Talk About First Impressions !

KaiserIt’s fun to look back at my photos from the summer of 2008 when I first moved to Zürich, and see what I took pictures of.  There were buildings and structures so new and exotic to me that they stopped me in my tracks. Now I may pass by every day, and they are all too familiar.  The old town near Lindenhof seemed like a regular labyrinth, yet now seems so very easy to navigate.  There was one spot that I kept taking pictures of, every time we walked by; it was just a wall to me, but so fascinating and almost “hidden” amongst the small winding streets in the area.  

Little did I know that it was the famous frescoed facade of a well known restaurant where the poet Goethe once stayed, and where I would have one of my best meals in Zürich.    


We sat down inside Kaiser’s Reblaube and started to ponder the menu.  Translation: skim through the pages, trying to find as many words as possible in German that we understood.  All the while, munching on some warm, almost hot, nuts that were set down for us.  Luckily, our German was not quite up to par, and it took us some time to figure out what to order – and thus, savor those nuts!  We were then given a menu in French and a second bowl of nuts, seeing that the first quickly disappeared.  We still needed some more time to decide between the many enticing dishes – Swiss cuisine with a modern touch and a real focus on fresh, seasonal products.  The waitstaff (100% female in the ground floor restaurant where we ate) could hardly miss our excitement about those nuts that once again disappeared.  One waitress returned giggling and this time, presented us with a much larger bowl of those nuts.  It goes without saying that we finished that too, and would have received more, but told the waitresses that we needed to leave room for dinner!  

Pineapple Minestrone at KaiserThe nuts were surely a sign of what was to come. Granted, our appetizers and main courses were not quite as addictive and we did not receive multiple plates of each.  As for the dessert, a pineapple minestrone, I can’t say I would have minded… A cold pineapple “soup” with almonds and various dried fruit standing in for the pasta and vegetables.  Plus a large scoop of vanilla chile ice cream.  A nice kick to soften the sweetness and acidity of the other ingredients. Talk about first… and last impressions.  And all the while, absolutely impeccable service.

I asked one of the waitresses if she could share the recipe for those nuts.  Thinking it was some highly guarded secret, I couldn’t believe she rattled it right off – rosemary, sugar, butter. Gee, no wonder they were so good!  I asked if she could send me the exact proportions, as I’d love to make them at home.  Patience paid off. She did!  And I have now tried the recipe several times.  These nuts are awfully good – real crunchy with a mix of sweet and savory, addictive for sure, whether hot or cold. But nowhere near as good as the real deal in the restaurant. 

Reblaubennüsse ReblaubennüsseReblaubennüsse Reblaubennüsse


Almost Kaiser?s Reblaube?s Irresistible Nuts
Adapted from the original recipe for Reblaubennüsse

1 1/4 cups (175 grams) shelled almonds
1 cup (130 grams) cashew nuts
1 Tablespoon chopped rosemary 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon flour
1/2 Tablespoon (7 grams) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celcius).  Put nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes, giving a shake halfway through.  In the meantime, mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl.  Add the toasted nuts to the bowl and mix well. 

Serve warm.


Kaiser’s Reblaube
Glockengasse 7
8001 Zürich


17 Responses to “Talk About First Impressions !”

  1. Jack says:

    Boy this brings back the memories…thanks for the post. I actually worked here…twice. I spent a lot of time just inside those 2nd floor windows where the kitchen is located…and those nuts…well, I made those at least 4 times a week. I’ve worked in many restaurants, including several michelin-rated restaurants, and I still draw upon the experiences I had working for Peter Brunner way more than any of the other restaurants…still go from time to time – last visit was in January, and it was still fabulous!

  2. Lani says:

    Love the crunch…perfect with a glass of wine! I do think that I will roast some nuts for myself…… The architecture of the buildings in Zurich are so interesting and different. You never want to look at the ground.

  3. Saddleshoos says:

    This looks absolutely gorgeous (and delectable). Thank you for bringing the best of Zurich to the rest of the world.

    I’m so excited I found My Kugelhopf. Thank you for your kind comment. I’ll be visiting here very often!

  4. jen laceda says:

    Oooh, I’m so ready to try this recipe!

  5. Virginia says:

    I’ve just arrived in Zurich, and I love food. I think I’m going to go get cheerfully lost finding my around the old town near Lindenhof, looking for Kaiser?s Reblaube.

  6. jkiel says:

    These sound yummy, definitely have to try this out!
    I know exactly what you mean about the photography – when I took a study abroad course in Verona, years ago, I spent the first couple of weeks just shooting all the great architecture in the streets. By the time I left, I told myself that one should ALWAYS listen to the photographer voice inside one’s head, and shoot – not say “I’ll get it next time” because next time never happens.

  7. Christoph Hess says:


  8. Shaun says:

    Your pics are great… I love to go back and see how I looked at it then, it is nice to reflect back…

  9. Tammie says:

    My husband makes pecans with a similar mix — well absent the rosemary. NOW I’ve got to try them with the rosemary. Yum! Love the pics of your measuring spoons, especially the beat up, uhh, I mean lovingly used metal ones. Look just like a pair in my kitchen.

  10. marina villatoro says:

    I loved Zurich, everything about it was enticing. However, I had to say, it was a really good thing I was on a major budget, becasue the food there was too die for and not at all cheap!
    The Travel Expert(a) and an Expat with a Twist

  11. Uncle Beefy says:

    It’s been SO long since I was last in Zurich but I certainly don’t think I got to eat in this iconic location 🙁 But at least I can make the nuts and pretend (which sound stupendous!). Thanks for sharing the recipe, Kerrin! 🙂

  12. Anne-Marie says:

    I am french and I have just discover your blog. It’s very interresting, I love Zürich too (my Sister lives there), and Paris, of corse, and Alsass (I live 60 KM from Strasbourg). A bientôt !

  13. marina villatoro says:

    wow, what a great place! I don’t know, if i saw it a year ago, i’d probably be looking at it with the same admiring eyes again!
    The Travel Expert(a) and an Expat with a Twist

  14. kristi says:

    thanks for sharing that recipe! looks delicious.
    i’m going to have to give it a try (either that or pop into that restaurant!) i live in zürich too.

  15. peter says:

    thanks for all the compliments! But i have to confess to you: the recipie of our famous nuts is from a famous ny-restaurant which was my ideal when i opened kaisers reblaube, guess which one?

  16. shane says:

    MMm that looks good

  17. mn homes says:

    Looks so delicious, yummy!.
    But I suggest that you also try kare-kare. I love it!

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