with onion sauce and hash brown potatoes
Swiss Rosti (Swiss Hash Brown) is one of my all time favorite dishes but not many places offer this dish in Hong Kong nowadays, maybe Chelsea? I still remember having great Rosti back in Toronto @ Le Marche - Movenpick. The presentation of the Rosti here was alright but texture wise, it was a bit loose in my opinion. Flavor wise it was fair with strong enough potato taste. The veal sausage was a delight, the meat was very soft but still got the slightly elastic / bouncy sensation to it. You can get some Swiss mustard to go with this dish to give it a different combination of flavors as well.

(4) Cheese mixture melted in dry white wine, flavored with Kirsch and herbs garnished with tomatoes and veal dumplings served with bread cubes and new potatoes
This dish was one of the key reasons for coming here on this day. The staff suggested us to go for the "medium white wine" level instead of the "full portion white wine" level because it can be quite strong and it would be easier to add more in if not enough. We picked the med level as recommended but I think a bit more would not hurt. The cheese was very well flavored and it was rich and deep especially with the addition of Kirsch. The veal dumplings were the same kind as the veal sausage we had but it was a different experience to eat with the cheese of course. I particularly loved the new potato with cheese, very nice indeed. Same with the cream sauce, we cleaned the cheese out with all the bread cubes, leave no cheese behind!

  • Black Mussels - fresh mussels and wonderful cream sauce!
  • Cheese Fondue - the cheese flavor was rich and deep especially with the Kirsch
  • Sourdough! - a bit warmer would be nice
  • Rosti - relatively loose, I like it more packed and firm
  • Menu - overly colorful (makes it a bit confusing to read)
Avg. Spending: HKD 300 - 500 per person

The Swiss Chalet
12-14 Hart Avenue, TST
Tel: 2191 9197

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Geoffrey Wu said...

Good posting on Swiss Chalet -- in fact, I have always wanted to visit this place on Hart Avenue but just havent had this opportunity. I had they do a MEAN CHEESE FONDUE and how can they possibly mess up a Rosti!

Keep it rolling!

Happy Eating

Jason said...

@Geoggrey, thanks for dropping by again! Yeah, this place is worth a try and the Rosti was by no means bad or anything, just not they way I liked it I guess. O yes, added your blog to my blogroll so more people can share your wonderful dining experiences as well! Looking forward to your Dim Sum review! (I was at Happy Valley the other night and passed by that Dim Sum place and reminded me of your upcoming review)


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