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9. August 2014: Schloss Schauenstein

| September 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

UNIQUE – that is the perfect description of my experience at Schloss Schauenstein. I wanted to pay Andreas Caminada, Swiss Chef of the year and currently number 43 of the 50 best restaurants in the world, a visit already for long but finally made it happen. The table had to be booked in February to make sure you would be able to dine on a Saturday evening.

When you arrive you are seated outside in the little garden patio which is very atmospheric and you get to enjoy the sundowner. In order to be fully able to enjoy this, I had a glass of “Riesling Sylvaner, Obrecht, Francisca & Christian Obrecht” (CHF 14.00 per 1dl) which was very refreshing. Together with the white wine the evening started – first thing were “Bloody Mary balls, goose liver & elderflower and lobster chips with mustard”. The dishes were appetizing, refined, and aromatic making you interested about what is yet to come this very night.


But these three little appetizers were not enough for the time in the patio. Next was “trout and cucumber” which was basically a trout plus three different ways to prepare a cucumber. Somehow simple but very refined at the same time.


Together with the “trout and cucumber” yet another type of cucumber dish was served: “cucumber maccaron”. Frankly speaking, I was not too positive about this one but I must say that it was actually tasty.


The above-mentioned patio I have described previously already but just to give you an impression where you are seated (the picture was taken after all the guests had left the patio to get inside).








When the menu was brought it was an easy decision what to eat – “the six course tasting menu” (CHF 249.00) was the choice of the night. Maybe one word beforehand – a six course menu with Andreas is not a regular six course menu but rather a 20 course menu. But you will see in a bit.

The first amuse bouche from the kitchen was “yuzu & beet root served as sorbet and as a chip” which was nicely refreshing – and interesting to try something like beet root sorbet.


Next in line was “scallops and carrots” plus “spices bouillon with an alga cracker”. The scallop was good but I must say since Sergio’s scallop (see Restaurant O Paparico) nothing matches. The spices bouillon on the other hand was incredibly rich and aromatic.


The third amuse bouche from the kitchen was the first one which really tickled my taste buds. The mustard icecream was mouth-watering but what really kicked up my senses a notch was the ham foam – so light, so smooth, so aromatic. The brown bread cream and cracker rounded up the dish perfectly.


As I do not eat the Schloss Schauenstein on a daily basis I decided to enjoy the full program and went for the pairing wines (CHF 150.00 total) which started with a “2013, Bündner Herrschaft, Pinot Gris, Markus Stäger, Maienfeld” (CHF 17.00) which was light and fresh.

In order to keep one busy between the amuse bouche and the real starter some bread and butter (regular butter plus butter with fleur de sel) was brought to the table. Not that bread has to be fancy or anything – but somehow I had expected some spreads or the like and not just plain butter with fleur de sel – but, admittedly, the butter was actually of great quality.


A first glimpse of the genius of the chef was to be seen with the soup. Well, it did not look much like a soup at first but it was rather a bunch of dried herbs served in a bowl (tarragon, chervil, basil, parsely, coriander) to which …


… chives oil was added …


… and finally something called “basic soup”. Once it was finalized one was order to stir the soup and to mix it together. And while at first it only looked impressive it also started to taste impressive after the first spoon of sop.


Sometimes you think the human mind cannot be wow-ed easily, and I think that is even true. Still, when you get a dish served on an iPad (or a similar construction) you automatically are puzzled at first. The little houses on the iPad, made of “air-dried beef Grisons style, parfait; veal tail jelly, barley vinaigrette” shall symbolize Splendur on the Maiensäss alps (“this dish is dedicated to the Grisons architect Gion A. Caminada. On a juicy greenland there are houses in glistening light made of veal tail essence and smoked bacon parfait. The archaic ensemble remembers the former Maiensäss culture”).


Besides being impressive when looking at it the dish is only impressive in terms of taste. The smoked bacon parfait and the gelees fit incredibly well together – ending up in a combination of smoothness and taste.


After approximately one hour it was time for the first official course – “mackerel prepared in three ways: grilled, marinaded, tatar with pickled kohlrabi and kohlrabi roll as well as wasabi mayonnaise and wasabi meringue”. The fish was smooth, rich in taste and went extremely well with the wasabi mayonnaise.


It was time for the second white wine of the evening – a “2013, Bündner Herrschaft, Sauvignon Blanc, Irene Grünenfelder, Jenins” (CHF 22.00) which was served with the “surprise course” (+ CHF 65.00 for a main and a dessert surprise course). And hell, it was a surprise! And what kind of a surprise! Basically, the dish – while looking rather simple at first – was AMAZING. But what was it? “Goose liver served by itself, raw and marinaded, as well as a crème brûlée plus corn icecream and corn gazpacho rounded up by goat cream cheese”. The goose liver was tasty by itself, and was great marinaded but the smoothness of the goose liver crème brûlée was absolutely breath-taking! The perfect consistency of a dessert crème brûlée while having the incredible tenderness and smoothness of the goose liver. This dish almost brought me to tears – I absolutely loved it, it felt like floating in space due to happiness.


After such a surprise course, you need something to calm down a bit – and usually a glass of wine helps. So, the next in line was served, a “2010, Graubünden, Chardonnay, Manfred Meier, Zizero” (CHF 22.00) which matched the “langoustine tatar, grilled goose liver and raw & marinated as well as chanterelles marinaded, sautéed and as a crème”. For me there were two elements which made the dish great – the chanterelles had an incredible intense taste of forrest and mushrooms – but in a very subtle, lovely way. On the other hand, there was again this goose liver which was – even after the orbital experience with the previous course the goose liver was still amazing.


The wine orgy was not over yet and a “2013, Bündner Herrschaft, Completer, Martin Donatsch Weingut “Zum Ochsen”, Malans” (CHF 27.00) was chosen to accompany the “codfish served with leek and leek cream – as well as coal dust and estragon”. Frankly, when I read the course in my mind I was wondering why one would serve coal or how it would add to a dish but I must admit it actually did. The almost hidden taste of coal somehow balances off the whole dish – while obviously it also has a show effect.


After quite some white wine, it was finally time for something else and the “2011, Sorso Pelizzatti, Annatina Pelizzatti, Jenins” (CHF 26.00) was offered to enjoy with the “lamb and onions”. While you might think at first that just lamb and onions is rather boring (and I generally would not argue) it was actually not. The lamb itself was aromatic and perfectly cooked. The onion on the other hand was more an interplay of different ways how to prepare an onion. The large onion on the plate was to be push out of its shell and to be eaten – and, admittedly, it was actually delicious.


After the meat course it was time for yet another glass of wine, a “2012, Bündner Herrschaft, Riesling Spätlese, Martha & Daniel Gantenbein, Fläsch” (CHF 25.00) which was then served with the “cheese platter called dream from Andeer served with a red wine, apple cream, quadretto, artichoke, mountain spruce, bell peppers, eggplants, cheese from the valley Val Lumnezia 2010 and 2012, salsiz and fig mustard”.



The second “surprise course” did not have the topic “goose liver” but rather “blueberry”. It was “blueberry gel, blueberry bowls, blueberry baiser, blueberry muesli, and blueberry leaves served with verbena gelée and oil as well as joghurt”. In all fairness, it was quite a big amount of blueberry taste at the end but on the other hand I think I seldomly ever had such taste-intense blueberries – especially in a restaurant.


It was not yet time to be over so another round was yet to come consisting of “curd soufflé, peach sorbet, peach spoom, peach gel as well as braised peach, joghurt cream and caramel”. The dessert was a refreshing finale course – or maybe not yet final?



Once the actual dinner was over and no more “regular” courses were to be served, it was time to walk up one floor to sit down in the smoking area where one could then enjoy the aprés desserts: “fruit jellies, elder-wild rose lolly, joghurt lime lolly, orange praline, bergamot praline, verbena vpraline as well as nougat praline, Kalamansi-green tea marshmallows, amaretto-apricot marhsmallows, lemon cake, double cream maccaron, cherry-chocolate and strawberry elder cuts”. The selection was rather tremendous and I must admit that I definitely was full after 6 hours – but also incredibly happy.


The prices are steep, no question, but for what you get and for the experience you have it is worth it. Only when it comes to elements like paying CHF 9.90 for a double espresso, I have my small issue, the same applies for a bottle of “Passuger” for CHF 14.00. The “Berta Bric del Gaian” for CHF 19.00 on the other hand is almost cheap compared to the rest. Finally, you can also sit down and smoke a cigar (e.g. Davidoff No. 2 for CHF 23.00) on the first floor allowing you to fade away the evening perfectly.


When you are on the first floor anyway, it makes sense to also pay the room across the hallway a visit to inspect the bar – impressive, breath-takingly beautiful, and absolutely worth seeing.


One last word about the service – it is quite long ago since I have experienced so perfectly orchestrated service. The dishes were always served at exactly the very same second, always taken off the table when empty at the very same second – just perfectly orchestrated. Only when it came to the re-filling of my water glass it sometimes took them a while to realize.


My experience at Schloss Schauenstein can definitely be summarized as “unique”. The dishes are outstanding but I, admittedly, was a tiny bit disappointed as – besides the goose liver surprise course – I did not have any true wow-moments. I mean, everything was outstanding but it just somehow did not trigger my taste buds the way I would have wished it to happen. However, if you are willing to spend approx. CHF 500 – CHF 600 for one person for an evening, and you love good food, a great atmosphere, perfect service, and getting to talk to Andreas for a couple of seconds or minutes, then you should definitely pay Schloss Schauenstein a visit. Furthermore, if you are a foodie – you have to come here at least once. I know one thing for sure – it was not my last visit to Schloss Schauenstein.


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Contact Details:

Schloss Schauenstein

Schlossgasse 1

7414 Fürstenau (CH)

Tel.: +41 81 632 10 80

Fax: +41 81 632 10 81

E-Mail: kontakt@schauenstein.ch

Homepage: http://www.andreascaminada.com

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
CHF 1'130.00 (incl. tip) Filed in: Graubünden (CH), Restaurants, The World's 50 Best Restaurants

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