Dinner in 5 Languages

Or rather? ?The Check, s?il vous plait.Muchos danke.Obrigada.?

If you have trouble deciding what to order, and a menu that reads: chicken, steak or salad is what appeals to you? then do not read further.The following restaurant is not for you.If, however, you enjoy navigating a colorful 7 page menu on legal size paper, with different categories listing at least 20 menu options each, then this is the place for you.

Inviting passersby with its wooden tables outside, Restaurant Turm sits in the corner of a quiet charming square just off the noisy popular streets of Zürich’s Neiderdorf, the old town.Large flags wave above the tables, the red and white Swiss flag, Zürich?s blue and white flag, and another which we later learned represents a restaurant association.None of this informing us of what type of restaurant we had chosen.

Reading through the menu, written in both German and in Spanish, we collected our questions for the waiter.First attempts were in German, which were respectable on Olivier’s end, but left us pretty much where we started.We understood the categories: Fisch, Salat, Vegi, etc.But we did not quite understand the reasoning behind one menu entitled Sommer Fitness Karte, where one might expect light summer dishes like, steamed fish and healthy salads.Rather, the menu read like that of a local brasserie: Steak Frites, Entrecote ?Buffalo Byll?, Cesar Salat and Tagliata com Rind.

To understand, we made a hopeful attempt with the waiter in French this time.Nein.This did not answer any of our questions, only raised more.So English it was, and it seemed that we were understood, until our plates arrived, and we saw what we apparently ordered.But no matter the selection, the food was fantastically fresh, and presentations were great.We?re still curious what our neighbor had ordered, a savory dish served in a carved out pineapple.For us it was salads, which can be ordered as a small size for 16 CHF or 25 CHF for a generous portion.I am sure my Hollywood Salad would have made my friends from LA happy, with its mix of lettuces, avocado, peppers and cucumbers on one side, a tropical fruit touch on the other ? pineapple, golden kiwi, grapes, passionfruit and strawberries.The whole a deliciously refreshing mix, with a block of feta on top.Definitely enough for dinner, with some bread to go with.

Throughout our meal, the winning language turned out to be Spanish, learning that the waitstaff was almost entirely Spanish, except for one Mexican woman, with whom we chatted about our infamous trip down the Yucatan Peninsula where all of our luggage was stolen.She didn?t seem awfully surprised.Dessert was comparatively simple.  We understood the specialty of the house to be Crema Catalan, but had more questions when skimming the endless pages of ice cream combinations, fruit plates and coffees, all categories heavily making use of the suffix likor.We ordered the nougat ice cream cake without kirsch, and a coffee without rum.The game of language musical chairs was not quite over though.With the check came a brief story of our waiter?s heritage ? Spanish mother and father? Portuguese.So there it was, the rest of the evening in Portuguese.

Restaurant Turm
Tony Navarro
Obere Zäune 19
8001 Zürich

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