On the last trip to Vienna Zuri Girl was told by a local foodie that a ‘must-go’ eatery we couldn’t miss was NENI at Naschmarkt. After a fulfilling, wholesome, more-than-I-can-say brunch, we had just one wish – to eat at NENI on a weekly basis. The only problem is; distance between Vienna and Zurich is 750 kilometers away!
So, when we came across that the restaurant at the hip 25hours hotel in Zurich West is actually NENI, we had nothing else to say but Hallelujah!
Being celebrated and beloved by the locals in Vienna, the food at NENI is actually Israeli. No, in fact, they call the cuisine there “Israeli food at its best.” This is all credited to Haya Molcho, the creative brain behind it. Once looking at the menu, anyone can tell the eatery was created out of love and passion for food and cooking, in a way someone would cook to feed her family’s body, heart, and soul. The kitchen has its origins in Tel Aviv, but Haya took it to the international level. Her culinary philosophy translates into a unique, modern middle-eastern cuisine. The food is rich in flavors, wholesome in ingredient quality, and pretty for a sight to behold. It is a genius concoction of flavors from around the world and whether your favorite food is Turkish, Russian, Arabic, Moroccan, French, Spanish, or Austrian, you will surely love it.
Zuri Girl loves Lamb Kebab on a cinnamon split with onion basil salad and plum chutney, Grilled Eggplant served with Tahina, tomato salsa and coriander, and Jerusalem Plate which consists of grilled strips of chicken breast, pepper, onions, oriental spices and fresh herbs served with Hummus, Tahina and Pita bread.
And we made a remark to go back for Sautéed Scallops on Chorizo cassoulet, and Tenderloin and Cheeks of Veal with black salsify and two-coloured mashed potatoes – both labelled in the menu ‘special.’ If you want to share the food the Asian way, NENI’s Mezze would be a good idea. It comes with Hummus, Tahina, Israeli salad, Pita bread, and you can choose to add grilled strips of chicken breast, falafel, or Baba Ghanoush. For desserts they have special New York Cheese Cake with hot berries and sour cream, White Brownie, Chestnut Mille-Feuille, and creative homemade ice cream like Pumpkin ricotta or Chocolate pear chili sorbet. Everything sounds tempting to try, doesn’t it? But don’t worry about weight gain; you can always opt for vegan dishes as an alternative for a lighter meal.
Starter prices range from CHF 11-24, and main dishes from CHF 20-44. Desserts are CHF 12-14 and a scoop of ice cream is CHF 4. Considering you can be there for a light mezze and a drink or two over a free concert, we’d say that’s a pretty good deal.
Drinks menu is as thick as a bible of a well-stocked bar. The list is very extensive for whatever chink-chink occasion you wish for. Fancy caffeine cups for breakfast? Tick. Wine of all regions to accompany lunch or dinner? Tick. Hardcore liquors for a nightcap? Tick. “High Darling,” “Maybe Baby,” or “Orange Safari” – those are some tea choices which we will save it for you to find out by yourself. What Zuri Girl particularly likes is a long cocktail list especially the “25 Hours Style”. We love Basil Berry
(Absolut Kurant/ Himbeerpüree/ Basilikum/ Limettensaft/ Cranberrysaft) at 16.00 CHF and Ginger Fever
(Lemongrass Ginger Infused Gin/ iIgwerlikör/ Limettensaft/ Tonic) at 17.00 CHF. Maybe it is the exotic menu that influences our preference!
The beer selection is a bit mediocre, but we think you shouldn’t run out of idea with what to quench the thirst instead.
On the ground floor of 25hours hotel in Zurich West district.
25hours hotel is known to be a fun design hotel with tongue-in-cheek surprises and vibrant colors. NENI’s location right behind hotel reception and its function as the hotel’s main dining means that the ambience there is as playful and relaxing as the hotel itself. The crowd seems to be young, business geek travelers who cannot stand the boredom of business hotels. So if you want to see the new culture of business travelers in an even more casual seating, grab a stool at the bar and enjoy the scene.
Why We Love It:
Saving of an 8-hour drive or a night train ride to Vienna! And finally a gastro Middle Eastern meals beyond greasy kebab in Zurich.
Zuri Girl Tip:
Sometimes the hotel organizes a mini concert right at the restaurant. Last time Zuri Girl was there it was nice crooning jazz with a live band. It was actually very good, and all came without a ticket price.
25hours Hotel Zurich West
Pfingstweidstrasse 102, 8005 Zurich
Phone: +41 44 577 22 22
Original article published in Girlfriend Guide to Zurich can be read at NENI- Welcome to Zurich!