I imagine many people when thinking about Switzerland will often picture the majestic mountains and elegant Swiss Alpen hut. Often these are thought to be only found in the high mountains, far from the cities and require a long and exhausting hike to get to. This discourages many people who are visiting for a few days, but there are several Alpen huts that are closer to the big cities than you think. The one which serves great food and has a stunning view over the mountains and lakes is the Albishaus which is about 834 meters above sea level and is a stone’s throw from Zürich’s centre.
On this very hot summer evening, it was great to gain some height and enjoy the cool breeze as we had our dinner. Sadly the view was slightly spoiled, as the mountains were partly hidden behind milky clouds. But the view was still splendid, if a bit hazy. The restaurant had strung coloured lights up between the trees which gave it a magical feeling.
The menu had many options including a large selection of burgers as there was an outside barbeque, was producing smoke and mouth-watering smells. I decided to order something a little lighter and chose a lemon ravioli filled with ricotta and served with charred tomatoes and parmesan cheese. When it arrived I was startled by the huge amount of parmesan cheese I had been given. The ravioli had been cooked to perfection and inside was a mixture of ricotta and lemon zest. This combination worked perfectly as the sweetness of the ricotta was reduced by the slight bitterness of the lemon. The juice of the lemon had also been drizzled over the rest of the dish combining with and complimenting the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes and softening the burnt flavour of the charred tomatoes. I did actually chose this dish mainly for the charred tomatoes, as I absolutely love charred things. I find it changes the taste of food completely and I feel it’s not used enough in restaurants as many worry the flavour will be unappealing.
I was the only one that ordered a dessert that evening and therefore my parents descended upon it like vultures. I had ordered a strawberry panna cotta, which came in a glass jar, very trendy, and the longest spoon I had ever seen for such a small dessert. The panna cotta was vanilla flavoured with a rich strawberry sauce on top, creating a distinctive layer. There was whipped cream and whole strawberries scattered throughout. I was delighted that the main panna cotta was not strawberry flavoured as this would have been too over powering. The vanilla flavour gave relief to the dessert and actually made the sauce and strawberries stand out even more in contrast to the softer taste of the vanilla.
One of the many joys of living in Switzerland is being to sit outside on a hot summer evening, enjoying the company of family and look over the mountains and lakes and get a moment to drink in their breath taking beauty. To those of you visiting Switzerland and want a Alpen hut experience, but don’t want to go too far, the Albishaus can be driven to easily and offers a great view of the mountains which are a huge attraction and on some evenings there is even live music playing.
Naturfreundeweg 8, 8135 Langnau am Albis