Usually, when one hears “Michelin rated restaurant”, possible terms, which come to mind, are fancy, formal, unaffordable, and uptight, just to name a few. None of these apply when describing MAISON MANESSE. Chef and owner, Fabian Spiquel, makes sure of that.
When my friend and “Zurich culinary guide” Christoph told me where we’d be having lunch, the first thing I said was “Uuuhhhh…. aren’t we somewhat underdressed?”. I couldn’t have been more wrong or pre-judgmental.
Restaurants like MAISON MANESSE are what I like to call “sleepers”. A term used in the car scene when describing a car which looks normal on the outside, but will blow your doors off in a race. In other words, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
The staff greeted us warmly and we were offered various table choices. The deco is rustic but stylish, bright and inviting, very unpretentious.
When the service staff asked us if we wanted to see the wine list and told us he could offer us a Valentini (THE cult wine producer from Abruzzo, Italy) Cerasuolo by the glass, my jaw almost dropped. Not only because I’m a huge Valentini fan but this calibre of juice isn’t usually offered by the glass – anywhere!
As a very nice surprise, Chef Fabian Spiquel dropped by the table to shoot the breeze… and hand Christian a sourdough yeast culture. They were obviously well acquainted and bread is what bound them. I knew Christoph was a big fan of bread baking but hearing him talk to Fabian on the subject, the term “fan” doesn’t seem to be quite enough.
When it comes to Australians’ reputations for being laid back, Fabian, from Queensland, lives up to the reputation. He’s been living in Switzerland for 10 years and 4 years ago he decided to open his own restaurant. Within 6 months he already earned a coveted Michelin star and has held on to it ever since.
After talking to Fabian for just a few minutes, you realise that awards and accolades aren’t his main motivation; it’s expressing himself, constantly learning and pushing the culinary envelope, which keeps him going.
The proof was on the plate and we weren’t disappointed one bit. Freshness, finesse and know-how were present in presentation as well as preparation.
Michelin rated restaurants aren’t usually known for their affordability but quite a few of them offer amazingly valued lunch menus. Maison Manesse is no exception and definitely worth a visit on your next trip to Zurich.
Tel. +41 (0)44 462 01 01