Dinner and a Movie, under the stars
From July 1st to August 17th, Zürich’s calm lakeside had a rather large addition… in the form of a 3300 square foot movie screen! Film buffs, families, and even non cinema-goers all look forward to this annual event, when Zürich (as well as Bern, Basel, Lausanne and Geneva) hosts the annual Orange Cinema festival. Thirty shows include top films of the moment, classics, cult movies and premieres, mostly from the US, but also from France, Switzerland, UK, Spain, Italy and Israel.
A big attraction of the event is of course seeing a great movie supersized, but also the unbeatable ambience right on the lake – staring at a screen with waves undulating below it, boats passing by on either side, with just the mountains and sky behind. But also… the food. No popcorn at this movie. And no tiny kiosk with just 1 or 2 options either. Full-out restaurants and plenty of tables and chairs surrounding the stadium seats were available.
The longest line seemed to be at Hiltl (there and at the counter where they were distributing free Creme d’Or ice cream cones), as is the case at their restaurants all around town too. It’s the number one spot in Zürich for vegetarian food, and I’d almost go so far as to say one of the hottest spots in Zürich period, vegetarian or not. I’m sure a large percentage of fans are not even vegetarian (including myself and Olivier). They chose an Asian theme for the movie festival, and were serving exotic dishes such as Malaysian Rendang, Masaman Thai Curry (recipe below) and Satay Tofu. More well-known dishes of theirs were also available, and even a smaller version of their famous salad bar. Perhaps a homemade Mango Lassi to go with, or a cocktail from another bar set up near the screen, and this is a dinner and a movie that will be hard to beat. I don’t quite have advice for setting up a 3000 square foot screen, but as for reproducing Hiltl’s curry dish at home, there I can help:
serves 4 400 g potatoes 1 medium-sized eggplant 1 red bell pepper 1 green bell pepper 1 onion 6 Tbsp peanut oil 1?2 Tbsp red Masaman curry paste 2.5 cups water 1 Tbsp soy sauce 1 Tbsp lemon juice 2 Tbsp unrefined sugar 2.5 cups coconut milk 1 tsp corn flour (starch) 1 apple 1 handful unsalted peanuts
Peel the potatoes and dice them into 2 cm cubes. Dice the eggplant and peppers into 2 cm cubes. Peel the onions and cut them into eighths. Heat the peanut oil, add the curry paste and let sweat. Add the potatoes and cook with the oil and curry paste. Cover with water, season and cook briefly until soft. Add the eggplant, peppers, onions and coconut milk. Simmer gently for approximately 5 minutes. Bind with corn flour. Slice the (unpeeled) apple and add directly to the mixture. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, then add the peanuts. Serve with basmati rice.
Tip: Curry paste is available in shops selling Thai or Indian foods. However, it often contains shrimp, so be sure to check the ingredients. For this reason, Hiltl prepares all its curry pastes in house.