On a day trip to the Tinguely museum with a friend, we decided that we would stop off for lunch first before going in. We wondered around the area, but could not find anywhere that suited our needs. Finally we decided to go to the restaurant within the museum. The restaurant had tables set outside with a wonderful view overlooking the fast flowing river Rhine. The tables were under a red sun umbrella, which is why all the photos have a red hue to them. (Sorry) As we sat waiting to be served, we noticed lots of people in swimming suits and carrying large plastic bags. We wondered what they were doing until we realised that they were floating down the river, which seemed like the perfect thing to do on a hot summer’s day.
The Swiss artist Jean Tinguely has his own museum in Basel and I love his work. His art often consist of lots of crazy machine parts that move in strange ways. He is one of the two artists that are responsible for the large multi-colour fat angel that hangs from the ceiling in Zürich’s mains station, which I meet all my friends under. How many people can say to their friends “Lets meet under the fat angel”, not many?
As I glanced over the menu, an item caught my eye, poached monkfish with saffron risotto. I decided to get that. My friend had ordered a soup as a starter and my meal came with a salad starter. When the starters arrived I immediately lost interest in my salad and focused all my attention on the soup. The soup was a melon gazpacho (a cold soup). I begged him to let me try some. The soup was delicious and unlike anything I had ever tasted. I spent so much time trying to figure out how the soup was made and what ingredients were used but could not. I detected a small amount of cinnamon, ginger, sesame and cardamom and I believe that the melon used was a honeydew melon. The soup was light, very refreshing and sweet on such a hot day. I was very jealous of my friend’s dish and kept trying to steal another spoonful away from him when he was distracted.
Finally the main dish arrived. I was surprised to find fresh orange segments scattered on top of the saffron risotto, along with the perfectly poached monkfish. It also came with steamed fennel, which added a lovely aniseed taste that lightened up the heavier taste of the saffron risotto. The colour worked well, the risotto was a bright orange and helped the yellow colour of the monkfish and the green of the fresh dill stand out even more.
After I had finished off my food, I settled back in my chair and sipped at my iced tea. It was a black tea with fresh ginger. It was divine and sweet and the ginger really packed a great punch. For any one that is visiting Basel, should definitely come to the Tinguely museum. It’s not necessary to go inside at all, as there are art pieces in the grounds for all to see. The restaurant is also definitely worth a visit because just like the wacky artist that the museum features, the food is also surprising, eccentric and will tickle your taste buds with new experiences.
Paul Sacher-Anlage 2, 4002 Basel