Eastwest Hotel (Pâquis)
Hotel restaurants are not always top of my to-eat-at list, especially in Europe, as I assume they will be a club sandwich rip-off. A work perk, however, led me to accept an invitation at Eastwest hotel in Pâquis (same group as Tiffany’s in Plainpalais as well as several hotels in Paris). An unlikely location for a four-star boutique hotel, but in fact, others seem to be following suit and it’s well-positioned in terms of station-lake equidistance.
My colleague and I were invited to a tour of the hotel followed by a meal with the head of sales and excellent hostess, Emilie Fouquet, and I have to say I was very impressed with the food, and not overly ruffled by the price.
After much mmm-ing and ahh-ing at the rooms’ intergalactic showerheads and mini-bar contents, we headed back downstairs for lunch. It was one of the lovely days (nevermind which as too few to choose from, and anyway, hail in June never hurt anybody, stop talking about the weather).
There is a lovely interior courtyard at Eastwest with a zen water feature and hidden urban oasis feel. I’ll get straight to the service – it was impeccable. Quick (we had 50 minutes for a three-course meal), slick (no surplus of flowery words or flamboyant plate-clearing) and chic (cool, unstuffy staff).
The amuse-bouche was crusted chicken with creamy fromage blanc. An interesting surprise as I’ve gotten so used to being served a thimble of cold soup of sorts.
To start I ordered the sea bass carpaccio with citrus dressing and sucrine lettuce. It was melt-in-the-mouth and perfectly dressed.
Aurélie’s sashimi was energetically seasoned with spices at the table and served with a soya sauce jelly “cube” – an innovative way to play with the condiment. Her entrée was accompanied with a bowl of delicately thin, crunchy slices of fresh root vegetables.
We both stayed on the seafood train for main course. I had tender medallion of monkfish with fennel in a chocolate and star anise sauce not dissimilar to Mexican mole which I sometimes get a craving for.
Aurelie opted for the plat du jour for main course: tandoori cod with quinoa drizzled with a spicy jus.
The plat du jour at 30.-CHF changes daily and includes the amuse-bouche du jour as well.
I’ve already decided on next time’s meat-themed menu: Eastwest salad of thinly-sliced beef with soba noodles and grilled peanut vinaigrette to start, and follow with the Thai-style steak tartare. And a glass of red.
Fifteen minutes until we need to head back and we wonder if there is time (and room) for dessert. Aurélie and I look at the menu and seem to be talking the same dessert language – both ordering and sharing are a must.
We choose cold coconut “soup” and lychee sorbet with fresh papaya and a delicate rose water meringue. It was so inspiringly clever and fresh and full of my favourite things! A wonderful discovery and I’ve since been back just for that. Eventually I’ll try and create it at home, but I’ll need to taste it a good few times there before that (just to make sure…)
The three chocolate mousse made my pupils dilate triple-fold. Really scrummy. Well, they must know their chocolate given that Genevois chocolatier, Philippe Pascoët, keeps a healthy stash of his creations there and collaborates with Eastwest organizing chocolate and wine tastings. I tried Pascoët chocolates in the first week I landed in Geneva and have since raved about the lavender, rosemary and jasmine varieties which send me into a happy, floral dreamlike state every time. Haven’t been able to find a fine chocolatier open on a Sunday? Here’s your answer.
Eastwest is a fantastic spot for a quick business lunch or a long lazy lunch. The ambience matches the food – fresh and modern with an Asia-Europe cosmopolitan twist.
6, rue des Pâquis CH-1201 Genève
Tel. : + 41 22 708 17 17