Tanja Grandits – Restaurant Stucki Basel

photo credit: http://www.stuckibasel.ch/index.php?de_presse

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photo credit: http://www.stuckibasel.ch/index.php?de_presse

2 Michelin stars, 18 points in Gault et Millau and best Swiss chef of the year 2014. What more can you want, both as a chef and a customer? Although for both, pressure is high: pressure to perform for the chef, and pressure not to be disappointed for the guest. In my post about the Gault et Millau winners in Switzerland a few months ago (https://latabledemirabelle.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/gault-et-millau-switzerland/), I have firmly communicated my desire to dine at the restaurant of the best Swiss chef 2014.
Well, I am glad I did! It has been quite an exquisite experience.

Tanja Grandits, a lovely but very modest, almost shy person welcomes every guest with an amuse-bouche: a green parsely miso jus, with olive barley and cinnamon oil. Green in taste, green in colour, and green in its mood uplifting vertues. A delight, and of my personal favourites of the evening.
The restaurant is located on the outskirts of the city center of Basel, almost on the border of Basel-Land. The building is an imposing, old Villa, with exceptionally many tables for this type of restaurant. During the many big events at Messe Basel, they even open the second floor, where they are able to accommodate a bus full of Asian tourists (any other nationality will work as well 🙂 ) Having that many tables also makes the restaurant more noisy than what you’d expect from this type of établissement. I don’t assess whether this is a good or a bad thing, but just to say that the atmosphere is more relaxed than you might expect. No, you don’t need to buy a new designer handbag to adventure yourself into Stucki (nor do you need a particularly well equipped wallet, but more on that later).

Tanja Grandits is known for its “Aroma-Küche”, which is exactly what it says. Every dish is powerful but pure in its aroma, with an excellent balance between colours, tastes, textures and temperatures. Nothing is accidental but at the same time every dish just seems so evident and right. It is a bit like ballet: perfection is achieved once you make something extremely difficult and strenuous seem totally effortless, that it is just pure delight to watch and taste it.

We opted for à la carte, alternatively you can have the tasting menu which will guide you through the whole array of Grandits’ Aroma-Küche. As a starter I chose the arctic char ginger Sake, black radish, Miso orange marmelade. Very surprising flavours but concerted to perfection. For mains I opted for the veal green pepper, cardamom celery, pistachio polenta. A very subtle and minimalist dish.

The menu is quite short – four starters, two meats, two fishes, two vegetarian dishes, and a handful of desserts – but even so, the choice is not an easy one!
All courses are pleasantly interrupted by small surprises, such as an avocado-yoghurt-pistacchio lassi.
All in all it was a parcours sans-faute. No spice was overpowering, nothing was too salty, and all cuissons were perfect. Presentation wise, you’ll get a little artwork every time.

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photo credit: http://www.stuckibasel.ch/index.php?de_presse

The wine menu is quite extensive with some very nice picks of Swiss wines. We had a Pinot noir from the Grisons region, which was just perfect. Definitively ask the sommelier for some suggestions.

Do not miss out on the impressive cheese trolley, a delicious selection of the best cheeses from France and Switzerland, from which you can choose quite a generous amount. The cheese comes with a few chutneys, mustards and honey to your liking as well as some speciality (fruit)breads.

The service is lovely and professional but not as stiff as you might experience in some Michelin starred restaurants. And here’s my only criticism: it seems there have been too many waiters for one table, and their presence seemed sometimes too busy. (for example they could skip the napkin rearrangement if you go to the toilet ; ) ) I say this bearing in mind that I was at Stucki during the World Basel, the biggest and most well-known watchmaking fair. Things may be a bit less busy on normal days. At the same time, the waiters are authentic and unpretentious, so it was actually not that disturbing (well I do have to find some criticism, there are still 2 Gault et Millau points to be obtained)

Of course this type of restaurant should stay a special treat, also when it comes to the bill. I do however have to say that prices are actually not that high if you take into account that you are in a two star restaurant. I have eaten at some one star or even restaurants with no stars that have had very similar prices.
One more reason not to miss this gastronomic jewel under any circumstances.

Stucki Basel

Bruderholzallee 42, CH-4059 Basel

info@stuckibasel.ch

Tel +41 (0)61 361 82 22

 

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