For obvious reasons, I had never visited the Dolder ice-rink during spring. But on this May day, it is the prospect of delicious dishes served from 150 funky food stands which lures me there...
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the third Zürich Street Food Festival is taking place. We follow the finger lickin' signs from the Dolderbahn through the forest to find an ice-rink packed with everything from Vietnamese baguettes to Korean burgers. I am getting ahead of myself here...
Let's take it from the top: The Winterthur couple behind the Ayurveda booth subscribes to fresh ingredients and spices to tickle all those taste buds.
Their "Tashi" wrap is filled with mozzarella, arugula, tomatoes and eggplant paste and is spiced with Asian sesame salt. This unique combination of ingredients wrapped in a freshly made flatbread really does it for us.
Further down the Asian mile comes the booth of Banhmi Kitchen with their Vietnamese street food. Called bánh mì, their crunchy French baguette filled with ginger beer marinated beef brisket is from out of this world.
I spontaneously call it a "pho beef noodle soup inside a baguette," and I still think this description was pretty accurate.
I commend the two owners of Banhmi for their creativity! The trained chef among the two is regularly scouting street food markets in Vietnam for new inspiration, while the photographer is taking all those mouthwatering images for their Facebook page...
Panda Buns specializes in Taiwanese steamed buns. By the time we reach the makeshift booth, their person-sized panda has already rallied up the waiting crowds - and we join in!
In fairytales, there is a word for what is happening to us here at the Zürich Street Food Festival: Schlaraffenland. And just like in this fictitious place of abundance, we are spoilt for variety.
Short of taking a break, we get right in line at dasPure, a centerpiece of the BBQ mile:
Best known for their stone oven smoked organic salmon, dasPure is here to bring their "artisanal wurst" sausages to the masses. We really like their philosophy of only processing meat from organic livestock. Whether it be black pork, lamb or even the meat of a retired milk cow: These sausages sure have a kick!
Enough salty foods - time for sweets! Luckily, the dozens of booths are arranged by taste, so it does not take long for us to discover the dessert aisle...
The concept behind Miss Marshall is rock solid. It is marketed as "19th century Victorian ice-cream", supposedly based on the recipe by one Miss Marshall. Wherever the truth lies, the liquid nitrogen treatment is ingenious!
This salted caramel ice-cream is also the creamiest glacé we have ever had!
More ice-cream just around the corner: Sugar Sugar Sugar has more energy than a kindergarten class on a sugar high!
Just listening to the story behind this soft ice-cream business makes us wonder: How good is that sweet potato ice-cream, really? (It would be delicious as an appetizer or a sorbet course, in my opinion.)
Now, if you do not want to miss out on all these goodies again, mark your calendars for Sept 4 - 6, 2015. The Zürich Street Food Festival will be coming back in a yet-to-be-disclosed location (we know, but we ain't telling!)